37 Adrenaline-Pumping Poems About Pearls

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Here are my favorite poems about pearls categorized:

  • Famous poems about pearls
  • Poems about pearls and love

So if you want the best poems about pearls, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get started!

37 Best Poems About Pearls (Handpicked)
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Adrenaline-Pumping Poems About Pearls

Journey into a world of enchantment with a carefully curated collection of exquisite poems, each one adorned with the lustrous beauty of pearls.

Discover the delicate interplay of love and pearls in verses that shimmer with romance and devotion, and explore the timeless allure of famous poems that immortalize the elegance of these precious gems.

Immerse yourself in this captivating anthology, where the splendor of pearls becomes a metaphor for the treasures of the heart, creating a poetic tapestry that sparkles with emotion and poetic artistry.

Let’s get right into it!

My #1 Favorite Poem About Pearls

“Pearls” by Madison Julius Cawein

Baroque, but beautiful, between the lunes,
The valves of nacre of a mussel-shell,
Behold, a pearl! shaped like the burnished bell
Of some strange blossom that long afternoons
Of summer coax to open: all the moon’s
Chaste lustre in it; hues that only dwell
With purity … It takes me, like a spell,
Back to a day when, whistling truant tunes,
A barefoot boy I waded ‘mid the rocks,
Searching for shells deep in the creek’s slow swirl,
Unconscious of the pearls that ’round me lay:
While, ‘mid wild-roses, all her tomboy locks
Blond-blowing, stood, unnoticed then, a girl,
My sweetheart once, the pearl I flung away.

Famous Poems About Pearls

“Real Riches” by Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

‘T is little I could care for pearls
Who own the ample sea;
Or brooches, when the Emperor
With rubies pelteth me;

Or gold, who am the Prince of Mines;
Or diamonds, when I see
A diadem to fit a dome
Continual crowning me.

“Upon Madam Ursly. Epig.” by Robert Herrick

For ropes of pearl, first Madam Ursly shows
A chain of corns picked from her ears and toes;
Then, next, to match Tradescant’s curious shells,
Nails from her fingers mew’d she shows: what else?
Why then, forsooth, a carcanet is shown
Of teeth, as deaf as nuts, and all her own.

“The Chambered Nautilus” by Oliver Wendell Holmes

This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main,—
The venturous bark that flings
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
And coral reefs lie bare,
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.

Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
And every chambered cell,
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
Before thee lies revealed,—
Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!

Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the past year’s dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
Built up its idle door,
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.

Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathèd horn!
While on mine ear it rings,
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!

“The Sea-Shell” by Virna Sheard

Oh, fairy palace of pink and pearl
Frescoed with filigree silver-white,
Down in the silence beneath the sea
God by Himself must have fashioned thee
Just for His own delight!

But no! – For a dumb and shapeless thing
Stirring in darkness its little hour,
Thy walls were built with infinite care,
Thou sea-scented home, so fine and fair,
Perfect – and like a flower!

“The Cock & the Pearl” by Walter Crane

A rooster, while scratching for grain,
Found a Pearl. He just paused to explain
That a jewel’s no good
To a fowl wanting food,
And then kicked it aside with disdain.

If He Ask Bread Will Ye Give Him A Stone?

“The Cock and the Pearl” by Jean de La Fontaine

A cock scratch’d up, one day,
A pearl of purest ray,
Which to a jeweller he bore.
‘I think it fine,’ he said,
‘But yet a crumb of bread
To me were worth a great deal more.’

So did a dunce inherit
A manuscript of merit,
Which to a publisher he bore.
”Tis good,’ said he, ‘I’m told,
Yet any coin of gold
To me were worth a great deal more.’

“The Mermaid” by Allen Upward

The sailor boy who leant over the side of the Junk of Many Pearls,
and combed the green tresses of the sea with his ivory fingers,
believing that he had heard the voice of a mermaid,
cast his body down between the waves.

“The Precipitate Cock and the Unappreciated Pearl” by Guy Wetmore Carryl

A rooster once pursued a worm
That lingered not to brave him,
To see his wretched victim squirm
A pleasant thrill it gave him;
He summoned all his kith and kin,
They hastened up by legions,
With quaint, expressive gurgles in
Their oesophageal regions.

Just then a kind of glimmering
Attracting his attention,
The worm became too small a thing
For more than passing mention:
The throng of hungry hens and rude
He skilfully evaded.
Said he, “I’ faith, if this be food,
I saw the prize ere they did.”

It was a large and costly pearl,
Belonging in a necklace,
And dropped by some neglectful girl:
Some people are so reckless!
The cock assumed an air forlorn,
And cried, “It’s really cruel.
I thought it was a grain of corn:
It’s nothing but a jewel.”

He turned again to where his clan
In one astounding tangle
With eager haste together ran
To slay the helpless angle,
And sighed, “He was of massive size.
I should have used discretion.
Too late! Around the toothsome prize
A bargain-sale’s in session.”

The worm’s remarks upon his plight
Have never been recorded,
But any one may know how slight
Diversion it afforded;
For worms and human beings are
Unanimous that, when pecked,
To be the prey of men they far
Prefer to being hen-pecked.

THE MORAL: When your dinner comes
Don’t leave it for your neighbors,
Because you hear the sound of drums
And see the gleam of sabres;
Or, like the cock, you’ll find too late
That ornaments external
Do not for certain indicate
A bona fide kernel.

“The Stately Dames of Rome Their Pearls Did Wear” by George Gascoigne

The stately dames of Rome their pearls did wear
About their necks to beautify their name:
But she whom I do serve, her pearls doth bear
Close in her mouth, and, smiling, shew the same.
No wonder, then, though every word she speaks
A jewel seem in judgment of the wise,
Since that her sugared tongue the passage breaks
Between two rocks, bedecked with pearls of price.
Her hair of gold, her front of ivory—
A bloody heart within so white a breast—
Her teeth of pearl, lips ruby, crystal eye,
Needs must I honour her above the rest,
Since she is formed of none other mould
But ruby, crystal, ivory, pearl and gold.

“The Sea Maid” by John Le Gay Brereton

In what pearl-paven mossy cave
By what green sea
Art thou reclining, virgin of the wave,
In realms more full of splendid mystery
Than that strong northern flood whence came
The rise and fall of music in thy name —
Thy waiting name, Oithona!

The magic of the sea’s own change
In depth and height,
From where the eternal order’d billows range
To unknown regions of sleep-weary night,
Fills, like a wonder-waking spell
Whispered by lips of some lone-murmuring shell,
Thy dreaming soul, Oithona.

In gladness of thy reverie
What gracious form
Will fly the errand of our love to thee,
By ways with winged messengers aswarm
Through dawn of opalescent skies,
To say the time is come and bid thee rise
And be our child, Oithona?

“We Play at Paste” by Emily Dickinson

We play at paste,
Till qualified for pearl,
Then drop the paste,
And deem ourself a fool.
The shapes, though, were similar,
And our new hands
Learned gem-tactics
Practising sands.

“Hidden Gems” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We know not what lies in us, till we seek;
Men dive for pearls—they are not found on shore,
The hillsides most unpromising and bleak
Do sometimes hide the ore.

Go, dive in the vast ocean of thy mind,
O man! far down below the noisy waves,
Down in the depths and silence thou mayst find
Rare pearls and coral caves.

Sink thou a shaft into the mine of thought;
Be patient, like the seekers after gold;
Under the rocks and rubbish lieth what
May bring thee wealth untold.

Reflected from the vastly Infinite,
However dulled by earth, each human mind
Holds somewhere gems of beauty and of light
Which, seeking, thou shalt find.

“The Pearl Diver” by Banjo Paterson

Kanzo Makame, the diver, sturdy and small Japanee,
Seeker of pearls and of pearl-shell down in the depths of the sea,
Trudged o’er the bed of the ocean, searching industriously.

Over the pearl-grounds, the lugger drifted — a little white speck:
Joe Nagasaki, the ‘tender’, holding the life-line on deck,
Talked through the rope to the diver, knew when to drift or to check.

Kanzo was king of his lugger, master and diver in one,
Diving wherever it pleased him, taking instructions from none;
Hither and thither he wandered, steering by stars and by sun.

Fearless he was beyond credence, looking at death eye to eye:
This was his formula always, ‘All man go dead by-and-bye —
S’posing time come no can help it — s’pose time no come, then no die.’

Dived in the depths of the Darnleys, down twenty fathom and five;
Down where by law and by reason, men are forbidden to dive;
Down in a pressure so awful that only the strongest survive:

Sweated four men at the air pumps, fast as the handles could go,
Forcing the air down that reached him heated, and tainted, and slow —
Kanzo Makame the diver stayed seven minutes below;

Came up on deck like a dead man, paralysed body and brain;
Suffered, while blood was returning, infinite tortures of pain:
Sailed once again to the Darnleys — laughed and descended again!

Scarce grew the shell in the shallows, rarely a patch could they touch;
Always the take was so little, always the labour so much;
Always they thought of the Islands held by the lumbering Dutch,

Islands where shell was in plenty lying in passage and bay,
Islands where divers could gather hundreds of shell in a day:
But the lumbering Dutch, with their gunboats, hunted the divers away.

Joe Nagasaki, the ‘tender’, finding the profits grow small,
Said, ‘Let us go to the Islands, try for a number one haul!
If we get caught, go to prison — let them take lugger and all!’

‘Dress no have got and no helmet — diver go shore on the spree;
Plenty wind come and break rudder — lugger get blown out to sea:
Take me to Japanee Consul, he help a poor Japanee!’

So the Dutch let him go, and they watched him, as off from the Islands he ran,
Doubting him much, but what would you? You have to be sure of your man
Ere you wake up that nest-full of hornets — the little brown men of Japan.

Down in the ooze and the coral, down where earth’s wonders are spread,
Helmeted, ghastly, and swollen, Kanzo Makame lies dead:
Joe Nagasaki, his ‘tender’, is owner and diver instead.

Wearer of pearls in your necklace, comfort yourself if you can,
These are the risks of the pearling — these are the ways of Japan,
‘Plenty more Japanee diver, plenty more little brown man!’

“With a Copy of ‘a House of Pomegranates’” by Oscar Wilde

Go, little book,
To him who, on a lute with horns of pearl,
Sang of the white feet of the Golden Girl:
And bid him look
Into thy pages: it may hap that he
May find that golden maidens dance through thee.

“Gitanjali 83” by Rabindranath Tagore

Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls for thy neck with my tears of sorrow.
The stars have wrought their anklets of light to deck thy feet, but mine will hang upon thy breast.
Wealth and fame come from thee and it is for thee to give or to withhold them. But this my sorrow is absolutely mine own, and when I bring it to thee as my offering thou rewardest me with thy grace.

“Earthly Pride” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

How baseless is the mightiest earthly pride,
The diamond is but charcoal purified,
The lordliest pearl that decks a monarch’s breast
Is but an insect’s sepulchre at best.

Poems About Pearls and Love

“A Pearl, a Girl” by Robert Browning

A simple ring with a single stone,
To the vulgar eye no stone of price:
Whisper the right word, that alone,
Forth starts a sprite, like fire from ice,
And lo, you are lord (says an Eastern scroll)
Of heaven and earth, lord whole and sole
Through the power in a pearl.

A woman (’tis I this time that say)
With little the world counts worthy praise
Utter the true word, out and away
Escapes her soul: I am wrapt in blaze,
Creation’s lord, of heaven and earth
Lord whole and sole, by a minute’s birth,
Through the love in a girl!

“The Bracelet of Pearl: To Silvia” by Robert Herrick

I brake thy bracelet ‘gainst my will,
And, wretched, I did see
Thee discomposed then, and still
Art discontent with me.

One gem was lost, and I will get
A richer pearl for thee,
Than ever, dearest Silvia, yet
Was drunk to Antony.

Or, for revenge, I’ll tell thee what
Thou for the breach shall do;
First crack the strings, and after that
Cleave thou my heart in two.

“The Picture” by Madison Julius Cawein

Above her, pearl and rose the heavens lay:
Around her, flowers flattered earth with gold,
Or down the path in insolence held sway—
Like cavaliers who ride the king’s highway—
Scarlet and buff, within a garden old.

Beyond the hills, faint-heard through belts of wood,
Bells, Sabbath-sweet, swooned from some far-off town:
Gamboge and gold, broad sunset colors strewed
The purple west as if, with God imbued,
Her mighty palette Nature there laid down.

Amid such flowers, underneath such skies,
Embodying all life knows of sweet and fair,
She stood; love’s dreams in girlhood’s face and eyes,
Fair as a star that comes to emphasize
The mingled beauty of the earth and air.

Behind her, seen through vines and orchard trees,
Gray with its twinkling windows—like the face
Of calm old age that sits and dreams at ease—
Porched with old roses, haunts of honeybees,
The homestead loomed within a lilied space.

For whom she waited in the afterglow,
Star-eyed and golden ‘mid the poppy and rose,
I do not know; I do not care to know,—
It is enough I keep her picture so,
Hung up, like poetry, in my life’s dull prose.

A fragrant picture, where I still may find
Her face untouched of sorrow or regret,
Unspoiled of contact; ever young and kind;
The spiritual sweetheart of my soul and mind,
She had not been, perhaps, if we had met.

“Asleep! O Sleep a Little While, White Pearl!” by John Keats

Asleep! O sleep a little while, white pearl!
And let me kneel, and let me pray to thee,
And let me call Heaven’s blessing on thine eyes,
And let me breathe into the happy air,
That doth enfold and touch thee all about,
Vows of my slavery, my giving up,
My sudden adoration, my great love!

“The Carcanet” by Robert Herrick

Instead of orient pearls of jet
I sent my love a carcanet;
About her spotless neck she knit
The lace, to honour me or it:
Then think how rapt was I to see
My jet t’enthral such ivory.

“Sark” by William Arthur Dunkerley

Pearl Iridescent! Pearl of the sea!
Shimmering, glimmering Pearl of the sea!
White in the sun-flecked Silver Sea,
White in the moon-decked Silver Sea,
White in the wrath of the Silver Sea,–
Pearl of the Silver Sea!
Lapped in the smile of the Silver Sea,
Ringed in the foam of the Silver Sea,
Glamoured in mists of the Silver Sea,–
Pearl of the Silver Sea!
Glancing and glimmering under the sun.
Jewel and casket all in one,
Joy supreme of the sun’s day dream,
Soft in the gleam of the golden beam,–
Pearl of the Silver Sea!
Splendour of Hope in the rising sun,
Glory of Love in the noonday sun,
Wonder of Faith in the setting sun,–
Pearl of the Silver Sea!

Gaunt and grim to the outer world,
Jewel and casket all impearled
With the kiss of the Silver Sea!–
With the flying kiss of the Silver Sea,
With the long sweet kiss of the Silver Sea,
With the rainbow kiss of the Silver Sea,–
Pearl of the Silver Sea!
And oh the sight,–the wonderful sight,
When calm and white, in the mystic light
Of her quivering pathway, broad and bright,
The Queen of the Night, in silver dight,
Sails over the Silver Sea!

Wherever I go, and wherever I be,
The joy and the longing are there with me,–
The gleam and the glamour come back to me,–
In a mystical rapture there comes to me,
The call of the Silver Sea!
As needle to pole is my heart to thee,
Pearl of the Silver Sea!

“Love’s Salutation” by Heinrich Heine

Darling maiden, who can be
Ever found to equal thee?
To thy service joyfully
Shall my life be pledged by me.
Thy sweet eyes gleam tenderly,
Like soft moonbeams o’er the sea;
Lights of rosy harmony
O’er thy red cheeks wander free.
From thy small mouth, full of glee,
Rows of pearls peep charmingly;
But thy bosom’s drapery
Veils thy fairest jewelry.
Pure love only could it be
That so sweetly thrill’d through me,
When I whilome gazed on thee,
Darling maid, so fair to see.

“A Virtuous Wife” by Edward Powys Mathers

One moment I place your two bright pearls against my robe,
And the red silk mirrors a rose in each.

Why did I not meet you before I married?

See, there are two tears quivering at my lids;
I am giving back your pearls.

“Roses and Pearls” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Your spoken words are roses fine and sweet,
The songs you sing are perfect pearls of sound.
How lavish nature is about your feet,
To scatter flowers and jewels both around.

Blushing the stream of petal beauty flows,
Softly the white strings trickle down and shine.
Oh! speak to me, my love, I crave a rose.
Sing me a song, for I would pearls were mine.

“To My Wife with a Set of Roman Pearls” by Bjornstjerne Martinius Bjornson

Pray, take these pearls! – and my thanks for them
You lavished, the home of my youth to gem!
The thousands of hours of peaceful luster
Your spirit has filled, are pearls that cluster
With beauty blest
On my happy breast,
And softly shining
My brow are entwining
With thoughts whence the truth gleams: Thus gave his wife,
Who jeweled with tenderest love his life!

“The Sea Hath Its Pearls” by Heinrich Heine (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Translator)

The sea hath its pearls,
The heaven hath its stars;
But my heart, my heart,
My heart hath its love.

Great are the sea and the heaven;
Yet greater is my heart,
And fairer than pearls and stars
Flashes and beams my love.

Thou little, youthful maiden,
Come unto my great heart;
My heart, and the sea, and the heaven
Are melting away with love!

“Does the Pearl Know?” by Helen Hay

Does the pearl know, that in its shade and sheen,
The dreamy rose and tender wavering green,
Are hid the hearts of all the ranging seas,
That Beauty weeps for gifts as fair as these?
Does it desire aught else when its rare blush
Reflects Aurora in the morning’s hush,
Encircling all perfection can bestow,
Does the pearl know?

Does the bird know, when, through the waking dawn,
He soaring sees below the silvered lawn,
And weary men who wait to watch the day
Steal o’er the heights where he may wheel and stray?
Can he conceive his fee divine to share,
As a free, joyous peer with sun and air,
And pity the sad things that creep below,
Does the bird know?

Does the heart know, when, filled to utter brim,
The least quick throb, a sacrificial hymn
To a great god who scorns the frown of Jove,
That here it finds the awful power of love?
Think you the new-born babe in first wise sleep
Fathoms the gift the heavens have bade him keep?
Yet if this be—if all these things are so—
Does the heart know?

“Pearl of the White Breast” by George Petrie

There’s a colleen fair as May,
For a year and for a day,
I’ve sought by every way her heart to gain
There’s no art of tongue or eye
Fond youths with maidens try,
But I’ve tried with ceaseless sigh, yet tried in vain.

If to France or far off Spain
She’d cross the watery main,
To see her face again the sea I’d brave.
And if ’tis Heaven’s decree
That mine she may not be,
May the Son of Mary me in mercy save!

O thou blooming milk-white dove,
To whom I’ve given true love,
Do not ever thus reprove my constancy.
There are maidens would be mine,
With wealth in hand and kine,
If my heart would but incline to turn from thee.

But a kiss with welcome bland
And a touch of thy dear hand
Are all that I demand, wouldst thou not spurn;
For if not mine, dear girl,
O Snowy-Breasted Pearl!
May I never from the fair with life return!

“The Deep-Sea Pearl” by Edith M. Thomas

The love of my life came not
As love unto others is cast;
For mine was a secret wound—
But the wound grew a pearl, at last.
The divers may come and go,
The tides, they arise and fall;
The pearl in its shell lies sealed,
And the Deep Sea covers all.

“A Pearl” by Clinton Scollard

Round as the roe’s egg of the Arab tale,
And flawless white as was that fabled sphere,
I see it shine below my lady’s ear,
This prize-plucked bauble from an ocean vale.
Was it where round Ceylon the swift ships sail,
A daring diver clove, without a fear,
Palm-shaded waves through fathoms emerald clear,
And brought it forth ’mid strenuous shout and hail?
Methinks from some far Eastern isle it came,
Because it giveth to her tranquil face
An Orient languor and a slumberous grace;
But where, O where, in lands without a name,
Near what soft cheek’s pure-glowing altar flame
Could it have found so fair a resting place?

“Modern Love” by John Keats

And what is love? It is a doll dress’d up
For idleness to cosset, nurse, and dandle;
A thing of soft misnomers, so divine
That silly youth doth think to make itself
Divine by loving, and so goes on
Yawning and doting a whole summer long,
Till Miss’s comb is made a pearl tiara,
And common Wellingtons turn Romeo boots;
Then Cleopatra lives at number seven,
And Antony resides in Brunswick Square.
Fools! if some passions high have warm’d the world,
If Queens and Soldiers have play’d deep for hearts,
It is no reason why such agonies
Should be more common than the growth of weeds.
Fools! make me whole again that weighty pearl
The Queen of Egypt melted, and I’ll say
That ye may love in spite of beaver hats.

“A Sufi Song” by Ameen Rihani

My heart ’s the field I sow for thee,
For thee to water and reap;
My heart ’s the house I ope for thee,
For thee to air and dust and sweep;
My heart ’s the rug I spread for thee,
For thee to dance or pray or sleep;
My heart ’s the pearls I thread for thee,
For thee to wear or break or keep;
My heart ’s a sack of magic things—
Magic carpets, caps and rings—
To bring thee treasures from afar
And from the Deep.

“A Song of Summer Days” by Virna Sheard

As pearls slip off a silken string and fall into the sea,
These rounded summer days fall back into eternity.

Into the deep from whence they came; into the mystery–
At set of sun each one slips back as pearls into the sea.

They are so sweet–so warm and sweet–Love fain would hold them fast:
He weeps when through his finger tips they slip away at last.

“The Obdurate Beauty” by Victor Hugo

To Juana ever gay,
Sultan Achmet spoke one day
“Lo, the realms that kneel to own
Homage to my sword and crown
All I’d freely cast away,
Maiden dear, for thee alone.”

“Be a Christian, noble king!
For it were a grievous thing:
Love to seek and find too well
In the arms of infidel.
Spain with cry of shame would ring,
If from honor faithful fell.”

“By these pearls whose spotless chain,
Oh, my gentle sovereign,
Clasps thy neck of ivory,
Aught thou askest I will be,
If that necklace pure of stain
Thou wilt give for rosary.”

“To the Rose: Song” by Robert Herrick

Go, happy Rose, and interwove
With other flowers, bind my Love.
Tell her, too, she must not be
Longer flowing, longer free,
That so oft has fetter’d me.

Say, if she’s fretful, I have bands
Of pearl and gold, to bind her hands;
Tell her, if she struggle still,
I have myrtle rods at will,
For to tame, though not to kill.

Take thou my blessing thus, and go
And tell her this,–but do not so!–
Lest a handsome anger fly
Like a lightning from her eye,
And burn thee up, as well as I!