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Famous Beauty Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shakespeare, William
...hive of straw,
Which fortified her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcass of beauty spent and done:
Time had not scythed all that youth begun,
Nor youth all quit; but, spite of heaven's fell rage,
Some beauty peep'd through lattice of sear'd age.

Oft did she heave her napkin to her eyne,
Which on it had conceited characters,
Laundering the silken figures in the brine
That season'd woe had pelleted in tears,
And often reading wha...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...e marble architrave
The Grecian boys die smiling, but the seas
Which wash AEgina fret in loneliness
Not mirroring their beauty; so our lives grow colourless

For lack of our ideals, if one star
Flame torch-like in the heavens the unjust
Swift daylight kills it, and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust
Which was Mazzini once! rich Niobe
For all her stony sorrows hath her sons; but Italy,

What Easter Day shall make her children rise,
Who were not Gods y...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...eir lore.
But oh! how unlike marble was that face:
How beautiful, if sorrow had not made
Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self.
There was a listening fear in her regard,
As if calamity had but begun;
As if the vanward clouds of evil days
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear
Was with its stored thunder labouring up.
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot
Where beats the human heart, as if just there,
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain:
The other ...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...w what they all pursued, 
With hope still baffled, still to be renew'd; 
Nor shadowy honour, nor substantial gain, 
Nor beauty's preference, and the rival's pain: 
Around him some mysterious circle thrown 
Repell'd approach, and showed him still alone; 
Upon his eye sate something of reproof, 
That kept at least frivolity aloof; 
And things more timid that beheld him near, 
In silence gazed, or whisper'd mutual fear; 
And they the wiser, friendlier few confess'd 
They deem'd ...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...>  Be changed, that was so fair to view,  'Tis fair enough for thee, my dove!  My beauty, little child, is flown;  But thou will live with me in love,  And what if my poor cheek be brown?  'Tis well for me, thou canst not see  How pale and wan it else would be.   Dread not their taunts, my little life!  I am thy father's wedded wife;  ...Read more of this...

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
Than the three loveliest maidens, what of her?
Clio, not you,
Not you, Calliope,
Nor all your wanton line,
Not Beauty's perfect self shall comfort me
For Silence once departed,
For her the cool-tongued, her the tranquil-hearted,
Whom evermore I follow wistfully,
Wandering Heaven and Earth and Hell and the four seasons through;
Thalia, not you,
Not you, Melpomene,
Not your incomparable feet, O thin Terpsichore, I seek in this great hall,
But one more pale, more pensiv...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...people draw nigh to me!
What attractions are these, beyond any before? what bloom, more than the bloom of youth? 
What beauty is this that descends upon me, and rises out of me? 

O the orator’s joys! 
To inflate the chest—to roll the thunder of the voice out from the ribs and throat, 
To make the people rage, weep, hate, desire, with yourself,
To lead America—to quell America with a great tongue. 

O the joy of my soul leaning pois’d on itself—receiving identity through...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...She walks in Beauty, like the night 
Of cloudless climes and starry skies; 
And all that's best of dark and bright 
Meet in her aspect and her eyes: 
Thus mellowed to that tender light 
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies. 

One shade the more, one ray the less, 
Had half impaired the nameless grace 
Which waves in every raven tress, 
Or softly lightens o'er h...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...ers of my remembrancers; 
Picking out here one that I love, and now go with him on brotherly terms. 

A gigantic beauty of a stallion, fresh and responsive to my caresses, 
Head high in the forehead, wide between the ears,
Limbs glossy and supple, tail dusting the ground, 
Eyes full of sparkling wickedness—ears finely cut, flexibly moving. 

His nostrils dilate, as my heels embrace him; 
His well-built limbs tremble with pleasure, as we race around and return...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old; 
From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and attainments; 
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact. 

Allons! whoever you are, come travel with me!
Traveling with me, you find what never tires. 

The earth never tires; 
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first—Nature is rude and incomprehensible

Be not discouraged—keep on—there are divine th...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
...of the gods that were.

Even they that walked on the high cliffs,
High as the clouds were then,
Gods of unbearable beauty,
That broke the hearts of men.

And whether in seat or saddle,
Whether with frown or smile,
Whether at feast or fight was he,
He heard the noise of a nameless sea
On an undiscovered isle.

Lifting the great green ivy
And the great spear lowering,
One said, "I am Alfred of Wessex,
And I am a conquered king."

And the man of the cave made an...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...n her home,
A thousand leagues from his,—her native home,
She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy,
Daughters and sons of Beauty,—but behold!
Upon her face there was a tint of grief,
The settled shadow of an inward strife,
And an unquiet drooping of the eye,
As if its lid were charged with unshed tears.
What could her grief be?—she had all she loved,
And he who had so loved her was not there
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
Or ill-repressed affliction, her pure thou...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
So kindly hath she grown to her new use. 

The very names of things belov'd are dear,
And sounds will gather beauty from their sense,
As many a face thro' love's long residence
Groweth to fair instead of plain and sere:
But when I say thy name it hath no peer,
And I suppose fortune determined thence
Her dower, that such beauty's excellence
Should have a perfect title for the ear. 
Thus may I think the adopting Muses chose
Their sons by name, knowing none would ...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
..."The fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines,
 Which is constantly carries about,
And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes--
 A sentiment open to doubt.

"The fifth is ambition. It next will be right
 To describe each particular batch:
Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite,
 From those that have whiskers, and scratch.

"For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
 Yet, I feel it my duty to say,
Some are Boojums--" The Bellman broke ...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...And with that word Arcita *gan espy* *began to look forth*
Where as this lady roamed to and fro
And with that sight her beauty hurt him so,
That if that Palamon was wounded sore,
Arcite is hurt as much as he, or more.
And with a sigh he saide piteously:
"The freshe beauty slay'th me suddenly
Of her that roameth yonder in the place.
And but* I have her mercy and her grace, *unless
That I may see her at the leaste way,
I am but dead; there is no more to say."
This P...Read more of this...

by Blake, William
...not! Praises reap not!
Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not! 


The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the
hands & feet Proportion.
As the air to a bird or the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the
The crow wish'd every thing was black, the owl, that every thing
was white.

Exuberance is Beauty.

If the lion was advised by the fox. he would be cunning. 

Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
"Of whence those forms proceeded which thus stained
The track in which we moved; after brief space
From every form the beauty slowly waned,
"From every firmest limb & fairest face
The strength & freshness fell like dust, & left
The action & the shape without the grace
"Of life; the marble brow of youth was cleft
With care, and in the eyes where once hope shone
Desire like a lioness bereft
"Of its last cub, glared ere it died; each one
Of that great crowd sent forth incessant...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot -
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight. 
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.
 The river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet ...Read more of this...

by Miller, Alice Duer
...ved and why you die—
Even to find a certain grace in dying.

To know the reason why
Buds blow and blossoms die,
Why beauty fades, and genius is undone,
And how unjustified
Is any human pride
In all creation— save in this common one.

Maternity is common, but not so 
It seemed to me. Motherless, I did not know— 
I was all unprepared to feel this glow, 
Holy as a Madonna's, and as crude 
As any animal's beatitude— 
Crude as my own black cat's, who used to brin...Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
...t look 
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; 

How many loved your moments of glad grace, 
And loved your beauty with love false or true; 
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, 
And loved the sorrows of your changing face. 

And bending down beside the glowing bars, 
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled 
And paced upon the mountains overhead, 
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars. ...Read more of this...

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Book: Reflection on the Important Things