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Famous Ayre Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Ayre poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous ayre poems. These examples illustrate what a famous ayre poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Strode, William
...ield her voice, shee draweth out
Her tone at large and doth at first prepare
A solemne strayne not weav'd with sounding ayre,
But with an equall pitch and constant throate
Makes clear the passage of her gliding noate;
Then crosse division diversly shee playes,
And loudly chanting out her quickest layes
Poises the sounds, and with a quivering voice
Falls back again: he (wondering how so choise,
So various harmony should issue out
From such a little throate) doth go about
Some ...Read More

by Sidney, Sir Philip
...hese I might be fully blest:
Yet, ah, my mayd'n Muse doth blush to tell the best. 

O how the pleasant ayres of true loue be
Infected by those vapours which arise
From out that noysome gulfe, which gaping lies
Betweene the iawes of hellish Ielousie!
A monster, others harme, selfe-miserie,
Beauties plague, Vertues scourge, succour of lies;
Who his owne ioy to his owne hurt applies,
And onely cherish doth with iniurie:
Who since he hath, by Natures spec...Read More

by Chatterton, Thomas
...joyous dauncynge ynn the hoastrie courte; 
Eke the highe songe and everych joie farewell, 
Farewell the verie shade of fayre dysporte; 
Impestering trobble onn mie dernie tale, 
Ne one kynde Seyncte to warde the aye encreasynge dome. 

Oh! I could waile mie kynge-coppe-decked mees, 
Mie spreedynge flockes of shepe of lillie white, 
Mie tendre applynges; and embodyde trees, 
Mie Parker's Grange, far spreedynge to the syghte, 
Mie cuyen kyne, mie bullockes str...Read More

by Strode, William back, Her owne,
The very same; Marke mee, the same:
Thou canst not cheat us with a lame
Deformed Carcase; Shee was fayre,
Fresh as Morning, sweete as Ayre:
Purer than other flesh as farre
As other Soules than Bodies are:
And that thou mayst the better see
To finde her out: two stars there bee
Eclipsed now; uncloude but those
And they will poynt thee to the Rose
That dyde each cheeke, now pale and wan,
But will bee when shee wakes againe
Fresher than ever: And howere
Her l...Read More

by Strode, William
Make starres to winke,
Can scarce deny
Our soules consist of harmony.

O lull mee, lull mee, charming ayre,
My senses rock with wonder sweete;
Like snowe on wooll thy fallings are,
Soft, like a spiritts, are thy feete:
Greife who need feare
That hath an eare?
Down lett him lye
And slumbring dye,
And change his soule for harmony....Read More

by Godolphin, Sidney
...NOE more unto my thoughts appeare, 
 Att least appeare lesse fayre, 
For crazy tempers justly feare 
 The goodnesse of the ayre; 

Whilst your pure Image hath a place 5 
 In my impurer Mynde, 
Your very shaddow is the glasse 
 Where my defects I finde. 

Shall I not fly that brighter light 
 Which makes my fyres looke pale, 10 
And put that vertue out of sight 
 Which makes myne none att all? 

No, no, your picture...Read More

by Strode, William doe't with none at all?
Were words first made our meaning to reveale,
And are they usde our meaning to conceale?
The ayre by which wee see, will that turne fogg?
Our breath turne mist? Will that become a clogg
That should unload the mynde? Fall we upon
Another Babell's sub-confusion?
And in the self-same language must wee finde
A diverse faction of the words and minde?
Dull as I am, that hugg'd such emptie ayre,
And never mark't the deede (a phrase more faire,
More trusty ...Read More

by Strode, William
...of his joynt,
A sprightfull gate that leaves no print,
And makes a feather of a flint,
A heart that's lighter than the ayre,
An eye still dancing in his spheare,
Strong mirth which nothing can controule,
A body nimbler than the soule,
Free wandring thoughts not tyde to muse
Which thinke on all things, nothing choose,
Which ere we see them come are gone;
These life itselfe doth feede upon....Read More

by Milton, John tast, with Wine, whence we may rise 
To hear the Lute well toucht, or artfull voice
Warble immortal Notes and Tuskan Ayre?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise....Read More

by Spenser, Edmund
...cruell faire.
Not earth; for her high thoghts more heauenly are,
not water; for her loue doth burne like fyre:
not ayre; for she is not so light or rare,
not fyre; for she doth friese with faint desire.
Then needs another Element inquire
whereof she mote be made; that is the skye.
for to the heauen her haughty lookes aspire:
and eke her mind is pure immortall hye.
Then sith to heauen ye lykened are the best,
be lyke in mercy as in all the rest:...Read More

by Spenser, Edmund
...rd, and is of nought affrayd.
All flesh is frayle, and all her strength vnstayd,
like a vaine bubble blowen vp with ayre:
deuouring tyme & changeful chance haue prayd,
her glories pride that none may it repayre.
Ne none so rich or wise, so strong or fayre,
but fayleth trusting on his owne assurance:
and he that standeth on the hyghest stayre
fals lowest: for on earth nought hath endurance.
Why then doe ye proud fayre, misdeeme so farre,
that to your selfe ye most ...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...iches -- taught me -- Poverty.
Myself -- a Millionaire
In little Wealths, as Girls could boast
Till broad as Buenos Ayre --

You drifted your Dominions --
A Different Peru --
And I esteemed All Poverty
For Life's Estate with you --

Of Mines, I little know -- myself --
But just the names, of Gems --
The Colors of the Commonest --
And scarce of Diadems --

So much, that did I meet the Queen --
Her Glory I should know --
But this, must be a different Wealth --
To miss it --...Read More

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