Home
Table of Contents
Biographical Index
Reference Book Errors
Commonly Confused Words
Spell Checker Fun
Clever Acronyms
Police Acronyms
U.S. Police Acronyms
Task Force Acronyms
Free eBooks (A - D)
Free eBooks (E - Hd)
Free eBooks (He - Hz)
Free eBooks (I - L)
Free eBooks (M - P)
Free eBooks (Q - R)
Free eBooks (S - V)
Free eBooks (W - Z)
Hands
The Cloud
The Embargo
The Departed
Locksley Hall
To Build a Fire
Morte d'Arthur
The Lost Blend
Dot Leedle Boy
The Slave Ships
The Last Lesson
An Old Sweetheart
The Gift of the Magi
Cassandra Southwick
The Revolt of Mother
A Piece of Red Calico
Mr. What's-His-Name
The Boarded Window
The Song of the Sower
How John Quit the Farm
Without Benefit of Clergy
The Luck of Roaring Camp
The Outcasts of Poker Flat
Weights and Measurements
U.S. Mail Holidays
U.S. Postage Rates
Roman Numerals
U.S. Time Zones
U.S. Presidents
2012 Calendar
2013 Calendar
Place Name Index
Unusual Town Names
Christmas' Place Names
Valentine's Place Names
Halloween Place Names
Frequently Asked Questions
Contribute Used Books
Literary Source Info
Recent Updates
Link to Us
Blog
Contact Us
A Collection of Short Poems by Various Poets and Writers

Below you'll find a variety of shorter poetic works. This assortment of shorter poems and sonnets includes:
"Abou Ben Butler" by John Paul
"Ah! Sunflower" by William Blake
"All But Blind" by Walter de la Mare
"An Apprehension" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"The Beecher Beached" by John B. Tabb
"A Birthday" by Christina Rossetti
"A Branch Library" by James Montgomery Flagg
"Break, Break, Break" by Lord Tennyson
"Cliff Klingenhagen" by Edwin Arlington Robinson
"Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1802" by William Wordsworth
"Coyote" by Bret Harte
"A Daniel Come to Judgment" by Edmund Vance Cooke
"Daybreak" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Days" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Dirge in Woods" by George Meredith
"A Disappointment" by John Boyle O'Reilly
"Enough" by Tom Masson
"Fairies' Song" by Leigh Hunt
"A Feeling" by James Russell Lowell
"Forbearance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Holy Thursday" by William Blake
"Hope and Fear" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
"I'm nobody! Who are you?" by Emily Dickinson
"Impartiality" by James Russell Lowell
"In the Highlands" by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Invictus" by William Ernest Henley
"Is it I?" by Warwick S. Price
"Jenny Kissed Me" (a.k.a. "Rondeau") by Leigh Hunt
"A Lament" by Percy Shelley
"The Land of Counterpane" by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Laughing Song" by William Blake
"The Lazy Roof" by Gelett Burgess
"London, 1802" by William Wordsworth
"Maxioms" by Carolyn Wells
"The Moon" by Emily Dickinson
"My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Myopia" by Wallace Rice
"Nurse's Song" by William Blake
"The Octopussycat" by Kenyon Cox
"Ode: Written in the beginning of the year 1746" by William Collins
"On a Beautiful Youth Struck Blind with Lightning" by Oliver Goldsmith
"On the Sea-shore near Calais" by William Wordsworth
"Ozymandias" by Percy Shelley
"Patience Taught By Nature" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"Plagiarism" by John B. Tabb
"The Purple Cow" by Gelett Burgess
"The Quarrel" by S. E. Kiser
"The Rainy Day" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The Salt of the Earth" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
"Shakespeare" by Matthew Arnold
"Song of the Songless" by George Meredith
"Song on May Morning" by John Milton
"A Sonnet" by Oliver Goldsmith
"Sonnet" by James Russell Lowell
"Stage Whispers" by Carolyn Wells
"Stanzas on the Taking of Quebec" by Oliver Goldsmith
"Stanzas on Woman" by Oliver Goldsmith
"Teaching by Example" by John G. Saxe
"To a Sea-Bird" by Bret Harte
"The Turnings of a Bookworm" by Carolyn Wells
"Vive La Bagatelle" by Gelett Burgess
"What Does Little Birdie Say?" (a.k.a. "Cradle Song") by Lord Tennyson
"When the Sirup's on the Flapjack" by Bert Leston Taylor
"The Wind" by Robert Louis Stevenson
"The World's Wanderers" by Percy Shelley

To see all available titles by other authors, drop by our index of free books alphabetized by author or arranged alphabetically by title.




Potential uses for the free books, stories and poetry we offer
* Rediscovering an old favorite book, poem or story.
* Bibliophiles expanding their collection of public domain eBooks at no cost.
* Teachers trying to locate a free online copy of a classic poem or short story for use in the classroom.

NOTE: We try to present these classic poetic works as they originally appeared in print. As such, they sometimes contain adult themes, offensive language, typographical errors, and often utilize unconventional, older, obsolete or intentionally incorrect spelling and/or punctuation conventions.


"Abou Ben Butler" by John Paul

ABOU BEN BUTLER

BY JOHN PAUL

Abou, Ben Butler (may his tribe be less!)
Awoke one night from a deep bottledness,
And saw, by the rich radiance of the moon,
Which shone and shimmered like a silver spoon,
A stranger writing on a golden slate
(Exceeding store had Ben of spoons and plate),
And to the stranger in his tent he said:
"Your little game?" The stranger turned his head,
And, with a look made all of innocence,
Replied: "I write the name of Presidents."
"And is mine one?" "Not if this court doth know
Itself," replied the stranger. Ben said, "Oh!"
And "Ah!" but spoke again: "Just name your price
To write me up as one that may be Vice."

The stranger up and vanished. The next night
He came again, and showed a wondrous sight
Of names that haply yet might fill the chair--
But, lo! the name of Butler was not there!


"Ah! Sunflower" by William Blake

AH SUNFLOWER

by William Blake

Ah, sunflower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime,
Where the traveller's journey is done;

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my sunflower wishes to go.


"All But Blind" by Walter de la Mare

ALL BUT BLIND

by Walter de la Mare

All but blind
In his chambered hole
Gropes for worms
The four-clawed Mole.

All but blind
In the evening sky,
The hooded Bat
Twirls softly by.

All but blind
In the burning day
The Barn-Owl blunders
On her way.

And blind as are
These three to me,
So, blind to someone
I must be.


"An Apprehension" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

AN APPREHENSION

BY ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

IF all the gentlest-hearted friends I know
Concentred in one heart their gentleness,
That still grew gentler till its pulse was less
For life than pity,--I should yet be slow
To bring my own heart nakedly below
The palm of such a friend, that he should press
Motive, condition, means, appliances,
My false ideal joy and fickle woe,
Out full to light and knowledge; I should fear
Some plait between the brows, some rougher chime
In the free voice. O angels, let your flood
Of bitter scorn dash on me! do ye hear
What I say who bear calmly all the time
This everlasting face to face with GOD?


"The Beecher Beached" by John B. Tabb

THE BEECHER BEACHED

BY JOHN B. TABB

Were Harriet Beecher well aware
Of what was done in Delaware,
Of that unwholesome smell aware,

She'd make all heaven and hell aware,
And ask John Brown to tell her where
Henceforth she best might sell her ware.


"A Birthday" by Christina Rossetti

A BIRTHDAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair[1] and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.


[1] a fur much esteemed in ancient times

"A Branch Library" by James Montgomery Flagg

A BRANCH LIBRARY

BY JAMES MONTGOMERY FLAGG

There is an old fellow named Mark,
Who lives in a tree in the Park.
You can see him each night,
By his library light,
Turning over the leaves after dark.


"Break, Break, Break" by Lord Tennyson

Break, Break, Break

by Lord Tennyson

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.


"Cliff Klingenhagen" by Edwin Arlington Robinson
0
CLIFF KLINGENHAGEN

BY EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON

Cliff Klingenhagen had me in to dine
With him one day; and after soup and meat,
And all the other things there were to eat,
Cliff took two glasses and filled one with wine
And one with wormwood. Then, without a sign
For me to choose at all, he took the draught
Of bitterness himself, and lightly quaffed
It off, and said the other one was mine.

And when I asked him what the deuce he meant
By doing that, he only looked at me
And smiled, and said it was a way of his.
And though I know the fellow, I have spent
Long time a-wondering when I shall be
As happy as Cliff Klingenhagen is.


"Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1802"
1
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3, 1802

BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!


"Coyote" by Bret Harte
2
COYOTE

BY BRET HARTE

Blown out of the prairie in twilight and dew,
Half bold and half timid, yet lazy all through;
Loath ever to leave, and yet fearful to stay,
He limps in the clearing,--an outcast in gray.

A shade on the stubble, a ghost by the wall,
Now leaping, now limping, now risking a fall,
Lop-eared and large-jointed, but ever alway
A thoroughly vagabond outcast in gray.

Here, Carlo, old fellow,--he's one of your kind,--
Go, seek him, and bring him in out of the wind.
What! snarling, my Carlo! So--even dogs may
Deny their own kin in the outcast in gray.

Well, take what you will,--though it be on the sly,
Marauding or begging,--I shall not ask why,
But will call it a dole, just to help on his way
A four-footed friar in orders of gray!


"A Daniel Come to Judgment" by Edmund Vance Cooke
3
A DANIEL COME TO JUDGMENT

BY EDMUND VANCE COOKE

Now, everything that Russell did, he did his best to hasten,
And one day he decided that he'd like to be a Mason;
But nothing else would suit him, and nothing less would please,
But he must take, and all at once, the thirty-three degrees.

So he rode the--ah, that is, he crossed the--I can't tell;
You either must not know at all, or else know very well.
He dived in--well, well, never mind! It only need be said
That somewhere in the last degree poor Russell dropped down dead.

They arrested all the Masons, and they stayed in durance vile
Till the jury found them guilty, when the Judge said, with a smile,
"I'm forced to let the prisoners go, for I can find," said he,
"No penalty for murder in the thirty-third degree!"


"Daybreak" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
4
Daybreak

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A wind came up out of the sea,
And said, "O mists, make room for me."

It hailed the ships, and cried, "Sail on,
Ye mariners, the night is gone."

And hurried landward far away,
Crying, "Awake! it is the day."

It said unto the forest, "Shout!
Hang all your leafy banners out!"

It touched the wood-bird's folded wing,
And said, "O bird, awake and sing."

And o'er the farms, "O chanticleer,
Your clarion blow; the day is near."

It whispered to the fields of corn,
"Bow down, and hail the coming morn."

It shouted through the belfry-tower,
"Awake, O bell! proclaim the hour."

It crossed the churchyard with a sigh,
And said, "Not yet! in quiet lie."


"Days" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
5
DAYS

BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days,
Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes,
And marching single in an endless file,
Bring diadems and fagots in their hands.
To each they offer gifts after his will,
Bread, kingdoms, stars, and sky that holds them all.
I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp,
Forgot my morning wishes, hastily
Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day
Turned and departed silent. I, too late,
Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn.


"Dirge in Woods" by George Meredith
6
DIRGE IN WOODS

BY GEORGE MEREDITH

A wind sways the pines,
And below
Not a breath of wild air;
Still as the mosses that glow
On the flooring and over the lines
Of the roots here and there.
The pine-tree drops its dead;
They are quiet, as under the sea.
Overhead, overhead
Rushes life in a race,
As the clouds the clouds chase:
And we go,
And we drop like the fruits of the tree,
Even we,
Even so.


"A Disappointment" by John Boyle O'Reilly
7
A DISAPPOINTMENT

BY JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY

Her hair was a waving bronze, and her eyes
Deep wells that might cover a brooding soul;
And who, till he weighed it, could ever surmise
That her heart was a cinder instead of a coal!


"Enough" by Tom Masson
8
ENOUGH

BY TOM MASSON

I shot a rocket in the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where
Until next day, with rage profound,
The man it fell on came around.
In less time than it takes to tell,
He showed me where that rocket fell;
And now I do not greatly care
To shoot more rockets in the air.


"Fairies' Song" by Leigh Hunt
9
FAIRIES' SONG

BY LEIGH HUNT

We the fairies blithe and antic,
Of dimensions not gigantic,
Though the moonshine mostly keep us
Oft in orchards frisk and peep us.

Stolen sweets are always sweeter;
Stolen kisses much completer;
Stolen looks are nice in chapels;
Stolen, stolen be your apples.

When to bed the world are bobbing,
Then's the time for orchard-robbing;
Yet the fruit were scarce worth peeling
Were it not for stealing, stealing.


"A Feeling" by James Russell Lowell
0
A FEELING

by James Russell Lowell

The flowers and the grass to me
Are eloquent reproachfully;
For would they wave so pleasantly
Or look so fresh and fair,
If a man, cunning, hollow, mean,
Or one in anywise unclean,
Were looking on them there?

No; he hath grown so foolish-wise
He cannot see with childhood's eyes;
He hath forgot that purity
And lowliness which are the key
Of Nature's mysteries;
No; he hath wandered off so long
From his own place of birth,
That he hath lost his mother-tongue,
And, like one come from far-off lands
Forgetting and forgot, he stands
Beside his mother's hearth.


"Forbearance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
1
FORBEARANCE

BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Hast thou named all the birds without a gun?
Loved the wood-rose, and left it on its stalk?
At rich men's tables eaten bread and pulse?
Unarmed, faced danger with a heart of trust?
And loved so well a high behavior,
In man or maid, that thou from a speech refrained,
Nobility more nobly to repay?
O, be my friend, and teach me to be thine!


"Holy Thursday" by William Blake
2
HOLY THURSDAY

BY WILLIAM BLAKE

'Twas on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,
The children walking two and two, in red and blue and green,
Grey-headed beadles walk'd before, with wands as white as snow,
Till unto the high dome of Paul's they like Thames' waters flow.

O what a multitude they seem'd, these flowers of London town!
Seated in companies, they sit, with radiance all their own.
The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs,
Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands.

Now like a mighty wild they raise to heaven the voice of song,
Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of heaven among.
Beneath them sit the aged man, wise guardians of the poor;
Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.


"Hope and Fear" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
3
HOPE AND FEAR

BY ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE

Beneath the shadow of dawn's aerial cope,
With eyes enkindled as the sun's own sphere,
Hope from the front of youth in godlike cheer
Looks Godward, past the shades where blind men grope
Round the dark door that prayers nor dreams can ope,
And makes for joy the very darkness dear
That gives her wide wings play; nor dreams that fear
At noon may rise and pierce the heart of hope.
Then, when the soul leaves off to dream and yearn,
May truth first purge her eyesight to discern
What once being known leaves time no power to appal;
Till youth at last, ere yet youth be not, learn
The kind wise word that falls from years that fall--
"Hope thou not much, and fear thou not at all."


"I'm nobody! Who are you?" by Emily Dickinson
4
I'M NOBODY! WHO ARE YOU!

BY EMILY DICKINSON

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!


"Impartiality" by James Russell Lowell
5
IMPARTIALITY

by James Russell Lowell

I
I cannot say a scene is fair
Because it is beloved of thee,
But I shall love to linger there,
For sake of thy dear memory;
I would not be so coldly just
As to love only what I must.

II
I cannot say a thought is good
Because thou foundest joy in it;
Each soul must choose its proper food
Which Nature hath decreed most fit;
But I shall ever deem it so
Because it made thy heart o'erflow.

III
I love thee for that thou art fair;
And that thy spirit joys in aught
Createth a new beauty there,
With thine own dearest image fraught;
And love, for others' sake that springs,
Gives half their charm to lovely things.


"In the Highlands" by Robert Louis Stevenson
6
IN THE HIGHLANDS

BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

IN the highlands, in the country places,
Where the old plain men have rosy faces,
And the young fair maidens
Quiet eyes;
Where essential silence chills and blesses,
And for ever in the hill-recesses
Her more lovely music
Broods and dies--

O to mount again where erst I haunted;
Where the old red hills are bird-enchanted,
And the low green meadows
Bright with sward;
And when even dies, the million-tinted,
And the night has come, and planets glinted,
Lo, the valley hollow
Lamp-bestarr'd!

O to dream, O to awake and wander
There, and with delight to take and render,
Through the trance of silence,
Quiet breath!
Lo! for there, among the flowers and grasses,
Only the mightier movement sounds and passes;
Only winds and rivers,
Life and death.


"Invictus" by William Ernest Henley
7
INVICTUS

BY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


"Is it I?" by Warwick S. Price
8
IS IT I?

BY WARWICK S. PRICE

Where is the man who has not said
At evening, when he went to bed,
"I'll waken with the crowing cock,
And get to work by six o'clock?"

Where is the man who, rather late,
Crawls out of bed at half-past eight,
That has not thought, with fond regard,
"It's better not to work too hard?"


"Jenny Kissed Me" by Leigh Hunt
9
JENNY KISSED ME

a.k.a. Rondeau

BY LEIGH HUNT

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in:
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.


"A Lament" by Percy B. Shelley
0
A LAMENT

BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

O World! O Life! O Time!
On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before;
When will return the glory of your prime?
No more--O never more!

Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight:
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar,
Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight
No more--O never more!


"The Land of Counterpane" by Robert Louis Stevenson
1
THE LAND OF COUNTERPANE

BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.


"Laughing Song" by William Blake
2
LAUGHING SONG

BY WILLIAM BLAKE

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

When the meadows laugh with lively green,
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene;
When Mary, and Susan, and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing, "Ha, ha, he!"

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of "Ha, ha, he!"


"The Lazy Roof" by Gelett Burgess
3
THE LAZY ROOF

BY GELETT BURGESS

The Roof it has a Lazy Time
A-lying in the sun;
The Walls they have to Hold Him Up;
They do Not Have Much Fun!


"London, 1802" by William Wordsworth
4
LONDON, 1802

BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

Milton! thou should'st be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.


"Maxioms" by Carolyn Wells
5
MAXIOMS

BY CAROLYN WELLS

Reward is its own virtue.
The wages of sin is alimony.
Money makes the mayor go.
A penny saved spoils the broth.
Of two evils, choose the prettier.
There's no fool like an old maid.
Make love while the moon shines.
Where there's a won't there's a way.
Nonsense makes the heart grow fonder.
A word to the wise is a dangerous thing.
A living gale is better than a dead calm.
A fool and his money corrupt good manners.
A word in the hand is worth two in the ear.
A man is known by the love-letters he keeps.
A guilty conscience is the mother of invention.
Whosoever thy hands find to do, do with thy might.
It's a wise child who knows less than his own father.
Never put off till to-morrow what you can wear to-night.
He who loves and runs away, may live to love another day.


"The Moon" by Emily Dickinson
6
THE MOON

BY EMILY DICKINSON

The moon was but a chin of gold
A night or two ago,
And now she turns her perfect face
Upon the world below.

Her forehead is of amplest blond;
Her cheek like beryl stone;
Her eye unto the summer dew
The likest I have known.

Her lips of amber never part;
But what must be the smile
Upon her friend she could bestow
Were such her silver will!

And what a privilege to be
But the remotest star!
For certainly her way might pass
Beside your twinkling door.

Her bonnet is the firmament,
The universe her shoe,
The stars the trinkets at her belt,
Her dimities of blue.


"My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson
7
MY SHADOW

BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me, from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller, like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I 'rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.


"Myopia" by Wallace Rice
8
MYOPIA

BY WALLACE RICE

As down the street he took his stroll,
He cursed, for all he is a saint.
He saw a sign atop a pole,
As down the street he took a stroll,
And climbed it up (near-sighted soul),
So he could read--and read "FRESH PAINT," . . .
As down the street he took a stroll,
He cursed, for all he is a saint.


"Nurse's Song" by William Blake
9
NURSE'S SONG

BY WILLIAM BLAKE

When the voices of children are heard on the green,
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.

"Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away,
Till the morning appears in the skies."

"No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all cover'd with sheep."

"Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed."
The little ones leaped and shouted and laugh'd,
And all the hills echoed.


"The Octopussycat" by Kenyon Cox
0
THE OCTOPUSSYCAT

BY KENYON COX

I love Octopussy, his arms are so long;
There's nothing in nature so sweet as his song.
'Tis true I'd not touch him--no, not for a farm!
If I keep at a distance he'll do me no harm.


"Ode" by William Collins
1
ODE

Written in the beginning of the year 1746

BY WILLIAM COLLINS

How sleep the brave who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow'd mould,
See there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there!


"On a Beautiful Youth Struck Blind with Lightning" by Oliver Goldsmith
2
ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTH STRUCK BLIND WITH LIGHTNING

BY OLIVER GOLDSMITH

SURE 'twas by Providence design'd,
Rather in pity, than in hate,
That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
To save him from Narcissus' fate.


"On the Sea-shore near Calais" by William Wordsworth
3
ON THE SEA-SHORE NEAR CALAIS

BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the Sea:
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder--everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year;
And worship'st at the temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.


"Ozymandias" by Percy B. Shelley
4
OZYMANDIAS

BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, (stamped on these lifeless things,)
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


"Patience Taught By Nature" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
5
PATIENCE TAUGHT BY NATURE

BY ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

'O DREARY life,' we cry, 'O dreary life!'
And still the generations of the birds
Sing through our sighing, and the flocks and herds
Serenely live while we are keeping strife
With Heaven's true purpose in us, as a knife
Against which we may struggle! Ocean girds
Unslackened the dry land, savannah-swards
Unweary sweep, hills watch unworn, and rife
Meek leaves drop yearly from the forest-trees
To show, above, the unwasted stars that pass
In their old glory: O thou God of old,
Grant me some smaller grace than comes to these!--
But so much patience as a blade of grass
Grows by, contented through the heat and cold.


"Plagiarism" by John B. Tabb
6
PLAGIARISM

BY JOHN B. TABB

If Poe from Pike The Raven stole,
As his accusers say,
Then to embody Adam's soul,
God plagiarised the clay.


"The Purple Cow" by Gelett Burgess
7
THE PURPLE COW

BY GELETT BURGESS

Reflections on a Mythic Beast,
Who's Quite Remarkable, at Least.


I never Saw a Purple Cow;
I never Hope to See One;
But I can Tell you, Anyhow,
I'd rather See than Be One.


Cinq Ans Apres.

(Confession: and a Portrait, Too,
Upon a Background that I Rue!
)

Ah, yes! I wrote the "Purple Cow"--
I'm Sorry, now, I Wrote it!
But I can Tell you, Anyhow,
I'll Kill you if you Quote it!


"The Quarrel" by S.E. Kiser
8
THE QUARREL

BY S. E. KISER

"There are quite as good fish
In the sea
As any one ever has caught,"
Said he.
"But few of the fish--
In the sea
Will bite at such bait as you've got,"
Said she.
To-day he is gray, and his line's put away,
But he often looks back with regret;
She's still "in the sea," and how happy she'd be
If he were a fisherman yet!


"The Rainy Day" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
9
The Rainy Day

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.


"The Salt of the Earth" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
0
THE SALT OF THE EARTH

BY ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE

If childhood were not in the world,
But only men and women grown;
No baby-locks in tendrils curled,
No baby-blossoms blown;

Though men were stronger, women fairer,
And nearer all delights in reach,
And verse and music uttered rarer
Tones of more godlike speech;

Though the utmost life of life's best hours
Found, as it cannot now find, words;
Though desert sands were sweet as flowers,
And flowers could sing like birds,

But children never heard them, never
They felt a child's foot leap and run;
This were a drearier star than ever
Yet looked upon the sun.


"Shakespeare" by Matthew Arnold
1
SHAKESPEARE

BY MATTHEW ARNOLD

Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask: Thou smilest and art still,
Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill,
That to the stars uncrowns his majesty,
Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea,
Making the Heaven of Heavens his dwelling-place,
Spares but the cloudy border of his base
To the foil'd searching of mortality:
And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know,
Self-school'd, self-scann'd, self-honour'd, self-secure,
Didst walk on Earth unguess'd at. Better so!
All pains the immortal spirit must endure,
All weakness that impairs, all griefs that bow,
Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.


"Song of the Songless" by George Meredith
2
SONG OF THE SONGLESS (a.k.a. SONG IN THE SONGLESS)

BY GEORGE MEREDITH

They have no song, the sedges dry,
And still they sing.
It is within my breast they sing,
As I pass by.
Within my breast they touch a string,
They wake a sigh.
There is but sound of sedges dry;
In me they sing.


"Song on May Morning" by John Milton
3
SONG ON MAY MORNING

BY JOHN MILTON

Now the bright morning-star, Day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves, are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.


"A Sonnet" by Oliver Goldsmith
4
A SONNET

BY OLIVER GOLDSMITH

WEEPING, murmuring, complaining,
Lost to every gay delight;
Myra, too sincere for feigning,
Fears th' approaching bridal night.

Yet, why impair thy bright perfection?
Or dim thy beauty with a tear?
Had Myra follow'd my direction,
She long had wanted cause of fear.


"Sonnet" by James Russell Lowell
5
SONNET

by James Russell Lowell

If some small savor creep into my rhyme
Of the old poets, if some words I use,
Neglected long, which have the lusty thews
Of that gold-haired and earnest-hearted time,
Whose loving joy and sorrow all sublime
Have given our tongue its starry eminence,--
It is not pride, God knows, but reverence
Which hath grown in me since my childhood's prime;
Wherein I feel that my poor lyre is strung
With soul-strings like to theirs, and that I have
No right to muse their holy graves among,
If I can be a custom-fettered slave,
And, in mine own true spirit, am not brave
To speak what rusheth upward to my tongue.


"Stage Whispers" by Carolyn Wells
6
STAGE WHISPERS

BY CAROLYN WELLS

Deadheads tell no tales.
Stars are stubborn things.
All's not bold that titters.
Contracts make cowards of us all.
One good turn deserves an encore.
A little actress is a dangerous thing.
It's a long skirt that has no turning.
Stars rush in where angels fear to tread.
Managers never hear any good of themselves.
A manager is known by the company he keeps.
A plot is not without honor save in comic opera.
Take care of the dance and the songs will take care of themselves.


"Stanzas on the Taking of Quebec" by Oliver Goldsmith
7
STANZAS ON THE TAKING OF QUEBEC

BY OLIVER GOLDSMITH

AMIDST the clamour of exulting joys,
Which triumph forces from the patriot heart,
Grief dares to mingle her soul-piercing voice,
And quells the raptures which from pleasures start.

O Wolf, to thee a streaming flood of woe,
Sighing we pay, and think e'en conquest dear;
Quebec in vain shall teach our breast to glow,
Whilst thy sad fate extorts the heart-wrung tear.

Alive, the foe thy dreadful vigour fled,
And saw thee fall with joy-pronouncing eyes;
Yet they shall know thou conquerest, though dead!
Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise!


"Stanzas on Woman" by Oliver Goldsmith
8
STANZAS ON WOMAN

BY OLIVER GOLDSMITH

WHEN lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?

The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
And wring his bosom, is--to die.


"Teaching by Example" by John G. Saxe
9
TEACHING BY EXAMPLE

BY JOHN G. SAXE

"What is the 'Poet's License,' say?"
Asked rose-lipped Anna of a poet.
"Now give me an example, pray,
That when I see one I may know it."
Quick as a flash he plants a kiss
Where perfect kisses always fall.
"Nay, sir! what liberty is this?"
"The Poet's License,--that is all!"


"To a Seabird" by Bret Harte
0
TO A SEA-BIRD

Santa Cruz, 1869

by Bret Harte

Sauntering hither on listless wings,
Careless vagabond of the sea,
Little thou heedest the surf that sings,
The bar that thunders, the shale that rings,--
Give me to keep thy company.

Little thou hast, old friend, that's new,
Storms and wrecks are old things to thee;
Sick am I of these changes, too;
Little to care for, little to rue,--
I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

All of thy wanderings, far and near,
Bring thee at last to shore and me;
All of my journeying end them here,
This our tether must be our cheer,--
I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

Lazily rocking on ocean's breast,
Something in common, old friend, have we;
Thou on the shingle seek'st thy nest,
I to the waters look for rest,--
I on the shore, and thou on the sea.


"The Turnings of a Bookworm" by Carolyn Wells
1
THE TURNINGS OF A BOOKWORM

BY CAROLYN WELLS

Love levels all plots.
Dead men sell no tales.
A new boom sweeps clean.
Circumstances alter bookcases.
The more haste the less read.
Too many books spoil the trade.
Many hands make light literature.
Epigrams cover a multitude of sins.
Ye can not serve Art and Mammon.
A little sequel is a dangerous thing.
It's a long page that has no turning.
Don't look a gift-book in the binding.
A gilt-edged volume needs no accuser.
In a multitude of characters there is safety.
Incidents will happen even in the best regulated novels.
One touch of Nature makes the whole book sell.
Where there's a will there's a detective story.
A book in the hand is worth two in the library.
An ounce of invention is worth a pound of style.
A good name is rather to be chosen than great characters.
Where there's so much puff, there must be some buyer.


"Vive La Bagatelle" by Gelett Burgess
2
VIVE LA BAGATELLE

BY GELETT BURGESS

Sing a song of foolishness, laughing stocks and cranks!
The more there are the merrier; come join the ranks!
Life is dry and stupid; whoop her up a bit!
Donkeys live in clover; bray and throw a fit!

Take yourself in earnest, never stop to think,
Strut and swagger boldly, dress in red and pink;
Prate of stuff and nonsense, get yourself abused;
Some one's got to play the fool to keep the crowd amused!

Bully for the idiot! Bully for the guy!
You could be a prig yourself, if you would only try!
Altruistic asses keep the fun alive;
Clowns are growing scarcer; hurry and arrive!

I seen a crazy critic a-writin' of a screed;
"Tendencies" and "Unities"--Maeterlinck indeed!
He wore a paper collar, and his tie was up behind;
If that's the test of Culture, then I'm glad I'm not refined!

Let me laugh at you, then you can laugh at me;
Then we'll josh together everything we see;
Every one's a nincompoop to another's view;
Laughter makes the sun shine! Roop-de-doodle-doo!


"What Does Little Birdie Say?" by Lord Tennyson
3
What Does Little Birdie Say? (a.k.a. "Cradle Song")

by Lord Tennyson

What does little birdie say,
In her nest at peep of day?
"Let me fly," says little birdie,
"Mother, let me fly away."

Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till the little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
"Let me rise and fly away."

Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till the little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby, too, shall fly away.


"When the Sirup's on the Flapjack" by Bert Leston Taylor
4
WHEN THE SIRUP'S ON THE FLAPJACK

BY BERT LESTON TAYLOR

When the sirup's on the flapjack and the coffee's in the pot;
When the fly is in the butter--where he'd rather be than not;
When the cloth is on the table, and the plates are on the cloth;
When the salt is in the shaker and the chicken's in the broth;
When the cream is in the pitcher and the pitcher's on the tray,
And the tray is on the sideboard when it isn't on the way;
When the rind is on the bacon, and likewise upon the cheese,
Then I somehow feel inspired to do a lot of rhymes like these.


"The Wind" by Robert Louis Stevenson
5
THE WIND

BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass--
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all--
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!


"The World's Wanderers" by Percy B. Shelley
6
THE WORLD'S WANDERERS

BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

Tell me, thou Star, whose wings of light
Speed thee in thy fiery flight,
In what cavern of the night
Will thy pinions close now?

Tell me, Moon, thou pale and gray
Pilgrim of Heaven's homeless way,
In what depth of night or day
Seekest thou repose now?

Weary Wind, who wanderest
Like the world's rejected guest,
Hast thou still some secret nest
On the tree or billow?


If you find the above classic poems useful, please link to this page from your webpage, blog or website. Alternatively, consider recommending us to your friends and colleagues. Thank you in advance!

Website Copyright © 2005-2012 INTERNET ACCURACY PROJECT. BY ACCESSING THIS SITE YOU ARE STATING THAT YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY OUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS regardless of whether you reside in the United States of America or not. Our Privacy Policy. This page was last updated January 1, 2012.




privacy policy