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Best Famous Couplet Poems

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

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Written by William Blake | Create an image from this poem

Cradle Song

SLEEP sleep beauty bright  
Dreaming in the joys of night; 
Sleep sleep; in thy sleep 
Little sorrows sit and weep

Sweet babe in thy face
Soft desires I can trace  
Secret joys and secret smiles  
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel 
Smiles as of the morning steal 
O'er thy cheek and o'er thy breast 
Where thy little heart doth rest.

O the cunning wiles that creep 
In thy little heart asleep! 
When thy little heart doth wake
Then the dreadful night shall break.


Written by Henry Kendall | Create an image from this poem

Mountains

RIFTED mountains, clad with forests, girded round by gleaming pines, 
Where the morning, like an angel, robed in golden splendour shines; 
Shimmering mountains, throwing downward on the slopes a mazy glare 
Where the noonday glory sails through gulfs of calm and glittering air; 
Stately mountains, high and hoary, piled with blocks of amber cloud, 
Where the fading twilight lingers, when the winds are wailing loud; 

Grand old mountains, overbeetling brawling brooks and deep ravines, 
Where the moonshine, pale and mournful, flows on rocks and evergreens. 

Underneath these regal ridges - underneath the gnarly trees, 
I am sitting, lonely-hearted, listening to a lonely breeze! 
Sitting by an ancient casement, casting many a longing look 
Out across the hazy gloaming - out beyond the brawling brook! 
Over pathways leading skyward - over crag and swelling cone, 

Past long hillocks looking like to waves of ocean turned to stone; 
Yearning for a bliss unworldly, yearning for a brighter change, 
Yearning for the mystic Aidenn, built beyond this mountain range. 


Happy years, amongst these valleys, happy years have come and gone, 
And my youthful hopes and friendships withered with them one by one; 
Days and moments bearing onward many a bright and beauteous dream, 
All have passed me like to sunstreaks flying down a distant stream. 

Oh, the love returned by loved ones! Oh, the faces that I knew! 
Oh, the wrecks of fond affection! Oh, the hearts so warm and true! 
But their voices I remember, and a something lingers still, 
Like a dying echo roaming sadly round a far off hill. 


I would sojourn here contented, tranquil as I was of yore, 
And would never wish to clamber, seeking for an unknown shore; 
I have dwelt within this cottage twenty summers, and mine eyes 

Never wandered erewhile round in search of undiscovered skies; 
But a spirit sits beside me, veiled in robes of dazzling white, 
And a dear one's whisper wakens with the symphonies of night; 
And a low sad music cometh, borne along on windy wings, 
Like a strain familiar rising from a maze of slumbering springs. 


And the Spirit, by my window, speaketh to my restless soul, 
Telling of the clime she came from, where the silent moments roll; 

Telling of the bourne mysterious, where the sunny summers flee 
Cliffs and coasts, by man untrodden, ridging round a shipless sea. 

There the years of yore are blooming - there departed life-dreams dwell, 
There the faces beam with gladness that I loved in youth so well; 
There the songs of childhood travel, over wave-worn steep and strand - 
Over dale and upland stretching out behind this mountain land. 


``Lovely Being, can a mortal, weary of this changeless scene, 

Cross these cloudy summits to the land where man hath never been? 
Can he find a pathway leading through that wildering mass of pines, 
So that he shall reach the country where ethereal glory shines; 
So that he may glance at waters never dark with coming ships; 
Hearing round him gentle language floating from angelic lips; 
Casting off his earthly fetters, living there for evermore; 
All the blooms of Beauty near him, gleaming on that quiet shore? 


``Ere you quit this ancient casement, tell me, is it well to yearn 
For the evanescent visions, vanished never to return? 
Is it well that I should with to leave this dreary world behind, 
Seeking for your fair Utopia, which perchance I may not find? 
Passing through a gloomy forest, scaling steeps like prison walls, 
Where the scanty sunshine wavers and the moonlight seldom falls? 
Oh, the feelings re-awakened! Oh, the hopes of loftier range! 

Is it well, thou friendly Being, well to wish for such a change?'' 


But the Spirit answers nothing! and the dazzling mantle fades; 
And a wailing whisper wanders out from dismal seaside shades! 
``Lo, the trees are moaning loudly, underneath their hood-like shrouds, 
And the arch above us darkens, scarred with ragged thunder clouds!'' 
But the spirit answers nothing, and I linger all alone, 
Gazing through the moony vapours where the lovely Dream has flown; 

And my heart is beating sadly, and the music waxeth faint, 
Sailing up to holy Heaven, like the anthems of a Saint.
Written by Mary Elizabeth Frye | Create an image from this poem

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Written by Barry Tebb | Create an image from this poem

SORRY I MISSED YOU

 (or ‘Huddersfield the Second Poetry Capital of England Re-visited’)



What was it Janice Simmons said to me as James lay dying in Ireland?

“Phone Peter Pegnall in Leeds, an ex-pupil of Jimmy’s.
He’s organising A benefit reading, he’d love to hear from you and have your help.
” ‘Like hell he would’ I thought but I phoned him all the same At his converted farmhouse at Barswill, a Lecturer in Creative Writing At the uni.
But what’s he written, I wondered, apart from his CV? “Well I am organising a reading but only for the big people, you understand, Hardman, Harrison, Doughty, Duhig, Basher O’Brien, you know the kind, The ones that count, the ones I owe my job to.
” We nattered on and on until by way of adieu I read the final couplet Of my Goodbye poem, the lines about ‘One Leeds Jimmy who could fix the world’s.
Duhigs once and for all/Write them into the ground and still have a hundred Lyrics in his quiver.
’ Pete Stifled a cough which dipped into a gurgle and sank into a mire Of strangulated affect which almost became a convulsion until finally He shrieked, “I have to go, the cat’s under the Christmas tree, ripping Open all the presents, the central heating boiler’s on the blink, The house is on fucking fire!” So I was left with the offer of being raffle-ticket tout as a special favour, Some recompense for giving over two entire newsletters to Jimmy’s work: The words of the letter before his stroke still burned.
“I don’t know why They omitted me, Armitage and Harrison were my best mates once.
You and I Must meet.
” A whole year’s silence until the card with its cryptic message ‘Jimmy’s recovering slowly but better than expected’.
I never heard from Pegnall about the reading, the pamphlets he asked for Went unacknowledged.
Whalebone, the fellow-tutor he commended, also stayed silent.
Had the event been cancelled? Happening to be in Huddersfield on Good Friday I staggered up three flights of stone steps in the Byram Arcade to the Poetry Business Where, next to the ‘closed’ sign an out-of-date poster announced the reading in Leeds At a date long gone.
I peered through the slats at empty desks, at brimming racks of books, At overflowing bin-bags and the yellowing poster.
Desperately I tried to remember What Janice had said.
“We were sat up in bed, planning to take the children For a walk when Jimmy stopped looking at me, the pupils of his eyes rolled sideways, His head lolled and he keeled over.
” The title of the reading was from Jimmy’s best collection ‘With Energy To Burn’ with energy to burn.
Written by Dorothy Parker | Create an image from this poem

Lines On Reading Too Many Poets

 Roses, rooted warm in earth,
Bud in rhyme, another age;
Lilies know a ghostly birth
Strewn along a patterned page;
Golden lad and chimbley sweep
Die; and so their song shall keep.
Wind that in Arcadia starts In and out a couplet plays; And the drums of bitter hearts Beat the measure of a phrase.
Sweets and woes but come to print Quae cum ita sint.


Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

Rhyme Builder

 I envy not those gay galoots
Who count on dying in their boots;
For that, to tell the sober truth
Sould be the privilege of youth;
But aged bones are better sped
To heaven from a downy bed.
So prop me up with pillows two, And serve me with the barley brew; And put a pencil in my hand, A copy book at my command; And let my final effort be To ring a rhyme of homely glee.
For since I've loved it oh so long, Let my last labour be in song; And when my pencil falters down, Oh may a final couplet crown The years of striving I have made To justify the jinglers trade.
Let me surrender with a rhyme My long and lovely lease of time; Let me be grateful for the gift To couple words in lyric lift; Let me song-build with humble hod, My last brick dedicate to God.
Written by Richard Flecknoe | Create an image from this poem

All human things are subject to decay

All human things are subject to decay.
And, when fate summons, monarchs must obey.
This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young
Was called to empire, and had governed long;
In prose and verse was owned, without dispute,
Throughout the realms of nonsense, absolute.
Written by Henry Kendall | Create an image from this poem

Leaves From Australian Forests - Dedication

To her who, cast with me in trying days, 
Stood in the place of health and power and praise;- 
Who, when I thought all light was out, became 
A lamp of hope that put my fears to shame;- 
Who faced for love's sole sake the life austere 
That waits upon the man of letters here;- 
Who, unawares, her deep affection showed, 
By many a touching little wifely mode;- 
Whose spirit, self-denying, dear, divine, 
Its sorrows hid, so it might lessen mine, - 
To her, my bright, best friend, I dedicate 
This book of songs. 'Twill help to compensate 
For much neglect. The act, if not the rhyme, 
Will touch her heart, and lead her to the time 
Of trials past. That which is most intense 
Within these leaves is of her influence; 

And if aught here is sweetened with a tone 
Sincere, like love, it came of love alone.
Written by Alexander Pope | Create an image from this poem

The Rape of the Lock: Canto 5

 She said: the pitying audience melt in tears, 
But Fate and Jove had stopp'd the Baron's ears.
In vain Thalestris with reproach assails, For who can move when fair Belinda fails? Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain, While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain.
Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan; Silence ensu'd, and thus the nymph began.
"Say, why are beauties prais'd and honour'd most, The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast? Why deck'd with all that land and sea afford, Why angels call'd, and angel-like ador'd? Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd beaux, Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows? How vain are all these glories, all our pains, Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains: That men may say, when we the front-box grace: 'Behold the first in virtue, as in face!' Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day, Charm'd the smallpox, or chas'd old age away; Who would not scorn what housewife's cares produce, Or who would learn one earthly thing of use? To patch, nay ogle, might become a saint, Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint.
But since, alas! frail beauty must decay, Curl'd or uncurl'd, since locks will turn to grey, Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade, And she who scorns a man, must die a maid; What then remains but well our pow'r to use, And keep good humour still whate'er we lose? And trust me, dear! good humour can prevail, When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding fail.
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll; Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
" So spoke the dame, but no applause ensu'd; Belinda frown'd, Thalestris call'd her prude.
"To arms, to arms!" the fierce virago cries, And swift as lightning to the combat flies.
All side in parties, and begin th' attack; Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones crack; Heroes' and heroines' shouts confus'dly rise, And bass, and treble voices strike the skies.
No common weapons in their hands are found, Like gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound.
So when bold Homer makes the gods engage, And heav'nly breasts with human passions rage; 'Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes arms; And all Olympus rings with loud alarms.
Jove's thunder roars, heav'n trembles all around; Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound; Earth shakes her nodding tow'rs, the ground gives way; And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day! Triumphant Umbriel on a sconce's height Clapp'd his glad wings, and sate to view the fight: Propp'd on their bodkin spears, the sprites survey The growing combat, or assist the fray.
While through the press enrag'd Thalestris flies, And scatters death around from both her eyes, A beau and witling perish'd in the throng, One died in metaphor, and one in song.
"O cruel nymph! a living death I bear," Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair.
A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast, "Those eyes are made so killing"--was his last.
Thus on Mæeander's flow'ry margin lies Th' expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down, Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown; She smil'd to see the doughty hero slain, But at her smile, the beau reviv'd again.
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air, Weighs the men's wits against the lady's hair; The doubtful beam long nods from side to side; At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside.
See, fierce Belinda on the baron flies, With more than usual lightning in her eyes, Nor fear'd the chief th' unequal fight to try, Who sought no more than on his foe to die.
But this bold lord with manly strength endu'd, She with one finger and a thumb subdu'd: Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew, A charge of snuff the wily virgin threw; The Gnomes direct, to ev'ry atom just, The pungent grains of titillating dust.
Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows, And the high dome re-echoes to his nose.
"Now meet thy fate", incens'd Belinda cried, And drew a deadly bodkin from her side.
(The same, his ancient personage to deck, Her great great grandsire wore about his neck In three seal-rings; which after, melted down, Form'd a vast buckle for his widow's gown: Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew, The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew; Then in a bodkin grac'd her mother's hairs, Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.
) "Boast not my fall," he cried, "insulting foe! Thou by some other shalt be laid as low.
Nor think, to die dejects my lofty mind; All that I dread is leaving you benind! Rather than so, ah let me still survive, And burn in Cupid's flames--but burn alive.
" "Restore the lock!" she cries; and all around "Restore the lock!" the vaulted roofs rebound.
Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain Roar'd for the handkerchief that caus'd his pain.
But see how oft ambitious aims are cross'd, The chiefs contend 'till all the prize is lost! The lock, obtain'd with guilt, and kept with pain, In ev'ry place is sought, but sought in vain: With such a prize no mortal must be blest, So Heav'n decrees! with Heav'n who can contest? Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere, Since all things lost on earth are treasur'd there.
There hero's wits are kept in pond'rous vases, And beaux' in snuff boxes and tweezercases.
There broken vows and deathbed alms are found, And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound; The courtier's promises, and sick man's prayers, The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs, Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea, Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.
But trust the Muse--she saw it upward rise, Though mark'd by none but quick, poetic eyes: (So Rome's great founder to the heav'ns withdrew, To Proculus alone confess'd in view) A sudden star, it shot through liquid air, And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.
Not Berenice's locks first rose so bright, The heav'ns bespangling with dishevell'd light.
The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies, And pleas'd pursue its progress through the skies.
This the beau monde shall from the Mall survey, And hail with music its propitious ray.
This the blest lover shall for Venus take, And send up vows from Rosamonda's lake.
This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless skies, When next he looks through Galileo's eyes; And hence th' egregious wizard shall foredoom The fate of Louis, and the fall of Rome.
Then cease, bright nymph! to mourn thy ravish'd hair, Which adds new glory to the shining sphere! Not all the tresses that fair head can boast Shall draw such envy as the lock you lost.
For, after all the murders of your eye, When, after millions slain, yourself shall die: When those fair suns shall set, as set they must, And all those tresses shall be laid in dust, This lock, the Muse shall consecrate to fame And 'midst the stars inscribe Belinda's name.
Written by Alexander Pope | Create an image from this poem

The Rape of the Lock: Canto 4

 But anxious cares the pensive nymph oppress'd, 
And secret passions labour'd in her breast.
Not youthful kings in battle seiz'd alive, Not scornful virgins who their charms survive, Not ardent lovers robb'd of all their bliss, Not ancient ladies when refus'd a kiss, Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die, Not Cynthia when her manteau's pinn'd awry, E'er felt such rage, resentment, and despair, As thou, sad virgin! for thy ravish'd hair.
For, that sad moment, when the Sylphs withdrew, And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew, Umbriel, a dusky, melancholy sprite, As ever sullied the fair face of light, Down to the central earth, his proper scene, Repair'd to search the gloomy cave of Spleen.
Swift on his sooty pinions flits the Gnome, And in a vapour reach'd the dismal dome.
No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows, The dreaded East is all the wind that blows.
Here, in a grotto, shelter'd close from air, And screen'd in shades from day's detested glare, She sighs for ever on her pensive bed, Pain at her side, and Megrim at her head.
Two handmaids wait the throne: alike in place, But diff'ring far in figure and in face.
Here stood Ill Nature like an ancient maid, Her wrinkled form in black and white array'd; With store of pray'rs, for mornings, nights, and noons, Her hand is fill'd; her bosom with lampoons.
There Affectation, with a sickly mien, Shows in her cheek the roses of eighteen, Practis'd to lisp, and hang the head aside, Faints into airs, and languishes with pride, On the rich quilt sinks with becoming woe, Wrapp'd in a gown, for sickness, and for show.
The fair ones feel such maladies as these, When each new night-dress gives a new disease.
A constant vapour o'er the palace flies; Strange phantoms, rising as the mists arise; Dreadful, as hermit's dreams in haunted shades, Or bright, as visions of expiring maids.
Now glaring fiends, and snakes on rolling spires, Pale spectres, gaping tombs, and purple fires: Now lakes of liquid gold, Elysian scenes, And crystal domes, and angels in machines.
Unnumber'd throngs on ev'ry side are seen, Of bodies chang'd to various forms by Spleen.
Here living teapots stand, one arm held out, One bent; the handle this, and that the spout: A pipkin there, like Homer's tripod walks; Here sighs a jar, and there a goose pie talks; Men prove with child, as pow'rful fancy works, And maids turn'd bottles, call aloud for corks.
Safe pass'd the Gnome through this fantastic band, A branch of healing spleenwort in his hand.
Then thus address'd the pow'r: "Hail, wayward Queen! Who rule the sex to fifty from fifteen: Parent of vapours and of female wit, Who give th' hysteric, or poetic fit, On various tempers act by various ways, Make some take physic, others scribble plays; Who cause the proud their visits to delay, And send the godly in a pet to pray.
A nymph there is, that all thy pow'r disdains, And thousands more in equal mirth maintains.
But oh! if e'er thy gnome could spoil a grace, Or raise a pimple on a beauteous face, Like citron waters matrons' cheeks inflame, Or change complexions at a losing game; If e'er with airy horns I planted heads, Or rumpled petticoats, or tumbled beds, Or caus'd suspicion when no soul was rude, Or discompos'd the head-dress of a prude, Or e'er to costive lap-dog gave disease, Which not the tears of brightest eyes could ease: Hear me, and touch Belinda with chagrin; That single act gives half the world the spleen.
" The goddess with a discontented air Seems to reject him, though she grants his pray'r.
A wondrous bag with both her hands she binds, Like that where once Ulysses held the winds; There she collects the force of female lungs, Sighs, sobs, and passions, and the war of tongues.
A vial next she fills with fainting fears, Soft sorrows, melting griefs, and flowing tears.
The Gnome rejoicing bears her gifts away, Spreads his black wings, and slowly mounts to day.
Sunk in Thalestris' arms the nymph he found, Her eyes dejected and her hair unbound.
Full o'er their heads the swelling bag he rent, And all the Furies issu'd at the vent.
Belinda burns with more than mortal ire, And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire.
"Oh wretched maid!" she spread her hands, and cried, (While Hampton's echoes, "Wretched maid!" replied, "Was it for this you took such constant care The bodkin, comb, and essence to prepare? For this your locks in paper durance bound, For this with tort'ring irons wreath'd around? For this with fillets strain'd your tender head, And bravely bore the double loads of lead? Gods! shall the ravisher display your hair, While the fops envy, and the ladies stare! Honour forbid! at whose unrivall'd shrine Ease, pleasure, virtue, all, our sex resign.
Methinks already I your tears survey, Already hear the horrid things they say, Already see you a degraded toast, And all your honour in a whisper lost! How shall I, then, your helpless fame defend? 'Twill then be infamy to seem your friend! And shall this prize, th' inestimable prize, Expos'd through crystal to the gazing eyes, And heighten'd by the diamond's circling rays, On that rapacious hand for ever blaze? Sooner shall grass in Hyde Park Circus grow, And wits take lodgings in the sound of Bow; Sooner let earth, air, sea, to chaos fall, Men, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots, perish all!" She said; then raging to Sir Plume repairs, And bids her beau demand the precious hairs: (Sir Plume, of amber snuff-box justly vain, And the nice conduct of a clouded cane) With earnest eyes, and round unthinking face, He first the snuffbox open'd, then the case, And thus broke out--"My Lord, why, what the devil? Z{-}{-}{-}ds! damn the lock! 'fore Gad, you must be civil! Plague on't! 'tis past a jest--nay prithee, pox! Give her the hair"--he spoke, and rapp'd his box.
"It grieves me much," replied the peer again, "Who speaks so well should ever speak in vain.
But by this lock, this sacred lock I swear, (Which never more shall join its parted hair; Which never more its honours shall renew, Clipp'd from the lovely head where late it grew) That while my nostrils draw the vital air, This hand, which won it, shall for ever wear.
" He spoke, and speaking, in proud triumph spread The long-contended honours of her head.
But Umbriel, hateful gnome! forbears not so; He breaks the vial whence the sorrows flow.
Then see! the nymph in beauteous grief appears, Her eyes half-languishing, half-drown'd in tears; On her heav'd bosom hung her drooping head, Which, with a sigh, she rais'd; and thus she said: "For ever curs'd be this detested day, Which snatch'd my best, my fav'rite curl away! Happy! ah ten times happy, had I been, If Hampton Court these eyes had never seen! Yet am not I the first mistaken maid, By love of courts to num'rous ills betray'd.
Oh had I rather unadmir'd remain'd In some lone isle, or distant northern land; Where the gilt chariot never marks the way, Where none learn ombre, none e'er taste bohea! There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye, Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.
What mov'd my mind with youthful lords to roam? Oh had I stay'd, and said my pray'rs at home! 'Twas this, the morning omens seem'd to tell, Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell; The tott'ring china shook without a wind, Nay, Poll sat mute, and Shock was most unkind! A Sylph too warn'd me of the threats of fate, In mystic visions, now believ'd too late! See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs! My hands shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares: These, in two sable ringlets taught to break, Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck.
The sister-lock now sits uncouth, alone, And in its fellow's fate foresees its own; Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal shears demands And tempts once more thy sacrilegious hands.
Oh hadst thou, cruel! been content to seize Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these!"
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