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Famous Softening Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Morris, William
...gether in some place 
Where not a voice can break our heaven of bliss, 
Where nought but rocks and I can see her face, 
Softening beneath the marvel of thy grace, 
Where not a foot our vanished steps can track-- 
The golden age, the golden age come back!

"O fairest, hear me now who do thy will, 
Plead for thy rebel that she be not slain, 
But live and love and be thy servant still; 
Ah, give her joy and take away my pain, 
And thus two long-enduring servants gain. 
An ea...Read more of this...

by Brontë, Emily
The buds hid like a sapphire gem
In sheaths of emerald hue. 

'Tis these that breathe upon my heart
A calm and softening spell
That if it makes the tear-drop start
Has power to soothe as well. 

For these I weep, so long divided
Through winter's dreary day,
In longing weep--but most when guided
On withered banks to stray. 

If chilly then the light should fall
Adown the dreary sky
And gild the dank and darkened wall
With transient brilliancy, 

How do I yearn...Read more of this...

by Frost, Robert
...down on the north.
He said, “A thousand.”

“A thousand Christmas trees!—at what apiece?”

He felt some need of softening that to me:
“A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars.”

Then I was certain I had never meant
To let him have them. Never show surprise!
But thirty dollars seemed so small beside
The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents
(For that was all they figured out apiece),
Three cents so small beside the dollar friends
I should be writi...Read more of this...

by Gibran, Kahlil

Some of you say, "It is the north wind who has woven the clothes to wear." 

But shame was his loom, and the softening of the sinews was his thread. 

And when his work was done he laughed in the forest. 

Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean. 

And when the unclean shall be no more, what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling of the mind? 

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds lo...Read more of this...

by McKay, Claude
...about me kindly deep, 
My strength ooze gently from my hollow bones, 
My worried brain drift aimlessly to sleep, 
Like softening to a song of tuneful tones....Read more of this...

by Campbell, Thomas
...heard, in bed of wrath,
(A precipice of foam from mountains brown,)
Like tumults heard from some far distant town;
But softening in approach he left his gloom,
And murmur'd pleasantly, and laid him down
To kiss those easy curving banks of bloom,
That lent the windward air an exquisite perfume.

It seem'd as if those scenes sweet influence had
On Gertrude's soul, and kindness like their own
Inspired those eyes affectionate and glad,
That seem'd to love whate'er they look'...Read more of this...

by Austen, Jane
Pays to the place the reverence he owes,
Likes best the prayers whose meaning least he knows,
Lists to the sermon in a softening doze,
And rouses joyous at the welcome close....Read more of this...

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...s much concerned
As love in her bold enterprise.

But if her mother can succeed
In gaining for her maxims heed,
And softening the girl's heart too,
So that she coyly shuns our view,--
The heart of youth she knows but ill;

For when a maiden is thus stern,

Virtue in truth has less concern
In this, than an inconstant will.

1767-9....Read more of this...

by Smith, Stevie
...My heart was full of softening showers,
I used to swing like this for hours,
I did not care for war or death,
I was glad to draw my breath....Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...ture involved, 
Appeared not: over all the face of Earth 
Main ocean flowed, not idle; but, with warm 
Prolifick humour softening all her globe, 
Fermented the great mother to conceive, 
Satiate with genial moisture; when God said, 
Be gathered now ye waters under Heaven 
Into one place, and let dry land appear. 
Immediately the mountains huge appear 
Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave 
Into the clouds; their tops ascend the sky: 
So high as heaved the tumid hil...Read more of this...

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...y life.

Into the goblet
The lemon's juice pour;
Acid is ever
Life's innermost core.

Now, with the sugar's
All-softening juice,
The strength of the acid
So burning reduce.

The bright sparkling water
Now pour in the bowl;
Water all-gently
Encircles the whole.

Let drops of the spirit
To join them now flow;
Life to the living
Naught else can bestow.

Drain it off quickly
Before it exhales;
Save when 'tis glowing,
The draught naught avails....Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...or poet's art,That oft to it will doting memory stray.A gentle pity softening her bright mien,Her sorrow there so sweet and sad was heard,Doubt in the gazer's bosom almost stirr'dGoddess or mortal, which made heaven serene.[Pg 152]Fine gold her hair, her face as s...Read more of this...

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...ery feature speaking
In such dear calm and beauty to my sadness,
And cradled still the mother's heart, in breaking,
The softening love and the despairing madness.

"Woman, where is my father?" freezing through me,
Lisped the mute innocence with thunder-sound;
"Woman, where is thy husband?"--called unto me,
In every look, word, whisper, busying round!
Alas, for thee, there is no father's kiss;--
He fondleth other children on his knee.
How thou wilt curse our momentary ...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...e with me.


My mistress bent that brow of hers;
Those deep dark eyes where pride demurs
When pity would be softening through,
Fixed me, a breathing-while or two,
With life or death in the balance: right!
The blood replenished me again;
My last thought was at least not vain:
I and my mistress, side by side
Shall be together, breathe and ride,
So, one day more am I deified.
Who knows but the world may end tonight?


Hush! if you saw some western cloud
...Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
...ave discovered in the grave,
For it is certain that you have
Reckoned up every unforeknown, unseeing
plunge, lured by a softening eye,
Or by a touch or a sigh,
Into the labyrinth of another's being;

Does the imagination dwell the most
Upon a woman won or woman lost?
If on the lost, admit you turned aside
From a great labyrinth out of pride,
Cowardice, some silly over-subtle thought
Or anything called conscience once;
And that if memory recur, the sun's
Under eclipse and the ...Read more of this...

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