Favorite Poems

Sonnets From The Portuguese

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of every day's

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints-I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!-and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

She Walks In Beauty

by George Gordon, Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more,one ray the less,
had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o'er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek and o'er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet so eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

She Dwelt Among Untrodden Ways

by William Wordsworth

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye.
-Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

from Olney Hymns

by William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain:
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

A Thing of Beauty from Endymion

by John Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing,
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.

Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with sprinkling of fair-musk rose blooms:
And such too are the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us until they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast,
They always must be with us, or we die.

On Hearing A Symphony of Beethoven

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sweet sounds, oh, beautiful music, do not cease!
Reject me not into the world again.
With you alone is excellance and peace.
Mankind made plausible, his purpose plain.
Enchanted in your air benign and shrewd,
With limbs a-sprawl and empty faces pale,
The spiteful and the stingy and the rude,
Sleep like the scullions in the fairy tale.
This moment is the best the world can give:
The tranquil blossam on the tortured stem.
Reject me not, sweet sounds! oh let me live,
Till doom espy my towers and scatter them,
A city spell-bound under the aging sun.
Music my rampart, and my only one.

from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

by Edward Fitzgerald

Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a lttle way
To flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing.

A book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Some for the Glories of this World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and--sans End!

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

from To A Skylark

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Hail to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher,
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The deep blue thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightening
Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are bright'ning,
Thou dost float and run;Like an unbodied joy whose race has just begun.

The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven
In the broad daylight
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,As, when night is bare,
From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.

What thou art we know not?
What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden
Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:


by Edgar Allan Poe

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old---
This knight so bold---
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And as his strength
Failed him at length
He met a pilgrim shadow---
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be---
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the mountains
Of the moon,
Down the valley of the shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied,---
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

We Watched Her Breathing

by Thomas Hood

We watched her breathing through the night,
Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro.

So silently we seemed to speak,
So slowly moved about,
As we had lent her half our powers
To eke her living out.

Our very hopes belied our fears,
Our fears our hopes belied,---
We thought her dying when she slept,
And sleeping when she died.

For when the morn came dim and sad,
And chill with early showers,
Her quiet eyelids closed,---she had
Another morn than ours.


Copyright, 1927, by John C. Miller

Mother of mine, an angel of grace
Always so loving such a beautiful face,
Always so tender, always so kind,
An angel from heaven, this mother of mine.

Mother of mine, look down from above,
And guide and protect the ones that you love,
Who watched them in childhood with tender care,
And taught them to say their evening prayer.br>

Mother of mine, look down from the sky,
On your children that idolized you.
Your beauty of soul will always remain
With us on this earth till we meet again.

An Evening Prayer-Hymn

by Charles H. Gabriel

If I have wounded any soul today,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,
If I have walked in my own willful way,
Dear Lord, forgive!

If I have uttered idle words or vain,
If I turned aside from want or pain,
Lest I offend some other thru the strain,
Dear Lord, forgive!

If I have been perverse, or hard or cold,
If I have longed for shelter in thy fold,
When Thou hast given me some fort to hold,
Dear Lord, forgive!

Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee;
Forgive the secret sins I do not see;
O guide me, love me, and my keeper be,

Abiding Peace

by Sadie Mathers Miller

Beautiful thoughts are those that bear
On the wings of love, a silent prayer
Over the mountains, or over the sea,
That His peace may ever abide with thee.

Abide with thee when the shadows fall,
When day is done and the night birds call,
When morning comes and shadows flee
I know He still will abide with thee.

Old Mothers

by Charles S. Ross

I love old mothers--mothers with white hair
And kindly eyes, and lips grown softly sweet
With murmured blessings over sleeping babes.
There is something in their quiet grace
That speaks the calm of sabbath afternoons;
A knowledge in their deep, unfaltering eyes
That far outreaches all philosophy.

Time, with caressing touch, about them weaves
The silver-threaded fairy shawl of age,
While all the echoes of forgotten songs
Seem joined to lend a sweetness to their speech.br>

Old mothers! As they pass with slow-timed step
Their trembling hands cling gently to youth's strength.
Sweet mothers! As they pass one sees again
Old garden walks, old roses and old loves.

Resolutions--Author Unknown

I am going to try to live each day, each hour,
With all the force and all the living power
which the Creator gave me to apply.
I am going to try.

I am going to strive to live along lfe's way,
To sing, to laugh, to work, to play and pray,
To let all envy and all malice die,
I am going to try.

I am going to try to feel the life in me
Is but a trust, which in my custody
Must be accounted for to One on high.
I am going to try.

Friendship--Author Unknown

It is my joy in life to find
At every turning of the road,
The strong arms of a comrade kind,
To help me onward with my load;

And since I have no gold to give,
And love alone must make amends,
My daily prayer is while I live,---
"God make me worthy of my friends."

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