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Best Famous Sad Poems

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

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by Alfred Lord Tennyson | |

Tears Idle Tears

  Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.
Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail, That brings our friends up from the underworld, Sad as the last which reddens over one That sinks with all we love below the verge; So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds To dying ears, when unto dying eyes The casement slowly grows a glimmering square; So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.
Dear as remembered kisses after death, And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned On lips that are for others; deep as love, Deep as first love, and wild with all regret; O Death in Life, the days that are no more!


by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |

Sonnets from the Portuguese i

I THOUGHT once how Theocritus had sung 
Of the sweet years the dear and wish'd-for years  
Who each one in a gracious hand appears 
To bear a gift for mortals old or young: 
And as I mused it in his antique tongue 5 
I saw in gradual vision through my tears 
The sweet sad years the melancholy years¡ª 
Those of my own life who by turns had flung 
A shadow across me.
Straightway I was 'ware So weeping how a mystic Shape did move 10 Behind me and drew me backward by the hair; And a voice said in mastery while I strove 'Guess now who holds thee?'¡ª'Death ' I said.
But there The silver answer rang¡ª'Not Death but Love.
'


by Siegfried Sassoon | |

October

ACROSS the land a faint blue veil of mist
Seems hung; the woods wear yet arrayment sober
Till frost shall make them flame; silent and whist
The drooping cherry orchards of October
Like mournful pennons hang their shrivelling leaves 5
Russet and orange: all things now decay;
Long since ye garnered in your autumn sheaves 
And sad the robins pipe at set of day.
Now do ye dream of Spring when greening shaws Confer with the shrewd breezes and of slopes 10 Flower-kirtled and of April virgin guest; Days that ye love despite their windy flaws Since they are woven with all joys and hopes Whereof ye nevermore shall be possessed.


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 George (Lord) Byron | |

On the Castle of Chillon

ETERNAL Spirit of the chainless Mind! 
Brightest in dungeons Liberty! thou art  
For there thy habitation is the heart¡ª 
The heart which love of Thee alone can bind.
And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd 5 To fetters and the damp vault's dayless gloom Their country conquers with their martyrdom And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind.
Chillon! thy prison is a holy place And thy sad floor an altar for 'twas trod 10 Until his very steps have left a trace Worn as if thy cold pavement were a sod By Bonnivard! May none those marks efface! For they appeal from tyranny to God.


by Philip Larkin | |

Home Is So Sad

 Home is so sad.
It stays as it was left, Shaped in the comfort of the last to go As if to win them back.
Instead, bereft Of anyone to please, it withers so, Having no heart to put aside the theft.
And turn again to what it started as, A joyous shot at how things ought to be, Long fallen wide.
You can see how it was: Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool.
That vase.


by Philip Larkin | |

Money

 Quarterly, is it, money reproaches me: 
 'Why do you let me lie here wastefully? 
I am all you never had of goods and sex,
 You could get them still by writing a few cheques.
' So I look at others, what they do with theirs: They certainly don't keep it upstairs.
By now they've a second house and car and wife: Clearly money has something to do with life - In fact, they've a lot in common, if you enquire: You can't put off being young until you retire, And however you bank your screw, the money you save Won't in the end buy you more than a shave.
I listen to money singing.
It's like looking down From long French windows at a provincial town, The slums, the canal, the churches ornate and mad In the evening sun.
It is intensely sad.


by Philip Larkin | |

Wedding Wind

 The wind blew all my wedding-day,
And my wedding-night was the night of the high wind;
And a stable door was banging, again and again,
That he must go and shut it, leaving me
Stupid in candlelight, hearing rain,
Seeing my face in the twisted candlestick,
Yet seeing nothing.
When he came back He said the horses were restless, and I was sad That any man or beast that night should lack The happiness I had.
Now in the day All's ravelled under the sun by the wind's blowing.
He has gone to look at the floods, and I Carry a chipped pail to the chicken-run, Set it down, and stare.
All is the wind Hunting through clouds and forests, thrashing My apron and the hanging cloths on the line.
Can it be borne, this bodying-forth by wind Of joy my actions turn on, like a thread Carrying beads? Shall I be let to sleep Now this perpetual morning shares my bed? Can even death dry up These new delighted lakes, conclude Our kneeling as cattle by all-generous waters?


by Christina Rossetti | |

Remember

 Remember me when I am gone away,
 Gone far away into the silent land;
 When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.


by Christina Rossetti | |

When I am dead my dearest

 When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows, I shall not feel the rain; I shall not hear the nightingale Sing on, as if in pain: And dreaming through the twilight That doth not rise nor set, Haply I may remember, And haply may forget.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

My Own Heart Let Me Have More Have Pity On; Let

 My own heart let me have more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
I cast for comfort I can no more get By groping round my comfortless, than blind Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find Thirst 's all-in-all in all a world of wet.
Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile 's not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather—as skies Betweenpie mountains—lights a lovely mile.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Since Nine OClock

 Half past twelve.
Time has gone by quickly since nine o'clock when I lit the lamp and sat down here.
I've been sitting without reading, without speaking.
Completely alone in the house, whom could I talk to? Since nine o'clock when I lit the lamp the shade of my young body has come to haunt me, to remind me of shut scented rooms, of past sensual pleasure - what daring pleasure.
And it's also brought back to me streets now unrecognizable, bustling night clubs now closed, theatres and cafes no longer here.
The shade of my young body also brought back the things that make us sad: family grief, separations, the feelings of my own people, feelings of the dead so little acknowledged.
Half past twelve.
How the time has gone by.
Half past twelve.
How the years have gone by.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Supplication

 The sea took a sailor to its depths.
-- His mother, unsuspecting, goes and lights a tall candle before the Virgin Mary for his speedy return and for fine weather -- and always she turns her ear to the wind.
But while she prays and implores, the icon listens, solemn and sad, knowing that the son she expects will no longer return.


by William Henry Davies | |

In the Country

 This life is sweetest; in this wood 
I hear no children cry for food; 
I see no woman, white with care; 
No man, with muscled wasting here.
No doubt it is a selfish thing To fly from human suffering; No doubt he is a selfish man, Who shuns poor creatures, sad and wan.
But 'tis a wretched life to face Hunger in almost every place; Cursed with a hand that's empty, when The heart is full to help all men.
Can I admire the statue great, When living men starve at its feet! Can I admire the park's green tree, A roof for homeless misery!


by Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

The Voiceless

 WE count the broken lyres that rest
Where the sweet wailing singers slumber,
But o'er their silent sister's breast
The wild-flowers who will stoop to number?
A few can touch the magic string,
And noisy Fame is proud to win them:--
Alas for those that never sing,
But die with all their music in them!

Nay, grieve not for the dead alone
Whose song has told their hearts' sad story,--
Weep for the voiceless, who have known
The cross without the crown of glory!
Not where Leucadian breezes sweep
O'er Sappho's memory-haunted billow,
But where the glistening night-dews weep
On nameless sorrow's churchyard pillow.
O hearts that break and give no sign Save whitening lip and fading tresses, Till Death pours out his longed-for wine Slow-dropped from Misery's crushing presses,-- If singing breath or echoing chord To every hidden pang were given, What endless melodies were poured, As sad as earth, as sweet as heaven!


by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

By Their Works

 Call him not heretic whose works attest
His faith in goodness by no creed confessed.
Whatever in love's name is truly done To free the bound and lift the fallen one Is done to Christ.
Whoso in deed and word Is not against Him labours for our Lord.
When he, who, sad and weary, longing sore For love's sweet service sought the sisters' door One saw the heavenly, one the human guest But who shall say which loved the master best?


by William Lisle Bowles | |

IX. O Poverty! though from thy haggard eye...

 O POVERTY! though from thy haggard eye, 
Thy cheerless mein, of every charm bereft, 
Thy brow, that hope's last traces long have left, 
Vain Fortune's feeble sons with terror fly; 
Thy rugged paths with pleasure I attend; -- 
For Fancy, that with fairest dreams can bless; 
And Patience, in the Pall of Wretchedness, 
Sad-smiling, as the ruthless storms descend; 
And Piety, forgiving every wrong, 
And meek Content, whose griefs no more rebel; 
And Genius, warbling sweet her saddest song; 
And Pity, list'ning to the poor man's knell, 
Long banish'd from the world's insulting throng; 
With Thee, and loveliest Melancholy, dwell.


by William Lisle Bowles | |

XIII. O Time! Who Knowst a Lenient Hand to Lay...

 O TIME! who know'st a lenient hand to lay 
Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence, 
(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense) 
Stealest the long-forgotten pang away; 
On Thee I rest my only hope at last, 
And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear 
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear, 
I may look back on many a sorrow past, 
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile -- 
As some poor bird, at day's departing hour, 
Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient shower 
Forgetful, tho' its wings are wet the while: -- 
Yet ah! how much must that poor heart endure, 
Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure!


by William Lisle Bowles | |

III. O Thou whose stern command and precepts pure...

 O THOU, whose stern command and precepts pure 
(Tho' agony in every vein should start, 
And slowly drain the blood-drops from the heart) 
Have bade the patient spirit still endure; 
Thou, who to sorrow hast a beauty lent, 
On the dark brow, with resolution clad, 
Illumining the dreary traces sad, 
Like the cold taper on a monument; 
O firm Philosophy! display the tide 
Of human misery, and oft relate 
How silent sinking in the storms of fate, 
The brave and good have bow'd their head and died.
So taught by Thee, some solace I may find, Remembering the sorrows of mankind.


by William Lisle Bowles | |

Sonnet: Languid And Sad And Slow From Day To Day

 Languid, and sad, and slow, from day to day
I journey on, yet pensive turn to view
(Where the rich landscape gleams with softer hue)
The streams and vales, and hills, that steal away.
So fares it with the children of the earth: For when life's goodly prospect opens round, Their spirits beat to tread that fairy ground, Where every vale sounds to the pipe of mirth.
But them vain hope and easy youth beguiles, And soon a longing look, like me, they cast Back on the pleasing prospect of the past: Yet Fancy points where still far onward smiles Some sunny spot, and her fair colouring blends, Till cheerless on their path the night descends!