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20 Line Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Ten True Friends by Anonymous
  2. The Two Kinds of People by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  3. The Pines by Ruby Archer
  4. Be Thou My Vision by Dallán Forgaill
  5. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
  6. Lend a Hand by Anonymous
  7. If I Were A Sunbeam by Alice Cary
  8. Contentment by Edward Dyer
  9. Amazing Grace by John Newton
  10. Somebody Said it Couldn't Be Done by Edgar Albert Guest
  11. Loving and Forgiving by Charles Swain
  12. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud (The Daffodils) by William Wordsworth
  13. All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil Frances Alexander
  14. All Creatures of Our God and King by Francis of Assisi
  15. Nobility by Alice Cary
  16. Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson
  17. A Valentine by Edgar Allan Poe
  18. Faith by Tessa Sweazy Webb
  19. In August by William Dean Howells
  20. The Camp-fire Has Gone Out by Anonymous

  1. Ten True Friends

    by Anonymous | Total Words: 93, Lines: 20

    Ten true friends you have,
    Who, five in a row,
    Upon each side of you
    Go where you go.

    Suppose you are sleepy,
    They help you to bed;
    Suppose you are hungry,
    They see that you are fed.

    They wake up your dolly
    And put on your clothes,
    And trundle her carriage
    Wherever she goes.

    And these ten tiny fellows,
    They serve you with ease;
    And they ask nothing from you,
    But work hard to please.

    Now, with ten willing servants
    So trusty and true,
    Pray who would be lazy
    Or idle—would you?

  2. The Two Kinds of People

    No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
    Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

    – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
    The Two Kinds of People
    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | Total Words: 190, Lines: 20

    There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
    Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

    Not the sinner and saint, for it's well understood,
    The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

    Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
    You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

    Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
    Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.

    Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
    Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

    No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
    Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

    Wherever you go, you will find the earth's masses
    Are always divided in just these two classes.

    And, oddly enough, you will find, too, I ween,
    There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.

    In which class are you? Are you easing the load
    Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?

    Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
    Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

  3. The Pines

    Old Settlers
    Old Settlers
    by Winslow Homer
    by Ruby Archer | Total Words: 106, Lines: 20

    What ethics in the pine-grove lurk
    For keen of ear to sound—
    A myriad kindly ministers,
    Humility profound.

    The trees maintain a brotherhood,
    The earth exhales a prayer,
    Each bough a precious ointment pours
    In balm upon the air.

    The ferns a tender refuge grant
    To vagrant, rolling cone;
    The forest monarch woos the bird
    To share his royal throne.

    The willing branches move aside
    To leave the sunlight room;
    And in the whole broad, lovely wood,
    No envy makes a gloom.

    Come out and learn of pine-grove lore
    How sweet it is to give,
    What perfect rule for happiness,—
    To live and help to live.

  4. Be Thou My Vision

    by Dallán Forgaill | Total Words: 164, Lines: 20

    Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
    Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
    Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
    Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

    Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word;
    I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
    Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
    Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

    Be Thou my battle shield, sword for the fight;
    Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight;
    Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high tower:
    Raise Thou me heav’nward, O power of my power.

    Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
    Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
    Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
    High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.

    High King of Heaven, my victory won,
    May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
    Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
    Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

  5. The Road Not Taken

    by Robert Frost | Total Words: 144, Lines: 20

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

  6. Because I could not stop for Death

    by Emily Dickinson

    Because I could not stop for Death,
    He kindly stopped for me;
    The carriage held but just ourselves
    And Immortality.

    We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
    And I had put away
    My labor, and my leisure too,
    For his civility.

    We passed the school where children played,
    Their lessons scarcely done;
    We passed the fields of gazing grain,
    We passed the setting sun.

    We paused before a house that seemed
    A swelling of the ground;
    The roof was scarcely visible,
    The cornice but a mound.

    Since then 't is centuries; but each
    Feels shorter than the day
    I first surmised the horses' heads
    Were toward eternity.

  7. A Valentine

    by Edgar Allan Poe | Total Words: 161, Total Lines: 20

    For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
    Brightly expressive as the twins of Loeda,
    Shall find her own sweet name, that, nestling lies
    Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
    Search narrowly the lines!—they hold a treasure
    Divine—a talisman—an amulet
    That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure—
    The words—the syllables! Do not forget
    The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor!
    And yet there is in this no Gordian knot

    Which one might not undo without a sabre,
    If one could merely comprehend the plot.
    Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
    Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
    Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
    Of poets, by poets—as the name is a poet’s, too.
    Its letters, although naturally lying
    Like the knight Pinto—Mendez Ferdinando—
    Still form a synonym for Truth—Cease trying!
    You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

  8. Faith

    by Tessa Sweazy Webb

    The raging storms that come and go
    Across our daily path
    Are but life's storms of grief and woe
    Spilling their bitter wrath;
    And all the while
    Their shrewd beguile
    Is testing out our faith.

    Some day
    The raging storms that blew
    Across my soul, and tore
    Asunder all my earthly joys
    Shall rage for me
    No more.

    At evening I shall go to sleep
    And waken at the dawn
    To find life's storms, bitter and deep,
    A quiet, silver calm
    Across my lea
    And every heart-ache gone.

  9. In August

    by William Dean Howells

    All the long August afternoon,
    The little drowsy stream
    Whispers a melancholy tune,
    As if it dreamed of June
    And whispered in its dream.

    The thistles show beyond the brook
    Dust on their down and bloom,
    And out of many a weed-grown nook
    The aster-flowers look
    With eyes of tender gloom.

    The silent orchard aisles are sweet
    With smell of ripening fruit.
    Through the sere grass, in shy retreat,
    Flutter, at coming feet,
    The robins strange and mute.

    There is no wind to stir the leaves,
    The harsh leaves overhead;
    Only the querulous cricket grieves,
    And shrilling locust weaves
    A song of Summer dead.

  10. The Camp-fire Has Gone Out

    by Anonymous

    Through progress of the railroads our occupation's gone;
    So we will put ideas into words, our words into a song.
    First comes the cowboy; he is pointed for the west;
    Of all the pioneers I claim the cowboys are the best;
    You will miss him on the round-up; it's gone, his merry shout,—
    The cowboy has left the country and the camp-fire has gone out.

    There is the freighters, our companions; you've got to leave this land;
    Can't drag your loads for nothing through the gumbo and the sand.
    The railroads are bound to beat you when you do your level best;
    So give it up to the grangers and strike out for the west.
    Bid them all adieu and give the merry shout,—
    The cowboy has left the country and the camp-fire has gone out.

    When I think of those good old days, my eyes with tears do fill;
    When I think of the tin can by the fire and the coyote on the hill.
    I'll tell you, boys, in those days old-timers stood a show,—
    Our pockets full of money, not a sorrow did we know.
    But things have changed now; we are poorly clothed and fed.
    Our wagons are all broken and our ponies 'most all dead.
    Soon we will leave this country; you'll hear the angels shout,
    "Oh, here they come to Heaven, the camp-fire has gone out."

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