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Famous Lyric Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Browning, Robert
...from the weather!
He, whom we convoy to his grave aloft,
Singing together,
He was a man born with thy face and throat,
Lyric Apollo!
Long he lived nameless: how should spring take note
Winter would follow?
Till lo, the little touch, and youth was gone!
Cramped and diminished,
Moaned he, ``New measures, other feet anon!
``My dance is finished?''
No, that's the world's way: (keep the mountain-side,
Make for the city!)
He knew the signal, and stepped on with pride
Over men's pi...Read More

by Moody, William Vaughn
...r now 
My country's goodliness, make sweet her name. 
Alas! what shade art thou 
Of sorrow or of blame 
Liftest the lyric leafage from her brow, 
And pointest a slow finger at her shame? 


Lies! lies! It cannot be! The wars we wage 
Are noble, and our battles still are won 
By justice for us, ere we lift the gage. 
We have not sold our loftiest heritage. 
The proud republic hath not stooped to cheat 
And scramble in the market-place of war; 
Her forehead wear...Read More

by Kilmer, Joyce
They know that on flinty sorrow
And failure and desire
The steel of their souls was hammered
To bring forth the lyric fire.
Lord Byron and Shelley and Plunkett,
McDonough and Hunt and Pearse
See now why their hatred of tyrants
Was so insistently fierce.
Is Freedom only a Will-o'-the-wisp
To cheat a poet's eye?
Be it phantom or fact, it's a noble cause
In which to sing and to die!
So not for the Rainbow taken
And the magical White Bird snared
The poets sing gra...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...(like the chequer-work 
Pavement, at once my nation's work and gift, 
Now covered with this settle-down of doves), 
One lyric woman, in her crocus vest 
Woven of sea-wools, with her two white hands 
Commends to me the strainer and the cup 
Thy lip hath bettered ere it blesses mine. 

Well-counselled, king, in thy munificence! 
For so shall men remark, in such an act 
Of love for him whose song gives life its joy,-- 
Thy recognition of the use of life; 
Nor call thy spirit...Read More

by Kilmer, Joyce
...y cried. "Our music is of little worth,
But thrill our blood with thy creative mirth
Thou god of song, thou lord of lyric might!"
O singing pilgrim! who could love and follow
Your lover Christ, through even love's despair,
You knew within the cypress-darkened hollow
The feet that on the mountain are so fair.
For it was Christ that was your own Apollo,
And thorns were in the laurel on your hair....Read More

by Service, Robert William
...y sick, they say,
And plagued by woe and pain.
But look! How looms my garden gay,
With blooms in golden reign!
With lyric music in the air,
Of joy fulfilled in song,
I can't believe that anywhere
 Is hate and harm and wrong.

A paradise my garden is,
And there my day is spent;
A steep myself in sunny bliss,
Incredibly content.
Feeling that I am truly part
Of peace so rapt and still,
There's not a care within my heart . . .
 How can the world be ill?

A...Read More

by Service, Robert William
 Too humble is my lot
Yet how I'm glad to give the grist
 My singing mill has brought.
For I have had such lyric days,
 So rich, so full, so sweet,
That I with gratitude and praise
 Would make my life complete.

I'VE MADE MY WILL: now near the end,
 At peace with all mankind,
To children lame I would be friend,
 And brother to the blind . . .
And if there be a God, I pray
 He bless my last bequest,
And in His love and pity say:
 "Good servant,--re...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney

We tread an eerie road across the moor
Where shadows weave upon their ghostly looms,
And winds sing an old lyric that might lure
Sad queens from ancient tombs.

I am a sister to the loveliness
Of cool far hill and long-remembered shore,
Finding in it a sweet forgetfulness
Of all that hurt before.

The world of day, its bitterness and cark,
No longer have the power to make me weep;
I welcome this communion of the dark
As toilers welcome sleep....Read More

by Lewis, C S
The ripe peach from the southern wall still hot 
Full-bellied tankards foamy-topped, the delicate 
Half-lyric lamb, a new loaf's billowy curves, 
Nor porridge, nor the tingling taste of oranges.
—An angel has no nerves.

Far richer they! I know the senses' witchery 
Guards us like air, from heavens too big to see; 
Imminent death to man that barb'd sublimity 
And dazzling edge of beauty unsheathed would be. 
Yet here, within this tiny, charmed inte...Read More

by Milton, John
...cret power
Of harmony, in tones and numbers hit
By voice or hand, and various-measured verse,
AEolian charms and Dorian lyric odes,
And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,
Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer called,
Whose poem Phoebus challenged for his own. 
Thence what the lofty grave Tragedians taught
In chorus or iambic, teachers best
Of moral prudence, with delight received
In brief sententious precepts, while they treat
Of fate, and chance, and change in human li...Read More

by Drinkwater, John
...hen they pluck
Lilacs for love. And though I come to grieve
Long at a frosty tomb, there still shall be
My happy lyric in the lilac tree.
IX 	When they make silly question of my love,
And speak to me of danger and disdain,
And look by fond old argument to move
My wisdom to docility again;
When to my prouder heart they set the pride
Of custom and the gossip of the street,
And show me figures of myself beside
A self diminished at their judgment seat;
Then do...Read More

by Oguibe, Olu

Your footfall soft as felt, you 
Stepped into the light and 
Asked the poet for a song. 
I shall sing you a lyric of pain. 

The blue moon peers through the foliage 
Of your eyelashes. The minstrel hawks 
His tears through the streets of night. 

A household god is asking for water; 
An old god is pleading at your door. 
There's a white rose on your breast. 
It is the fortune of poets; 

I shall sing you a song. 
Untie the fresh...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)

Our life is twofold; Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off waking toils,
They do ...Read More

by Service, Robert William
Full of the faith that Life is good, that the earth is a dream divinely fair,
Lauding his gem of womanhood in many a lyric rich and rare;
Took it to Jones, who shook his head: "I will consider it," he said.

While he considered, Brown's wife lay clutched in the tentacles of pain;
Then came the doctor, grave and grey; spoke of decline, of nervous strain;
Hinted Egypt, the South of France -- Brown with terror was tiger-gripped.
Where was the money? What the chance? P...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...brief best-sellerdom elected;
And then, "thumbs down," we slink away
And die forgotten and neglected.

Ah well, my lyric fling I've had;
A thousand bits of verse I've minted;
And some, alas! were very bad,
And some, alack! were best unprinted.
But if I've made my muse a bawd
(Since I am earthy as a ditch is),
I'll answer humbly to my God:
Most men at times have toyed with bitches.

Yes, I have played with Lady Rhyme,
And had a long and lovely innings;
And when th...Read More

by Shakur, Tupac
...The power of a gun can kill
and the power of fire can burn
the power of wind can chill
and the power of a mind can learn
the power of anger can rage
inside until it tears u apart
but the power of a smile
especially yours can heal a frozen heart ...Read More

by Montgomery, Lucy Maud
...r wrapped in my beard of snow,
With the wildest of billows for chords I shall harp thee a song for thy bridal,
A mighty lyric of love that feared not nor would forego! 

With a red-gold wedding ring, mined from the caves of sunset,
Fast shall I bind thy faith to my faith evermore,
And the stars will wait on our pleasure, the great north wind will trumpet
A thunderous marriage march for the nuptials of sea and shore....Read More

by Montgomery, Lucy Maud
...Let those who will of friendship sing,
And to its guerdon grateful be,
But I a lyric garland bring
To crown thee, O, mine enemy! 

Thanks, endless thanks, to thee I owe
For that my lifelong journey through
Thine honest hate has done for me
What love perchance had failed to do. 

I had not scaled such weary heights
But that I held thy scorn in fear,
And never keenest lure might match
The subtle goading of thy sneer. 

Thine ange...Read More

by Kilmer, Joyce
...that slight hand
Could Raphael or Leonardo trace.
Nor could the poets know in Fairyland
The changing wonder of your lyric face.
I would possess a host of lovely things,
But I am poor and such joys may not be.
So God who lifts the poor and humbles kings
Sent loveliness itself to dwell with me....Read More

by Service, Robert William
...Let poets piece prismatic words,
Give me the jewelled joy of birds!

What ecstasy moves them to sing?
Is it the lyric glee of Spring,
The dewy rapture of the rose?
Is it the worship born in those
Who are of Nature's self a part,
The adoration of the heart?

Is it the mating mood in them
That makes each crystal note a gem?
Oh mocking bird and nightingale,
Oh mavis, lark and robin - hail!
Tell me what perfect passion glows
In your inspired arpeggios?

A thrush is thrill...Read More

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