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Famous Roundelay Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Service, Robert William
...ide and love
Upon his perfect handiwork!

To-day has been a lyric day
I hope I shall remember long,
Of meadow dance and roundelay,
Of woodland glee, of glow and song.
Such joy I saw in maidens eyes,
In mother gaze such tender bliss . . .
How earth would rival paradise
If every day could be like this!

Why die, say I? Let us live on
In lyric world of song and shine,
With ecstasy from dawn to dawn,
Until we greet the dawn Devine.
For I believe, with star and...Read More

by Herrick, Robert
...Ah, Amarillis! farewell mirth and pipe;
Since thou art gone, no more I mean to play
To these smooth lawns, my mirthful roundelay.
Dear Amarillis! MON. Hark! SIL. Mark! MIRT. This
earth grew sweet
Where, Amarillis, thou didst set thy feet.
AMBO Poor pitied youth! MIRT. And here the breath
of kine
And sheep grew more sweet by that breath of thine.
This dock of wool, and this rich lock of hair,
This ball of cowslips, these she gave me here.
SIL.<...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...untain, vale, and flood.

Then back to camp, with trumpet's bray,
We hied in joyful haste;
And wife and child, with roundelay,
With clanging cup and waltzes gay,
Our glorious triumph graced.

And our old Count,--what now does he?
His son lies dead before him;
Within his tent all woefully
He sits alone in agony,
And drops one hot tear o'er him.

And so, with true affection warm,
The Count our lord we love;
Himself a mighty hero-swarm--
The thunders rest within his ...Read More

by Keats, John
...climates call,
And murmur about Indian streams?"--Then she,
Sitting beneath the midmost forest tree,
For pity sang this roundelay------

 "O Sorrow,
 Why dost borrow
The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips?--
 To give maiden blushes
 To the white rose bushes?
Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips?

 "O Sorrow,
 Why dost borrow
The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye?--
 To give the glow-worm light?
 Or, on a moonless night,
To tinge, on syren shores, the salt sea-spry?

...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Gareth was glad. But if their talk were foul, 
Then would he whistle rapid as any lark, 
Or carol some old roundelay, and so loud 
That first they mocked, but, after, reverenced him. 
Or Gareth telling some prodigious tale 
Of knights, who sliced a red life-bubbling way 
Through twenty folds of twisted dragon, held 
All in a gap-mouthed circle his good mates 
Lying or sitting round him, idle hands, 
Charmed; till Sir Kay, the seneschal, would come 
Blustering...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas German changed his sword to pruning-hook.

Nor far some Andalusian saraband
Would sound to many a native roundelay--
But who is he that yet a dearer land
Remembers, over hills and far away?
Green Albin! what though he no more survey
Thy ships at anchor on the quiet shore,
Thy pelloch's rolling from the mountain bay,
Thy lone sepulchral cairn upon the moor,
And distant isles that hear the loud Corbrechtan roar!

Alas! poor Caledonia's mountaineer,
That wants ste...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...k in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;
Where arches green the livelong day
Echo the blackbird's roundelay,
And vulgar feet have never trod
A spot that is sacred to thought and God.

Oh, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools, and the learned clan;
For what are they all ...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...know myself the wisest knight of all."
"Ay, fool," said Tristram, "but 'tis eating dry
To dance without a catch, a roundelay
To dance to." Then he twangled on his harp,
And while he twangled little Dagonet stood
Quiet as any water-sodden log
Stay'd in the wandering warble of a brook;
But when the twangling ended, skipt again;
And being ask'd, "Why skipt ye not, Sir Fool?"
Made answer, "I had liefer twenty years
Skip to the broken music of my brains
Than any broken mu...Read More

by Keats, John
...r eves
The breath of Winter comes from far away,
And the sick west continually bereaves
Of some gold tinge, and plays a roundelay
Of death among the bushes and the leaves,
To make all bare before he dares to stray
From his north cavern. So sweet Isabel
By gradual decay from beauty fell,

Because Lorenzo came not. Oftentimes
She ask'd her brothers, with an eye all pale,
Striving to be itself, what dungeon climes
Could keep him off so long? They spake a tale...Read More

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...FLOW soft RIVER, gently stray, 
Still a silent waving tide 
O'er thy glitt'ring carpet glide, 
While I chaunt my ROUNDELAY, 
As I gather from thy bank, 
Shelter'd by the poplar dank, 
King-cups, deck'd in golden pride, 
Harebells sweet, and daisies pied; 
While beneath the evening sky, 
Soft the western breezes fly. 
Gentle RIVER, should'st thou be 
Touch'd with mournful sympathy, 
When reflection tells my soul, 
Winter's icy breath shall quell
Thy sweet bosom's gr...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
...all that makes the heart grow gray,
Is out of sight and far away,
Dear Music, while I hear thee play
That olden, golden roundelay,
"Remember and forget!"



Forget, forget!
The tide of life is turning;
The waves of light ebb slowly down the west:
Along the edge of dark some stars are burning
To guide thy spirit safely to an isle of rest.
A little rocking on the tranquil deep
Of song, to soothe thy yearning,
A little slumber and a little sleep,
And so, forget...Read More

by Chatterton, Thomas
...O SING unto my roundelay, 
O drop the briny tear with me; 
Dance no more at holyday, 
Like a running river be: 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree. 

Black his cryne as the winter night, 
White his rode as the summer snow, 
Red his face as the morning light, 
Cold he lies in the grave below: 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
...of moonlight's smile,
Once paused I, listening for a while,
And heard the lay, unknown by day,—
The fairies' dancing roundelay.
Queen Mab was there, her shimmering hair
Each fairy prince's heart's despair.
She smiled to see their sparkling glee,
And once I ween, she smiled at me.
Since when, you may by night or day,
Dispute the sway of elf-folk gay;
But, hear me, stay![Pg 252]
I've learned the way to find Queen
M...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...e sitteth now full still.
When that Arcite had roamed all his fill,
And *sungen all the roundel* lustily, *sang the roundelay*
Into a study he fell suddenly,
As do those lovers in their *quainte gears*, *odd fashions*
Now in the crop*, and now down in the breres**,  *tree-top
Now up, now down, as bucket in a well. **briars
Right as the Friday, soothly for to tell,
Now shineth it, and now it raineth fast,
Right so can geary* Venus overcast *changeful
The hearte...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord myself the wisest knight of all.' 
`Ay, fool,' said Tristram, `but 'tis eating dry 
To dance without a catch, a roundelay 
To dance to.' Then he twangled on his harp, 
And while he twangled little Dagonet stood 
Quiet as any water-sodden log 
Stayed in the wandering warble of a brook; 
But when the twangling ended, skipt again; 
And being asked, `Why skipt ye not, Sir Fool?' 
Made answer, `I had liefer twenty years 
Skip to the broken music of my brains 
Than any ...Read More

by Riley, James Whitcomb
...heart's regrets!--

Alas for the loosened strings to-day,
And the wounds of rift and scar
On a worn old heart, with its roundelay
Enthralled with a stronger bar
That Fate weaves on, through a dull decay
Like that of the old guitar!...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...s click the latch,
And rarely smells the new-mown hay,
And the cock hath sung beneath the thatch
Twice or thrice his roundelay,
Twice or thrice his roundelay;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits....Read More

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...e fav'rites of Fortune molest;
He sent his bold yeomen with threats to prevent her,
And still would she carol her sweet roundelay;
At last, an old Steward, relentless he sent her--
Who bore her, all trembling, to Prison away!

Three weeks did she languish, then died, broken-hearted,
Poor Dame! how the death-bell did mournfully sound!
And along the green path six young Bachelors bore her,
And laid her, for ever, beneath the cold ground!
And the primroses pale, 'mid the long gr...Read More

by Hugo, Victor; 
 And on the snow-white minaret, 
 The stork with snowier wing. 
 I love on mossy couch to sing 
 A Spanish roundelay, 
 And see my sweet companions 
 Around commingling gay,— 
 A roving band, light-hearted, 
 In frolicsome array,— 
 Who 'neath the screening parasols 
 Dance down the merry day. 
 But more than all enchanting 
 At night, it is to me, 
 To sit, where winds are sighing, 
 Lone, musing by the sea; 
 And, on its surface gazing, 
 To mark th...Read More

by Riley, James Whitcomb
...Who bides his time, and day by day 
Faces defeat full patiently, 
And lifts a mirthful roundelay, 
However poor his fortunes be,-- 
He will not fail in any qualm 
Of poverty -- the paltry dime 
It will grow golden in his palm, 
Who bides his time.

Who bides his time -- he tastes the sweet 
Of honey in the saltest tear; 
And though he fares with slowest feet, 
Joy runs to meet him, drawing near; 
The birds are hearalds of his cause; 
And, ...Read More

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