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A collection of poems

Updated on October 24, 2013

Just a bit of poetry

I love poetry, especially old poetry. The first time I read some of my favorite poems, it was like the author reached inside my heart and withdrew the words from my body. I'm always amazed when I read a poem and I can identify with every bit of it. I'm always amazed that whether I'm feeling lonely or I'm in love, or I'm scared, there's always an old poem out there that tells my tale.

This is a collection of my favorite poems I've gathered through the years. Each one touched me in some way at a time in my life when I needed to be touched.

Unnamed

Alexander Pushkin 1821

I have outlasted all desire,

My dreams and I have grown apart;

My grief alone is left entire,

The gleanings of an empty heart.

The storms of ruthless dispensation

Have struck my flowery garland numb-

I live in lonely desolation

And wonder when my end will come.

This isn't the true end of the poem. There are actually four more lines, but I've never agreed with the translation of the ending so I don't include it.

I Loved You

Alexander Pushkin 1829

I loved you - and my love, I think, was stronger

Than to be quite extinct within me yet;

But let it not distress you any longer;

I would not have you feel the least regret.

I loved you bare of hope and expression,

But turns of jealousy and shyness sore;

I loved you with such purity, such passion

As may God grant you to be loved once more.

This is just one of many translations of this poem. Of all the versions I've read, this is the most beautiful.

A White Rose

John Boyle O'Reilly

The red rose whispers of passion,

And the white rose breathes of love;

Oh, the red rose is a falcon,

And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud

With a flush on its petal tips;

For the love that is purest and sweetest

Has a kiss of desire on the lips.

I love this poem so much I actually have it painted onto my bedroom wall.

More poetry from John Boyle O'Reilley

S.O.S.

Anonymous

This wasn't supposed to happen

Not this way

Never dreaming that it would occur

Every single day

Trying it once

Just wasn't enough

Now to stop

It is too tough

So much money

So much time

Where did the days go?

Where is my mind?

I've lost so much

Including my best friend

I can't stand this any longer

I want this to end

It is so hard

To quit now

I wish I could

I don't know how

I need some help

But no one is there

I wish I knew

Does anyone still care?

This was given to me when I went through rehab at the age of 16.

The Highway Man

Alfred Noyes

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding-

Riding-riding-

The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,

A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;

They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!

And he rode with a jeweled twinkle,

His pistol butts a-twinkle,

His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,

And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;

He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there

But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,

Bess, the landlord's daughter,

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked

Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;

His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,

But he loved the landlord's daughter,

The landlord's red-lipped daughter,

Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say-

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night,

But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;

Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,

Then look for me by moonlight,

Watch for me by moonlight,

I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,

But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand

As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;

And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,

(Oh, sweet, black waves in the moonlight!)

Then he tugged at his rein in the moonliglt, and galloped away to the West.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;

And out o' the tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon,

When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor,

A red-coat troop came marching-

Marching-marching-

King George's men came matching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead,

But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed;

Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!

There was death at every window;

And hell at one dark window;

For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest;

They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!

"Now, keep good watch!" and they kissed her.

She heard the dead man say-

Look for me by moonlight;

Watch for me by moonlight;

I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!

She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!

They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,

Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,

Cold, on the stroke of midnight,

The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it; she strove no more for the rest!

Up, she stood up to attention, with the barrel beneath her breast,

She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;

For the road lay bare in the moonlight;

Blank and bare in the moonlight;

And the blood of her veins in the moonlight throbbed to her love's refrain .

Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;

Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?

Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,

The highwayman came riding,

Riding, riding!

The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still!

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!

Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!

Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,

Then her finger moved in the moonlight,

Her musket shattered the moonlight,

Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him-with her death.

He turned; he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood

Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood!

Not till the dawn he heard it, his face grew grey to hear

How Bess, the landlord's daughter,

The landlord's black-eyed daughter,

Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,

With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!

Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,

When they shot him down on the highway,

Down like a dog on the highway,

And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,

When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,

A highwayman comes riding-

Riding-riding-

A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard;

He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred;

He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there

But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,

Bess, the landlord's daughter,

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

This is the poem I read when I got second place in the all-city poetry reading contest.

All comments are moderated.

What's your favorite poem?

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    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      Thankyou for sharing your love of the written word

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