close close2 chevron-circle-left chevron-circle-right twitter bookmark4 facebook3 twitter3 pinterest3 feed4 envelope star quill

Broken Heart Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Heart, we will forget him! by Emily Dickinson
  2. A poor torn heart, a tattered heart by Emily Dickinson
  3. The Broken Hearted by Hannah Flagg Gould
  4. Till the End by Emily Dickinson
  5. Not with a club the heart is broken by Emily Dickinson
  6. Consecration by Emily Dickinson
  7. The Revelation by William Francis Barnard
  8. A Life-Lesson by James Whitcomb Riley
  9. The Hidden Name by Hannah Flagg Gould
  10. If I can stop one heart from breaking by Emily Dickinson
  11. Only a Blush by Mary E. Tucker
  12. Forgiven by Margaret E. Sangster
  13. The Heart of a Woman by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  14. Ingratitude by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  15. A Bad Half Hour by Charles Badger Clark
  16. The Broken Heart by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  17. You Will Forget Me by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  18. Only a Simple Rhyme by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  19. I Smile, But Oh! My Heart is Breaking. by Mary E. Tucker
  20. Love lies Bleeding by Christina Rossetti
  21. The Fisher's Wife by Susan Rhyce Beckwith
  22. Highland Mary by Robert Burns

  1. Heart, we will forget him!

    by Emily Dickinson

    Heart, we will forget him!
    You and I, to-night!
    You may forget the warmth he gave,
    I will forget the light.

    When you have done, pray tell me,
    That I my thoughts may dim;
    Haste! lest while you're lagging,
    I may remember him!

  2. A poor torn heart, a tattered heart

    by Emily Dickinson

    A poor torn heart, a tattered heart,
    That sat it down to rest,
    Nor noticed that the ebbing day
    Flowed silver to the west,
    Nor noticed night did soft descend
    Nor constellation burn,
    Intent upon the vision
    Of latitudes unknown.

    The angels, happening that way,
    This dusty heart espied;
    Tenderly took it up from toil
    And carried it to God.
    There, — sandals for the barefoot;
    There, — gathered from the gales,
    Do the blue havens by the hand
    Lead the wandering sails.

  3. The Broken Hearted

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    She braided a wreath for her silken hair,
    And kindled a smile on her sad, pale face;
    For a secret had been writing there,
    In lines that sorrow alone could trace!

    She gave a check to the rising sigh,
    And sent it again at its source to swell;
    While she turned to dash from her tearful eye
    A glittering drop, that her tale might tell.

    Her foot in the dazzling hall was found
    As lightly the maze of the dance to thread,
    While, sportive, she moved to the viol's sound,
    As if not a hope of her heart had fled!

    Yet she wished, ere a rose in her wreath should die,
    Or the smile on her lip should cease to play,
    Her head on the pillow of death might lie,
    And the suffering chords of her heart give way!

    But she poured no plaint in an earthly ear;
    Her soul with its secret griefs went up,
    Beseeching her God that he would hear—
    Withdraw the bitter, or break the cup!

    Her prayer was heard, and the sigh was stilled,
    As if in her breast it ne'er had been!
    The tear, ere it sprang to her eye, was chilled;
    And the lids for ever had locked it in!

    I bent o'er her pale and breathless clay,
    As it shone in the light, like a frozen flower,
    That stands in the air of a winter's day,
    Ere a leaf has drooped at the sunbeam's power!

    'T was wrapped in a sweet and holy calm,
    That bade each shadow of grief depart!
    The spirit had risen to breathe the balm,
    Which Gilead sheds for the pure in heart!

  4. Till the End

    by Emily Dickinson

    I should not dare to leave my friend,
    Because — because if he should die
    While I was gone, and I — too late —
    Should reach the heart that wanted me;

    If I should disappoint the eyes
    That hunted, hunted so, to see,
    And could not bear to shut until
    They "noticed" me — they noticed me;

    If I should stab the patient faith
    So sure I'd come — so sure I'd come,
    It listening, listening, went to sleep
    Telling my tardy name, —

    My heart would wish it broke before,
    Since breaking then, since breaking then,
    Were useless as next morning's sun,
    Where midnight frosts had lain!

  5. Not with a club the heart is broken

    by Emily Dickinson

    Not with a club the heart is broken,
    Nor with a stone;
    A whip, so small you could not see it.
    I've known

    To lash the magic creature
    Till it fell,
    Yet that whip's name too noble
    Then to tell.

    Magnanimous of bird
    By boy descried,
    To sing unto the stone
    Of which it died.

  6. Consecration

    by Emily Dickinson

    Proud of my broken heart since thou didst break it,
    Proud of the pain I did not feel till thee,
    Proud of my night since thou with moons dost slake it,
    Not to partake thy passion, my humility.

  7. The Revelation

    by William Francis Barnard

    The bruisèd rose shall yield more sweet
    Than erst it could impart;
    And love shall fill, as is most meet,
    A bruisèd heart.

    Through its own woe the heart shall learn
    The sorrows of the earth;—
    Thenceforth its life with love shall burn:
    It knows the worth.

  8. A Life-Lesson

    by James Whitcomb Riley

    There! little girl; don't cry!
    They have broken your doll, I know;
    And your tea-set blue,
    And your play-house, too,
    Are things of the long ago;
    But childish troubles will soon pass by. —
    There! little girl; don't cry!

    There! little girl; don't cry!
    They have broken your slate, I know;
    And the glad, wild ways
    Of your schoolgirl days
    Are things of the long ago;
    But life and love will soon come by. —
    There! little girl; don't cry!

    There! little girl; don't cry!
    They have broken your heart I know;
    And the rainbow gleams
    Of your youthful dreams
    Are things of the long ago;
    But Heaven holds all for which you sigh. —
    There! little girl; don't cry!

  9. The Hidden Name

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    She loved; but her bosom had buried the dart;
    And there, while she strove to conceal it,
    Its point had engraven his NAME on her heart
    Too deep for her lips to reveal it.

    She wept; but the world knew it not, for her eye,
    Of joy's playful sunlight would borrow
    A few dazzling beams, when another was by,
    To drink up the dew-drops of sorrow.

    She grieved; and in secret the sigh would release,
    That long in her breast had been stifled.
    She pined; and in solitude mourned for the peace,
    Whereof her young heart had been rifled.

    She languished and faded, and silently fell;
    And now in the tomb she is lying.
    While none that looked on could the malady tell,
    The flower in its beauty was dying!

    But told was her secret on many a leaf,
    While cold was the hand that conveyed it
    In lines that were broken and blotted with grief,
    Where Death, a pale spoiler! betrayed it.

    And yet, not a trace of the NAME can be found;
    With darkness and silence hung o'er it,
    The sacred engraving is hid in the ground,
    Locked up in the bosom that bore it!

  10. 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;
    If I can ease one life the aching,
    Or cool one pain,
    Or help one fainting robin
    Unto his nest again,
    I shall not live in vain.

  11. Only a Blush

    by Mary E. Tucker

    Only a blush! O'er the cheek it swept,
    In a tint, but a shade more bright,
    While over the forehead the soft glow crept,
    Like Aurora's roseate light.

    Only a blush! 'Twas a single word
    That the heart's deep fountain woke,
    And in turbulent gushes, its depths were stirred,
    For the lips were loved that spoke.

    Only a blush! Yet the glow revealed
    That she loved him, and with pride
    In the armor of many a conquest steel'd,
    He lingered near her side,

    And breathed into her credulous ear,
    In the whim of an idle hour,
    Vows never forgotten by those who hear
    When subjected to Love's cruel power.

    Only a blush! Long it lingered there
    And assumed a hectic token,
    When the vows that woke it had vanished in air,
    And the maiden's heart was broken.

  12. Pardon Time

    by John Charles McNeill

    You left me when the weary weight of sorrow
    Lay, like a stone, upon my bursting heart;
    It seemed as if no shimmering tomorrow
    Could dry the tears that you had caused to start.
    You left me, never telling why you wandered—
    Without a word, without a last caress;
    Left me with but the love that I had squandered,
    The husks of love and a vast loneliness.

    And yet if you came back with arms stretched toward me,
    Came back to-night, with carefree, smiling eyes,
    And said: "My journeying has somehow bored me,
    And love, though broken, never, never dies!"
    I would forget the wounded heart you gave me,
    I would forget the bruises on my soul.
    My old-time gods would rise again to save me,
    My dreams would grow supremely new and whole.
    What though youth lay, a tattered garment, o'er you?
    Warm words would leap upon my lips, long dumb;
    If you came back, with arms stretched out before you,
    AND TOLD ME, DEAR, THAT YOU WERE GLAD TO COME!

  13. The Heart of a Woman

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn,
    As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on,
    Afar o’er life’s turrets and vales does it roam
    In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home.

    The heart of a woman falls back with the night,
    And enters some alien cage in its plight,
    And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars
    While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars.

  14. Flower and Thorn

    by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

    Four bluish eggs all in the moss!
    Soft-lined home on the cherry-bough!
    Life is trouble, and love is loss—
    There's only one robin now.

    O robin up in the cherry-tree,
    Singing your soul away,
    Great is the grief befallen me,
    And how can you be so gay?

    Long ago when you cried in the nest,
    The last of the sickly brood,
    Scarcely a pinfeather warming your breast,
    Who was it brought you food?

    Who said, "Music, come fill his throat,
    Or ever the May be fled"?
    Who was it loved the low sweet note
    And the bosom's sea-shell red?

    Who said, "Cherries, grow ripe and big,
    Black and ripe for this bird of mine"?
    How little bright-bosom bends the twig,
    Sipping the black-heart's wine!

    Now that my days and nights are woe,
    Now that I weep for love's dear sake—
    There you go singing away as though
    Never a heart could break!

  15. A Bad Half Hour

    by Charles Badger Clark

    Wonder why I feel so restless;
    Moon is shinin' still and bright,
    Cattle all is restin' easy,
    But I just kaint sleep tonight.
    Ain't no cactus in my blankets,
    Don't know why they feel so hard 
    'Less it's Warblin' Jim a-singin'
    "Annie Laurie" out on guard.

    "Annie Laurie" wish he'd quit it!
    Couldn't sleep now if I tried.
    Makes the night seem big and lonesome,
    And my throat feels sore inside.
    How my Annie used to sing it!
    And it sounded good and gay
    Nights I drove her home from dances
    When the east was turnin' gray.

    Yes, "her brow was like the snowdrift"
    And her eyes like quiet streams,
    "And her face" I still kin see it
    Much too frequent in my dreams;
    And her hand was soft and trembly
    That night underneath the tree,
    When I couldn't help but tell her
    She was "all the world to me."

    But her folks said I was "shif'less,"
    "Wild," "unsettled," they was right,
    For I leaned to punchin' cattle
    And I'm at it still tonight.
    And she married young Doc Wilkins 
    Oh my Lord! but that was hard!
    Wish that fool would quit his singin'
    "Annie Laurie" out on guard!

    Oh, I just kaint stand it thinkin'
    Of the things that happened then.
    Good old times, and all apast me!
    Never seem to come again 
    My turn? Sure. I'll come a-runnin'.
    Warm me up some coffee, pard 
    But I'll stop that Jim from singin'
    "Annie Laurie" out on guard.

  16. The Broken Heart

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    He brought me a heart one morning,
    Brought me a heart to mend;
    And he said (I shall never forget it)
    “’Twas broken by your friend.”

    “The wound will grow deeper and wider,”
    He said in a sadder tone,
    “Unless you devise some method
    To place it against her own.”

    Then I crept away to my chamber,
    But a thought, like a silver stream,
    Kept trickling along the wayside
    That bordered my restless dream.

    So I hid this heart in a lily,
    When the dawn began to break—
    In a beautiful water lily,
    That grew on the rim of a lake.

    Yes, down on a snowy pillow,
    In a cradle warm and deep,
    I laid the little foundling,
    And a ripple rocked it to sleep.

    The dawn came up with blushes,
    And shook from her gown the dew;
    And I heard the song of the skylark,
    As into the clouds he flew.

    But the heart dreamed on in the lily
    And I went at the close of day,
    And found that my little treasure
    Was chilled by the foam and spray.

    So I warmed it upon my bosom,
    Then cradled it back on the wave;
    But I feared that the lily’s offspring
    Was doomed to a watery grave.

    So I watched till the daylight vanished
    Through the sunset’s purple bars,
    Till the night climbed over the willows,
    And lit up the moon and stars.

    I thought I heard your footstep,
    And low in the reeds and grass
    I crouched, that there, unnoticed,
    I might behold you pass.

    You came in your regal beauty,
    And, bright as the weird fire flies
    That illumined the waving rushes,
    I saw your glorious eyes.

    You kneeled on the mossy margin—
    I counted the lilies there;
    Two buds and a creamy blossom
    Were fastened in your hair.

    Another was drawn from the water,
    And, pushing the reeds apart,
    I saw ’twas the very lily
    Wherein I had hidden the heart.

    You pinned it low down on your bodice,
    Half hidden it lay in the lace,
    And you passed by—“a two-fold existence,”
    A new light enriching your face.

    And though I am absent and distant,
    Methinks I can still hear the tone
    Of a heart that, with happy emotion,
    Is beating, aye! close to your own.

  17. You Will Forget Me

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    You will forget me. The years are so tender,
    They bind up the wounds which we think are so deep;
    This dream of our youth will fade out as the splendor
    Fades from the skies when the sun sinks to sleep;
    The cloud of forgetfulness, over and over
    Will banish the last rosy colors away,
    And the fingers of time will weave garlands to cover
    The scar which you think is a life-mark to-day.

    You will forget me. The one boon you covet
    Now above all things will soon seem no prize,
    And the heart, which you hold not in keeping to prove it
    True or untrue, will lose worth in your eyes.
    The one drop today, that you deem only wanting
    To fill your life-cup to the brim, soon will seem
    But a valueless mite; and the ghost that is haunting
    The aisles of your heart will pass out with the dream.

    You will forget me; will thank me for saying
    The words which you think are so pointed with pain.
    Time loves a new lay; and the dirge he is playing
    Will change for you soon to a livelier strain.
    I shall pass from your life—I shall pass out forever,
    And these hours we have spent will be sunk in the past.
    Youth buries its dead; grief kills seldom or never—
    And forgetfulness covers all sorrows at last.

  18. Only a Simple Rhyme

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Only a simple rhyme of love and sorrow,
    Where "blisses" rhymed with "kisses," "heart," with "dart."
    Yet, reading it, new strength I seemed to borrow,
    To live on bravely, and to do my part.

    A little rhyme about a heart that's bleeding—
    Of lonely hours, and sorrow's unrelief.
    I smiled at first; but there came with the reading
    A sense of sweet companionship in grief.

    The selfishness of my own woe forsaking,
    I thought about the singer of that song.
    Some other breast felt this same weary aching,
    Another found the summer days too long.

    The few sad lines, my sorrow so expressing,
    I read, and on the singer, all unknown,
    I breathed a fervent, though a silent, blessing,
    And seemed to clasp his hand within my own.

    And though fame pass him, and he never know it,
    And though he never sings another strain,
    He has performed the mission of the poet,
    In helping some sad heart to bear its pain.

  19. I Smile, But Oh! My Heart is Breaking.

    by Mary E. Tucker

    I mingle with the young and gay,
    In halls where Fashion holds her sway;
    I gaze upon the giddy throng,
    While for some quiet spot I long.

    They call me heartless. Do they know
    That mirth us but an empty show?
    That silvery grandeur often shrouds
    The storms which lurk within bright clouds?

    The eye may beam with dazzling light,
    And shed on all its glances bright,
    Yet be unburdened of the tears,
    That shone like diamonds there, for years.

    The lips may breathe the thoughtless word,
    And yet, too oft alas! unheard,
    That word may mingle with a sigh
    From reckless heart which prays to die.

    I seek each joy — I fain would lave
    My restless mind in Lethe's wave;
    But memory is ever waking —
    I smile, but oh, my heart is breaking.

  20. The Dream

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    Before I knew that you would come,
    Before I knew that you would go,
    I dreamed it all with the prescience
    That one in dreams may know.

    You gave to me one wild sweet kiss
    That pierced me with a joy above
    The joy of any other kiss,
    For, oh, I dreamed it love!

  21. Love lies Bleeding

    by Christina Rossetti

    Love that is dead and buried, yesterday
    Out of his grave rose up before my face,
    No recognition in his look, no trace
    Of memory in his eyes dust-dimmed and grey.
    While I, remembering, found no word to say,
    But felt my quickened heart leap in its place;
    Caught afterglow thrown back from long set days,
    Caught echoes of all music passed away.
    Was this indeed to meet?—I mind me yet
    In youth we met when hope and love were quick,
    We parted with hope dead, but love alive:
    I mind me how we parted then heart sick,
    Remembering, loving, hopeless, weak to strive:—
    Was this to meet? Not so, we have not met.

  22. The Fisher's Wife

    by Susan Rhyce Beckwith

    Lonely, desponding—the gathering gloom
    Slowly filling the quiet room—
    Sits the fisher's wife, with disheveled hair;—
    What does she see in the darkness there?

    Outside, the breakers, with sullen dash
    Fling high their spray to the window-sash,
    That, by the fitful gleams of the moonlight thrown,
    Seems like prison-bars on her floor of stone.

    On this same night, ten years before,
    While the angry sea lashed the rock-bound shore,
    She, anxiously watching, trimmed her light;—
    And the waves were cold, and the moon was bright.

    "Set the light, my lass, by the cottage door,"
    Said the fisher that morn as he sought the shore;
    "The moon will be up when I come to-night;
    Her wake once crossed, I shall be all right."

    With earnest eye, since the waning day,
    She had followed the moon in her upward way,
    And her quivering wake on the midnight sea,
    If there the looked-for boat might be.

    'Mong the rocks, where shadows so darksomely hide,
    Where the sea-foam that wreathed them was gone with the tide
    With tight'ning hands o'er the sickening heart,
    With blanching cheek, and lips apart—
    Like a statue she stood, so cold and white,
    Searching, but vainly, into the night.

    A tiny form with outstretched hands,
    And pink feet glancing among the sands,
    And a baby voice—"Mamma, mamma!"
    But the merciless sea, shock after shock,
    Assaulting the solid towering rock
    With fearful echoes, re-echoing far,
    Swallows the cry;
    Did'st thou hear it not?

    *******

    There's a desolate heart and an empty cot.
    And that little form, uncoffined and white,
    Revealed by the gleams of the pale moonlight,
    As pulseless it lay on the surf-washed shore,
    Shall rest on her memory evermore.

    'Tis this she sees in that quiet room,
    Where all is wrapped in the gathering gloom;
    And alone—God help her! she sits apart,
    With folded hands and a broken heart!

  23. Highland Mary

    by Robert Burns

    Ye banks, and braes, and streams around
    The castle o' Montgomery,
    Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
    Your waters never drumlie!
    There Simmer first unfald her robes,
    And there the langest tarry:
    For there I took the last Fareweel
    O' my sweet Highland Mary.

    How sweetly bloom'd the gay, green birk,
    How rich the hawthorn's blossom;
    As underneath their fragrant shade,
    I clasp'd her to my bosom!
    The golden Hours, on angel wings,
    Flew o'er me and my Dearie;
    For dear to me as light and life
    Was my sweet Highland Mary.

    Wi' mony a vow, and lock'd embrace,
    Our parting was fu' tender;
    And pledging aft to meet again,
    We tore oursels asunder:
    But Oh! fell Death's untimely frost,
    That nipt my Flower sae early!
    Now green's the sod, and cauld's the clay,
    That wraps my Highland Mary!

    O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
    I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly!
    And clos'd for ay the sparkling glance,
    That dwalt on me sae kindly!
    And mouldering now in silent dust,
    That heart that lo'ed me dearly!
    But still within my bosom's core
    Shall live my Highland Mary.