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Best Famous Music Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Music poems. This is a select list of the best famous Music poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Music poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of music poems.

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See also: Best Member Poems

by William Wordsworth | |

The Tables Turned

An Evening Scene on the Same Subject

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife: Come, hear the woodland linnet, How sweet his music! on my life, There's more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings! He, too, is no mean preacher: Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your Teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth, Our minds and hearts to bless— Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health, Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal wood May teach you more of man, Of moral evil and of good, Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings; Our meddling intellect Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:— We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art; Close up those barren leaves; Come forth, and bring with you a heart That watches and receives.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

The Conqueror Worm

Lo! 't is a gala night

Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng bewinged bedight

In veils and drowned in tears 
Sit in a theatre to see

A play of hopes and fears 
While the orchestra breathes fitfully

The music of the spheres.
Mimes in the form of God on high Mutter and mumble low And hither and thither fly - Mere puppets they who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro Flapping from out their Condor wings Invisible Woe! That motley drama! - oh be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased for evermore By a crowd that seize it not Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot And much of Madness and more of Sin And Horror the soul of the plot.
But see amid the mimic rout A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes! - it writhes! - with mortal pangs The mimes become its food And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued.
Out - out are the lights - out all! And over each quivering form The curtain a funeral pall Comes down with the rush of a storm And the angels all pallid and wan Uprising unveiling affirm That the play is the tragedy "Man" And its hero the Conqueror Worm.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

Music when soft voices die

MUSIC when soft voices die  
Vibrates in the memory; 
Odours when sweet violets sicken  
Live within the sense they quicken; 

Rose leaves when the rose is dead 5 
Are heap'd for the belov¨¨d's bed: 
And so thy thoughts when thou art gone  
Love itself shall slumber on.


More great poems below...

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | |

The Day is Done

THE DAY is done and the darkness 
Falls from the wings of Night  
As a feather is wafted downward 
From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village 5 Gleam through the rain and the mist And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me That my soul cannot resist: A feeling of sadness and longing That is not akin to pain 10 And resembles sorrow only As the mist resembles the rain.
Come read to me some poem Some simple and heartfelt lay That shall soothe this restless feeling 15 And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters Not from the bards sublime Whose distant footsteps echo Through the corridors of Time.
20 For like strains of martial music Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavor; And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet 25 Whose songs gushed from his heart As showers from the clouds of summer Or tears from the eyelids start; Who through long days of labor And nights devoid of ease 30 Still heard in his soul the music Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet The restless pulse of care And come like the benediction 35 That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume The poem of thy choice And lend to the rhyme of the poet The beauty of thy voice.
40 And the night shall be filled with music And the cares that infest the day Shall fold their tents like the Arabs And as silently steal away.


by Phillis Wheatley | |

An Hymn to the Evening

Soon as the sun forsook the eastern main
The pealing thunder shook the heav'nly plain;
Majestic grandeur!  From the zephyr's wing,
Exhales the incense of the blooming spring.
Soft purl the streams, the birds renew their notes, And through the air their mingled music floats.
Through all the heav'ns what beauteous dies are spread! But the west glories in the deepest red: So may our breasts with ev'ry virtue glow, The living temples of our God below! Fill'd with the praise of him who gives the light, And draws the sable curtains of the night, Let placid slumbers sooth each weary mind, At morn to wake more heav'nly, more refin'd; So shall the labours of the day begin More pure, more guarded from the snares of sin.
Night's leaden sceptre seals my drowsy eyes, Then cease, my song, till fair Aurora rise.


by John Keats | |

To Autumn

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness! 
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; 
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees 5 
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
To swell the gourd and plump the hazel shells 
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more  
And still more later flowers for the bees  
Until they think warm days will never cease 10 
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 15 Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep Drowsed with the fume of poppies while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twin¨¨d flowers; And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; 20 Or by a cider-press with patient look Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay where are they? Think not of them thou hast thy music too ¡ª While barr¨¨d clouds bloom the soft-dying day 25 And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows borne aloft Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 30 Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

The Flight of Love

WHEN the lamp is shatter'd 
The light in the dust lies dead¡ª 
When the cloud is scatter'd  
The rainbow's glory is shed.
When the lute is broken 5 Sweet tones are remember'd not; When the lips have spoken Lov'd accents are soon forgot.
As music and splendour Survive not the lamp and the lute 10 The heart's echoes render No song when the spirit is mute¡ª No song but sad dirges Like the wind through a ruin'd cell Or the mournful surges 15 That ring the dead seaman's knell.
When hearts have once mingl'd Love first leaves the well-built nest; The weak one is singl'd To endure what it once possesst.
20 O Love! who bewailest The frailty of all things here Why choose you the frailest For your cradle your home and your bier? Its passions will rock thee 25 As the storms rock the ravens on high; Bright reason will mock thee Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter Will rot and thine eagle home 30 Leave thee naked to laughter When leaves fall and cold winds come.


by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |

A Musical Instrument

WHAT was he doing the great god Pan  
Down in the reeds by the river? 
Spreading ruin and scattering ban  
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat  
And breaking the golden lilies afloat 5 
With the dragon-fly on the river.
He tore out a reed the great god Pan From the deep cool bed of the river; The limpid water turbidly ran And the broken lilies a-dying lay 10 And the dragon-fly had fled away Ere he brought it out of the river.
High on the shore sat the great god Pan While turbidly flow'd the river; And hack'd and hew'd as a great god can 15 With his hard bleak steel at the patient reed Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed To prove it fresh from the river.
He cut it short did the great god Pan (How tall it stood in the river!) 20 Then drew the pith like the heart of a man Steadily from the outside ring And notch'd the poor dry empty thing In holes as he sat by the river.
'This is the way ' laugh'd the great god Pan 25 (Laugh'd while he sat by the river) 'The only way since gods began To make sweet music they could succeed.
' Then dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed He blew in power by the river.
30 Sweet sweet sweet O Pan! Piercing sweet by the river! Blinding sweet O great god Pan! The sun on the hill forgot to die And the lilies revived and the dragon-fly 35 Came back to dream on the river.
Yet half a beast is the great god Pan To laugh as he sits by the river Making a poet out of a man: The true gods sigh for the cost and pain¡ª 40 For the reed which grows nevermore again As a reed with the reeds of the river.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

Lines

WHEN the lamp is shatter'd  
The light in the dust lies dead; 
When the cloud is scatter'd  
The rainbow's glory is shed; 
When the lute is broken 5 
Sweet tones are remember'd not 
When the lips have spoken  
Loved accents are soon forgot.
As music and splendour Survive not the lamp and the lute 10 The heart's echoes render No song when the spirit is mute¡ª No song but sad dirges Like the wind through a ruin'd cell Or the mournful surges 15 That ring the dead seaman's knell.
When hearts have once mingled Love first leaves the well-built nest; The weak one is singled To endure what it once possest.
20 O Love who bewailest The frailty of all things here Why choose you the frailest For your cradle your home and your bier? Its passions will rock thee 25 As the storms rock the ravens on high: Bright reason will mock thee Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter Will rot and thine eagle home 30 Leave thee naked to laughter When leaves fall and cold winds come.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

There be none of Beautys daughters

THERE be none of Beauty's daughters 
With a magic like thee; 
And like music on the waters 
Is thy sweet voice to me: 
When as if its sound were causing 5 
The charmed ocean's pausing  
The waves lie still and gleaming  
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming: 

And the midnight moon is weaving 
Her bright chain o'er the deep 10 
Whose breast is gently heaving 
As an infant's asleep: 
So the spirit bows before thee 
To listen and adore thee; 
With a full but soft emotion 15 
Like the swell of summer's ocean.


by Emily Dickinson | |

He fumbles at your spirit

He fumbles at your spirit
   As players at the keys
Before they drop full music on;
   He stuns you by degrees,

Prepares your brittle substance
   For the ethereal blow,
By fainter hammers, further heard,
   Then nearer, then so slow

Your breath has time to straighten,
   Your brain to bubble cool, --
Deals one imperial thunderbolt
   That scalps your naked soul.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

Remorse

AWAY! the moor is dark beneath the moon  
Rapid clouds have drunk the last pale beam of even: 
Away! the gathering winds will call the darkness soon  
And profoundest midnight shroud the serene lights of heaven.
Pause not! the time is past! Every voice cries 'Away!' 5 Tempt not with one last tear thy friend's ungentle mood: Thy lover's eye so glazed and cold dares not entreat thy stay: Duty and dereliction guide thee back to solitude.
Away away! to thy sad and silent home; Pour bitter tears on its desolated hearth; 10 Watch the dim shades as like ghosts they go and come And complicate strange webs of melancholy mirth.
The leaves of wasted autumn woods shall float around thine head The blooms of dewy Spring shall gleam beneath thy feet: But thy soul or this world must fade in the frost that binds the dead 15 Ere midnight's frown and morning's smile ere thou and peace may meet.
The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose For the weary winds are silent or the moon is in the deep; Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean knows; Whatever moves or toils or grieves hath its appointed sleep.
20 Thou in the grave shalt rest:¡ªyet till the phantoms flee Which that house and heath and garden made dear to thee erewhile Thy remembrance and repentance and deep musings are not free From the music of two voices and the light of one sweet smile.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

The Invitation

BEST and brightest come away ¡ª 
Fairer far than this fair day  
Which like thee to those in sorrow 
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow 
To the rough year just awake 5 
In its cradle on the brake.
The brightest hour of unborn Spring Through the winter wandering Found it seems the halcyon morn To hoar February born; 10 Bending from heaven in azure mirth It kiss'd the forehead of the earth And smiled upon the silent sea And bade the frozen streams be free And waked to music all their fountains 15 And breathed upon the frozen mountains And like a prophetess of May Strew'd flowers upon the barren way Making the wintry world appear Like one on whom thou smilest dear.
20 Away away from men and towns To the wild woods and the downs¡ª To the silent wilderness Where the soul need not repress Its music lest it should not find 25 An echo in another's mind While the touch of Nature's art Harmonizes heart to heart.
Radiant Sister of the Day Awake! arise! and come away! 30 To the wild woods and the plains To the pools where winter rains Image all their roof of leaves Where the pine its garland weaves Of sapless green and ivy dun 35 Round stems that never kiss the sun; Where the lawns and pastures be And the sandhills of the sea; Where the melting hoar-frost wets The daisy-star that never sets 40 And wind-flowers and violets Which yet join not scent to hue Crown the pale year weak and new; When the night is left behind In the deep east dim and blind 45 And the blue noon is over us And the multitudinous Billows murmur at our feet Where the earth and ocean meet And all things seem only one 50 In the universal Sun.


by Wang Wei | |

TO QIWU QIAN BOUND HOME AFTER FAILING IN AN EXAMINATION

In a happy reign there should be no hermits; 
The wise and able should consult together.
.
.
.
So you, a man of the eastern mountains, Gave up your life of picking herbs And came all the way to the Gate of Gold -- But you found your devotion unavailing.
.
.
.
To spend the Day of No Fire on one of the southern rivers, You have mended your spring clothes here in these northern cities.
I pour you the farewell wine as you set out from the capital -- Soon I shall be left behind here by my bosomfriend.
In your sail-boat of sweet cinnamon-wood You will float again toward your own thatch door, Led along by distant trees To a sunset shining on a far-away town.
.
.
.
What though your purpose happened to fail, Doubt not that some of us can hear high music.


by Siegfried Sassoon | |

Ancestors

BEHOLD these jewelled merchant Ancestors 
Foregathered in some chancellery of death;
Calm provident discreet they stroke their beards
And move their faces slowly in the gloom 
And barter monstrous wealth with speech subdued 5
Lustreless eyes and acquiescent lids.
And oft in pauses of their conference They listen to the measured breath of night¡¯s Hushed sweep of wind aloft the swaying trees In dimly gesturing gardens; then a voice 10 Climbs with clear mortal song half-sad for heaven.
A silent-footed message flits and brings The ghostly Sultan from his glimmering halls; A shadow at the window turbaned vast He leans; and pondering the sweet influence 15 That steals around him in remembered flowers Hears the frail music wind along the slopes Put forth and fade across the whispering sea.


by Siegfried Sassoon | |

Goblin Revel

IN gold and grey with fleering looks of sin 
I watch them come; by two by three by four 
Advancing slow with loutings they begin
Their woven measure widening from the door;
While music-men behind are straddling in 5
With flutes to brisk their feet across the floor ¡ª
And jangled dulcimers and fiddles thin
That taunt the twirling antic through once more.
They pause and hushed to whispers steal away.
With cunning glances; silent go their shoon 10 On creakless stairs; but far away the dogs Bark at some lonely farm: and haply they Have clambered back into the dusky moon That sinks beyond the marshes loud with frogs.


by William Cullen Bryant | |

June

I GAZED upon the glorious sky 
And the green mountains round  
And thought that when I came to lie 
At rest within the ground  
'T were pleasant that in flowery June 5 
When brooks send up a cheerful tune  
And groves a joyous sound  
The sexton's hand my grave to make  
The rich green mountain-turf should break.
A cell within the frozen mould 10 A coffin borne through sleet And icy clods above it rolled While fierce the tempests beat¡ª Away!¡ªI will not think of these¡ª Blue be the sky and soft the breeze 15 Earth green beneath the feet And be the damp mould gently pressed Into my narrow place of rest.
There through the long long summer hours The golden light should lie 20 And thick young herbs and groups of flowers Stand in their beauty by.
The oriole should build and tell His love-tale close beside my cell; The idle butterfly 25 Should rest him there and there be heard The housewife bee and humming-bird.
And what if cheerful shouts at noon Come from the village sent Or song of maids beneath the moon 30 With fairy laughter blent? And what if in the evening light Betroth¨¨d lovers walk in sight Of my low monument? I would the lovely scene around 35 Might know no sadder sight nor sound.
I know that I no more should see The season's glorious show Nor would its brightness shine for me Nor its wild music flow; 40 But if around my place of sleep The friends I love should come to weep They might not haste to go.
Soft airs and song and light and bloom Should keep them lingering by my tomb.
45 These to their softened hearts should bear The thought of what has been And speak of one who cannot share The gladness of the scene; Whose part in all the pomp that fills 50 The circuit of the summer hills Is that his grave is green; And deeply would their hearts rejoice To hear again his living voice.


by Sara Teasdale | |

Barter

 Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things;
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up,
Holding wonder like a cup.
Life has loveliness to sell; Music like a curve of gold, Scent of pine trees in the rain, Eyes that love you, arms that hold, And, for the Spirit's still delight, Holy thoughts that star the night.
Give all you have for loveliness; Buy it, and never count the cost! For one white, singing hour of peace Count many a year of strife well lost; And for a breath of ecstasy, Give all you have been, or could be.


by Sara Teasdale | |

At Midnight

 Now at last I have come to see what life is,
Nothing is ever ended, everything only begun,
And the brave victories that seem so splendid
Are never really won.
Even love that I built my spirit's house for, Comes like a brooding and a baffled guest, And music and men's praise and even laughter Are not so good as rest.


by Sara Teasdale | |

Enough

 It is enough for me by day
 To walk the same bright earth with him;
Enough that over us by night
 The same great roof of stars is dim.
I do not hope to bind the wind Or set a fetter on the sea -- It is enough to feel his love Blow by like music over me.


by Sara Teasdale | |

I Have Loved Hours At Sea

 I have loved hours at sea, gray cities,
The fragile secret of a flower,
Music, the making of a poem
That gave me heaven for an hour;

First stars above a snowy hill,
Voices of people kindly and wise,
And the great look of love, long hidden,
Found at last in meeting eyes.
I have loved much and been loved deeply -- Oh when my spirit's fire burns low, Leave me the darkness and the stillness, I shall be tired and glad to go.


by Sara Teasdale | |

To E.

 I have remembered beauty in the night,
 Against black silences I waked to see
 A shower of sunlight over Italy
And green Ravello dreaming on her height;
I have remembered music in the dark,
 The clean swift brightness of a fugue of Bach's,
 And running water singing on the rocks
When once in English woods I heard a lark.
But all remembered beauty is no more Than a vague prelude to the thought of you -- You are the rarest soul I ever knew, Lover of beauty, knightliest and best; My thoughts seek you as waves that seek the shore, And when I think of you, I am at rest.


by | |

Banbury Cross


Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see an old lady upon a white horse.
Rings on her fingers, and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes.


by | by . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/22620/TOther_Little_Tune' st_title='T'Other Little Tune'>|

T'Other Little Tune

 

I won't be my father's Jack,
  I won't be my father's Jill;
I will be the fiddler's wife,
  And have music when I will.
      T'other little tune,
      T'other little tune,
      Prithee, Love, play me
      T'other little tune.


by Henry Kendall | |

THE MUSE OF AUSTRALIA

WHERE the pines with the eagles are nestled in rifts, 
And the torrent leaps down to the surges, 
I have followed her, clambering over the clifts, 
By the chasms and moon-haunted verges. 
I know she is fair as the angels are fair, 
For have I not caught a faint glimpse of her there; 

A glimpse of her face and her glittering hair, 
And a hand with the Harp of Australia? 


I never can reach you, to hear the sweet voice 
So full with the music of fountains! 
Oh! when will you meet with that soul of your choice, 
Who will lead you down here from the mountains? 
A lyre-bird lit on a shimmering space; 
It dazzled mine eyes and I turned from the place, 
And wept in the dark for a glorious face, 

And a hand with the Harp of Australia!