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Best Famous Nature Poems

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

Gods Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed.
Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs— Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Concord Hymn

By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood, 
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept; Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; And Time the ruined bridge has swept Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream, We set to-day a votive stone; That memory may their deed redeem, When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare To die, and leave their children free, Bid Time and Nature gently spare The shaft we raise to them and thee.


More great poems below...

by Phillis Wheatley | |

To a Lady on the Death of Her Husband

Grim monarch! see, depriv'd of vital breath,
A young physician in the dust of death:
Dost thou go on incessant to destroy,
Our griefs to double, and lay waste our joy?
"Enough" thou never yet wast known to say,
Though millions die, the vassals of thy sway:
Nor youth, nor science, nor the ties of love,
Nor aught on earth thy flinty heart can move.
The friend, the spouse from his dire dart to save, In vain we ask the sovereign of the grave.
Fair mourner, there see thy lov'd Leonard laid, And o'er him spread the deep impervious shade; Clos'd are his eyes, and heavy fetters keep His senses bound in never-waking sleep, Till time shall cease, till many a starry world Shall fall from heav'n, in dire confusion hurl'd, Till nature in her final wreck shall lie, And her last groan shall rend the azure sky: Not, not till then his active soul shall claim His body, a divine immortal frame.
But see the softly-stealing tears apace Pursue each other down the mourner's face; But cease thy tears, bid ev'ry sigh depart, And cast the load of anguish from thine heart: From the cold shell of his great soul arise, And look beyond, thou native of the skies; There fix thy view, where fleeter than the wind Thy Leonard mounts, and leaves the earth behind.
Thyself prepare to pass the vale of night To join for ever on the hills of light: To thine embrace his joyful sprit moves To thee, the partner of his earthly loves; He welcomes thee to pleasures more refin'd, And better suited to th' immortal mind.


by John Dryden | |

To the Memory of Mr. Oldham

Farewell, too little, and too lately known,
Whom I began to think and call my own:
For sure our souls were near allied, and thine
Cast in the same poetic mold with mine.
One common note on either lyre did strike, And knaves and fools we both abhorred alike.
To the same goal did both our studies drive; The last set out the soonest did arrive.
Thus Nisus fell upon the slippery place, While his young friend performed and won the race.
O early ripe! to thy abundant store What could advancing age have added more? It might (what nature never gives the young) Have taught the numbers of thy native tongue.
But satire needs not those, and wit will shine Through the harsh cadence of a rugged line: A noble error, and but seldom made, When poets are by too much force betrayed.
Thy generous fruits, though gathered ere their prime, Still showed a quickness, and maturing time But mellows what we write to the dull sweets of rhyme.
Once more, hail and farewell; farewell, thou young, But ah too short, Marcellus of our tongue; Thy brows with ivy, and with laurels bound; But fate and gloomy night encompass thee around.


by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

A Farewell to False Love

Farewell false love, the oracle of lies, 
A mortal foe and enemy to rest, 
An envious boy, from whom all cares arise, 
A bastard vile, a beast with rage possessed, 
A way of error, a temple full of treason, 
In all effects contrary unto reason.
A poisoned serpent covered all with flowers, Mother of sighs, and murderer of repose, A sea of sorrows whence are drawn such showers As moisture lend to every grief that grows; A school of guile, a net of deep deceit, A gilded hook that holds a poisoned bait.
A fortress foiled, which reason did defend, A siren song, a fever of the mind, A maze wherein affection finds no end, A raging cloud that runs before the wind, A substance like the shadow of the sun, A goal of grief for which the wisest run.
A quenchless fire, a nurse of trembling fear, A path that leads to peril and mishap, A true retreat of sorrow and despair, An idle boy that sleeps in pleasure's lap, A deep mistrust of that which certain seems, A hope of that which reason doubtful deems.
Sith* then thy trains my younger years betrayed, [since] And for my faith ingratitude I find; And sith repentance hath my wrongs bewrayed*, [revealed] Whose course was ever contrary to kind*: [nature] False love, desire, and beauty frail, adieu.
Dead is the root whence all these fancies grew.


by Emily Dickinson | |

A light exists in spring

A light exists in spring
   Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here A color stands abroad On solitary hills That science cannot overtake, But human nature feels.
It waits upon the lawn; It shows the furthest tree Upon the furthest slope we know; It almost speaks to me.
Then, as horizons step, Or noons report away, Without the formula of sound, It passes, and we stay: A quality of loss Affecting our content, As trade had suddenly encroached Upon a sacrament.


by Frank O'Hara | |

Death

1

If half of me is skewered
by grey crested birds
in the middle of the vines of my promise
and the very fact that I'm a poet
suffers my eyes
to be filled with vermilion tears 


2

how much greater danger
from occasion and pain is my vitality
yielding like a tree on fire!--
for every day is another view
of the tentative past
grown secure in its foundry of shimmering
that's not even historical;it's just me.
3 And the other half of me where I master the root of my every idiosyncrasy and fit my ribs like a glove 4 is that me who accepts betrayal in the abstract as if it were insight? and draws its knuckles across the much-lined eyes in the most knowing manner of our time? 5 The wind that smiles through the wires isn't vague enough for an assertion of a personal nature it's not for me 6 I'm not dead.
Nothing remains let alone "to be said " except that when I fall backwards I am trying something new and shall succeed as in the past.


by Emily Dickinson | |

Each life converges to some centre

Each life converges to some centre
Expressed or still;
Exists in every human nature
A goal,

Admitted scarcely to itself, it may be,
Too fair
For credibility's temerity
To dare.
Adored with caution, as a brittle heaven, To reach Were hopeless as the rainbow's raiment To touch, Yet persevered toward, surer for the distance; How high Unto the saints' slow diligence The sky! Ungained, it may be, by a life's low venture, But then, Eternity enables the endeavoring Again.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Uriel

IT fell in the ancient periods 
Which the brooding soul surveys  
Or ever the wild Time coin'd itself 
Into calendar months and days.
This was the lapse of Uriel 5 Which in Paradise befell.
Once among the Pleiads walking Sayd overheard the young gods talking; And the treason too long pent To his ears was evident.
10 The young deities discuss'd Laws of form and metre just Orb quintessence and sunbeams What subsisteth and what seems.
One with low tones that decide 15 And doubt and reverend use defied With a look that solved the sphere And stirr'd the devils everywhere Gave his sentiment divine Against the being of a line.
20 'Line in nature is not found; Unit and universe are round; In vain produced all rays return; Evil will bless and ice will burn.
' As Uriel spoke with piercing eye 25 A shudder ran around the sky; The stern old war-gods shook their heads; The seraphs frown'd from myrtle-beds; Seem'd to the holy festival The rash word boded ill to all; 30 The balance-beam of Fate was bent; The bounds of good and ill were rent; Strong Hades could not keep his own But all slid to confusion.
A sad self-knowledge withering fell 35 On the beauty of Uriel; In heaven once eminent the god Withdrew that hour into his cloud; Whether doom'd to long gyration In the sea of generation 40 Or by knowledge grown too bright To hit the nerve of feebler sight.
Straightway a forgetting wind Stole over the celestial kind And their lips the secret kept 45 If in ashes the fire-seed slept.
But now and then truth-speaking things Shamed the angels' veiling wings; And shrilling from the solar course Or from fruit of chemic force 50 Procession of a soul in matter Or the speeding change of water Or out of the good of evil born Came Uriel's voice of cherub scorn And a blush tinged the upper sky 55 And the gods shook they knew not why.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

Hymn to the Spirit of Nature

LIFE of Life! thy lips enkindle 
With their love the breath between them; 
And thy smiles before they dwindle 
Make the cold air fire: then screen them 
In those locks where whoso gazes 5 
Faints entangled in their mazes.
Child of Light! thy limbs are burning Through the veil which seems to hide them As the radiant lines of morning Through thin clouds ere they divide them; 10 And this atmosphere divinest Shrouds thee wheresoe'er thou shinest.
Fair are others: none beholds thee; But thy voice sounds low and tender Like the fairest for it folds thee 15 From the sight that liquid splendour; And all feel yet see thee never As I feel now lost for ever! Lamp of Earth! where'er thou movest Its dim shapes are clad with brightness 20 And the souls of whom thou lovest Walk upon the winds with lightness Till they fail as I am failing Dizzy lost yet unbewailing!


by Elizabeth Bishop | |

North Haven

(In Memoriam: Robert Lowell)


I can make out the rigging of a schooner
a mile off; I can count
the new cones on the spruce.
It is so still the pale bay wears a milky skin; the sky no clouds except for one long, carded horse1s tail.
The islands haven't shifted since last summer, even if I like to pretend they have --drifting, in a dreamy sort of way, a little north, a little south, or sidewise, and that they're free within the blue frontiers of bay.
This month, our favorite one is full of flowers: Buttercups, Red Clover, Purple Vetch, Hackweed still burning, Daisies pied, Eyebright, the Fragrant Bedstraw's incandescent stars, and more, returned, to paint the meadows with delight.
The Goldfinches are back, or others like them, and the White-throated Sparrow's five-note song, pleading and pleading, brings tears to the eyes.
Nature repeats herself, or almost does: repeat, repeat, repeat; revise, revise, revise.
Years ago, you told me it was here (in 1932?) you first "discovered girls" and learned to sail, and learned to kiss.
You had "such fun," you said, that classic summer.
("Fun"--it always seemed to leave you at a loss.
.
.
) You left North Haven, anchored in its rock, afloat in mystic blue.
.
.
And now--you've left for good.
You can't derange, or re-arrange, your poems again.
(But the Sparrows can their song.
) The words won't change again.
Sad friend, you cannot change.


by | |

An Elegy

THOUGH beauty be the mark of praise  
And yours of whom I sing be such 
As not the world can praise too much  
Yet 'tis your Virtue now I raise.
A virtue like allay so gone 5 Throughout your form as though that move And draw and conquer all men's love This subjects you to love of one.
Wherein you triumph yet¡ªbecause 'Tis of your flesh and that you use 10 The noblest freedom not to choose Against or faith or honour's laws.
But who should less expect from you? In whom alone Love lives again: By whom he is restored to men 15 And kept and bred and brought up true.
His falling temples you have rear'd The wither'd garlands ta'en away; His altars kept from that decay That envy wish'd and nature fear'd: 20 And on them burn so chaste a flame With so much loyalty's expense As Love to acquit such excellence Is gone himself into your name.
And you are he¡ªthe deity 25 To whom all lovers are design'd That would their better objects find; Among which faithful troop am I¡ª Who as an off'ring at your shrine Have sung this hymn and here entreat 30 One spark of your diviner heat To light upon a love of mine.
Which if it kindle not but scant Appear and that to shortest view; Yet give me leave to adore in you 35 What I in her am grieved to want! GLOSS: allay] alloy.


by | |

On Salathiel Pavy

A child of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel 
Epitaphs: ii


WEEP with me all you that read 
This little story; 
And know for whom a tear you shed 
Death's self is sorry.
'Twas a child that so did thrive 5 In grace and feature As Heaven and Nature seem'd to strive Which own'd the creature.
Years he number'd scarce thirteen When Fates turn'd cruel 10 Yet three fill'd zodiacs had he been The stage's jewel; And did act (what now we moan) Old men so duly As sooth the Parcae thought him one 15 He play'd so truly.
So by error to his fate They all consented; But viewing him since alas too late! They have repented; 20 And have sought to give new birth In baths to steep him; But being so much too good for earth Heaven vows to keep him.


by William Cullen Bryant | |

The Future Life

HOW shall I know thee in the sphere which keeps 
The disembodied spirits of the dead  
When all of thee that time could wither sleeps 
And perishes among the dust we tread? 

For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless pain 5 
If there I meet thy gentle presence not; 
Nor hear the voice I love nor read again 
In thy serenest eyes the tender thought.
Will not thy own meek heart demand me there? That heart whose fondest throbs to me were given¡ª 10 My name on earth was ever in thy prayer And wilt thou never utter it in heaven? In meadows fanned by heaven's life-breathing wind In the resplendence of that glorious sphere And larger movements of the unfettered mind 15 Wilt thou forget the love that joined us here? The love that lived through all the stormy past And meekly with my harsher nature bore And deeper grew and tenderer to the last Shall it expire with life and be no more? 20 A happier lot than mine and larger light Await thee there for thou hast bowed thy will In cheerful homage to the rule of right And lovest all and renderest good for ill.
For me the sordid cares in which I dwell 25 Shrink and consume my heart as heat the scroll; And wrath has left its scar¡ªthat fire of hell Has left its frightful scar upon my soul.
Yet though thou wear'st the glory of the sky Wilt thou not keep the same belov¨¨d name 30 The same fair thoughtful brow and gentle eye Lovelier in heaven's sweet climate yet the same? Shalt thou not teach me in that calmer home The wisdom that I learned so ill in this¡ª The wisdom which is love¡ªtill I become 35 Thy fit companion in that land of bliss?


by Ehsan Sehgal | |

False claim

"Do not claim to be something you are not entitled to---, the nature never forgive the false claim.
Sooner or later your reality will be visible to everyone, and that is your self-defeat and self-destruction.
" Ehsan Sehgal


by Marcin Malek | |

Little Spider

Forgive me little spider
I tore your web
I'm not a monster

But you probably sense
That such things
Lies in our nature

It is true - every subject
Touched by human hand
Suddenly ends

Forgive us little spider
That at this point
Destruction is the best

On what we can afford

Copyright ©: Marcin Malek


by Anonymous | |

DESPISE NOT SIMPLE THINGS.

Despise not simple things:
The humblest flower that wakes
In early spring, to scent the air
Of woodland brakes,
Should have thy love as well
As blushing parlor rose,
That never felt the perfect breath
Of nature round it close.
[Pg 033]
Despise not simple things:
The poor demand thy love,
As well as those who in the halls
Of splendor move.
The beggar at thy door
Thou shouldst not e’er despise;
For that may be a noble heart
Which ’neath his tatters lies.
Despise not little things:
An ant can teach of toil;
The buttercup can light the heart
With its own pleasant smile;
’Tis not from towering heights alone
The noble thought within us springs;
There’s something holy and sublime
In the love of simple things.


by Samuel Taylor Coleridge | |

Work Without Hope

All Nature seems at work.
Slugs leave their lair -- The bees are stirring -- birds are on the wing -- And Winter slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring! And I the while, the sole unbusy thing, Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.
Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow, Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may, For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away! With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll: And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul? Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve, And Hope without an object cannot live.


by Ben Jonson | |

To William Roe


LXX.
 — TO WILLIAM ROE.

When nature bids us leave to live, 'tis late
Then to begin, my ROE!  He makes a state
In life, that can employ it; and takes hold
On the true causes, ere they grow to old.
Delay is bad, doubt worse, depending worst;
Each best day of our life escapes us, first:
Then, since we, more than many, these truths know;
Though life be short, let us not make it so.


by Ben Jonson | |

To Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland


LXXIX.
 — TO ELIZABETH, COUNTESS OF RUTLAND.

That poets are far rarer births than king,
    Your noblest father proved; like whom, before,
Or then, or since, about our Muses' springs,
    Came not that soul exhausted so their store.
Hence was it, that the Destinies decreed
    (Save that most masculine issue of his brain)
No male unto him; who could so exceed
    Nature, they thought, in all that he would feign,
At which, she happily displeased, made you:
    On whom, if he were living now, to look,
He should those rare, and absolute numbers view,
    As he would burn, or better far his book.


by Ben Jonson | |

On Margaret Ratcliffe


XL.
 ? ON MARGARET RATCLIFFE.
  
M arble, weep, for thou dost cover
A dead beauty underneath thee,
R ich as nature could bequeath thee :
G rant then, no rude hand remove her.

A ll the gazers on the skies
R ead not in fair heaven's story,
E xpresser truth, or truer glory,
T han they might in her bright eyes.

R are as wonder was her wit ;
A nd, like nectar, ever flowing :
T ill time, strong by her bestowing,
C onquer'd hath both life and it ;
L ife, whose grief was out of fashion
I n these times.
  Few so have rued
F ate in a brother.
  To conclude,
F or wit, feature, and true passion,
E arth, thou hast not such another.

[ AJ Note:
   Margaret Ratcliffe was one of Queen Elizabeth's
   ladies-in-waiting.
 She wasted away from grief in
   November 1599, after long mourning the deaths
   of four of her brothers.
]


by William Cullen Bryant | |

The Gladness of Nature

 Is this a time to be cloudy and sad, 
When our mother Nature laughs around; 
When even the deep blue heavens look glad, 
And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground? 

There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren, 
And the gossip of swallows through all the sky; 
The ground-squirrel gaily chirps by his den, 
And the wilding bee hums merrily by.
The clouds are at play in the azure space, And their shadows at play on the bright green vale, And here they stretch to the frolic chase, And there they roll on the easy gale.
There's a dance of leaves in that aspen bower, There's a titter of winds in that beechen tree, There's a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower, And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.
And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray, On the leaping waters and gay young isles; Ay, look, and he'll smile thy gloom away.


by Robert Seymour Bridges | |

Pater Filio

 Sense with keenest edge unusèd, 
Yet unsteel'd by scathing fire; 
Lovely feet as yet unbruisèd 
On the ways of dark desire; 
Sweetest hope that lookest smiling
O'er the wilderness defiling! 

Why such beauty, to be blighted 
By the swarm of foul destruction? 
Why such innocence delighted, 
When sin stalks to thy seduction? 
All the litanies e'er chaunted 
Shall not keep thy faith undaunted.
I have pray'd the sainted Morning To unclasp her hands to hold thee; From resignful Eve's adorning Stol'n a robe of peace to enfold thee; With all charms of man's contriving Arm'd thee for thy lonely striving.
Me too once unthinking Nature, —Whence Love's timeless mockery took me,— Fashion'd so divine a creature, Yea, and like a beast forsook me.
I forgave, but tell the measure Of her crime in thee, my treasure.


by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

The Worship of Nature

 The harp at Nature's advent strung
Has never ceased to play; 
The song the stars of morning sung
Has never died away.
And prayer is made, and praise is given, By all things near and far; The ocean looketh up to heaven, And mirrors every star.
Its waves are kneeling on the strand, As kneels the human knee, Their white locks bowing to the sand, The priesthood of the sea! They pour their glittering treasures forth, Their gifts of pearl they bring, And all the listening hills of earth Take up the song they sing.
The green earth sends its incense up From many a mountain shrine; From folded leaf and dewy cup She pours her sacred wine.
The mists above the morning rills Rise white as wings of prayer; The altar-curtains of the hills Are sunset's purple air.
The winds with hymns of praise are loud, Or low with sobs of pain, -- The thunder-organ of the cloud, The dropping tears of rain.
With drooping head and branches crossed The twilight forest grieves, Or speaks with tongues of Pentecost From all its sunlit leaves.
The blue sky is the temple's arch, Its transept earth and air, The music of its starry march The chorus of a prayer.
So Nature keeps the reverent frame With which her years began, And all her signs and voices shame The prayerless heart of man.