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Topic: First Lines of Poems, Famous First Lines of Poems, Opening Lines Famous Poems
Related Quotes:   First Lines of Novels
Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the streightforward pathway had been lost.
The Divine Comedy, Inferno (translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), Dante Alighieri
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
If, Rudyard Kipling

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
Sea Fever, John Masefield

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
The Charge of the Light Brigade, Alfred Lord Tennyson

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stoping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost

Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen.
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, John Keats

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach.
Sonnet 43, Elizabeth Barrett Browning

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
Kubla Khan, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger
Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey.
The Iliad, Homer

O MY Luve's like a red, red rose
That 's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune!
A Red, Red Rose, Robert Burns

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl and the Pussycat, Edward Lear

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.
Do Not Go Gentle Into the Good Night, Dylan Thomas

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me.
Because I Could Not Stop for Death, Emily Dickinson

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.
Howl, Allen Ginsberg

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies.
She Walks in Beauty, Lord Byron

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T. S. Eliot

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot.
The Lady of Shalott, Alfred Lord Tennyson

Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, Heavenly Muse.
Paradise Lost, John Milton

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made.
Lake Isle of Innisfree, William Butler Yeats##

a crystal willow, a poplar of water,
a tall fountain the wind arches over,
a tree deep-rooted yet dancing still,
a course of a river that turns, moves on,
doubles back, and comes full circle,
forever arriving
The Sun Stone (translated by Eliot Weinberger), Octavio Paz

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I'll not look for wine.
Song to Celia II, Ben Jonson

Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc'd by fate,
And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate,
Expell'd and exil'd, left the Trojan shore.
Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore,
And in the doubtful war, before he won
The Latian realm, and built the destin'd town.
The Aeneid (translated by John Dryden), Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro)

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
Song of Songs, which is Solomon's

Experience, though no authority
Were in this world, were good enough for me,
To speak of woe that is in all marriage;
For, masters, since I was twelve years of age,
Thanks be to God Who is for aye alive,
Of husbands at church door have I had five;
For men so many times have wedded me;
And all were worthy men in their degree.
The Centerbury Tales, The Wife of Bath's Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, Robert Herrick

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Elergy Written in a Country Churchyhard, Thomas Gray

And it was at this age ... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
Poetry, Pablo Neruda

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Funeral Blues, W. H. Auden

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
To his Coy Mistress, Andrew Marvell

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of golden daffodils.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, William Wordsworth

Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremedicated art.
To a Skylark, Percy Bysse Shelley

So worn with passing through the bars,
His gaze holds nothning any more.
The Panther, Rainer Maria Rilke

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

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