Love, Loss of life, and Magic: 22 Attractive Victorian Poems

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A buddy of mine gave me a type of Faber & Faber Poetry Diaries for Christmas final 12 months. As an alternative of placing my every day appointments in every slot, I made a decision to jot down out strains from my favorite poems as an alternative. It’s been a beautiful expertise – I’ve encountered many poems, and poets, I had no thought existed – and right here I’ve introduced collectively a choice of my favorite. I’m particularly specializing in Victorian poems, and I’ve divided them up into quite a lot of classes.

In some instances, I’ve simply put my favorite strains and linked to your entire work. I hope you take pleasure in! I’ve performed my greatest to keep away from the extra well-known Victorian poems, so hopefully you’ll uncover a brand new love. With the time interval in thoughts it should be famous that poets of color had been sadly very skinny on the bottom. Tell us within the feedback if of any poems by various Victorian writers!

Victorian Poems: Loss of life

1. from “The Previous Astronomer to His Pupil” by Sarah Williams (1837–68)

Although my soul might set in darkness, it can rise in excellent mild;
I’ve beloved the celebrities too fondly to be scared of the evening. 

[These are the most famous lines in the poem Williams was most known for in her short life. They’re frequently chosen as an epitaph by astronomers.]

2. “The Sands of Dee” by Charles Kingsley (1819–75)

‘O Mary, go and name the cattle house,
And name the cattle house,
And name the cattle house
Throughout the sands of Dee;’
The western wind was wild and dank with foam,
And on their own went she.

The western tide crept up alongside the sand,

And o’er and o’er the sand,
And spherical and around the sand,
So far as eye might see.
The rolling mist got here down and hid the land:
And by no means house got here she.

‘Oh! is it weed, or fish, or floating hair,
A tress of golden hair,
A drownèd maiden’s hair
Above the nets at sea?
Was by no means salmon but that shone so honest
Among the many stakes of Dee.’

They rowed her in throughout the rolling foam,
The merciless crawling foam,
The merciless hungry foam,
To her grave beside the ocean:
However nonetheless the boatmen hear her name the cattle house:
Throughout the sands of Dee.


Wilt thou go along with me candy maid
Say maiden wilt thou go along with me
By way of the valley depths of shade
Of evening and darkish obscurity
The place the trail hath misplaced its approach
The place the solar forgets the day
The place there’s nor life nor mild to see
Candy maiden wilt thou go along with me

The place stones will flip to flooding streams,
The place plains will rise like ocean waves,
The place life will fade like visioned goals
And mountains darken into caves.
Say maiden wilt thou go along with me
By way of this unhappy non-identity
The place dad and mom reside and are forgot
And sisters reside and know us not

Say maiden wilt thou go along with me
On this unusual loss of life of life to be
To reside in loss of life and be the identical
With out this life, or house, or title
Without delay to be, and to not be
That was, and isn’t – but to see
Issues move like shadows – and the sky
Above, under, round us lie

The land of shadows wilt thou hint
And look – nor know one another’s face
The current combined with causes gone
And previous, and current all as one
Say maiden can thy life be led
To affix the dwelling to the lifeless
Then hint thy footsteps on with me
We’re wed to at least one eternity

four. “Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam” by Ernest Dowson (1867–1900)

(The transient sum of life forbids us the hope of putting up with lengthy —Horace)

They don’t seem to be lengthy, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and need and hate:
I believe they haven’t any portion in us after
We move the gate.

They don’t seem to be lengthy, the times of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for some time, then closes
Inside a dream.

[I adore Dowson’s poetry, so he pops up a lot in this article! I find his lines incredibly haunting. He’s written some of my favourite Victorian poems of all time.]

5. from “Carthusians” by Ernest Dowson

We fling up flowers and snort, we snort throughout the wine;
With wine we uninteresting our souls and cautious strains of artwork;
Our cups are polished skulls spherical which the roses twine:
None dares to have a look at Loss of life who leers and lurks aside.

6. from “Wake: The Silver Nightfall Returning” by A.E. Housman (1859–1936)

Clay lies nonetheless, however blood’s a rover;
Breath’s a ware that won’t maintain.
Up, lad: when the journey’s over
There’ll be time sufficient to sleep.

7. “Once I Final Got here to Ludlow” by A.E. Housman

Once I got here final to Ludlow
Amidst the moonlight pale,
Two pals saved step beside me,
Two trustworthy lads and hale.

Now Dick lies lengthy within the churchyard,
And Ned lies lengthy in jail,
And I come house to Ludlow
Amidst the moonlight pale.

[Housman’s poems are in some ways very typically Victorian poems, with the constant references to death, but I find that he often manages to do it so his writing is melancholy rather than morbid.] 

Victorian Poems: Love

eight. “The Reminiscence” by Lord Dunsany (1878–1957)

I watch the docs strolling with the nurses backward and forward
And I hear them softly speaking within the backyard the place they go,
However I envy not their studying, nor their proper of strolling free,
For the emperor of Tartary has died for love of me.

I can see his face all golden beneath his night-black hair,
And the temples unusual and olden within the gleaming jap air,
The place he walked alone and sighing as a result of I might not sail
To the lands the place he was dying for a love of no avail.

He had seen my face by magic in a mirror that they make
For these rulers proud and tragic by their lotus-covered lake,
The place there hangs a pale-blue tiling on an alabaster wall.
And he beloved my approach of smiling, and beloved nothing else in any respect.

There have been peacocks there and peaches, and inexperienced monuments of jade,
The place macaws with sudden screeches made the little canine afraid,
And the silver fountains sprinkled overseas flowers on the sward
As they rose and curved and tinkled for his or her listless yellow lord.

Ah properly, he’s lifeless and rotten in his far magnolia grove,
However his love is unforgotten and I want no different love,
And with open eyes when sleeping, or closed eyes when awake,
I can see the fountains leaping by the borders of the lake.

They name it my delusion; they might name it what they’ll,
For the instances are in confusion and are rising wilder nonetheless,
And there aren’t any splendid recollections in any face I see.
However an emperor of Tartary has died for love of me.

9. “Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae” by Ernest Dowson

(I’m not as I used to be beneath the reign of the great Cynara —Horace)

Final evening, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;
And I used to be desolate and sick of an outdated ardour,
Yea, I used to be desolate and bowed my head:
I’ve been devoted to thee, Cynara! in my vogue.

All evening upon mine coronary heart I felt her heat coronary heart beat,
Night time-long inside mine arms in love and sleep she lay;
Absolutely the kisses of her purchased crimson mouth had been candy;
However I used to be desolate and sick of an outdated ardour,
Once I awoke and located the daybreak was grey:
I’ve been devoted to you, Cynara! in my vogue.

I’ve forgot a lot, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to place thy pale, misplaced lilies out of thoughts;
However I used to be desolate and sick of an outdated ardour,
Yea, on a regular basis, as a result of the dance was lengthy;
I’ve been devoted to thee, Cynara! in my vogue.

I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,
However when the feast is completed and the lamps expire,
Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the evening is thine;
And I’m desolate and sick of an outdated ardour,
Yea, hungry for the lips of my need:
I’ve been devoted to thee, Cynara! in my vogue.

[This is my ALL-TIME FAVOURITE of the Victorian poems. If not for The Highwayman, it would be my all-time favourite poem full stop. It doesn’t hurt that my favourite book, Gone with the Wind, also took its title from here!]

10. from “Nice Issues” by Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)

Love is, yea, a fantastic factor, 
An excellent factor to me, 
When, having drawn throughout the garden
In darkness silently,
A determine flits like one-a-wing
Out from the closest tree:
O love is, sure, a fantastic factor,
An excellent factor to me!

11. from “Chimaera” by Rosamund Marriot Watson (1860–1911)

The spring solar reveals me your shadow,
The spring wind bears me your breath,
You might be mine for a passing second,
However I’m yours to the loss of life.

12. from “Stella Maris” by Arthur Symons(1865–1945)

What shall it revenue me to know
Your coronary heart holds many a Romeo?
Why ought to I grieve, although I neglect
What number of one other Juliet?
Allow us to be glad to have forgot
That roses fade, and loves will not be,
As goals, immortal, although they appear
Virtually as actual as a dream.
It’s for this I see you rise,
A wraith, with starlight in your eyes,
The place calm hours weave, for such a temper
Solitude out of solitude;
For this, for this, you come to me
Out of the evening, out of the ocean.

13. from “Cousin Kate” by Christina Rossetti (1830–94)

O Girl Kate, my cousin Kate,
You develop extra honest than I:
He noticed you at your father’s gate,
Selected you, and solid me by.
He watched your steps alongside the lane,
Your sport among the many rye;
He lifted you from imply property
To take a seat with him on excessive.

14. from “The Counsels of O’Riordan, The Rann Maker” by T.D. O’Bolger

The luck of God is in two strangers assembly,
However the gates of Hell are within the metropolis road
For him whose soul isn’t in his personal holding
And love a silver string upon his toes.

My coronary heart is the seed of time, my veins are star-dust,
My spirit is the axle of God’s dream.

[I was unable to find a single shred of information about this poet, such as their gender or birth year, but I found these beautiful lines in an anthology of Victorian poems.]

15. “Sonnet 43” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–61)

How do I really like thee? Let me rely the methods.
I really like thee to the depth and breadth and peak
My soul can attain, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ultimate grace.
I really like thee to the extent of each day’s
Most quiet want, by solar and candle-light.
I really like thee freely, as males attempt for proper.
I really like thee purely, as they flip from reward.
I really like thee with the fervour put to make use of
In my outdated griefs, and with my childhood’s religion.
I really like thee with a love I appeared to lose
With my misplaced saints. I really like thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God select,
I shall however love thee higher after loss of life.

[Yes, this is one of the most famous Victorian poems, but I’ve included it anyway because it’s also one of the most beautiful!]


Victorian Poems: Magic

16.”The Night time is Darkening Spherical Me” by Emily Brontë (1818–48)

The evening is darkening spherical me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
However a tyrant spell has sure me,
And I can not, can not go.

The enormous timber are bending
Their naked boughs weighed with snow;
The storm is quick descending,
And but I can not go.

Clouds past clouds above me,
Wastes past wastes under;
However nothing drear can transfer me;
I cannot, can not go.

17. “The Fairy Youngster” by Lord Dunsany

From the low white partitions and the church’s steeple,
From our little fields beneath grass or grain,
I’m gone away to the fairy folks
I shall not come to the city once more.

You might even see a woman with my face and tresses,
You might even see one come to my mom’s door
Who might converse my phrases and should put on my clothes.
She won’t be I, for I come no extra.

I’m gone, gone far, with the fairies roaming,
Chances are you’ll ask of me the place the herons are
Within the open marsh when the snipe are homing,
Or when no moon lights nor a single star.
On stormy nights when the streams are foaming
And a touch might come of my haunts afar,
With the reeds my flooring and my roof the gloaming,
However I come no extra to Ballynar.

Ask Father Ryan to learn no verses
To name me again, for I’m today
From blessings far, and past curses.
No heaven shines the place we trip away.

At pace unthought of in all of your stables,
With the gods of outdated and the sons of Finn,
With the queens that reigned within the olden fables
And kings that gained what a sword can win.
Chances are you’ll hear us streaming above your gables
On nights as nonetheless as a planet’s spin;
However by no means stir out of your chairs and tables
To name my title. I shall not are available.

For I’m gone to the fairy folks.
Take advantage of that different youngster
Who prays with you by the village steeple
I’m gone away to the woods and wild.

I’m gone away to the open areas,
And whither driving no man might inform;
However I shall look upon all of your faces
No extra in Heaven or Earth or Hell.

[Isn’t this one amazing? It reminds me of Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince, and it’s everything I imagine a faerie poem to be!]

18. “The Warnings” by Alice Furlong (1866–1946)

I used to be milking within the meadow once I heard the Banshee keening:
Little birds had been within the nest, lambs had been on the lea,
Upon the forehead o’ the Fairy-hill a spherical gold moon was leaning—
She parted from the esker because the Banshee keened for me.

I used to be weaving by the door-post, once I heard the Loss of life-watch beating:
And I signed the Cross upon me, and I spoke the Title of Three.
Excessive and honest, by way of cloud and air, a silver moon was fleeting—
However the evening started to darken because the Loss of life-watch beat for me.

I used to be sleepless on my pillow once I heard the Useless man calling,
The Useless man that lies drowned on the backside of the ocean.
Down within the West, in wind and mist, a dim white moon was falling—
Now should I rise and go to him, the Useless who calls on me.

19. from “The Stolen Youngster” by W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)

The place the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with mild,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all of the evening,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling arms and mingling glances
Until the moon has taken flight;
From side to side we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
Whereas the world is stuffed with troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human youngster!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s extra stuffed with weeping than you may perceive.

20. from “The Fairy Lover” by Moireen Fox

They inform me I’m cursed and I’ll lose my soul,
(O crimson wind shrieking o’er the thorn-grown dún!)
However he’s my love and I am going to him to-night,
Who rides when the thorn glistens white beneath the moon.

He’ll name my title and elevate me to his breast,
(Blow tender O wind ’neath the celebrities of the south!)
I care not for heaven and I concern not hell
If I’ve however the kisses of his proud crimson mouth.

[Another discovery from the Victorian poems anthology, unfortunately without any information on the poet’s life.]

21. from “The Love-Talker” by Ethna Carbery (1894–1902)

I met the Love-Talker one eve within the glen,
He was handsomer than any of our good-looking younger males,
His eyes had been blacker than the sloe, his voice sweeter far
Than the crooning of outdated Kevin’s pipes past in Coolnagar.

I used to be sure for the milking with a coronary heart honest and free —
My grief! my grief! that bitter hour drained the life from me;
I assumed him human lover, although his lips on mine had been chilly,
And the breath of loss of life blew eager on me inside his maintain.

I do know not what approach he got here, no shadow fell behind,
However all of the sighing rushes swayed beneath a faery wind
The thrush ceased its singing, a mist crept about,
We two clung collectively—with the world shut out.

22. from “The Fairies” by William Allingham (1824–89)

They stole little Bridget
For seven years lengthy;
When she got here down once more
Her pals had been all gone.
They took her evenly again,
Between the evening and morrow,
They thought that she was quick asleep,
However she was lifeless with sorrow.
They’ve saved her ever since
Deep inside the lake,
On a mattress of flag-leaves,
Watching until she wake.

What are your favorite Victorian poems? For extra on this vein, try these 58 love poems!


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