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Best Famous Medieval Poems

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

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Written by Rabindranath Tagore | Create an image from this poem

The Journey

 Anghiari is medieval, a sleeve sloping down
A steep hill, suddenly sweeping out
To the edge of a cliff, and dwindling.
But far up the mountain, behind the town, We too were swept out, out by the wind, Alone with the Tuscan grass.
Wind had been blowing across the hills For days, and everything now was graying gold With dust, everything we saw, even Some small children scampering along a road, Twittering Italian to a small caged bird.
We sat beside them to rest in some brushwood, And I leaned down to rinse the dust from my face.
I found the spider web there, whose hinges Reeled heavily and crazily with the dust, Whole mounds and cemeteries of it, sagging And scattering shadows among shells and wings.
And then she stepped into the center of air Slender and fastidious, the golden hair Of daylight along her shoulders, she poised there, While ruins crumbled on every side of her.
Free of the dust, as though a moment before She had stepped inside the earth, to bathe herself.
I gazed, close to her, till at last she stepped Away in her own good time.
Many men Have searched all over Tuscany and never found What I found there, the heart of the light Itself shelled and leaved, balancing On filaments themselves falling.
The secret Of this journey is to let the wind Blow its dust all over your body, To let it go on blowing, to step lightly, lightly All the way through your ruins, and not to lose Any sleep over the dead, who surely Will bury their own, don't worry.


Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

Proud Music of The Storm

 1
PROUD music of the storm! 
Blast that careers so free, whistling across the prairies! 
Strong hum of forest tree-tops! Wind of the mountains! 
Personified dim shapes! you hidden orchestras! 
You serenades of phantoms, with instruments alert,
Blending, with Nature’s rhythmus, all the tongues of nations; 
You chords left us by vast composers! you choruses! 
You formless, free, religious dances! you from the Orient! 
You undertone of rivers, roar of pouring cataracts; 
You sounds from distant guns, with galloping cavalry!
Echoes of camps, with all the different bugle-calls! 
Trooping tumultuous, filling the midnight late, bending me powerless, 
Entering my lonesome slumber-chamber—Why have you seiz’d me? 

2
Come forward, O my Soul, and let the rest retire; 
Listen—lose not—it is toward thee they tend;
Parting the midnight, entering my slumber-chamber, 
For thee they sing and dance, O Soul.
A festival song! The duet of the bridegroom and the bride—a marriage-march, With lips of love, and hearts of lovers, fill’d to the brim with love; The red-flush’d cheeks, and perfumes—the cortege swarming, full of friendly faces, young and old, To flutes’ clear notes, and sounding harps’ cantabile.
3 Now loud approaching drums! Victoria! see’st thou in powder-smoke the banners torn but flying? the rout of the baffled? Hearest those shouts of a conquering army? (Ah, Soul, the sobs of women—the wounded groaning in agony, The hiss and crackle of flames—the blacken’d ruins—the embers of cities, The dirge and desolation of mankind.
) 4 Now airs antique and medieval fill me! I see and hear old harpers with their harps, at Welsh festivals: I hear the minnesingers, singing their lays of love, I hear the minstrels, gleemen, troubadours, of the feudal ages.
5 Now the great organ sounds, Tremulous—while underneath, (as the hid footholds of the earth, On which arising, rest, and leaping forth, depend, All shapes of beauty, grace and strength—all hues we know, Green blades of grass, and warbling birds—children that gambol and play—the clouds of heaven above,) The strong base stands, and its pulsations intermits not, Bathing, supporting, merging all the rest—maternity of all the rest; And with it every instrument in multitudes, The players playing—all the world’s musicians, The solemn hymns and masses, rousing adoration, All passionate heart-chants, sorrowful appeals, The measureless sweet vocalists of ages, And for their solvent setting, Earth’s own diapason, Of winds and woods and mighty ocean waves; A new composite orchestra—binder of years and climes—ten-fold renewer, As of the far-back days the poets tell—the Paradiso, The straying thence, the separation long, but now the wandering done, The journey done, the Journeyman come home, And Man and Art, with Nature fused again.
6 Tutti! for Earth and Heaven! The Almighty Leader now for me, for once has signal’d with his wand.
The manly strophe of the husbands of the world, And all the wives responding.
The tongues of violins! (I think, O tongues, ye tell this heart, that cannot tell itself; This brooding, yearning heart, that cannot tell itself.
) 7 Ah, from a little child, Thou knowest, Soul, how to me all sounds became music; My mother’s voice, in lullaby or hymn; (The voice—O tender voices—memory’s loving voices! Last miracle of all—O dearest mother’s, sister’s, voices;) The rain, the growing corn, the breeze among the long-leav’d corn, The measur’d sea-surf, beating on the sand, The twittering bird, the hawk’s sharp scream, The wild-fowl’s notes at night, as flying low, migrating north or south, The psalm in the country church, or mid the clustering trees, the open air camp-meeting, The fiddler in the tavern—the glee, the long-strung sailor-song, The lowing cattle, bleating sheep—the crowing cock at dawn.
8 All songs of current lands come sounding ’round me, The German airs of friendship, wine and love, Irish ballads, merry jigs and dances—English warbles, Chansons of France, Scotch tunes—and o’er the rest, Italia’s peerless compositions.
Across the stage, with pallor on her face, yet lurid passion, Stalks Norma, brandishing the dagger in her hand.
I see poor crazed Lucia’s eyes’ unnatural gleam; Her hair down her back falls loose and dishevell’d.
I see where Ernani, walking the bridal garden, Amid the scent of night-roses, radiant, holding his bride by the hand, Hears the infernal call, the death-pledge of the horn.
To crossing swords, and grey hairs bared to heaven, The clear, electric base and baritone of the world, The trombone duo—Libertad forever! From Spanish chestnut trees’ dense shade, By old and heavy convent walls, a wailing song, Song of lost love—the torch of youth and life quench’d in despair, Song of the dying swan—Fernando’s heart is breaking.
Awaking from her woes at last, retriev’d Amina sings; Copious as stars, and glad as morning light, the torrents of her joy.
(The teeming lady comes! The lustrious orb—Venus contralto—the blooming mother, Sister of loftiest gods—Alboni’s self I hear.
) 9 I hear those odes, symphonies, operas; I hear in the William Tell, the music of an arous’d and angry people; I hear Meyerbeer’s Huguenots, the Prophet, or Robert; Gounod’s Faust, or Mozart’s Don Juan.
10 I hear the dance-music of all nations, The waltz, (some delicious measure, lapsing, bathing me in bliss;) The bolero, to tinkling guitars and clattering castanets.
I see religious dances old and new, I hear the sound of the Hebrew lyre, I see the Crusaders marching, bearing the cross on high, to the martial clang of cymbals; I hear dervishes monotonously chanting, interspers’d with frantic shouts, as they spin around, turning always towards Mecca; I see the rapt religious dances of the Persians and the Arabs; Again, at Eleusis, home of Ceres, I see the modern Greeks dancing, I hear them clapping their hands, as they bend their bodies, I hear the metrical shuffling of their feet.
I see again the wild old Corybantian dance, the performers wounding each other; I see the Roman youth, to the shrill sound of flageolets, throwing and catching their weapons, As they fall on their knees, and rise again.
I hear from the Mussulman mosque the muezzin calling; I see the worshippers within, (nor form, nor sermon, argument, nor word, But silent, strange, devout—rais’d, glowing heads—extatic faces.
) 11 I hear the Egyptian harp of many strings, The primitive chants of the Nile boatmen; The sacred imperial hymns of China, To the delicate sounds of the king, (the stricken wood and stone;) Or to Hindu flutes, and the fretting twang of the vina, A band of bayaderes.
12 Now Asia, Africa leave me—Europe, seizing, inflates me; To organs huge, and bands, I hear as from vast concourses of voices, Luther’s strong hymn, Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott; Rossini’s Stabat Mater dolorosa; Or, floating in some high cathedral dim, with gorgeous color’d windows, The passionate Agnus Dei, or Gloria in Excelsis.
13 Composers! mighty maestros! And you, sweet singers of old lands—Soprani! Tenori! Bassi! To you a new bard, carolling free in the west, Obeisant, sends his love.
(Such led to thee, O Soul! All senses, shows and objects, lead to thee, But now, it seems to me, sound leads o’er all the rest.
) 14 I hear the annual singing of the children in St.
Paul’s Cathedral; Or, under the high roof of some colossal hall, the symphonies, oratorios of Beethoven, Handel, or Haydn; The Creation, in billows of godhood laves me.
Give me to hold all sounds, (I, madly struggling, cry,) Fill me with all the voices of the universe, Endow me with their throbbings—Nature’s also, The tempests, waters, winds—operas and chants—marches and dances, Utter—pour in—for I would take them all.
15 Then I woke softly, And pausing, questioning awhile the music of my dream, And questioning all those reminiscences—the tempest in its fury, And all the songs of sopranos and tenors, And those rapt oriental dances, of religious fervor, And the sweet varied instruments, and the diapason of organs, And all the artless plaints of love, and grief and death, I said to my silent, curious Soul, out of the bed of the slumber-chamber, Come, for I have found the clue I sought so long, Let us go forth refresh’d amid the day, Cheerfully tallying life, walking the world, the real, Nourish’d henceforth by our celestial dream.
And I said, moreover, Haply, what thou hast heard, O Soul, was not the sound of winds, Nor dream of raging storm, nor sea-hawk’s flapping wings, nor harsh scream, Nor vocalism of sun-bright Italy, Nor German organ majestic—nor vast concourse of voices—nor layers of harmonies; Nor strophes of husbands and wives—nor sound of marching soldiers, Nor flutes, nor harps, nor the bugle-calls of camps; But, to a new rhythmus fitted for thee, Poems, bridging the way from Life to Death, vaguely wafted in night air, uncaught, unwritten, Which, let us go forth in the bold day, and write.
Written by Elizabeth Bishop | Create an image from this poem

Roosters

 At four o'clock
in the gun-metal blue dark
we hear the first crow of the first cock

just below
the gun-metal blue window
and immediately there is an echo

off in the distance,
then one from the backyard fence,
then one, with horrible insistence,

grates like a wet match 
from the broccoli patch,
flares,and all over town begins to catch.
Cries galore come from the water-closet door, from the dropping-plastered henhouse floor, where in the blue blur their rusting wives admire, the roosters brace their cruel feet and glare with stupid eyes while from their beaks there rise the uncontrolled, traditional cries.
Deep from protruding chests in green-gold medals dressed, planned to command and terrorize the rest, the many wives who lead hens' lives of being courted and despised; deep from raw throats a senseless order floats all over town.
A rooster gloats over our beds from rusty irons sheds and fences made from old bedsteads, over our churches where the tin rooster perches, over our little wooden northern houses, making sallies from all the muddy alleys, marking out maps like Rand McNally's: glass-headed pins, oil-golds and copper greens, anthracite blues, alizarins, each one an active displacement in perspective; each screaming, "This is where I live!" Each screaming "Get up! Stop dreaming!" Roosters, what are you projecting? You, whom the Greeks elected to shoot at on a post, who struggled when sacrificed, you whom they labeled "Very combative.
.
.
" what right have you to give commands and tell us how to live, cry "Here!" and "Here!" and wake us here where are unwanted love, conceit and war? The crown of red set on your little head is charged with all your fighting blood Yes, that excrescence makes a most virile presence, plus all that vulgar beauty of iridescence Now in mid-air by two they fight each other.
Down comes a first flame-feather, and one is flying, with raging heroism defying even the sensation of dying.
And one has fallen but still above the town his torn-out, bloodied feathers drift down; and what he sung no matter.
He is flung on the gray ash-heap, lies in dung with his dead wives with open, bloody eyes, while those metallic feathers oxidize.
St.
Peter's sin was worse than that of Magdalen whose sin was of the flesh alone; of spirit, Peter's, falling, beneath the flares, among the "servants and officers.
" Old holy sculpture could set it all together in one small scene, past and future: Christ stands amazed, Peter, two fingers raised to surprised lips, both as if dazed.
But in between a little cock is seen carved on a dim column in the travertine, explained by gallus canit; flet Petrus underneath it, There is inescapable hope, the pivot; yes, and there Peter's tears run down our chanticleer's sides and gem his spurs.
Tear-encrusted thick as a medieval relic he waits.
Poor Peter, heart-sick, still cannot guess those cock-a-doodles yet might bless, his dreadful rooster come to mean forgiveness, a new weathervane on basilica and barn, and that outside the Lateran there would always be a bronze cock on a porphyry pillar so the people and the Pope might see that event the Prince of the Apostles long since had been forgiven, and to convince all the assembly that "Deny deny deny" is not all the roosters cry.
In the morning a low light is floating in the backyard, and gilding from underneath the broccoli, leaf by leaf; how could the night have come to grief? gilding the tiny floating swallow's belly and lines of pink cloud in the sky, the day's preamble like wandering lines in marble, The cocks are now almost inaudible.
The sun climbs in, following "to see the end," faithful as enemy, or friend.
Written by Stephen Crane | Create an image from this poem

A youth in apparel that glittered

 A youth in apparel that glittered
Went to walk in a grim forest.
There he met an assassin Attired all in garb of old days; He, scowling through the thickets, And dagger poised quivering, Rushed upon the youth.
"Sir," said this latter, "I am enchanted, believe me, To die, thus, In this medieval fashion, According to the best legends; Ah, what joy!" Then took he the wound, smiling, And died, content.
Written by Jorie Graham | Create an image from this poem

To A Friend Going Blind

 Today, because I couldn't find the shortcut through,
I had to walk this town's entire inner
perimeter to find
where the medieval walls break open
in an eighteenth century
arch.
The yellow valley flickered on and off through cracks and the gaps for guns.
Bruna is teaching me to cut a pattern.
Saturdays we buy the cloth.
She takes it in her hands like a good idea, feeling for texture, grain, the built-in limits.
It's only as an afterthought she asks and do you think it's beautiful? Her measuring tapes hang down, corn-blond and endless, from her neck.
When I look at her I think Rapunzel, how one could climb that measuring, that love.
But I was saying, I wandered all along the street that hugs the walls, a needle floating on its cloth.
Once I shut my eyes and felt my way along the stone.
Outside is the cashcrop, sunflowers, as far as one can see.
Listen, the wind rattles in them, a loose worship seeking an object, an interruption.
Sara, the walls are beautiful.
They block the view.
And it feels rich to be inside their grasp.
When Bruna finishes her dress it is the shape of what has come to rescue her.
She puts it on.


Written by Vachel Lindsay | Create an image from this poem

On the Building of Springfield

 Let not our town be large, remembering 
That little Athens was the Muses' home, 
That Oxford rules the heart of London still, 
That Florence gave the Renaissance to Rome.
Record it for the grandson of your son — A city is not builded in a day: Our little town cannot complete her soul Till countless generations pass away.
Now let each child be joined as to a church To her perpetual hopes, each man ordained: Let every street be made a reverent aisle Where Music grows and Beauty is unchained.
Let Science and Machinery and Trade Be slaves of her, and make her all in all, Building against our blatant, restless time An unseen, skilful, medieval wall.
Let every citizen be rich toward God.
Let Christ the beggar, teach divinity.
Let no man rule who holds his money dear.
Let this, our city, be our luxury.
We should build parks that students from afar Would choose to starve in, rather than go home, Fair little squares, with Phidian ornament, Food for the spirit, milk and honeycomb.
Songs shall be sung by us in that good day, Songs we have written, blood within the rhyme Beating, as when Old England still was glad, — The purple, rich Elizabethan time.
Say, is my prophecy too fair and far? I only know, unless her faith be high, The soul of this, our Nineveh, is doomed, Our little Babylon will surely die.
Some city on the breast of Illinois No wiser and no better at the start By faith shall rise redeemed, by faith shall rise Bearing the western glory in her heart.
The genius of the Maple, Elm and Oak, The secret hidden in each grain of corn, The glory that the prairie angels sing At night when sons of Life and Love are born, Born but to struggle, squalid and alone, Broken and wandering in their early years.
When will they make our dusty streets their goal, Within our attics hide their sacred tears? When will they start our vulgar blood athrill With living language, words that set us free? When will they make a path of beauty clear Between our riches and our liberty? We must have many Lincoln-hearted men.
A city is not builded in a day.
And they must do their work, and come and go While countless generations pass away.
Written by Roddy Lumsden | Create an image from this poem

Acid

 "She was right.
I had to find something new.
There was only one thing for it.
" My mother told it straight, London will finish you off, and I'd heard what Doctor Johnson said, When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, but I'd been tired of life for fourteen years; Scotland, never thoroughly enlightened, was gathering back its clutch of medieval wonts and lately there had been what my doctors called a pica (like a pregnant woman's craving to eat Twix with piccalilli or chunks of crunchy sea-coal): I'd been guzzling vinegar, tipping it on everything, falling for women who were beautifully unsuitable, and hiding up wynds off the Cowgate with a pokeful of hot chips drenched in the sacred stuff and wrapped in the latest, not last, edition of The Sunday Post where I read that in London they had found a Chardonnay with a bouquet of vine leaves and bloomed skins, a taste of grapes and no finish whatsoever, which clinched the deal.
Written by Edward Hirsch | Create an image from this poem

In Memoriam Paul Celan

 Lay these words into the dead man's grave
next to the almonds and black cherries---
tiny skulls and flowering blood-drops, eyes,
and Thou, O bitterness that pillows his head.
Lay these words on the dead man's eyelids like eyebrights, like medieval trumpet flowers that will flourish, this time, in the shade.
Let the beheaded tulips glisten with rain.
Lay these words on his drowned eyelids like coins or stars, ancillary eyes.
Canopy the swollen sky with sunspots while thunder addresses the ground.
Syllable by syllable, clawed and handled, the words have united in grief.
It is the ghostly hour of lamentation, the void's turn, mournful and absolute.
Lay these words on the dead man's lips like burning tongs, a tongue of flame.
A scouring eagle wheels and shrieks.
Let God pray to us for this man.
Written by Carl Sandburg | Create an image from this poem

Goldwing Moth

 A GOLDWING moth is between the scissors and the ink bottle on the desk.
Last night it flew hundreds of circles around a glass bulb and a flame wire.
The wings are a soft gold; it is the gold of illuminated initials in manuscripts of the medieval monks.