Top 20 Most Popular Poems of Madison Julius Cawein

These are the top twenty (20) most popular poems of Madison Julius Cawein.

From A Baby to A Forest Child.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!…

A Baby

Why speak of Rajah rubies,
And roses of the South?
I know a sweeter crimson
A baby’s mouth.

Why speak of Sultan sapphires
And violet seas and skies?
I know a lovelier azure
A baby’s eyes.

Go seek the wide world over!
Search every land and mart!
You ‘ll never find a pearl like this
A baby’s heart.

Madison Julius Cawein


A barren field o’ergrown with thorn and weed
It stays for him who waits for help from God:
Only the soul that makes a plough of Need
Shall know what blossoms underneath its sod.

Madison Julius Cawein


A beardless crew we launched our little boat;
Laughed at its lightness; joyed to see it float,
Veer in the wind, and, with the freshening gale,
Bend o’er the foaming prow the swollen sail.

No fears were ours within that stanch-built barque;
No fears were ours ‘though all the west was dark,
And overhead were unknown stars; the ring
Of ocean sailless and no bird a-wing:

Yet there was light; radiance that dimmed the stars
Dancing like bubbles in Night’s sapphire jars.

We knew not what: only adown the skies
A shape that led us, with sidereal eyes,
Brow-bound and shod with elemental fire,
Beckoning us onward like the god Desire.

Brisk blew the breeze; and through the starry gloam,
Flung from our prow, flew white the furrowed foam.
Long, long we sailed; and now have reached our goal.
Come, let us rest us here and call the roll.

How few we are! Alas, alas, how few!
How many perished! Every storm that blew
Swept from our deck or from our staggering mast
Some well-loved comrade in the boiling vast.

Wildly we saw them sink beneath our prow,
Helpless to aid; pallid of face and brow,
Lost in the foam we saw them sink or fade
Beneath the tempest’s rolling cannonade.

They sank; but where they sank, above the wave
A corposant danced, a flame that marked their grave;
And o’er the flame, whereon were fixed our eyes,
An albatross, huge in volcanic skies.

They died; but not in vain their stubborn strife,
The zeal that held them onward, great of life:

They too are with us; they, in spite of death,
Have reached here first. Upon our brows their breath
Breathes softly, vaguely, sweetly as the breeze
From isles of spice in summer-haunted seas.

From palaces and pinnacles of mist
The sunset builds in heaven’s amethyst
Beyond yon headland where the billows break,
Perhaps they beckon now; the winds that shake

These tamarisks, that never bowed to storm,
Haply are but their voices filled with charm
Bidding us rest from labor; toil no more;
Draw up our vessel on the happy shore;

And of the lotus of content and peace,
Growing far inland, eat, and never cease
To dream the dreams that keep the heart still young,
Hearing forever how the foam is flung

Beneath the cliff; forgetting all life’s care;
Easing the soul of all its long despair.

Let us forget how once within that barque,
Like some swift eagle sweeping through the dark,
We weighed the sun; we weighed the farthest stars;
Traced the dim continents of fiery Mars;

Measured the vapory planets whose long run
Takes centuries to gird their glimmering sun:

Let us forget how oft the crystal mountains
Of the white moon we searched; and plumbed her fountains,
That hale the waters of the onian deep
In ebb and flow, and in her power keep:

Let us remember her but as a gem,
A mighty pearl, placed in Night’s anadem:
Let us forget how once we pierced the flood,
Fathorned its groves of coral, red as blood,
Branching and blooming underneath our keel,
Through which like birds the nautilus and eel,
The rainbowed conch and irised fishes swept,
And where the sea-snake like a long weed slept.

Here let us dream our dreams: let Helen bare
Her white breast for us; and let Dido share
Her rich feast with us; or let Lalage
Laugh in our eyes as once, all lovingly,
She laughed for Flaccus. We are done with all
The lusts of life! its loves are ours. Let fall
The Catilines! the Cesars! and in Gaul
Their legions perish! And let Phillip’s son
In Ammon’s desert die; and never a one
Lead back to Greece of all his conquering line
From gemmed Hydaspes.

Here we set our shrine!
Here on this headland templed of God’s peaks,
Where Beauty only to our worship speaks
Her mighty truths, gazing beyond the shore
Into the heart of God: her eyes a door
Wherethrough we see the dreams, the mysteries,
That grew to form in the Art that once was Greece:
Making them live once more for us, the shapes
That filled the woods, the mountains, and the capes
Of Hellas: Dryad, Oread, and Faun;
Naiad and Nereid, and all the hosts of Dawn.

Madison Julius Cawein

A Ballad Of Sweethearts

Summer may come, in sun-blonde splendor,
To reap the harvest that Springtime sows;
And Fall lead in her old defender,
Winter, all huddled up in snows:
Ever a-south the love-wind blows
Into my heart, like a vane asway
From face to face of the girls it knows–
But who is the fairest it’s hard to say.

If Carrie smile or Maud look tender,
Straight in my bosom the gladness glows;
But scarce at their side am I all surrender
When Gertrude sings where the garden grows:
And my heart is a bloom, like the red rose shows
For her hand to gather and toss away,
Or wear on her breast, as her fancy goes–
But who is the fairest it’s hard to say.

Let Laura pass, as a sapling slender,
Her cheek a berry, her mouth a rose,–
Or Blanche or Helen,–to each I render
The worship due to the charms she shows:
But Mary’s a poem when these are prose;
Here at her feet my life I lay;
All of devotion to her it owes–
But who is the fairest it’s hard to say.

How can my heart of my hand dispose?
When Ruth and Clara, and Kate and May,
In form and feature no flaw disclose–
But who is the fairest it’s hard to say.

Madison Julius Cawein


It was down in the woodland on last Hallowe’en,
Where silence and darkness had built them a lair,
That I felt the dim presence of her, the unseen,
And heard her still step on the ghost-haunted air.

It was last Hallowe’en in the glimmer and swoon
Of mist and of moonlight that thickened and thinned,
That I saw the gray gleam of her eyes in the moon,
And hair, like a raven, blown wild in the wind.

It was last Hallowe’en where starlight and dew
Made mystical marriage on flower and leaf,
That she led me with looks of a love that I knew,
And lured with the voice of a heart-buried grief.

It was last Hallowe’en in the forest of dreams,
Where trees are eidolons and shadows have eyes,
That I saw her pale face like the foam of far streams,
And heard, like the leaf-lisp, her tears and her sighs.

It was last Hallowe’en, the haunted, the dread,
In the wind-tattered wood by the storm-twisted pine,
That I, who am living, kept tryst with the dead,
And clasped her a moment and dreamed she was mine.

Madison Julius Cawein

A Ghost And A Dream

Rain will fall on the fading flowers,
Winds will blow through the dripping tree,
When Fall leads in her tattered Hours
With Death to keep them company.
All night long in the weeping weather,
All night long in the garden grey,
A ghost and a dream will talk together
And sad are the things they will have to say:
Old sad things of the bough that’s broken;
Heartbreak things of the leaf that’s dead;
Old sad things no tongue hath spoken;
Sorrowful things no man hath said.

Madison Julius Cawein


God-born before the Sons of God, she hurled,
With awful symphonies of flood and fire,
God’s name on rocking Chaos world by world
Flamed as the universe rolled from her lyre.

Madison Julius Cawein

A Flower Of The Fields

Bee-Bitten in the orchard hung
The peach; or, fallen in the weeds,
Lay rotting, where still sucked and sung
The gray bee, boring to its seed’s
Pink pulp and honey blackly stung.

The orchard-path, which led around
The garden, with its heat one twinge
Of dinning locusts, picket-bound
And ragged, brought me where one hinge
Held up the gate that scraped the ground.

All seemed the same: the martin-box
Sun-warped with pigmy balconies
Still stood, with all its twittering flocks,
Perched on its pole above the peas
And silvery-seeded onion-stocks.

The clove-pink and the rose; the clump
Of coppery sunflowers, with the heat
Sick to the heart: the garden stump,
Red with geranium-pots, arid sweet
With moss and ferns, this side the pump.

I rested, with one hesitant hand
Upon the gate. The lonesome day,
Droning with insects, made the land
One dry stagnation. Soaked with hay
And scents of weeds the hot wind fanned.

I breathed the sultry scents, my eyes
Parched as my lips. And yet I felt
My limbs were ice. As one who flies
To some wild woe. How sleepy smelt
The hay-sweet heat that soaked the skies!

Noon nodded; dreamier, lonesomer
For one long, plaintive, forest-side
Bird-quaver. And I knew me near
Some heartbreak anguish.. . She had died.
I felt it, and no need to hear!

I passed the quince and pear-tree; where,
All up the porch, a grape-vine trails
How strange that fruit, whatever air
Or earth it grows in, never fails
To find its native flavour there!

And she was as a flower, too,
That grows its proper bloom and scent
No matter what the soil: she, who,
Born better than her place, still lent
Grace to the lowliness she knew.. .

They met me at the porch, and were
Sad-eyed with weeping. Then the room
Shut out the country’s heat and purr,
And left light stricken into gloom
So love and I might look on her.

Madison Julius Cawein

A Song Of The Road


Whatever the path may be, my dear,
Let us follow it far away from here,
Let us follow it back to Yester-Year,
Whatever the path may be:
Again let us dream where the land lies sunny,
And live, like the bees, on our hearts’ old honey,
Away from the world that slaves for money
Come, journey the way with me.


However the road may roam, my dear,
Through sun or rain, through green or sere,
Let us follow it back with hearts of cheer,
However the road may roam:
Oh, while we walk it here together,
What care we for wind and weather,
When there on the hills we’ll smell the heather,
And see the lights of home!


Whatever the path may seem, my sweet,
Let us take it now with willing feet,
And time our steps to our hearts’ glad beat,
Whatever the path may seem:
Though the road be rough that we must follow,
What care we for hill or hollow,
While here in our hearts, as high as a swallow,
We bear the same loved dream!


However the road may roam, my sweet,
Let it lead us far from mart and street,
Out where the hills and the heavens meet,
However the road may roam:
So, hand in hand, let us go together,
And care no more for the wind and weather,
And reach at last those hills of heather,
Where gleam the lights of home.

Madison Julius Cawein

A Tried Friend, A True Friend

A friend for you and a friend for me,
A friend to understand;
To cheer the way and help the day
With heart as well as hand:
With heart as well as hand, my dear,
And share the things we ‘ve planned
A tried friend, a true friend,
A friend to understand!
A friend for you and a friend for me,
A friend to hear our call,
When, wrong or right, we wage the fight
With backs against the wall!
With backs against the wall, my dear,
When hope is like to fall
A tried friend, a true friend,
A friend to hear our call!
A friend for you and a friend for me,
To share with us that day
When our ship comes back and naught we lack
Of all for which men pray!
Of all for which men pray, my dear,
That long has gone astray
A tried friend, a true friend,
To share with us that day!
Oh, side by side, on roads untried,
Two souls may better speed
Than one who goes the road he knows
With none to give him heed!
With none to give him heed, my dear,
And help when there is need
A tried friend, a true friend,
A friend, a friend indeed!

Madison Julius Cawein

A Broken Rainbow On The Skies Of May

A Broken rainbow on the skies of May,
Touching the dripping roses and low clouds,
And in wet clouds its scattered glories lost:
So in the sorrow of her soul the ghost
Of one great love, of iridescent ray,
Spanning the roses dim of memory,
Against the tumult of life’s rushing crowds
A broken rainbow on the skies of May.
A flashing humming-bird among the flowers,
Deep-coloured blooms; its slender tongue and bill
Sucking the syrups and the calyxed myrrhs,
Till, being full of sweets, away it whirrs:
Such was his love that won her heart’s rich bowers
To give to him their all, their honied showers,
The bloom from which he drank his body’s fill
A flashing humming-bird among the flowers.
A moon, moth-white, that through long mists of fleece
Moves amber-girt into a bulk of black,
And, lost to vision, rims the black with froth:
A love that swept its moon, like some great moth,
Across the heaven of her soul’s young peace;
And, smoothly passing, in the clouds did cease
Of time, through which its burning light comes back
A moon, moth-white, that moves through mists of fleece.
A bolt of living thunder downward hurled,
Momental blazing from the piled-up storm,
That instants out the mountains and the ocean,
The towering crag, then blots the sight’s commotion:
Love, love that swiftly coming bared the world,
The deeps of life, ’round which fate’s clouds are curled,
And, ceasing, left all night and black alarm
A bolt of living thunder downward hurled.

Madison Julius Cawein

After A Night Of Rain

The rain made ruin of the rose and frayed
The lily into tatters: now the Morn
Looks from the hopeless East with eyes forlorn,
As from her attic looks a dull-eyed maid.
The coreopsis drips; the sunflowers fade;
The garden reeks with rain: beneath the thorn
The toadstools crowd their rims where, dim of horn,
The slow snail slimes the grasses gaunt and greyed.
Like some pale nun, in penitential weeds,
Weary with weeping, telling sad her beads,
Her rosary of pods of hollyhocks,
September comes, heavy of heart and head,
While in her path the draggled four-o’-clocks
Droop all their flowers, saying, “Summer’s dead.”

Madison Julius Cawein


High as a star, yet lowly as a flower,
Unknown she takes her unassuming place
At Earth’s proud masquerade the appointed hour
Strikes, and, behold! the marvel of her face.

Madison Julius Cawein

Carpe Diem

Blow high, blow low!
No longer borrow
Care of tomorrow:
Take joy of life, and let care go!

Madison Julius Cawein

Hilda Of The Hillside


Who is she, like the spring, who comes down
From the hills to the smoke-huddled town?
With her peach-petal face
And her wildflower grace,
Bringing sunshine and gladness to each sorry place?
Her cheeks are twin buds o’ the brier,
Mixed fervors of snow and of fire;
Her lips are the red
Of a rose that is wed
To dew and aroma when dawn is o’erhead:
Her eyes are twin bits o’ the skies,
Blue glimpses of Paradise;
The strands of her hair
Are sunlight and air
Herself is the argument that she is fair,
This girl with the dawn in her eyes.


If Herrick had looked on her face
His lyrics had learned a new grace:
Her face is a book
Where each laugh and each look,
Each smile is a lyric, more sweet than a brook:
Her words they are birds that are heard
Singing low where the roses are stirred,
The buds of her lips,
Whence each of them slips
With music as soft as the fragrance that drips
From a dew-dreaming bloom;
With their sound and perfume
Making all my glad heart a love-haunted room.


But she she knows nothing of love!
She she with the soul of a dove,
Who dwells on the hills,
Knowing naught of the ills
Of the vales, of the hearts that with passion she fills:
For whom all my soul
Is a harp from which roll
The songs that she hears not, the voice of my love,
This girl who goes singing above.

Madison Julius Cawein


Around its mountain many footpaths wind,
But only one unto its top attains;
Not he who searches closest, takes most pains,
But he who seeks not, that one way may find.

Madison Julius Cawein

A Light In The Window

Rain and wind and candlelight
And let us pray a prayer to-night:
For every soul, since life is brief,
Little of trouble and less of grief.
And set a light at the windowpane,
To guide Love home through the night and rain.
Rain and wind and candlelight
And what shall we pray again to-night?
For every life, whose way is dim,
The grace of God and trust in Him.
A word, a song, till the tears be dried,
And Faith and Hope sit down beside.
Rain and wind and candlelight
And one last prayer to pray to-night:
For every heart in the dark and rain
To know its prayer is not in vain:
A door flung wide, and a face aglow
Love come back from the Long-Ago.
Then let the rain and the wind without
Threaten their worst and rave and shout:
For who will care, though the night is black
Love to his own has wandered back.
Has wandered back through the rain and night,
Led home again by her candle’s light.

Madison Julius Cawein

A Voice On The Wind


She walks with the wind on the windy height
When the rocks are loud and the waves are white,
And all night long she calls through the night,
“O my children, come home!”
Her bleak gown, torn as a tattered cloud,
Tosses around her like a shroud,
While over the deep her voice rings loud, –
“O my children, come home, come home!
O my children, come home!”


Who is she who wanders alone,
When the wind drives sheer and the rain is blown?
Who walks all night and makes her moan,
“O my children, come home!”
Whose face is raised to the blinding gale;
Whose hair blows black and whose eyes are pale,
While over the world goes by her wail, –
“O my children, come home, come home!
O my children, come home!”


She walks with the wind in the windy wood;
The dark rain drips from her hair and hood,
And her cry sobs by, like a ghost pursued,
“O my children, come home!”
Where the trees loom gaunt and the rocks stretch drear,
The owl and the fox crouch back with fear,
As wild through the wood her voice they hear, –
“O my children, come home, come home!
O my children, come home!”


Who is she who shudders by
When the boughs blow bare and the dead leaves fly?
Who walks all night with her wailing cry,
“O my children, come home!”
Who, strange of look, and wild of tongue,
With wan feet wounded and hands wild-wrung,
Sweeps on and on with her cry, far-flung, –
“O my children, come home, come home!
O my children, come home!”


‘Tis the Spirit of Autumn, no man sees,
The mother of Death and of Mysteries,
Who cries on the wind all night to these,
“O my children, come home!”
The Spirit of Autumn, pierced with pain,
Calling her children home again,
Death and Dreams, through ruin and rain, –
“O my children, come home, come home!
O my children, come home!”

Madison Julius Cawein


There’s a little fairy who
Peeps from every drop of dew:
You can see him wink and shine
On the morning-glory vine,
Mischief in his eye of blue.
There’s another fairy that
Rides upon the smallest gnat:
You can hear him tremolo
When the summer dusk falls slow,
Circling just above your hat.
And another one that sways
In the golden slanted rays
Of the sunlight where it floats:
Prosy people call them motes,
But they’re fairies, father says.
But there’s one that no one sees,
Only, maybe, moths and bees;
Who in lofts, where knot-holes are,
On the thin light of a star
Slides through crannied crevices.
You may hear him sigh and sing
Near a May-fly’s captured wing
In a spider-web close by:
See him with a moonbeam pry
Moonflowers open where they swing.
Down the garden-ways he goes
On a beetle’s back, and blows
Sullen music from a horn:
Or you’ll hear him when ‘t is morn
Buzzing bee-like by a rose.
And it’s he who, when ‘t is night,
Twinkles with a firefly light;
Shakes a katydid tambourine;
Or amid the mossy green
Rasps his cricket-fiddle tight.
He it is who heaves the dome
Of the mushroom through the loam,
Plumper than a baby’s thumb:
Or who taps a tinder drum
In the dead wood’s honeycomb.
He’s that Robin Goodfellow,
Or that Puck who, long ago,
Used to marshlight-lead astray
People in old Shakespeare’s day
That is, father told me so.
He’s the one that, in the Fall,
Frisks the dead leaves round us all;
Herds them; drives them wildly past,
Dancing with them just as fast
As a boy can throw a ball.
Wonder what he looks like. Asked
Father once. He said he’d tasked
Mind and soul to find out, but
It was harder than a nut;
Just refused to be unmasked.
Though he thought, perhaps, he might
Find out some time, and delight
Telling me; but well he knew
He was like my questions, too,
Teasing and confusing quite.

Madison Julius Cawein

A Forest Child

There is a place I search for still,
Sequestered as the world of dreams,
A bushy hollow, and a hill
That whispers with descending streams,
Cool, careless waters, wandering down,
Like Innocence who runs to town,
Leaving the wildwood and its dreams,
And prattling like the forest streams.

But still in dreams I meet again
The child who bound me, heart and hand,
And led me with a wildflower chain
Far from our world, to Faeryland:
Who made me see and made me know
The lovely Land of Long-Ago,
Leading me with her little hand
Into the world of Wonderland.

The years have passed: how far away
The day when there I met the child,
The little maid, who was a fay,
Whose eyes were dark and undefiled
And crystal as a woodland well,
That holds within its depths a spell,
Enchantments, featured like a child,
A dream, a poetry undefiled.

Around my heart she wrapped her hair,
And bound my soul with lips and eyes,
And led me to a cavern, where
Grey Legend dwelt in kingly guise,
Her kinsman, dreamier than the moon,
Who called her Fancy, read her rune,
And bade her with paternal eyes
Divest herself of her disguise.

And still I walk with her in dreams,
Though many years have passed since then,
And that high hill and its wild streams
Are lost as is that faery glen.
And as the years go swiftly by
I find it harder, when I try,
To meet with her, who led me then
Into the wildness of that glen.

Madison Julius Cawein

All of these poems are masterpieces! No wonder Madison Julius Cawein was indeed famous and earned the nickname “Keats of Kentucky.” He was marvelous!

Of course, I wouldn’t miss reading my favorite work in this collection―A Tried Friend, A True Friend. I am touched by this poem and also grateful that I found these kinds of friends in my life.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Madison Julius Cawein?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


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