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Famous Shy Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wilde, Oscar
...from some dark retreat
Watched the young swains his frolic playmates bring
The firstling of their little flock, and the shy shepherd fling

The crackling salt upon the flame, or hang
His studded crook against the temple wall
To Her who keeps away the ravenous fang
Of the base wolf from homestead and from stall;
And then the clear-voiced maidens 'gan to sing,
And to the altar each man brought some goodly offering,

A beechen cup brimming with milky foam,
A fair cloth wrought w...Read More

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...on her breast,
And looked askance at Christabel-
Jesu, Maria, shield her well!

A snake's small eye blinks dull and shy,
And the lady's eyes they shrunk in her head,
Each shrunk up to a serpent's eye,
And with somewhat of malice, and more of dread,
At Christabel she looked askance!-
One moment- and the sight was fled!
But Christabel in dizzy trance
Stumbling on the unsteady ground
Shuddered aloud, with a hissing sound;
And Geraldine again turned round,
And like ...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...ous foreheads of great pines,
And breathe ambrosial passion from their vines.
I pray with mosses, ferns and flowers shy
That hide like gentle nuns from human eye
To lift adoring perfumes to the sky.
I hear faint bridal-sighs of brown and green
Dying to silent hints of kisses keen
As far lights fringe into a pleasant sheen.
I start at fragmentary whispers, blown
From undertalks of leafy souls unknown,
Vague purports sweet, of inarticulate tone.
Dreaming of gods...Read More

by Keats, John
...s within that bower.
And I was free of haunts umbrageous;
Could wander in the mazy forest-house
Of squirrels, foxes shy, and antler'd deer,
And birds from coverts innermost and drear
Warbling for very joy mellifluous sorrow--
To me new born delights!

 "Now let me borrow,
For moments few, a temperament as stern
As Pluto's sceptre, that my words not burn
These uttering lips, while I in calm speech tell
How specious heaven was changed to real hell.

 "One morn she left ...Read More

by Cullen, Countee
...'s anything?The tree
Budding yearly must forget
How its past arose or set­­
Bough and blossom, flower, fruit,
Even what shy bird with mute
Wonder at her travail there,
Meekly labored in its hair.
One three centuries removed
From the scenes his fathers loved,
Spicy grove, cinnamon tree,
What is Africa to me?

So I lie, who find no peace
Night or day, no slight release
From the unremittent beat
Made by cruel padded feet
Walking through my body's street.
Up and down they...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...anthemums from gilded argosy
Unload their gaudy scentless merchandise,
And violets getting overbold withdraw
From their shy nooks, and scarlet berries dot the leafless haw.

O happy field! and O thrice happy tree!
Soon will your queen in daisy-flowered smock
And crown of flower-de-luce trip down the lea,
Soon will the lazy shepherds drive their flock
Back to the pasture by the pool, and soon
Through the green leaves will float the hum of murmuring bees at

Soon ...Read More

by Homer,
...with speed to the hidden places of the earth. And he found the lord Hades in his house seated upon a couch, and his shy mate with him, much reluctant, because she yearned for her mother. But she was afar off, brooding on her fell design because of the deeds of the blessed gods. And the strong Slayer of Argus drew near and said:

"Dark-haired Hades, ruler over the departed, father Zeus bids me bring noble Persephone forth from Erebus unto the gods, that her mothe...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...ward-born thoughts be clear, 
 And all thy once intent, infirmed of fear, 
 Broken, then art thou as scared beasts that shy 
 From shadows, surely that they know not why 
 Nor wherefore. . . Hearken, to confound thy fear, 
 The things which first I heard, and brought me here. 
 One came where, in the Outer Place, I dwell, 
 Suspense from hope of Heaven or fear of Hell, 
 Radiant in light that native round her clung, 
 And cast her eyes our hopeless Shades amon...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
The chamber opened like an eye,
As a half-melted cloud in a Summer sky
The soul of the house stood guessed, and shy
It peered at the stranger warily.
A little shop with its various ware
Spread on shelves with nicest care.
Pitchers, and jars, and jugs, and pots,
Pipkins, and mugs, and many lots
Of lacquered canisters, black and gold,
Like those in which Chinese tea is sold.
Chests, and puncheons, kegs, and flasks,
Goblets, chalices, firkins, and casks.
...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...tive mice crept in and out;
And a wood-dove swung on my highest twig,
And a chipmunk chattered: 'So big! So big!'
And a shy fawn nibbled a tender shoot,
And a rabbit nibbled under my root...
Oh, I was happy in rain and shine
As I thought of the destiny that was mine!
Then a man with an axe came cruising by
And I knew that my fate was to fall and die.

"With a hundred others he packed me tight,
And we drove to a magic city of light,
To an avenue lined with Chri...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace helped him round his rude aesthetic out. 
268 He savored rankness like a sensualist. 
269 He marked the marshy ground around the dock, 
270 The crawling railroad spur, the rotten fence, 
271 Curriculum for the marvellous sophomore. 
272 It purified. It made him see how much 
273 Of what he saw he never saw at all. 
274 He gripped more closely the essential prose 
275 As being, in a world so falsified, 
276 The one integrity for him, the one 
2...Read More

by Gibran, Kahlil
...d the living water itself thirsty; 

And it drinks me while I drink it. 

Some of you have deemed me proud and over-shy to receive gifts. 

To proud indeed am I to receive wages, but not gifts. 

And though I have eaten berries among the hill when you would have had me sit at your board, 

And slept in the portico of the temple where you would gladly have sheltered me, 

Yet was it not your loving mindfulness of my days and my nights that made food sweet to my mou...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
Of those sweet tremulous days of rain and sun,
When April laughed between her tears to see
The early primrose with shy footsteps run
From the gnarled oak-tree roots till all the wold,
Spite of its brown and trampled leaves, grew bright with shimmering

Nay, pluck it too, it is not half so sweet
As thou thyself, my soul's idolatry!
And when thou art a-wearied at thy feet
Shall oxlips weave their brightest tapestry,
For thee the woodbine shall forget its pride
An...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...that sorrowful day,
 Whenever the Butcher was by,
The Beaver kept looking the opposite way,
 And appeared unaccountably shy.


Fit the Second.


The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies--
 Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
 The moment one looked in his face!

He had bought a large map representing the sea,
 Without the least vestige of land:...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...e be shared
     Among the soldiers of the guard.
     The rest with thanks their guerdon took,
     But Brent, with shy and awkward look,
     On the reluctant maiden's hold
     Forced bluntly back the proffered gold:—
     'Forgive a haughty English heart,
     And O, forget its ruder part!

     The vacant purse shall be my share,
     Which in my barrel-cap I'll bear,
     Perchance, in jeopardy of war,
     Where gayer crests may keep afar.'
     With thank...Read More

by Belloc, Hilaire

By refusing to eat:

Depression is silent,

I hear my heart beat.
Where can I go,

Or should I stay:

Shy to choose,

In bed I lay.
Time will pass,

And the dark sets in;

Laying there wishing,

I could still touch your skin.
Lying there hurting,

I wish I could die;

Missing you so much,

Again I start to cry.

Sometimes I wonder,

If you even know;

The way that I need you,

Would you still go.
I can’t sleep now,...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...that now 
Leapt from the dewy shoulders of the Earth, 
And hit the Northern hills. Here Cyril met us. 
A little shy at first, but by and by 
We twain, with mutual pardon asked and given 
For stroke and song, resoldered peace, whereon 
Followed his tale. Amazed he fled away 
Through the dark land, and later in the night 
Had come on Psyche weeping: 'then we fell 
Into your father's hand, and there she lies, 
But will not speak, or stir.' 
He showed a tent 
A st...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ess'd himself to Satan: 'Why — 
My good old friend, for such I deem you, though 
Our different parties make us fight so shy, 
I ne'er mistake you for a personal foe; 
Our difference is political, and I 
Trust that, whatever may occur below, 
You know my great respect for you; and this 
Makes me regret whate'er you do amiss — 


'Why, my dear Lucifer, would you abuse 
My call for witnesses? I did not mean 
That you should half of earth and hell produce; 
'Tis even super...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
...terner strife- 
Another pattern of English life.

I went up the stairs between them all,
Strange and frightened and shy and small,
And as I entered the ballroom door,
Saw something I had never seen before
Except in portraits— a stout old guest
With a broad blue ribbon across his breast—
That blue as deep as the southern sea,
Bluer than skies can ever be—
The Countess of Salisbury—Edward the Third—
No damn merit— the Duke— I heard
My own voice saying; 'Upon my word,
The ga...Read More

by Padel, Ruth
...e there ways of dreaming I don't know?
Too bad. My soul has made its home
In you. I'm here and bare before you: shy,
In tears. But if I didn't heft my whole self up and hold it there - 
A crack-free mirror - loving you, or if I couldn't share
It, set it out in words, I'd die.
"I'll wait to hear from you. I must. Please let me hope.
Give me one look, from eyes I hardly dare
To look back at. Or scupper my dream 
By scolding me. I've given y...Read More

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