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Poems About the Heart

Table of Contents

  1. Hearts Were Made to Give Away by Annette Wynne
  2. The Fountain by James Russell Lowell
  3. The Secret of It by Amos Russel Wells
  4. Poor little Heart! by Emily Dickinson
  5. The Garden of Dreams by Bliss Carman
  6. The Heart by Jones Very
  7. Song by Rupert Brooke
  8. My Heart's Little Room by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  9. Art and Heart by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  10. Sonnet by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  11. Kindness by Colfax Burgoyne Harman
  12. Sea-Birds by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  13. The Password by Ruby Archer
  14. Change by Appleton Oaksmith
  15. Daily Trials by Martha Waldron Blacker
  16. The Chapel in the Heart by Selena Ware Paine
  17. The Shell and the Heart by Ruby Archer
  18. Two Dials by Ruby Archer
  19. The Fountain Is So Happy by Annette Wynne
  20. The Bargain by Henry Van Dyke
  21. The Dreams of the Dreamer by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  22. My Heart Leaps Up by William Wordsworth
  23. He Shall Save His People From Their Sins by ENS
  24. The Song of the Bells by Jean Blewett
  25. God Made the Heart by Charles Swain
  26. A Heart Snare by Peter Burn
  27. Joy by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  28. Joy by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  29. A Disappointment by John Boyle O'Reilly

  1. Hearts Were Made to Give Away

    by Annette Wynne

    Hearts were made to give away
    On Valentine's good day;
    Wrap them up in dainty white,
    Send them off the thirteenth night.
    Any kind of heart that's handy—
    Hearts of lace, and hearts of candy,
    Hearts all trimmed with ribbands fine
    Send for good St. Valentine.
    Hearts were made to give away
    On Valentine's dear day.

  2. The Fountain

    By James Russell Lowell, one of the most noted of American poets; also well known as an essayist and lecturer. He was born at Cambridge, Mass., in 1819, and died there in 1891.

    Into the sunshine,
    Full of the light,
    Leaping and flashing,
    From morn till night!

    Into the moonlight,
    Whiter than snow,
    Waving so flower-like
    When the winds blow!

    Into the starlight,
    Rushing in spray,
    Happy at midnight,
    Happy by day!

    Ever in motion,
    Blithesome and cheery,
    Still climbing heavenward,
    Never aweary;

    Glad of all weathers,
    Still seeming best,
    Upward or downward,
    Motion, thy rest;

    Full of a nature
    Nothing can tame,
    Changed every moment,
    Ever the same;

    Ceaseless aspiring,
    Ceaseless content,
    Darkness or sunshine
    Thy element;

    Glorious fountain!
    Let my heart be
    Fresh, changeful, constant,
    Upward like thee!

  3. The Secret of It

    by Amos Russel Wells

    "Where does the clerk of the weather store
    The days that are sunny and fair?"
    "In your heart is a room with a close shut door
    And all of those days are there."

    "Where does the clerk of the weather keep
    The days that are dreary and blue?"
    "In a second room in your heart they sleep,
    And you have the keys of the two."

    "And why are my days so often, I pray,
    Filled full of clouds and of gloom?"
    "Because you go at the break of day
    And open the wrong heart-room."

  4. Poor little heart!

    by Emily Dickinson

    Poor little heart!
    Did they forget thee?
    Then dinna care! Then dinna care!

    Proud little heart!
    Did they forsake thee?
    Be debonair! Be debonair!

    Frail little heart!
    I would not break thee:
    Could'st credit me? Could'st credit me?

    Gay little heart!
    Like morning glory
    Thou'll wilted be; thou'll wilted be!

  5. The Garden of Dreams

    by Bliss Carman

    My heart is a garden of dreams
    Where you walk when day is done,
    Fair as the royal flowers,
    Calm as the lingering sun.

    Never a drouth comes there,
    Nor any frost that mars,
    Only the wind of love
    Under the early stars,—

    The living breath that moves
    Whispering to and fro,
    Like the voice of God in the dusk
    Of the garden long ago.

  6. The Heart

    by Jones Very

    There is a cup of sweet or bitter drink,
    Whose waters ever o'er the brim must well,
    Whence flow pure thoughts of love as angels think,
    Or of its dæmon depths the tongue will tell;
    That cup can ne'er be cleansed from outward stains
    While from within the tide forever flows;
    And soon it wearies out the fruitless pains
    The treacherous hand on such a task bestows;
    But ever bright its chrystal sides appear,
    While runs the current from its outlet pure;
    And pilgrims hail its sparkling waters near,
    And stoop to drink the healing fountain sure,
    And bless the cup that cheers their fainting soul
    While through this parching waste they seek their heavenly goal.

  7. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

    by Francis William Bourdillon

    The night has a thousand eyes,
    And the day but one;
    Yet the light of the bright world dies
    With the dying sun.

    The mind has a thousand eyes,
    And the heart but one:
    Yet the light of a whole life dies
    When love is done.

  8. Song

    by Rupert Brooke

    All suddenly the wind comes soft,
    And Spring is here again;
    And the hawthorn quickens with buds of green,
    And my heart with buds of pain.

    My heart all Winter lay so numb,
    The earth so dead and frore,
    That I never thought the Spring would come,
    Or my heart wake any more.

    But Winter's broken and earth has woken,
    And the small birds cry again;
    And the hawthorn hedge puts forth its buds,
    And my heart puts forth its pain.

  9. My Heart's Little Room

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    There's a dear little chamber somewhere in my heart
    That opens to only you three;
    Though many have tried to unfasten the door,
    They picked at the lock till their fingers were sore,
    For to file it apart
    Vainly proved every art,
    And in vain have they sought for the key.

    Many times I go into this quaint little room,
    The pictures to change or adjust;
    I see your sweet faces grouped there with my own,
    And I wonder that I feel so strangely alone;
    But about through the room
    I move briskly the broom,
    And sweep from the corners the dust.

    The windows I throw open wide to the air
    To let in the breeze and the light;
    I watch the sunbeams in their mischievous way
    Creep into the curtains, like children at play,
    And while I am there
    I have no thought of care,
    For the room is so warm and so bright.

    And oft I look up from the balcony’s brink
    To a sky that shows many a hue;
    A vine clambers thickly the window above,
    Where my birds sing together their rhythm of love;
    My thoughts with them link
    For I sit here and think
    And all of my song is for you.

    Ah! some day I know you will come back to me
    To rest in this queer little room;
    And that’s why so tidy and clean it is kept,
    The air always fragrant, the floor always swept,
    For I long here to see
    My sweet roses three,
    As from buds into blossoms they bloom.

    Then come when you may, be the sky black or blue,
    The lock will unclasp as of yore;
    For (unless Death should come introspecting my heart,
    And break down its barriers and wrench them apart),
    A friend that is true
    Will be watching for you,
    Ever waiting to unbar the door.

  10. Art and Heart

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Though critics may bow to art, and I am its own true lover,
    It is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.

    Though smooth be the heartless prayer, no ear in Heaven will mind it,
    And the finest phrase falls dead, if there is no feeling behind it.

    Though perfect the player's touch, little, if any he sways us,
    Unless we feel his heart throb through the music he plays us.

    Though the poet may spend his life in skilfully rounding a measure,
    Unless he writes from a full warm heart, he gives us little pleasure.

    So it is not the speech which tells, but the impulse which goes with the saying,
    And it is not the words of the prayer, but the yearning back of the praying.

    It is not the artist's skill, which into our soul comes stealing
    With a joy that is almost pain, but it is the player's feeling.

    And it is not the poet's song, though sweeter than sweet bells chiming,
    Which thrills us through and through, but the heart which beats under the rhyming.

    And therefore I say again, though I am art's own true lover,
    That it is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.

  11. Sonnet

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Methinks ofttimes my heart is like some bee,
    That goes forth through the summer day and sings,
    And gathers honey from all growing things
    In garden plot or on the clover lea.
    When the long afternoon grows late, and she
    Would seek her hive, she cannot lift her wings,
    So heavily the too sweet burden clings,
    From which she would not, and yet would, fly free.
    So with my full fond heart; for when it tries
    To lift itself to peace-crowned heights, above
    The common way where countless feet have trod,
    Lo! then, this burden of dear human ties,
    This growing weight of precious earthly love,
    Binds down the spirit that would soar to God.

  12. Kindness

    by Colfax Burgoyne Harman

    Who has a kind and humble heart
    Has greater gift bestown
    Than wealth obtained at honor's mart
    Or power upon the throne.

    The weary stranger, hungry, cold,
    With thoughtful, low-bowed head,
    Is turned from mansions rich in gold
    And from the cottage fed.

  13. Sea-Birds

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    Birds that float upon a wave,
    Resting from the tiring air,
    Be the hopes that I would save
    From despair!

    Menaced by the sky above,
    Menaced by the deep below,
    You rock as on the breast of Love,
    To and fro.

    If immensities like these
    Cannot fright a thing so frail,
    I will keep my heart at ease
    In the gale!

  14. The Password

    by Ruby Archer

    My heart is like a fort untaken
    Whose gate full many keys have tried,
    No lock is there, desire to waken,—
    The bolts are on the inner side.

    O'er shrine and garden, halls of pleasure,
    A little god has guard the while;
    He sentinels in martial measure,
    Awaits the password with a smile.

    One only word can win surrender,
    And gain the fortress with acclaim,—
    One only word supremely tender,—
    The magic of his own sweet name.

  15. Change

    by Appleton Oaksmith

    My lady-love so cold has grown
    I cannot meet her eye
    But that my heart sinks like a stone,
    And I but wish to die.
    There was a time when her dear glance
    Was warmer than the sun;
    But now my love hath little chance
    For hope to dwell upon.

    "Why hath she changed?" I ask the winds
    Which pass me kindly by;
    But each dead leaf the cause reminds,
    And all things make reply.
    I wander in the woods at eve,
    And watch the dead leaves fall,
    And chide myself that I should grieve
    For what doth come to all.

    "Change, change," is written everywhere
    Upon the earth and sky;
    We breathe it with life's morning air,
    We live it when we die.
    Then wherefore should I grieve that she
    Acteth so well her part,
    Since greater change can never be
    Than in a woman's heart!

  16. Daily Trials

    by Martha Waldron Blacker

    Oh, strong and brave the heart may be,
    To bear the heavy woes of life;
    It fails most oft at petty ills,
    With which each passing day is rife.

    We gird ourselves with armor strong,
    To meet some mighty wrong or ill;
    Proudly defy the threatened harm,
    And, conquering, boast the power of will.

    Anon, a trifle light as air,
    A careless word,—a look,— a tone,—
    Makes shipwreck of our boasted power;
    Endurance, strength, alike are gone.

  17. The Chapel in the Heart

    by Selena Ware Paine

    Thrice happy is the man who keeps,
    From other things apart,
    A secret room, a holy place,
    A chapel in his heart.

    For there, when all the world outside
    Grows dark upon his sight,
    He can retire and find within
    His chapel full of light.

    And there, when jangling sounds of earth,
    Discordant, fill his ear,
    He can repair and, listening,
    The eternal music hear.

    And there, from praise and blame unjust,
    Alone, he can confess,
    In genuine humility,
    His own unworthiness.

    And there, when golden in his way,
    Temptation spreads a snare,
    Before he falters, he can flee
    For refuge and for prayer.

    Thrice happy is the man who keeps
    From other things apart
    This secret room, this holy place,
    This chapel in his heart.

  18. The Shell and the Heart

    by Ruby Archer

    Even as the shell doth glow
    To myriad tints of beauty
    Only upon that side
    Not buried in the sand
    But yielded to the magic
    Of the sun,—
    So will the heart take on
    Its fairest hues of joy—
    The radiance of being—
    Turned to that light ineffable
    Of love.

  19. Two Dials

    by Ruby Archer

    You came, and it was morning;
    You went, and it was night.
    A dial measured in my heart
    One little day's delight.

    The dial in my garden
    Of passion-flowers and rue
    Takes note of only sunny hours,—
    My heart—of those with you.

  20. The Fountain Is So Happy

    by Annette Wynne

    The fountain is so happy.
    The fountain is so glad,
    You cannot make it sorry
    You cannot make it sad.

    It loves the sunshine and the air,
    It loves to spring and dart,
    But all the fountain's joyousness
    Begins inside its heart.

    It bubbles up with happiness,
    It sparkles all day through,
    It bubbles and flows over
    And shares its joy with you.

  21. The Bargain

    by Henry Van Dyke

    What shall I give for thee,
    Thou Pearl of greatest price?
    For all the treasures I possess
    Would not suffice.

    I give my store of gold;
    It is but earthly dross:
    But thou shalt make me rich, beyond
    All fear of loss.

    Mine honours I resign;
    They are but small at best:
    Thou like a royal star shalt shine
    Upon my breast.

    My worldly joys I give,
    The flowers with which I played;
    Thy beauty, far more heavenly fair,
    Shall never fade.

    Dear Lord, is that enough?
    Nay, not a thousandth part.
    Well, then, I have but one thing more:
    Take Thou my heart.

  22. The Dreams of the Dreamer

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    The dreams of the dreamer
    Are life-drops that pass
    The break in the heart
    To the soul's hour-glass.

    The songs of the singer
    Are tones that repeat
    The cry of the heart
    'Till it ceases to beat.

  23. My Heart Leaps Up

    by William Wordsworth

    My heart leaps up when I behold
    A rainbow in the sky:
    So was it when my life began;
    So is it now I am a man;
    So be it when I shall grow old,
    Or let me die!
    The Child is father of the Man;
    And I could wish my days to be
    Bound each to each by natural piety.

  24. He Shall Save His People From Their Sins

    by E. N. S.

    What my heart again backsliding,
    Why wilt thou from Jesus flee?
    Still deceitful still deceiving!
    Why forsake the narrow way?
    Does the Saviour's cross alarm thee?
    Is the yoke too much to bear?
    Or does smiling pleasure hire thee,
    With her baneful gilded snare?
    Shun oh shun the vain deceiver,
    Look not on the glitt ring bait;
    Remorse and sorrow chaseth ever
    Those who dwell within her gates;
    But return to Jesus mourning,
    Humbly to His foot stool flee;
    He will pardon thee returning,
    Graciously He'll pardon thee.
    Now take up the cross with pleasure,
    'Tis an easy yoke to bear!
    This the christian's greatest treasure,
    We are His peculiar care.

    And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 

    – Matthew 1:21
  25. The Song of the Bells

    by Jean Blewett

    He frowned and shook his snowy head.
    "Those clanging bells! they deafen quite
    "With their unmeaning song," he said.
    "I'm weary of it all to-night—
    The gladness, sadness. I'm so old
    I have no sympathy to spare,
    My heart has grown so hard and cold,
    So full of self, I do not care
    How many laugh, or long, or grieve
    In all the world this Christmas eve.

    "There was a time long, long ago—
    They take our best, the passing years—
    For the old life, and faith, and glow.
    I'd give—what's on my cheek? Not tears!
    I have a whim. To-night I'll spend
    Till eyes turn on me gratefully—
    An old man's whim, just to pretend
    That he is what he used to be;
    For this one night, not want nor pain
    Shall look to me for help in vain."

    "A foolish whim!" he muttered oft,
    The while he gave to those in need,
    But strangely warm and strangely soft
    His old face grew, for self and greed
    Slipped from him. Ah, it made him glow
    To hear the blessing, thanks, the prayer.
    He looked into his heart, and lo!
    The old-time faith and love were there.
    "Ring out, old bells, right gladly ring!"
    He said, "Full sweet the song you sing."

  26. God Made the Heart

    by Charles Swain

    God made the heart with every chord
    Responsive to his love;
    To cheer, to bless, and keep his word—
    Like angel hearts above!

    'Twas made to feel for others' woe,
    Life's sorrows to beguile;
    To soothe the tears the wretched know,
    And bid the mourner smile.

    'T was made to be the charm of earth,
    Where all affections meet;
    Where every human bliss hath birth,
    And every hope is sweet.

    'T was formed the weak and sad to aid,
    To bid misfortune flee;
    If Man ne'er marred what God had made,
    How heavenly earth would be!

  27. A Heart Snare

    by Peter Burn

    Why doth the heart brood o'er the past—
    The past of many sorrows?
    Why doth it looks of fondness cast
    O'er scenes where mem'ries rise and blast
    To-days, and coming morrows?

    It fondly seeks for balm and joy,
    But thorns grow with our flowers;
    There's nought on earth without alloy,
    The ways of life perplex—annoy—
    The breeze unrobes our bowers.

    Behind the clouds are sunny rays,
    Behind our griefs are pleasures;
    Pleasures which live, while life decays,
    The heart to these a visit pays,
    And proves them precious treasures.

  28. Joy

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    There's a soft rosy glow o'er the whole world to-day,
    There's a freshness and fragrance that trembles in May,
    There's a lilt in the music that vibrates and thrills
    From the uttermost glades to the tops of the hills.

    Oh! I am so happy, my heart is so light,
    The shades and the shadows have vanished from sight,
    This wild pulsing gladness throbs like a sweet pain—
    O soul of me, drink, ere night falleth again!

  29. Joy

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    My heart is like a little bird
    That sits and sings for very gladness.
    Sorrow is some forgotten word,
    And so, except in rhyme, is sadness.

    The world is very fair to me—
    Such azure skies, such golden weather,
    I'm like a long caged bird set free,
    My heart is lighter than a feather.

    I rise rejoicing in my life;
    I live with love for God and neighbor;
    My days flow on unmarred by strife,
    And sweetened by my pleasant labor.

    Oh youth! oh spring! oh happy days,
    Ye are so passing sweet, and tender,
    And while the fleeting season stays,
    I'll revel care-free, in its splendor.

  30. A Disappointment

    by John Boyle O'Reilly

    Her hair was a waving bronze, and her eyes
    Deep wells that might cover a brooding soul;
    And who, till he weighed it, could ever surmise
    That her heart was a cinder instead of a coal!

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