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Best Famous James Henry Leigh Hunt Poems

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Written by James Henry Leigh Hunt | Create an image from this poem


 Jenny kiss'd me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and welth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.

Written by James Henry Leigh Hunt | Create an image from this poem

Robin Hood A Child

 It was the pleasant season yet,
When the stones at cottage doors
Dry quickly, while the roads are wet,
After the silver showers.
The green leaves they looked greener still, And the thrush, renewing his tune, Shook a loud note from his gladsome bill Into the bright blue noon.
Robin Hood's mother looked out, and said "It were a shame and a sin For fear of getting a wet head To keep such a day within, Nor welcome up from his sick bed Your uncle Gamelyn.
" And Robin leaped, and thought so too; And so he has grasped her gown, And now looking back, they have lost the view Of merry sweet Locksley town.
Robin was a gentle boy, And therewithal as bold; To say he was his mother's joy, It were a phrase too cold.
His hair upon his thoughtful brow Came smoothly clipped, and sleek, But ran into a curl somehow Beside his merrier cheek.
Great love to him his uncle too The noble Gamelyn bare, And often said, as his mother knew, That he should be his heir.
Gamelyn's eyes, now getting dim, Would twinkle at his sight, And his ruddy wrinkles laugh at him Between his locks so white: For Robin already let him see He should beat his playmates all At wrestling, running, and archery, Yet he cared not for a fall.
Merriest he was of merry boys, And would set the old helmets bobbing; If his uncle asked about the noise, 'Twas "If you please, Sir, Robin.
" And yet if the old man wished no noise, He'd come and sit at his knee, And be the gravest of grave-eyed boys; And not a word spoke he.
So whenever he and his mother came To brave old Gamelyn Hall, 'Twas nothing there but sport and game, And holiday folks all: The servants never were to blame, Though they let the physic fall.
And now the travellers turn the road, And now they hear the rooks; And there it is, — the old abode, With all its hearty looks.
Robin laughed, and the lady too, And they looked at one another; Says Robin, "I'll knock, as I'm used to do, At uncle's window, mother.
" And so he pick'd up some pebbles and ran, And jumping higher and higher, He reach'd the windows with tan a ran tan, And instead of the kind old white-haired man, There looked out a fat friar.
"How now," said the fat friar angrily, "What is this knocking so wild?" But when he saw young Robin's eye, He said "Go round, my child.
"Go round to the hall, and I'll tell you all.
" "He'll tell us all!" thought Robin; And his mother and he went quietly, Though her heart was set a throbbing.
The friar stood in the inner door, And tenderly said, "I fear You know not the good squire's no more, Even Gamelyn de Vere.
"Gamelyn de Vere is dead, He changed but yesternight:" "Now make us way," the lady said, "To see that doleful sight.
" "Good Gamelyn de Vere is dead, And has made us his holy heirs:" The lady stayed not for all he said, But went weeping up the stairs.
Robin and she went hand in hand, Weeping all the way, Until they came where the lord of that land Dumb in his cold bed lay.
His hand she took, and saw his dead look, With the lids over each eye-ball; And Robin and she wept as plenteously, As though he had left them all.
"I will return, Sir Abbot of Vere, I will return as is meet, And see my honoured brother dear Laid in his winding sheet.
And I will stay, for to go were a sin, For all a woman's tears, And see the noble Gamelyn Laid low with the De Veres.
" The lady went with a sick heart out Into the kind fresh air, And told her Robin all about The abbot whom he saw there: And how his uncle must have been Disturbed in his failing sense, To leave his wealth to these artful men, At her's and Robin's expense.
Sad was the stately day for all But the Vere Abbey friars, When the coffin was stript of its hiding pall, Amidst the hushing choirs.
Sad was the earth-dropping "dust to dust," And "our brother here departed;" The lady shook at them, as shake we must, And Robin he felt strange-hearted.
That self-same evening, nevertheless, They returned to Locksley town, The lady in a dumb distress, And Robin looking down.
They went, and went, and Robin took Long steps by his mother's side, Till she asked him with a sad sweet look What made him so thoughtful-eyed.
"I was thinking, mother," said little Robin, And with his own voice so true He spoke right out, "That if I was a king, I'd see what those friars do.
" His mother stooped with a tear of joy, And she kissed him again and again, And said, "My own little Robin boy, Thou wilt be a King of Men!"
Written by James Henry Leigh Hunt | Create an image from this poem

A Thought or Two on Reading Pomfrets

 I have been reading Pomfret's "Choice" this spring, 
A pretty kind of--sort of--kind of thing, 
Not much a verse, and poem none at all, 
Yet, as they say, extremely natural.
And yet I know not.
There's an art in pies, In raising crusts as well as galleries; And he's the poet, more or less, who knows The charm that hallows the least truth from prose, And dresses it in its mild singing clothes.
Not oaks alone are trees, nor roses flowers; Much humble wealth makes rich this world of ours.
Nature from some sweet energy throws up Alike the pine-mount and the buttercup; And truth she makes so precious, that to paint Either, shall shrine an artist like a saint, And bring him in his turn the crowds that press Round Guido's saints or Titian's goddesses.
Our trivial poet hit upon a theme Which all men love, an old, sweet household dream:-- Pray, reader, what is yours?--I know full well What sort of home should grace my garden-bell,-- No tall, half-furnish'd, gloomy, shivering house, That worst of mountains labouring with a mouse; Nor should I choose to fill a tawdry niche in A Grecian temple, opening to a kitchen.
The frogs in Homer should have had such boxes, Or Aesop's frog, whose heart was like the ox's.
Such puff about high roads, so grand, so small, With wings and what not, portico and all, And poor drench'd pillars, which it seems a sin Not to mat up at night-time, or take in.
I'd live in none of those.
Nor would I have Veranda'd windows to forestall my grave; Veranda'd truly, from the northern heat! And cut down to the floor to comfort one's cold feet! My house should be of brick, more wide than high, With sward up to the path, and elm-trees nigh; A good old country lodge, half hid with blooms Of honied green, and quaint with straggling rooms, A few of which, white-bedded and well swept, For friends, whose name endear'd them, should be kept.
The tip-toe traveller, peeping through the boughs O'er my low wall, should bless the pleasant house: And that my luck might not seem ill-bestow'd, A bench and spring should greet him on the road.
My grounds should not be large.
I like to go To Nature for a range, and prospect too, And cannot fancy she'd comprise for me, Even in a park, her all-sufficiency.
Besides, my thoughts fly far, and when at rest Love not a watch-tow'r but a lulling nest.
A Chiswick or a Chatsworth might, I grant, Visit my dreams with an ambitious want; But then I should be forc'd to know the weight Of splendid cares, new to my former state; And these 'twould far more fit me to admire, Borne by the graceful ease of noblest Devonshire.
Such grounds, however, as I had should look Like "something" still; have seats, and walks, and brook; One spot for flowers, the rest all turf and trees; For I'd not grow my own bad lettuces.
I'd build a cover'd path too against rain, Long, peradventure, as my whole domain, And so be sure of generous exercise, The youth of age and med'cine of the wise.
And this reminds me, that behind some screen About my grounds, I'd have a bowling-green; Such as in wits' and merry women's days Suckling preferr'd before his walk of bays.
You may still see them, dead as haunts of fairies, By the old seats of Killigrews and Careys, Where all, alas! is vanish'd from the ring, Wits and black eyes, the skittles and the king! Fishing I hate, because I think about it, Which makes it right that I should do without it.
A dinner, or a death, might not be much, But cruelty's a rod I dare not touch.
I own I cannot see my right to feel For my own jaws, and tear a trout's with steel; To troll him here and there, and spike, and strain, And let him loose to jerk him back again.
Fancy a preacher at this sort of work, Not with his trout or gudgeon, but his clerk: The clerk leaps gaping at a tempting bit, And, hah! an ear-ache with a knife in it! That there is pain and evil is no rule That I should make it greater, like a fool; Or rid me of my rust so vile a way, As long as there's a single manly play.
Nay, "fool"'s a word my pen unjustly writes, Knowing what hearts and brains have dozed o'er "bites"; But the next inference to be drawn might be, That higher beings made a trout of me; Which I would rather should not be the case, Though Isaak were the saint to tear my face, And, stooping from his heaven with rod and line, Made the fell sport, with his old dreams divine, As pleasant to his taste, as rough to mine.
Such sophistry, no doubt, saves half the hell, But fish would have preferr'd his reasoning well, And, if my gills concern'd him, so should I.
The dog, I grant, is in that "equal sky," But, heaven be prais'd, he's not my deity.
All manly games I'd play at,--golf and quoits, And cricket, to set lungs and limbs to rights, And make me conscious, with a due respect, Of muscles one forgets by long neglect.
With these, or bowls aforesaid, and a ride, Books, music, friends, the day I would divide, Most with my family, but when alone, Absorb'd in some new poem of my own, A task which makes my time so richly pass, So like a sunshine cast through painted glass (Save where poor Captain Sword crashes the panes), That cold my friends live too, and were the gains Of toiling men but freed from sordid fears, Well could I walk this earth a thousand years.
Written by James Henry Leigh Hunt | Create an image from this poem


 Come thou, thou last one, whom I recognize,
unbearable pain throughout this body's fabric:
as I in my spirit burned, see, I now burn in thee:
the wood that long resisted the advancing flames
which thou kept flaring, I now am nourishinig
and burn in thee.
My gentle and mild being through thy ruthless fury has turned into a raging hell that is not from here.
Quite pure, quite free of future planning, I mounted the tangled funeral pyre built for my suffering, so sure of nothing more to buy for future needs, while in my heart the stored reserves kept silent.
Is it still I, who there past all recognition burn? Memories I do not seize and bring inside.
O life! O living! O to be outside! And I in flames.
And no one here who knows me.
[Written in December 1926, this poem was the last entry in Rilke's notebook, less than two weeks before his death at age 51.
Written by James Henry Leigh Hunt | Create an image from this poem

On Receiving a Crown of Ivy from John Keats

 It is a lofty feeling, yet a kind, 
Thus to be topped with leaves;--to have a sense 
Of honour-shaded thought,--an influence 
As from great nature's fingers, and be twined 
With her old, sacred, verdurous ivy-bind, 
As though she hallowed with that sylvan fence 
A head that bows to her benevolence, 
Midst pomp of fancied trumpets in the wind.
It is what's within us crowned.
And kind and great Are all the conquering wishes it inspires, Love of things lasting, love of the tall woods, Love of love's self, and ardour for a state Of natural good befitting such desires, Towns without gain, and hunted solitudes.

Written by James Henry Leigh Hunt | Create an image from this poem

Jenny Kissed Me

 Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.
Written by James Henry Leigh Hunt | Create an image from this poem

The Glove and The Lions

 King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport,
And one day as his lions fought, sat looking on the court;
The nobles filled the benches, and the ladies in their pride,
And 'mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sighed:
And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,
Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.
Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws; They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws; With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled on one another; Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother; The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air; Said Francis then, "Faith, gentlemen, we're better here than there.
" De Lorge's love o'erheard the King, a beauteous lively dame With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same; She thought, the Count my lover is brave as brave can be; He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me; King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine; I'll drop my glove, to prove his love; great glory will be mine.
She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled; He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild: The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place, Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face.
"By God!" said Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat: "No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that.
Written by James Henry Leigh Hunt | Create an image from this poem

Abou Ben Adhem

 Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:— 
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said
"What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered "The names of those who love the Lord.
" "And is mine one?" said Abou.
"Nay, not so," Replied the angel.
Abou spoke more low, But cheerly still, and said "I pray thee, then, Write me as one that loves his fellow men.
" The angel wrote, and vanished.
The next night It came again with a great wakening light, And showed the names whom love of God had blessed, And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
Written by James Henry Leigh Hunt | Create an image from this poem

Sudden Fine Weather

 Reader! what soul that laoves a verse can see 
The spring return, nor glow like you and me? 
Hear the quick birds, and see the landscape fill, 
Nor long to utter his melodious will? 

This more than ever leaps into the veins, 
When spring has been delay'd by winds and rains, 
And coming with a burst, comes like a show, 
Blue all above, and basking green below, 
And all the people culling the sweet prime: 
Then issues forth the bee to clutch the thyme, 
And the bee poet rushes into rhyme.
For lo! no sooner has the cold withdrawn, Than the bright elm is tufted on the lawn; The merry sap has run up in the bowers, And bursts the windows of the buds in flowers; With song the bosoms of the birds run o'er, The cuckoo calls, the swallow's at the door, And apple-tree at noon with bees alive Burn with the golden chorus of the hive.
Now all these sweets, these sounds, this vernal blaze, Is but one joy, express'd a thousand ways: And honey from the flowers and song from birds Are from the poet's pen his oeverflowing words.
Ah friends! methinks it were a pleasant sphere, If, like the trees, we blossom'd every year; If locks grew thick again, and rosy dyes Return'd in cheeks, and raciness in eyes, And all around us, vital to the tips, The human orchard laugh'd with cherry lips! Lord! what a burst of merriment and play, Fair dames, were that! and what a first of May! So natural is the wish, that bards gone by Have left it, all, in some immortal sigh! And yet the winter months were not so well: Who would like changing, as the seasons fell? Fade every year, and stare, midst ghastly friends, With falling hairs, and stuck-out fingers' ends? Besides, this tale of youth that comes again Is no more true of apple-trees than men.
The Swedish sage, the Newton of the flow'rs, Who first found out those worlds of paramours, Tells us, that every blossom that we see Boasts in its walls a separate family; So that a tree is but a sort of stand That holds those afilial fairies in its hand; Just as Swift's giant might have held a bevy Of Lilliputian ladies, or a levee.
It is not her that blooms: it is his race, Who honour his old arms, and hide his rugged face.
Ye wits and bards, then, pray discern your duty, And learn the lastingness of human beauty.
Your finest fruit to some two months may reach: I've known a cheek at forth like a peach.
But see! the weather calls me.
Here's a bee Comes bounding in my room imperiously, And talking to himself, hastily burns About mine ear, and so in heat returns.
O little brethren of the fervid soul, Kissers of flowers, lords of the golden bowl, I follow to your fields and tusted brooks: Winter's the time to which the poet looks For hiving his sweet thoughts, and making honied books.
Written by James Henry Leigh Hunt | Create an image from this poem

How Robin and His Outlaws Lived in The Woods

 Robin and his merry men
: Lived just like the birds;
They had almost as many tracks as thoughts,
: And whistles and songs as words.
Up they were with the earliest sign Of the sun's up-looking eye; But not an archer breakfasted Till he twinkled from the sky.
All the morning they were wont To fly their grey-goose quills At butts, or wands, or trees, or twigs, Till theirs was the skill of skills.
With swords too they played lustily, And at quarter-staff; Many a hit would have made some cry, Which only made them laugh.
The horn was then their dinner-bell; When like princes of the wood, Under the glimmering summer trees, Pure venison was their food.
Pure venison and a little wine, Except when the skies were rough; Or when they had a feasting day; For their blood was wine enough.
And story then, and joke, and song, And Harry's harp went round; And sometimes they'd get up and dance, For pleasure of the sound.
Tingle, tangle! said the harp, As they footed in and out: Good lord! it was a sight to see Their feathers float about;-- A pleasant sight, especially : If Margery was there, Or little Ciss, or laughing Bess, : Or Moll with the clumps of hair; Or any other merry lass : From the neighbouring villages, Who came with milk and eggs, or fruit, : A singing through the trees.
For all the country round about : Was fond of Robin Hood, With whom they got a share of more : Than the acorns in the wood; Nor ever would he suffer harm : To woman, above all; No plunder, were she ne'er so great, : No fright to great or small; No,—not a single kiss unliked, : Nor one look-saddening clip; Accurst be he, said Robin Hood, : Makes pale a woman's lip.
Only on the haughty rich, : And on their unjust store, He'd lay his fines of equity : For his merry men and the poor.
And special was his joy, no doubt : (Which made the dish to curse) To light upon a good fat friar, : And carve him of his purse.
A monk to him was a toad in the hole, : And an abbot a pig in grain, But a bishop was a baron of beef, : With cut and come again.
Never poor man came for help, And wnet away denied; Never woman for redress, And went away wet-eyed.
Says Robin to the poor who came : To ask of him relief, You do but get your goods again, : That were altered by the thief; There, ploughman, is a sheaf of your's : Turned to yellow gold; And, miller, there's your last year's rent, : 'Twill wrap thee from the cold: And you there, Wat of Lancashire, : Who such a way have come, Get upon your land-tax, man, : And ride it merrily home.