Title Poet Year Written Collection Body
“She died in beauty” Charles Doyne Sillery

She died in beauty,—like a rose
  Blown from its parent stem;
She died in beauty,—like a pearl
  Dropped from some diadem.

She died in beauty,—like a lay
  Along a moonlit lake;
She died in beauty,—like the song
  Of birds amid the brake...

“She came and went” James Russell Lowell

As a twig trembles, which a bird
  Lights on to sing, then leaves unbent,
So is my memory thrilled and stirred;—
  I only know she came and went.

As clasps some lake, by gusts unriven,
  The blue dome’s measureless content,
So my soul held that...

“Shall I compare thee?” William Shakespeare 1584

Sonnet Xviii.
shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his...

“Said I not so?” George Herbert 1613

Said I not so,—that I would sin no more?
    Witness, my God, I did;
Yet I am run again upon the score:
    My faults cannot be hid.

What shall I do?—make vows and break them still?
    ’T will be but labor lost;
My good cannot prevail against...

“Sad is our youth, for it is ever going” Aubrey Thomas de Vere

Sad is our youth, for it is ever going,
Crumbling away beneath our very feet;
Sad is our life, for onward it is flowing
In current unperceived, because so fleet;
Sad are our hopes, for they were sweet in sowing,—
But tares, self-sown, have overtopped the...

“Rock of Ages” Edward H. Rice

   “Such hymns are never forgotten. They cling to us through our whole life. We carry them with us upon our journey. We sing them in the forest. The workman follows the plough with sacred songs. Children catch them, and singing only for the joy it gives them now, are yet laying up for all their...

“Picciola” Robert Henry Newell

It was a Sergeant old and gray,
  Well singed and bronzed from siege and pillage,
Went tramping in an army’s wake
  Along the turnpike of the village.

For days and nights the winding host
  Had through the little place been marching,
And ever...

“Phillis is my only joy” Sir Charles Sedley 1659

Phillis is my only joy
  Faithless as the wind or seas;
Sometimes coming, sometimes coy,
  Yet she never fails to please.
      If with a frown
      I am cast down,
      Phillis, smiling
      And beguiling,
Makes me happier than...

“Pack clouds away” Thomas Heywood 177

Pack clouds away, and welcome day,
  With night we banish sorrow;
Sweet air, blow soft; mount, lark, aloft,
  To give my love good morrow.
Wings from the wind to please her mind,
  Notes from the lark I ’ll borrow:
Bird, prune thy wing; nightingale...

“Over the hill to the poor-house” Will Carleton

Over the hill to the poor-house I ’m trudgin’ my weary way—
I, a woman of seventy, and only a trifle gray—
I, who am smart an’ chipper, for all the years I ’ve told,
As many another woman that ’s only half as old.

Over the hill to the poor-house—I can’t quite...

“Out of the old house, Nancy” Will Carleton

Out of the old house, Nancy—moved up into the new;
All the hurry and worry is just as good as through.
Only a bounden duty remains for you and I—
And that ’s to stand on the doorstep here, and bid the old house good-bye.

What a shell we ’ve lived in, these...

“Out from behind this mask” Walt Whitman 1839

To Confront His Own Portrait for “The Wound Dresser” in “Leaves of Grass”

OUT from behind this bending, rough-cut mask,
These lights and shades, this drama of the whole,
This common curtain of the face, contained in me for me, in you for you, in each for each.

“Our God, our help in ages past” Isaac Watts 1694

Our God, our help in ages past,
  Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
  And our eternal home,—

Under the shadow of thy throne
  Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is thine arm alone,
  And our defence is...

“Our boat to the waves” William Ellery Channing

Our boat to the waves go free,
  By the bending tide, where the curled wave breaks,
  Like the track of the wind on the white snowflakes:
Away, away! ’T is a path o’er the sea.

Blasts may rave,—spread the sail,
  For our spirits can wrest the power from...

“Only a year” Harriet Beecher Stowe

One year ago,—a ringing voice,
    A clear blue eye,
And clustering curls of sunny hair,
    Too fair to die.

Only a year,—no voice, no smile,
    No glance of eye,
No clustering curls of golden hair,
    Fair but to die!


“One day I wrote her name” Edmund Spenser 1572

From “Amoretti.” Sonnet LXXV.
ONE day I wrote her name upon the strand,
  But came the waves, and washèd it away:
Agayne, I wrote it with a second hand;
  But came the tyde, and made my paynes his prey.
Vayne man, say’d she, that doest in vayne assay...

“Old Ironsides” Oliver Wendell Holmes

   [On the proposed breaking up of the United States frigate “Constitution”]

AY, tear her tattered ensign down!
  Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
  That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle-shout,
  And burst...

“Oh! where do fairies hide their heads?” Thomas Haynes Bayley 1817

Oh! where do fairies hide their heads,
  When snow lies on the hills,
When frost has spoiled their mossy beds,
  And crystallized their rills?
Beneath the moon they cannot trip
  In circles o’er the plain;
And draughts of dew they cannot sip,...

“Oh that ’t were possible” Alfred, Lord Tennyson

From “Maud”
OH that ’t were possible,
  After long grief and pain,
To find the arms of my true love
  Round me once again!

When I was wont to meet her
  In the silent woody places
Of the land that gave me birth,
  We stood tranced...

“Oft in the stilly night” Thomas Moore 1799

Oft in the stilly night,
  Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
  Of other days around me:
    The smiles, the tears,
    Of boyhood’s years,
  The words of love then spoken;
    The eyes that shone,