Get Your Premium Membership

James Joyce Short Poems

Famous Short James Joyce Poems. Short poetry by famous poet James Joyce. A collection of the all-time best James Joyce short poems


by James Joyce
 Be not sad because all men 
Prefer a lying clamour before you: 
Sweetheart, be at peace again -- - 
Can they dishonour you? 

They are sadder than all tears; 
Their lives ascend as a continual sigh.
Proudly answer to their tears: As they deny, deny.



by James Joyce
 Frail the white rose and frail are
Her hands that gave
Whose soul is sere and paler
Than time's wan wave.
Rosefrail and fair -- yet frailest A wonder wild In gentle eyes thou veilest, My blueveined child.

by James Joyce
 They mouth love's language.
Gnash The thirteen teeth Your lean jaws grin with.
Lash Your itch and quailing, nude greed of the flesh.
Love's breath in you is stale, worded or sung, As sour as cat's breath, Harsh of tongue.
This grey that stares Lies not, stark skin and bone.
Leave greasy lips their kissing.
None Will choose her what you see to mouth upon.
Dire hunger holds his hour.
Pluck forth your heart, saltblood, a fruit of tears.
Pluck and devour!

by James Joyce
 In the dark pine-wood 
I would we lay, 
In deep cool shadow 
At noon of day.
How sweet to lie there, Sweet to kiss, Where the great pine-forest Enaisled is! Thy kiss descending Sweeter were With a soft tumult Of thy hair.
O unto the pine-wood At noon of day Come with me now, Sweet love, away.

by James Joyce
 Go seek her out all courteously, 
And say I come, 
Wind of spices whose song is ever 
Epithalamium.
O, hurry over the dark lands And run upon the sea For seas and lands shall not divide us My love and me.
Now, wind, of your good courtesy I pray you go, And come into her little garden And sing at her window; Singing: The bridal wind is blowing For Love is at his noon; And soon will your true love be with you, Soon, O soon.

by James Joyce
 This heart that flutters near my heart 
My hope and all my riches is, 
Unhappy when we draw apart 
And happy between kiss and kiss: 
My hope and all my riches -- - yes! -- - 
And all my happiness.
For there, as in some mossy nest The wrens will divers treasures keep, I laid those treasures I possessed Ere that mine eyes had learned to weep.
Shall we not be as wise as they Though love live but a day?

by James Joyce
 Lean out of the window, 
Goldenhair, 
I hear you singing 
A merry air.
My book was closed, I read no more, Watching the fire dance On the floor.
I have left my book, I have left my room, For I heard you singing Through the gloom.
Singing and singing A merry air, Lean out of the window, Goldenhair.

Alone  Create an image from this poem
by James Joyce
 The noon's greygolden meshes make
All night a veil,
The shorelamps in the sleeping lake
Laburnum tendrils trail.
The sly reeds whisper to the night A name-- her name- And all my soul is a delight, A swoon of shame.

by James Joyce
 All day I hear the noise of waters 
Making moan, 
Sad as the sea-bird is when, going 
Forth alone, 
He hears the winds cry to the water's 
Monotone.
The grey winds, the cold winds are blowing Where I go.
I hear the noise of many waters Far below.
All day, all night, I hear them flowing To and fro.

by James Joyce
 The twilight turns from amethyst 
To deep and deeper blue, 
The lamp fills with a pale green glow 
The trees of the avenue.
The old piano plays an air, Sedate and slow and gay; She bends upon the yellow keys, Her head inclines this way.
Shy thought and grave wide eyes and hands That wander as they list -- - The twilight turns to darker blue With lights of amethyst.

Tilly  Create an image from this poem
by James Joyce
 He travels after a winter sun,
Urging the cattle along a cold red road,
Calling to them, a voice they know,
He drives his beasts above Cabra.
The voice tells them home is warm.
They moo and make brute music with their hoofs.
He drives them with a flowering branch before him, Smoke pluming their foreheads.
Boor, bond of the herd, Tonight stretch full by the fire! I bleed by the black stream For my torn bough!

by James Joyce
 My dove, my beautiful one, 
Arise, arise! 
The night-dew lies 
Upon my lips and eyes.
The odorous winds are weaving A music of sighs: Arise, arise, My dove, my beautiful one! I wait by the cedar tree, My sister, my love, White breast of the dove, My breast shall be your bed.
The pale dew lies Like a veil on my head.
My fair one, my fair dove, Arise, arise!

by James Joyce
 Wind whines and whines the shingle,
The crazy pierstakes groan;
A senile sea numbers each single
Slimesilvered stone.
From whining wind and colder Grey sea I wrap him warm And touch his trembling fineboned shoulder And boyish arm.
Around us fear, descending Darkness of fear above And in my heart how deep unending Ache of love!

by James Joyce
 Because your voice was at my side 
I gave him pain, 
Because within my hand I held 
Your hand again.
There is no word nor any sign Can make amend -- - He is a stranger to me now Who was my friend.

by James Joyce
 Of the dark past
A child is born;
With joy and grief
My heart is torn.
Calm in his cradle The living lies.
May love and mercy Unclose his eyes! Young life is breathed On the glass; The world that was not Comes to pass.
A child is sleeping: An old man gone.
O, father forsaken, Forgive your son!

by James Joyce
 Lightly come or lightly go: 
Though thy heart presage thee woe, 
Vales and many a wasted sun, 
Oread let thy laughter run, 
Till the irreverent mountain air 
Ripple all thy flying hair.
Lightly, lightly -- - ever so: Clouds that wrap the vales below At the hour of evenstar Lowliest attendants are; Love and laughter song-confessed When the heart is heaviest.

by James Joyce
 Winds of May, that dance on the sea, 
Dancing a ring-around in glee 
From furrow to furrow, while overhead 
The foam flies up to be garlanded, 
In silvery arches spanning the air, 
Saw you my true love anywhere? 
Welladay! Welladay! 
For the winds of May! 
Love is unhappy when love is away!

by James Joyce
 The eyes that mock me sign the way
Whereto I pass at eve of day.
Grey way whose violet signals are The trysting and the twining star.
Ah star of evil! star of pain! Highhearted youth comes not again Nor old heart's wisdom yet to know The signs that mock me as I go.

Flood  Create an image from this poem
by James Joyce
 Goldbrown upon the sated flood
The rockvine clusters lift and sway;
Vast wings above the lambent waters brood
Of sullen day.
A waste of waters ruthlessly Sways and uplifts its weedy mane Where brooding day stares down upon the sea In dull disdain.
Uplift and sway, O golden vine, Your clustered fruits to love's full flood, Lambent and vast and ruthless as is thine Incertitude!

by James Joyce
  Love Came to Us


 Love came to us in time gone by 
When one at twilight shyly played 
And one in fear was standing nigh -- - 
For Love at first is all afraid.
We were grave lovers.
Love is past That had his sweet hours many a one; Welcome to us now at the last The ways that we shall go upon.

by James Joyce
 Gentle lady, do not sing 
Sad songs about the end of love; 
Lay aside sadness and sing 
How love that passes is enough.
Sing about the long deep sleep Of lovers that are dead, and how In the grave all love shall sleep: Love is aweary now.

by James Joyce
 Sleep now, O sleep now, 
O you unquiet heart! 
A voice crying "Sleep now" 
Is heard in my heart.
The voice of the winter Is heard at the door.
O sleep, for the winter Is crying "Sleep no more.
" My kiss will give peace now And quiet to your heart -- - Sleep on in peace now, O you unquiet heart!

by James Joyce
 Bid adieu, adieu, adieu,
Bid adieu to girlish days,
Happy Love is come to woo
Thee and woo thy girlish ways—
The zone that doth become thee fair,
The snood upon thy yellow hair,

When thou hast heard his name upon
The bugles of the cherubim
Begin thou softly to unzone
Thy girlish bosom unto him
And softly to undo the snood
That is the sign of maidenhood.

by James Joyce
 A birdless heaven, seadusk, one lone star
Piercing the west,
As thou, fond heart, love's time, so faint, so far,
Rememberest.
The clear young eyes' soft look, the candid brow, The fragrant hair, Falling as through the silence falleth now Dusk of the air.
Why then, remembering those shy Sweet lures, repine When the dear love she yielded with a sigh Was all but thine?

by James Joyce
 Silently she's combing, 
Combing her long hair 
Silently and graciously, 
With many a pretty air.
The sun is in the willow leaves And on the dappled grass, And still she's combing her long hair Before the looking-glass.
I pray you, cease to comb out, Comb out your long hair, For I have heard of witchery Under a pretty air, That makes as one thing to the lover Staying and going hence, All fair, with many a pretty air And many a negligence.