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100 Most Famous Poems

The following is a list of the top 100 most famous poems of all time in the English language. There's always room for debate when creating a "top 100" list, and let's face it, fame is a pretty fickle thing. It changes over time. But that said, we did our best to use available objective data in putting together this ranked list of the 100 most widely recognized and enduring poems ever written. To create this list, the following criteria was used: 1) Only poems that have "stood the test of time" were considered. Therefore, modern poetry of the last century was not included. 2) Each poem's ranking is based on its relative fame within the English language. 3) In order to create more even ground for comparison, we have not included in this list nursery rhymes, or poems whose fame was primarily gained from being set to music.

More Lists of Famous Poems

  1. The Raven
    by Edgar Allan Poe
    “Once upon a midnight dreary,
    While I pondered, weak and weary,”
  2. Ozymandias
    by Percy Bysshe Shelley
    “I met a traveler from an antique land
    Who said: 'Two vast and trunkless legs of stone”
  3. The Road Not Taken
    by Robert Frost
    “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both”
  4. Annabel Lee
    by Edgar Allan Poe
    “It was many and many a year ago,
    In a kingdom by the sea,”
  5. Invictus
    by William Ernest Henley
    “Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,”
  6. Nothing Gold Can Stay
    by Robert Frost
    “Nature's first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.”
  7. Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day
    by William Shakespeare
    “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
    Thou art more lovely and more temperate:”
  8. O Captain! My Captain!
    by Walt Whitman
    “O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
    The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,”
  9. Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
    by Robert Frost
    “Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;”
  10. No Man is an Island
    by John Donne
    “No man is an island,
    Entire of itself,”
  11. Casey at the Bat
    by Ernest Lawrence Thayer
    “The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
    The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play”
  12. Because I could not stop for Death
    by Emily Dickinson
    “Because I could not stop for Death,
    He kindly stopped for me;”
  13. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
    by T. S. Eliot
    “Let us go then, you and I,
    When the evening is spread out against the sky”
  14. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
    by William Wordsworth
    “I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,”
  15. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
    by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    “It is an ancient Mariner,
    And he stoppeth one of three.”
  16. Paul Revere's Ride
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    “Listen, my children, and you shall hear
    Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,”
  17. If—
    by Rudyard Kipling
    “If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,”
  18. Kubla Khan
    by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree:”
  19. In Flanders Fields
    by John McCrae
    “In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,”
  20. Hope is the thing with feathers
    by Emily Dickinson
    “Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,”
  21. Endymion
    by John Keats
    “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its loveliness increases; it will never”
  22. Old Ironsides
    by Oliver Wendell Holmes
    “Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
    Long has it waved on high,”
  23. Sonnet 43: How Do I Love Thee?
    by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height ”
  24. She Walks in Beauty
    by George Gordon, Lord Byron
    “She walks in beauty, like the night
    Of cloudless climes and starry skies;”
  25. Dover Beach
    by Matthew Arnold
    “The sea is calm tonight.
    The tide is full, the moon lies fair”
  26. The Charge of the Light Brigade
    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    “Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,”
  27. Thanatopsis
    by William Cullen Bryant
    “To him who in the love of nature holds
    Communion with her visible forms, she speaks”
  28. Ode on a Grecian Urn
    by John Keats
    “Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
    Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,”
  29. Fire and Ice
    by Robert Frost
    “Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.”
  30. The Lady of Shalott
    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    “On either side the river lie
    Long fields of barley and of rye,”
  31. John Barleycorn
    by Robert Burns
    “There was three kings into the east,
    Three kings both great and high,”
  32. The Highwayman
    by Alfred Noyes
    “The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
    The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.”
  33. The New Colossus
    by Emma Lazarus
    “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;”
  34. The World is Too Much With Us
    by William Wordsworth
    “The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—”
  35. Mending Wall
    by Robert Frost
    “Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
    That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,”
  36. The Sun Rising
    by John Donne
    “Busy old fool, unruly sun,
    Why dost thou thus,”
  37. Ode to a Nightingale
    by John Keats
    “My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
    My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,”
  38. We Wear the Mask
    by Paul Laurence Dunbar
    “We wear the mask that grins and lies,
    It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—”
  39. A Dream Within a Dream
    by Edgar Allan Poe
    “Take this kiss upon the brow!
    And, in parting from you now,”
  40. The Tyger
    by William Blake
    “Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
    In the forests of the night;”
  41. I heard a Fly buzz when I died
    by Emily Dickinson
    “I heard a Fly buzz when I died;
    The stillness round my form”
  42. Ode to the West Wind
    by Percy Bysshe Shelley
    “O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
    Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead”
  43. The Passionate Shepherd To His Love
    by Christopher Marlowe
    “Come live with me and be my love,
    And we will all the pleasures prove,”
  44. The Cremation of Sam McGee
    by Robert Service
    “There are strange things done in the midnight sun
    By the men who moil for gold;”
  45. Acquainted with the Night
    by Robert Frost
    “I have been one acquainted with the night.
    I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.”
  46. To My Dear and Loving Husband
    by Anne Bradstreet
    “If ever two were one, then surely we.
    If ever man were loved by wife, than thee;”
  47. Crossing the Bar
    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    “Sunset and evening star,
    And one clear call for me!”
  48. I felt a funeral in my brain
    by Emily Dickinson
    “I felt a funeral in my brain
    And mourners, to and fro,”
  49. A Noiseless Patient Spider
    by Walt Whitman
    “A noiseless patient spider,
    I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,”
  50. When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be
    by John Keats
    “When I have fears that I may cease to be
    Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,”
  51. A Psalm of Life
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    “Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream!”
  52. Holy Sonnet 10: Death, be not proud
    by John Donne
    “Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;”
  53. Ulysses
    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    “It little profits that an idle king,
    By this still hearth, among these barren crags,”
  54. A Red, Red Rose
    by Robert Burns
    “O my Luve is like a red, red rose
    That’s newly sprung in June;”
  55. Much madness is divinest sense
    by Emily Dickinson
    “Much Madness is divinest Sense
    To a discerning eye;”
  56. Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
    by Thomas Gray
    “The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
    The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea,”
  57. The Soldier
    by Rupert Brooke
    “If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there’s some corner of a foreign field”
  58. A Poison Tree
    by William Blake
    “I was angry with my friend;
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.”
  59. To a Mouse
    by Robert Burns
    “Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
    O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!”
  60. Success is counted sweetest
    by Emily Dickinson
    “Success is counted sweetest
    By those who ne'er succeed.”
  61. Birches
    by Robert Frost
    “When I see birches bend to left and right
    Across the lines of straighter darker trees,”
  62. Love’s Philosophy
    by Percy Bysshe Shelley
    “The fountains mingle with the river
    And the rivers with the ocean,”
  63. When I consider how my light is spent
    by John Milton
    “When I consider how my light is spent,
    Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,”
  64. Snow-Bound
    by John Greenleaf Whittier
    “The sun that brief December day
    Rose cheerless over hills of gray,”
  65. A Valentine
    by Edgar Allan Poe
    “For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
    Brightly expressive as the twins of Loeda,”
  66. My life had stood — a loaded gun
    by Emily Dickinson
    “My life had stood — a loaded gun —
    In Corners — till a Day”
  67. To Autumn
    by John Keats
    “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;”
  68. I Have a Rendezvous with Death
    by Alan Seeger
    “I have a rendezvous with Death
    At some disputed barricade”
  69. Auguries of Innocence
    by William Blake
    “To see a world in a grain of sand,
    And a heaven in a wild flower,”
  70. Love’s Secret
    by Percy William Blake
    “Never seek to tell thy love,
    Love that never told can be;”
  71. Horatius at the Bridge
    by Thomas Babington Macaulay
    “Lars Porsena of Clusium,
    By the Nine Gods he swore”
  72. Abou Ben Adhem
    by Leigh Hunt
    “Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,”
  73. Tell all the truth but tell it slant
    by Emily Dickinson
    “Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
    Success in Circuit lies”
  74. The Village Blacksmith
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    “Under a spreading chestnut-tree
    The village smithy stands;”
  75. Good Timber
    by Douglas Malloch
    “The tree that never had to fight
    For sun and sky and air and light,”
  76. Trees
    by Joyce Kilmer
    “I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.”
  77. The Hayloft
    by Robert Louis Stevenson
    “Through all the pleasant meadow-side
    The grass grew shoulder-high,”
  78. Who Has Seen the Wind?
    by Christina Rossetti
    “Who has seen the wind?
    Neither I nor you;”
  79. Frost at Midnight
    by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    “The frost performs its secret ministry,
    Unhelped by any wind. The owlet’s cry”
  80. All the world's a stage
    by William Shakespeare
    “All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;”
  81. A bird came down the walk
    by Emily Dickinson
    “A bird came down the walk:
    He did not know I saw;”
  82. Pioneers! O Pioneers!
    by Walt Whitman
    “Come, my tan-faced children,
    Follow well in order, get your weapons ready;”
  83. Alone
    by Edgar Allan Poe
    “From childhood’s hour I have not been
    As others were—I have not seen”
  84. I'm nobody! Who are you?
    by Emily Dickinson
    “I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?”
  85. The Chambered Nautilus
    by Oliver Wendell Holmes
    “This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
    Sails the unshadowed main,—”
  86. Concord Hymn
    by Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
    Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,”
  87. Remember
    by Christina Rossetti
    “Remember me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;”
  88. Sea Fever
    by John Masefield
    “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;”
  89. Fog
    by Carl Sandburg
    “The fog comes
    on little cat feet.”
  90. When We Two Parted
    by George Gordon, Lord Byron
    “When we two parted
    In silence and tears,”
  91. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes
    by Francis William Bourdillon
    “The night has a thousand eyes,
    And the day but one;”
  92. There is no frigate like a book
    by Emily Dickinson
    “There is no frigate like a book
    To take us lands away,”
  93. If I can stop one heart from breaking
    by Emily Dickinson
    “If I can stop one heart from breaking
    I shall not live in vain;”
  94. In Memoriam A.H.H.
    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    “Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
    The flying cloud, the frosty light:”
  95. The Arrow and the Song
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    “I shot an arrow into the air,
    It fell to earth, I knew not where;”
  96. The Eagle
    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    “He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
    Close to the sun in lonely lands,”
  97. Casabianca
    by Felicia Hemans
    “The boy stood on the burning deck,
    Whence all but him had fled;”
  98. A Dream
    by Edgar Allan Poe
    “In visions of the dark night
    I have dreamed of joy departed—”
  99. Simplicity (How happy is the little stone)
    by Emily Dickinson
    “How happy is the little stone
    That rambles in the road alone,”
  100. I like to see it lap the miles
    by Emily Dickinson
    “I like to see it lap the miles,
    And lick the valleys up,”