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Best Famous Sorrow Poems

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

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by Christina Rossetti | |

A Daughter of Eve

A fool I was to sleep at noon,
  And wake when night is chilly
Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
A fool to pluck my rose too soon,
  A fool to snap my lily.
My garden-plot I have not kept; Faded and all-forsaken, I weep as I have never wept: Oh it was summer when I slept, It's winter now I waken.
Talk what you please of future spring And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow:— Stripp'd bare of hope and everything, No more to laugh, no more to sing, I sit alone with sorrow.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

When We Two Parted

When we two parted
  In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
  To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
  Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
  Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning Sunk chill on my brow— It felt like the warning Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken, And light is thy fame; I hear thy name spoken, And share in its shame.
They name thee before me, A knell to mine ear; A shudder comes o'er me— Why wert thou so dear? They know not I knew thee, Who knew thee too well— Long, long shall I rue thee, To deeply to tell.
In secret we met— In silence I grieve, That thy heart could forget, Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee After long years, How should I greet thee?— With silence and tears.


by Christina Rossetti | |

In an Artists Studio

One face looks out from all his canvases,
     One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans:
     We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress, A nameless girl in freshest summer-greens, A saint, an angel—every canvas means The same one meaning, neither more nor less.
He feeds upon her face by day and night, And she with true kind eyes looks back on him, Fair as the moon and joyful as the light: Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim; No as she is, but was when hope shone bright; Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Doc Hill

I went up and down the streets
Here and there by day and night,
Through all hours of the night caring for the poor who were sick.
Do you know why? My wife hated me, my son went to the dogs.
And I turned to the people and poured out my love to them.
Sweet it was to see the crowds about the lawns on the day of my funeral, And hear them murmur their love and sorrow.
But oh, dear God, my soul trembled, scarcely able To hold to the railing of the new life When I saw Em Stanton behind the oak tree At the grave, Hiding herself, and her grief!


by Thomas Hardy | |

Hap

If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh:  "Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
That thy love's loss is my hate's profiting!"

Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.
But not so.
How arrives it joy lies slain, And why unblooms the best hope ever sown? —Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain, And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan.
.
.
.
These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

One word is too often profaned

ONE word is too often profaned 
For me to profane it  
One feeling too falsely disdain'd 
For thee to disdain it.
One hope is too like despair 5 For prudence to smother And pity from thee more dear Than that from another.
I can give not what men call love; But wilt thou accept not 10 The worship the heart lifts above And the Heavens reject not: The desire of the moth for the star Of the night for the morrow The devotion to something afar 15 From the sphere of our sorrow?


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Elegy

OH snatch'd away in beauty's bloom! 
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb; 
But on thy turf shall roses rear 
Their leaves the earliest of the year  
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom: 5 

And oft by yon blue gushing stream 
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head  
And feed deep thought with many a dream  
And lingering pause and lightly tread; 
Fond wretch! as if her step disturb'd the dead! 10 

Away! we know that tears are vain  
That Death nor heeds nor hears distress: 
Will this unteach us to complain? 
Or make one mourner weep the less? 
And thou who tell'st me to forget 15 
Thy looks are wan thine eyes are wet.


by Alfred Lord Tennyson | |

The Millers Daughter

IT is the miller's daughter, 
And she is grown so dear, so dear, 
That I would be the jewel 
That trembles in her ear: 
For hid in ringlets day and night, 5 
I'd touch her neck so warm and white.
And I would be the girdle About her dainty dainty waist, And her heart would beat against me, In sorrow and in rest: 10 And I should know if it beat right, I'd clasp it round so close and tight.
And I would be the necklace, And all day long to fall and rise Upon her balmy bosom, 15 With her laughter or her sighs: And I would lie so light, so light, I scarce should be unclasp'd at night.


by Christina Rossetti | |

Holy Innocents

 Sleep, little Baby, sleep,
The holy Angels love thee,
And guard thy bed, and keep
A blessed watch above thee.
No spirit can come near Nor evil beast to harm thee: Sleep, Sweet, devoid of fear Where nothing need alarm thee.
The Love which doth not sleep, The eternal arms around thee: The shepherd of the sheep In perfect love has found thee.
Sleep through the holy night, Christ-kept from snare and sorrow, Until thou wake to light And love and warmth to-morrow.


by Christina Rossetti | |

Sappho

 I sigh at day-dawn, and I sigh
When the dull day is passing by.
I sigh at evening, and again I sigh when night brings sleep to men.
Oh! it were far better to die Than thus forever mourn and sigh, And in death's dreamless sleep to be Unconscious that none weep for me; Eased from my weight of heaviness, Forgetful of forgetfulness, Resting from care and pain and sorrow Thro' the long night that knows no morrow; Living unloved, to die unknown, Unwept, untended, and alone.


by Wang Wei | |

Mengcheng Col

 New house Mengcheng entrance 
Old tree surplus sorrow willow 
Come person again for who 
Only sorrow former person be 


Who will come after, I do not know, 
He must feel sorrow for those in the past.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

No Worst There Is None. Pitched Past Pitch Of Grief

 No worst, there is none.
Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting? Mary, mother of us, where is your relief? My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing— Then lull, then leave off.
Fury had shrieked 'No ling- ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief'.
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed.
Hold them cheap May who ne'er hung there.
Nor does long our small Durance deal with that steep or deep.
Here! creep, Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Anna Comnena

 In the prologue to her Alexiad,
Anna Comnena laments her widowhood.
Her soul is dizzy.
"And with rivers of tears," she tells us "I wet my eyes.
.
.
Alas for the waves" in her life, "alas for the revolts.
" Pain burns her "to the the bones and the marrow and the cleaving of the soul.
" But it seems the truth is, that this ambitious woman knew only one great sorrow; she only had one deep longing (though she does not admit it) this haughty Greek woman, that she was never able, despite all her dexterity, to acquire the Kingship; but it was taken almost out of her hands by the insolent John.


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 | |

In Youth

 Milton, our noblest poet, in the grace 
Of youth, in those fair eyes and clustering hair, 
That brow untouched by one faint line of care, 
To mar its openness, we seem to trace 
The front of the first lord of the human race, 
Mid thine own Paradise portrayed so fair, 
Ere Sin or Sorrow scathed it: such the air 
That characters thy youth.
Shall time efface These lineaments as crowding cares assail! It is the lot of fallen humanity.
What boots it! armed in adamantine mail, The unconquerable mind, and genius high, Right onward hold their way through weal and woe, Or whether life's brief lot be high or low!


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 | |

On Hearing

 O stay, harmonious and sweet sounds, that die 
In the long vaultings of this ancient fane! 
Stay, for I may not hear on earth again 
Those pious airs--that glorious harmony; 
Lifting the soul to brighter orbs on high, 
Worlds without sin or sorrow! Ah, the strain 
Has died--even the last sounds that lingeringly 
Hung on the roof ere they expired! 
And I 
Stand in the world of strife, amidst a throng, 
A throng that reckons not of death or sin! 
Oh, jarring scenes! to cease, indeed, ere long; 
The worm hears not the discord and the din; 
But he whose heart thrills to this angel song 
Feels the pure joy of heaven on earth begin!


by William Lisle Bowles | |

Sonnet: O Poverty! Though From Thy Haggard Eye

 O, Poverty! though from thy haggard eye,
Thy cheerless mien, of every charm bereft,
Thy brow that Hope's last traces long have left,
Vain Fortune's feeble sons with terror fly;
I love thy solitary haunts to seek.
For Pity, reckless of her own distress; And Patience, in her pall of wretchedness, That turns to the bleak storm her faded cheek; And Piety, that never told her wrong; And meek Content, whose griefs no more rebel; And Genius, warbling sweet her saddest song; And Sorrow, listening to a lost friend's knell, Long banished from the world's insulting throng; With thee, and thy unfriended offspring, dwell.


by William Lisle Bowles | |

Time and Grief

 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) 
The faint pang stealest unperceived 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 every sorrow past, 
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile: 
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour, 
Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient shower 
Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while:-- 
 Yet ah! how much must this poor heart endure, 
 Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure!


by William Lisle Bowles | |

Sonnet: July 18th 1787

 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)
The faint pang stealest unperceived 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 every sorrow past,
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile— 
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour,
Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient shower
Forgetful, though 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 Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

The World

 Some are the brothers of all humankind, 
And own them, whatsoever their estate; 
And some, for sorrow and self-scorn, are blind 
With enmity for man's unguarded fate.
For some there is a music all day long Like flutes in Paradise, they are so glad; And there is hell's eternal under-song Of curses and the cries of men gone mad.
Some say the Scheme with love stands luminous, Some say 't were better back to chaos hurled; And so 't is what we are that makes for us The measure and the meaning of the world.


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

Thomas Hood

 The man who cloaked his bitterness within
This winding-sheet of puns and pleasantries,
God never gave to look with common eyes
Upon a world of anguish and of sin:
His brother was the branded man of Lynn;
And there are woven with his jollities
The nameless and eternal tragedies
That render hope and hopelessness akin.
We laugh, and crown him; but anon we feel A still chord sorrow-swept, -- a weird unrest; And thin dim shadows home to midnight steal, As if the very ghost of mirth were dead -- As if the joys of time to dreams had fled, Or sailed away with Ines to the West.


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

Ballad of Dead Friends

 As we the withered ferns 
By the roadway lying, 
Time, the jester, spurns 
All our prayers and prying -- 
All our tears and sighing, 
Sorrow, change, and woe -- 
All our where-and-whying 
For friends that come and go.
Life awakes and burns, Age and death defying, Till at last it learns All but Love is dying; Love's the trade we're plying, God has willed it so; Shrouds are what we're buying For friends that come and go.
Man forever yearns For the thing that's flying.
Everywhere he turns, Men to dust are drying, -- Dust that wanders, eying (With eyes that hardly glow) New faces, dimly spying For friends that come and go.
ENVOY And thus we all are nighing The truth we fear to know: Death will end our crying For friends that come and go.


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

A Happy Man

 When these graven lines you see, 
Traveller, do not pity me; 
Though I be among the dead, 
Let no mournful word be said.
Children that I leave behind, And their children, all were kind; Near to them and to my wife, I was happy all my life.
My three sons I married right, And their sons I rocked at night; Death nor sorrow never brought Cause for one unhappy thought.
Now, and with no need of tears, Here they leave me, full of years,-- Leave me to my quiet rest In the region of the blest.


by George William Russell | |

The Well of All-Healing

 THERE’S a cure for sorrow in the well at Ballylee
 Where the scarlet cressets hang over the trembling pool:
And joyful winds are blowing from the Land of Youth to me,
 And the heart of the earth is full.
Many and many a sunbright maiden saw the enchanted land With star faces glimmer up from the druid wave: Many and many a pain of love was soothed by a faery hand Or lost in the love it gave.
When the quiet with a ring of pearl shall wed the earth, And the scarlet berries burn dark by the stars in the pool; Oh, it’s lost and deep I’ll be amid the Danaan mirth, While the heart of the earth is full.