The HyperTexts

The Most Popular Poems of All Time
The Most-Read Poems of All Time
The Most Anthologized Poems of All Time


Who wrote the most popular poems of all time? While I admit that my rankings here are not "scientific," I did consult a number of sources. I started with Google's rankings of the "most popular poems" and the "most read poems" (searches which return "similar but different" results). I then factored in the number of "direct hits" obtained by enclosing the main part of the title in quotation marks (not as helpful when the title happens to be a common term, so I repeated the searches using the poets' last names). I also referred to reader polls such as Ranker's. And I used Lithub's rankings of the top poems by inclusions in anthologies over the last 25 years and William Harmon's rankings via older anthologies. I then tried to determine which poems appeared highest in the most lists. While this may be less than scientific, I think the results are interesting and meaningful. The construct [#] means the poem ranked at the designated position in William Harmon's index of the 500 most anthologized poems. An asterisk means there is a note about the poem or poet at the end of the section. It's interesting, I think, that most of the highly popular poems on the Internet also appear in Harmon's index. That suggests that anthologists have done a generally commendable job of including the best poems, or that being included in anthologies makes poems more popular with the reading public. (Or perhaps a bit of both.) But there are some head-scratchers; for instance, why is the top-ranked poem with modern readers only #149 with the anthologists?

Here are some general observations: (1) The anthologists understandably omit extremely long poems like "Paradise Lost," "The Faerie Queen" and "The Waste Land." (2) They also tend to omit story poems like "The Raven," "The Highwayman" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (perhaps due to length, but even shorter story poems like "The Charge of the Light Brigade" seem to be out of favor). (3) Anthologists seem to frown on inspirational poems like "If" and "Invictus." (4) Poets who have written more recently have not had as much time to be anthologized; for instance, Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou. Therefore, I have given more weight to reader preferences.

compiled by Michael R. Burch

The Top Ten Most Popular Poems of All Time

(#1) "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost has 1.1 million "direct hits" according to Google, 671K with the poet's last name included [#149]
(#2) "Do Not Go Gentle (Into That Good Night)" by Dylan Thomas has 1.2 million direct hits, 391K with  the poet's last name included [#37]
(#3) "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe has 16.6 million direct hits, even with the poet's last name included! [#102]
(#4) "The Tyger" by William Blake has 492K direct hits of "The Tiger" with the poet's last name included [#1*]
(#5) "Stopping by Woods (on a Snowy Evening)" by Robert Frost has 474K direct hits [#6]
(#6) "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge has 390K direct hits [#84]
(#7) "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot (306K direct hits) [#27]
(#8) "Shall I Compare Thee (to a Summer's Day)" by William Shakespeare has 306K direct hits [#23]
(#9) "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley has 1.6 million direct hits, 199K with the poet's last name included [#21]
(#10) "The Waste Land" by T. S. Eliot  has 2.5 million direct hits, 178K with the poet's last name included [#195]

[*] NOTES: The top three poems are very close, with "The Raven" leading in "direct hits" and the other two ranking higher with other sources. William Blake's "The Tyger" is the most anthologized poem in the English language and it remains very popular on the web. The second-most anthologized poem, the ancient ballad "Sir Patrick Spens," is not as popular today according to Google, perhaps due to "dusty" language, so it ended up in my Honorable Mentions. It's hard to quibble with any of the poems above, although I would have included William Butler Yeats ("The Wild Swans at Coole"), Louise Bogan ("Song for the Last Act" or "After the Persian"), Wallace Stevens ("The Snow Man") and Hart Crane (the long version of "Voyages").

The Top Twenty-Five Most Popular Poems of All Time

(#11) "All the World's a Stage" and "That Time of Year Thou Mayest in Me Behold" [#4] by William Shakespeare
(#12) "If" by Rudyard Kipling
(#13) "A Red, Red Rose" [#122] by Robert Burns (the poem Bob Dylan said inspired his artistic career)
(#14) "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley (the favorite poem of Nelson Mandela)
(#15) "O Captain! My Captain!" [#208] by Walt Whitman (one of his rare rhyming poems, an elegy for Abraham Lincoln)
(#16) "Dulce et Decorum Est" [#102] and "Anthem for Doomed Youth" [#31] by Wilfred Owen
(#17) "Paradise Lost" by John Milton (the last major epic poem in English, and still a marvel of the language)
(#18) "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold [#8]
(#19) "The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri 
(#20) "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou
(#21) "A Dream Within a Dream" and "Annabel Lee" [#124] by Edgar Allan Poe
(#22) "To His Coy Mistress" [#11] and "The Garden" [#62] by Andrew Marvell
(#23) "Ode on a Grecian Urn" [#49], "Ode to a Nightingale" [#26], "La Belle Dame sans Merci" [#9] and "To Autumn" [#3*] by John Keats
(#24) "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes [*]
(#25) "I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud" [#42] and "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth

[*] NOTES: William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Wilfred Owen, Robert Frost and T. S. Eliot each have two of the top twenty-five poems, while Edgar Allan Poe has three and John Keats four. I was surprised and delighted to see "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes appear in the top twenty-five. It's one of the most musical poems in the English language, and one of the spookiest. My mother used to read it to me and my sisters when we were children. Today there are compelling YouTube performances of the poem as well. It's one of the very best ghost stories, and well worth the time to explore (especially if you have, or know, children). "To Autumn" by John Keats is the third-most anthologized poem, according to William Harmon.

The Top Fifty Most Popular Poems of All Time

(#26) "One Art" and "The Fish" [#177] by Elizabeth Bishop
(#27) "Birches" [#236] by Robert Frost
(#28) "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge [#7]
(#29) "Ulysses" [#95] and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" [#284] by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
(#30) "Sunday Morning" [#116] and "The Emperor of Ice-Cream" [#173] by Wallace Stevens
(#31) "The Windhover" [#30] and "Pied Beauty" [#5] by Gerard Manley Hopkins
(#32) "The Odyssey" and "The Iliad" by Homer
(#33) "The Faerie Queen" by Edmund Spenser
(#34) "Dreams" and "Harlem (A Dream Deferred)" by Langston Hughes
(#35) "To an Athlete Dying Young" [#127] and "Loveliest of Trees" [#55] by A. E. Housman
(#36) "The Hollow Men" by T. S. Eliot
(#37) "She Walks in Beauty" by Lord Byron
(#38) "Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds" [#24] and "Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun" [#25] by William Shakespeare
(#39) "Death Be Not Proud" [#13] and "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning" [#106] by John Donne
(#40) "In a Station of the Metro" [#265] and "The River Merchant's Wife: a Letter" [#46] by Ezra Pound
(#41) "I Carry Your Heart with Me" by E. E. Cummings
(#42) "Love's Philosophy" and "Ode to the West Wind" [#35] by Percy Bysshe Shelley
(#43) "Howl" and "A Supermarket in California" [#267] by Allen Ginsberg
(#44) "Song of Myself" and "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" by Walt Whitman
(#45) "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" [#29] and "A Certain Slant of Light" [#144] by Emily Dickinson
(#46) "Daddy" [#178] and "Lady Lazarus" by Sylvia Plath
(#47) "The Red Wheelbarrow" [#117] by William Carlos Williams
(#48) "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus
(#49) "Wulf and Eadwacer" by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon scop [*]
(#50) "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" [#494] by Oscar Wilde

[*] NOTES: William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot and Edgar Allan Poe each have three of the fifty most popular poems. I was especially happy to see "Wulf and Eadwacer" appear in the top fifty, as it's a poem I have translated myself and have spent years promoting. It may be the oldest poem in the English language written by a female poet, and it's as powerful today as the day it was penned. The poem appears below, along with several others in the top fifty. I like to think that I may have played a part in the poem appearing in the top twenty-five with Google for "most read poems of all time."

HIGH HONORABLE MENTION: "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" [#10] and "Upon Julia's Clothes" [#14] by Robert Herrick, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" [#11] by Christopher Marlowe, "They Flee from Me" [#39] by Sir Thomas Wyatt, "Sir Patrick Spens" [#2] by Anonymous, "My Last Duchess" [#43] by Robert Browning, "The Darkling Thrush" [#54] by Thomas Hardy, "If You Forget Me" by Pablo Neruda, "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou, "For the Union Dead" [#196] and "Skunk Hour" [#103] by Robert Lowell, "The Armadillo" by Elizabeth Bishop, "Musée des Beaux Arts" [#67] and "Funeral Blues" by W. H. Auden, "Voyages" and "To Brooklyn Bridge" [#75] by Hart Crane, "We Real Cool" [#335] by Gwendolyn Brooks, "Poetry" by Marianne Moore, "My Papa's Waltz" [#88] and "I Knew a Woman" [#130] by Theodore Roethke, "Love Calls Us to the Things of This World" [#336] by Richard Wilbur, "Church Going" [#337] by Philip Larkin, "Paul Revere's Ride" [#313] by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Jabberwocky" [#18] by Lewis Carroll, "Tom o' Bedlam's Song" [#268] by Anonymous, "Those Winter Sundays" [#266] by Robert Hayden, "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" [#68] by Randall Jarrell, "Shine, Perishing Republic" [#386] by Robinson Jeffers, "Ars Poetica" [#175] by Archibald MacLeish, "Miniver Cheevy" [#74] and "Richard Cory" [#148] by E. A. Robinson, "Chicago" [#237] by Carl Sandburg, "A Blessing" by James Wright, "The Second Coming" [#19] and "Sailing to Byzantium" [#22] and "The Wild Swans at Coole" [#235] and "Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W. B Yeats, "Eloisa to Abelard" by Alexander Pope, "A Poison Tree" [#355], "London" [#50] and "The Sick Rose" [#94] by William Blake, "Mending Wall" and "Fire and Ice" [#129] by Robert Frost, "Piano" [#151] by D. H. Lawrence, "To a Mouse" [#206] by Robert Burns, "Fern Hill" [#57] by Dylan Thomas, "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye, "Hope is a Thing with Feathers" by Emily Dickinson, "Let America be America Again" by Langston Hughes

[*] NOTES: I also like to think that I may have played a part in popularizing "Tom O'Bedlam's Song." Many years ago, I was unable to find the best version of the poem online. The versions I was able to find were wretched facsimiles, with glaring errors. So I looked up the poem in one of my anthologies and typed it in very carefully. For some time, to my knowledge, that was the only correct version of the poem available on the web.

SOURCES: Google "the most popular poems of all time" search; Google "the most read poems of all time" search; Google individual searches of the top ten poems by title (with and without the poet's last name); Ranker; Lithub; AllPoetry; William Harmon's introduction to his Top 500 Poems anthology and his index of "The Poems in Order of Popularity."

According to William Harmon, the top poets in the English language, ranked by the number of poems anthologized, are William Shakespeare (29), Anonymous (21), John Donne (19), William Blake (18), Emily Dickinson (14), William Butler Yeats (14), William Wordsworth (13), Gerard Manley Hopkins (12), Alfred Tennyson (11), Thomas Hardy (11), Robert Frost (11) and John Keats (10).



A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Its loveliness increases; it will never
pass into nothingness ...
John Keats



Wulf and Eadwacer (anonymous Anglo-Saxon ballad, circa 990 AD)
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

My clan's curs pursue him like crippled game.
They'll rip him apart if he approaches their pack.
We are so different.

Wulf's on one island; I'm on another.
His island's a fortress, fastened by fens.
Here bloodthirsty men howl for sacrifice.
They'll rip him apart if he approaches their pack.
We are so different.

My thoughts pursued Wulf like panting hounds.
Whenever it rained and I sobbed, disconsolate,
huge, battle-strong arms grabbed and engulfed me.
Good feelings for him, but for me loathsome!
Wulf, oh, my Wulf! My desire for you
has made me sick; your seldom-comings
have left me famished, deprived of real meat.
Do you hear, Heaven-Watcher? A wolf has borne
our wretched whelp to the woods.
One can easily sever what never was one:
our song together.

Translator's Notes: This ancient poem has been characterized as an elegy, a wild lament, a lover's lament, a passion play, a riddle, a song, or an early ballad (it may be the earliest English poem with a refrain). However, most scholars place it within the genre of the frauenlied, or woman's song. It may be the first extant poem authored by a woman in the fledgling English language; it seems likely that the poet was a woman because we don't usually think of ancient scops pretending to be women. "Wulf and Eadwacer" might also be called the first English feminist text, as the speaker seems to be challenging and mocking the man who has been raping and impregnating her. And the poem's closing metaphor of a loveless relationship being like a song in which two voices never harmonized remains one of the strongest in the English language, or any language.—Michael R. Burch



In A Station Of The Metro
by Ezra Pound

The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.



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.



A Blessing
by James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.



Those Winter Sundays

by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?



Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.



When I Heard The Learn'd Astronomer
by Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.



The Windhover
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.



A Red, Red Rose

by Robert Burns

Oh my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
Oh my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile!



Dreams
by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.



Harlem: A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?



One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.



Dover Beach
by Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm to-night,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The sea of faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.



Dulce Et Decorum Est
by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Note: "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" is from Horace's Odes and means: "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."



The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
by Randall Jarrell

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

Randall Jarrell was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1914, the year World War I began. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Vanderbilt University, where he studied under Robert Penn Warren, John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate. In 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and worked as a control tower operator during World War II, an experience which influenced and provided material for his poetry. Jarrell’s reputation as a poet was established in 1945 with the publication of his second book, Little Friend, Little Friend, which "bitterly and dramatically documents the intense fears and moral struggles of young soldiers."



The Tyger
by William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?



When I Was One-and-Twenty
by A. E. Housman

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
"The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue."
And I am two-and-twenty
And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.



She Walks In Beauty
by Lord Bryon

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 mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd 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 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!

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