Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership



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.

Search for the best famous Sad poems, articles about Sad poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Sad poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also: Best Member Poems

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 Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

The Last Leaf

I saw him once before, 
As he passed by the door,
And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o'er the ground
With his cane.
They say that in his prime, Ere the pruning-knife of Time Cut him down, Not a better man was found By the Crier on his round Through the town.
But now he walks the streets, And looks at all he meets Sad and wan, And he shakes his feeble head, That it seems as if he said, "They are gone.
" The mossy marbles rest On the lips that he has prest In their bloom, And the names he loved to hear Have been carved for many a year On the tomb.
My grandmamma has said— Poor old lady, she is dead Long ago— That he had a Roman nose, And his cheek was like a rose In the snow; But now his nose is thin, And it rests upon his chin Like a staff, And a crook is in his back, And a melancholy crack In his laugh.
I know it is a sin For me to sit and grin At him here; But the old three-cornered hat, And the breeches, and all that, Are so queer! And if I should live to be The last leaf upon the tree In the spring, Let them smile, as I do now, At the old forsaken bough Where I cling.


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.


More great poems below...

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | |

Excelsior

THE SHADES of night were falling fast  
As through an Alpine village passed 
A youth who bore 'mid snow and ice  
A banner with the strange device  
Excelsior! 5 

His brow was sad; his eye beneath  
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath  
And like a silver clarion rung 
The accents of that unknown tongue  
Excelsior! 10 

In happy homes he saw the light 
Of household fires gleam warm and bright; 
Above the spectral glaciers shone  
And from his lips escaped a groan  
Excelsior! 15 

Try not the Pass! the old man said; 
Dark lowers the tempest overhead, 
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!  
And loud that clarion voice replied  
Excelsior! 20 

Oh, stay, the maiden said and rest 
Thy weary head upon this breast!  
A tear stood in his bright blue eye  
But still he answered with a sigh  
Excelsior! 25 

Beware the pine-tree's withered branch! 
Beware the awful avalanche!  
This was the peasant's last Good-night  
A voice replied far up the height  
Excelsior! 30 

At break of day as heavenward 
The pious monks of Saint Bernard 
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer  
A voice cried through the startled air  
Excelsior! 35 

A traveller by the faithful hound  
Half-buried in the snow was found  
Still grasping in his hand of ice 
That banner with the strange device  
Excelsior! 40 

There in the twilight cold and gray  
Lifeless but beautiful he lay  
And from the sky serene and far  
A voice fell like a falling star  
Excelsior! 45 


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 | |

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 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 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 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 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 Allama Iqbal | |

A Mothers Dream

One night while sleeping
I dreamt
Seeing which I began
To get impatient

I saw that
To a place I am going
Where everywhere was dark
And paths are not reaching

As I proceeded
With the confidence I gathered
A queue I saw
Where boys had assembled

Emerald-like garment
They were wearing
In every hand
A little lamp was burning

Without making any noise
To and fro they were moving
Lord alone knows
Where exactly were they going?

While in this thought
My son did I find
Standing in this set
And left behind.
He was at the back 'coz he was not quick.
The lamp in his hand Was not getting burnt.
I said 'Dear One! Remember me.
Leaving me behind, Where have you come? Restless I am In your separation Enjoining I am A necklace of tears To us you have showed No concern at all The wound once healed Loyal you are not at all When saw the children My fret and fume Turning his face The reply came If you are sad When from you I separate Neither for your lad Is there any profit (in separation)! Saying this, the child For sometime remained quiet.
Then lamp in his hand held He spoke thus: Are you wondering, What to this is happening? Your tears flowing Has barred it from burning.


by The Bible | |

MAN’S SINFULNESS AND NEED OF REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS

“Do not enter into judgment with your servant;
For before you no one alive can be righteous.
”—Ps.
143:2.
“O Jehovah, do not in your indignation reprove me, Nor in your rage correct me.
For your own arrows have sunk themselves deep into me, And upon me your hand is come down.
There is no sound spot in my flesh because of your denunciation.
There is no peace in my bones on account of my sin.
For my own errors have passed over my head; Like a heavy load they are too heavy for me.
My wounds have become stinky, they have festered, Because of my foolishness.
I have become disconcerted, I have bowed low to an extreme degree; All day long I have walked about sad.
”—Ps.
38:1-6.
“Look! With error I was brought forth with birth pains, And in sin my mother conceived me.
” “May you purify me from sin with hyssop, that I may be clean; May you wash me, that I may become whiter even than snow.
” “Conceal your face from my sins, And wipe out even all my errors.
”—Ps.
51:5, 7, 9.
“Happy is the one whose revolt is pardoned, whose sin is covered.
Happy is the man to whose account Jehovah does not put error, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
.
 .
 .
My sin I finally confessed to you, and my error I did not cover.
I said: ‘I shall make confession over my transgressions to Jehovah.
’ And you yourself pardoned the error of my sins.
”—Ps.
32:1-5.


by Amir Khosrow | |

Why

Why was the king thirsty?
Why was the donkey sad?


by | |

Sarumaru Tayu

In the mountain depths,
Treading through the crimson leaves,
Cries the wandering stag.
When I hear the lonely cry, Sad,--how sad--the autumn is!


by Ehsan Sehgal | |

I Love You

I always dreamed
It seemed
An invisible angelic soul
That came as spiritual lights
In my sad, tearful and darknights
Where I was prisoner
By an unwanted lover
Living in the fears
I prayed years and years
With my heart and tears
May God had listened me
And one day I discovered you
My heart deeply favoured you
I now see and feel
You, as my love and soul
My life and final goal
May you give me a place in your glorious heart
To become your part and effection art.
Ehsan Sehgal


by Omer Tarin | |

Shandur Polo

Had I seen the ghosts of this place
They would dance their victory dance;
Glorious vale
Cup, chalice,
Basin;
The glacial streams
Empty into that lake
Quiet, ever so silent,
Rippling lyre, reflection;
Snows and rocks frame it —
I have no words
Only emotions
Which boil and rise
With the thunder of horses,
The sound of stick
And ball thudding
Across the turf;
The ghosts of this place,
Had I but seen them,
Pale as the snow
Cold as the lake
As vivid as the night-fires
That light the valley;
The whistle of wind
The throb of drum
The chant of song

Had I seen the ghosts dance
Their victory dance….
(Omer Tarin, from 'A Sad Piper' 1994)


by Omer Tarin | |

One to Four

I

One quarter of a century has elapsed
the diurnal movement of a life-cycle
rotating on its own axis
turned inwards and away from
hung by a nail upon the casement 

II

Two of the nine lives have drifted 
sinking somewhere near the embankment
while out prowling the empty streets at night
digging in this corner and that
poking here and there
in the trashcans lining the alley

III

Three horsemen have appeared
riding on fiery horses, spewing 
their sulphurous flame into the darkness
scorching one and all with their terrible message
blazed ominously across the bedstead

IV

Four has come arrayed
the number of an ephemeral end
a hermetic transmutation ordained
by the fluctuations of fatality, 
falling like some ill-omened comet
helter-skelter with the dice.
(from ''A Sad Piper'', 1994)


by Omer Tarin | |

Where elves lived

Elves lived here, once, 
where today the blanched shells lie
of snails
who have outlived their selves; 

I would, if I could, 
bring back elves
but I feel they would, too, like snails, 
who have outlived their time, 
lose themselves where once they lived.
(from A Sad Piper, 1994)


by Omer Tarin | |

The hills of home

Of my own salt, these hills are made
I am made of them
grey stone
red dust
black wash--
from the jagged edge I look down
the land stares up at me
it is as me, stark and thorny,
it prickles as I do, 
it is of my own salt.
(c) Omer Tarin, 'A Sad Piper' 1994


by Anonymous | |

A MOMENT TOO LATE!

A moment too late, my beautiful bird,—
A moment too late are you now,
The wind has your soft, downy nest disturbed,—
The nest that you hung on the bough.
A moment too late,—that string in your bill
Would have fastened it firmly and strong;
But see, there it goes rolling over the hill!
Oh! you tarried a moment too long.
A moment too late,—too late, busy bee,
The honey has dropped from the flower;
No use to creep under the petals to see,—
It stood ready to drop for an hour.
A moment too late,—had you sped on your wing,
The honey would not have been gone;
But see what a very,—a very sad thing,
’Tis to tarry a moment too long.
[Pg 021]


by Tupac Shakur | |

I Cry

Sometimes when I'm alone
I Cry,
Cause I am on my own.
The tears I cry are bitter and warm.
They flow with life but take no form I Cry because my heart is torn.
I find it difficult to carry on.
If I had an ear to confide in, I would cry among my treasured friend, but who do you know that stops that long, to help another carry on.
The world moves fast and it would rather pass by.
Then to stop and see what makes one cry, so painful and sad.
And sometimes.
.
.
I Cry and no one cares about why.


by Anonymous | |

THE DEAD ROBIN

All through the win-ter, long and cold,
  Dear Minnie ev-ery morn-ing fed
The little spar-rows, pert and bold,
  And ro-bins, with their breasts so red.
She lov-ed to see the lit-tle birds Come flut-ter-ing to the win-dow pane, In answer to the gen-tle words With which she scat-ter-ed crumbs and grain.
One ro-bin, bol-der than the rest, Would perch up-on her fin-ger fair, And this of all she lov-ed the best, And daily fed with ten-der-est care.
But one sad morn, when Minnie came, Her pre-ci-ous lit-tle pet she found, Not hop-ping, when she call-ed his name, But ly-ing dead up-on the ground.


by Margaret Atwood | |

A Sad Child

 You're sad because you're sad.
It's psychic.
It's the age.
It's chemical.
Go see a shrink or take a pill, or hug your sadness like an eyeless doll you need to sleep.
Well, all children are sad but some get over it.
Count your blessings.
Better than that, buy a hat.
Buy a coat or pet.
Take up dancing to forget.
Forget what? Your sadness, your shadow, whatever it was that was done to you the day of the lawn party when you came inside flushed with the sun, your mouth sulky with sugar, in your new dress with the ribbon and the ice-cream smear, and said to yourself in the bathroom, I am not the favorite child.
My darling, when it comes right down to it and the light fails and the fog rolls in and you're trapped in your overturned body under a blanket or burning car, and the red flame is seeping out of you and igniting the tarmac beside you head or else the floor, or else the pillow, none of us is; or else we all are.