43 Best Poems About Smile

These are the 43 best handpicked poems about smile categorized:

  • Famous poems about smiles
  • Smile rhyme poems
  • Smile short poems
  • Poems about smiles and laughters

If you’re looking for the best collection of smile poems, then this collection is for you.

Read on and enjoy!

Table of Contents

43 Best Poems About Smile (Categorized)

My Favorite Smile Poem

Beautiful girl in jeans and warm sweater sits in autumn park with small terrier dog in her arms while yellow maple leaves fall.

A Smile and a Sigh

A smile because the nights are short!
And every morning brings such pleasure
Of sweet love-making, harmless sport:
Love that makes and finds its treasure;
Love, treasure without measure.

A sigh because the days are long!
Long, long these days that pass in sighing,
A burden saddens every song:
While time lags which should be flying,
We live who would be dying.

Christina G. Rossetti

Famous Poems About Smiles

beautiful woman luxury nature

Smiles

Smile a little, smile a little,
As you go along,
Not alone when life is pleasant,
But when things go wrong.
Care delights to see you frowning,
Loves to hear you sigh;
Turn a smiling face upon her,
Quick the dame will fly.

Smile a little, smile a little,
All along the road;
Every life must have its burden,
Every heart its load.
Why sit down in gloom and darkness,
With your grief to sup?
As you drink Fate’s bitter tonic
Smile across the cup.

Smile upon the troubled pilgrims
Whom you pass and meet;
Frowns are thorns, and smiles are blossoms
Oft for weary feet.
Do not make the way seem harder
By a sullen face,
Smile a little, smile a little,
Brighten up the place.

Smile upon your undone labor;
Not for one who grieves
O’er his task, waits wealth or glory;
He who smiles achieves.
Though you meet with loss and sorrow
In the passing years,
Smile a little, smile a little,
Even through your tears.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

You Smile Upon Your Friend To-Day

You smile upon your friend to-day,
To-day his ills are over;
You hearken to the lover’s say,
And happy is the lover.

’Tis late to hearken, late to smile,
But better late than never:
I shall have lived a little while
Before I die for ever.

A. E. Housman

The Made to Order Smile

When a woman looks up at you with a twist about her eyes,
And her brows are half uplifted in a nicely feigned surprise
As you breathe some pretty sentence, though she hates you all the while,
She is very apt to stun you with a made to order smile.

It’s a sublte combination of a sneer and a caress,
With a dash of warmth thrown in to relieve its iciness,
And she greets you when she meets you with that look as if a file
Had been used to fix and fashion out the made to order smile.

I confess that I’m eccentric and am not a woman’s man,
For they seem to be constructed on the bunko fakir plan,
And it somehow sets me thinking that her heart is full of guile
When a woman looks up at me with a made to order smile.

Now, all maidens, young and aged, hear the lesson I would teach:
Ye who meet us in the ballroom, ye who meet us at the beach,
Pray consent to try and charm us by some other sort of wile
And relieve us from the burden of that made to order smile.

Paul Laurence Dunbar
Beautiful woman in hat standing

The Smile

There is a Smile of Love
And there is a Smile of Deceit
And there is a Smile of Smiles
In which these two Smiles meet

And there is a Frown of Hate
And there is a Frown of disdain
And there is a Frown of Frowns
Which you strive to forget in vain

For it sticks in the Hearts deep Core
And it sticks in the deep Back bone
And no Smile that ever was smild
But only one Smile alone

That betwixt the Cradle & Grave
It only once Smild can be
But when it once is Smild
Theres an end to all Misery

William Blake

Awake to Smile

When I blink sunshine in my eyes
And hail the amber morn,
Before the rosy dew-drop dries
With sparkle on the thorn;
When boughs with robin rapture ring,
And bees hum in the may,–
Then call me young, with heart of Spring,
Though I be grey.

But when no more I know the joy
And urgence of that hour,
As like a happy-hearted boy
I leap to land aflower;
When gusto I no longer feel,
To rouse with glad hooray,–
Then call me old and let me steal
From men away.

Let me awaken with a smile
And go to garden glee,
For there is such a little while
Of living left to me;
But when star-wist I frail away,
Lord, let the hope beguile
That to Ecstatic Light I may
Awake to smile.

Robert William Service

Learn to Smile

The good Lord understood us when He taught us how to smile;
He knew we couldn’t stand it to be solemn all the while;
He knew He’d have to shape us so that when our hearts were gay,
We could let our neighbors know it in a quick and easy way.

So He touched the lips of Adam and He touched the lips of Eve,
And He said: ‘Let these be solemn when your sorrows make you grieve,
But when all is well in Eden and your life seems worth the while,
Let your faces wear the glory and the sunshine of a smile.

‘Teach the symbol to your children, pass it down through all the years.
Though they know their share of sadness and shall weep their share of
tears,
Through the ages men and women shall prove their faith in Me
By the smile upon their faces when their hearts are trouble-free.’

The good Lord understood us when He sent us down to earth,
He knew our need for laughter and for happy signs of mirth;
He knew we couldn’t stand it to be solemn all the while,
But must share our joy with others- so He taught us how to smile.

Edgar Albert Guest
Sunkissed beauty

A Tear and a Smile

I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart
For the joys of the multitude.
And I would not have the tears that sadness makes
To flow from my every part turn into laughter.

I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.

A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding
Of life’s secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and
To be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.

A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.

I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than that I live Weary and despairing.

I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the
Depths of my spirit,for I have seen those who are
Satisfied the most wretched of people.
I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and Longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.

With evening’s coming the flower folds her petals
And sleeps, embracingher longing.
At morning’s approach she opens her lips to meet
The sun’s kiss.

The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment.
A tear and a smile.

The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come
Together and area cloud.

And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys
Until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping
To the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to Return to the sea, its home.

The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting.
A tear and a smile.

And so does the spirit become separated from
The greater spirit to move in the world of matter
And pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow
And the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death
And return whence it came.

To the ocean of Love and Beauty—-to God.

Khalil Gibran

He Never Smiled Again

The bark that held a prince went down,
The sweeping waves roll’d on;
And what was England’s glorious crown
To him that wept a son?
He lived—for life may long be borne
Ere sorrow break its chain;
Why comes not death to those who mourn?
He never smiled again!

There stood proud forms around his throne,
The stately and the brave;
But which could fill the place of one,
That one beneath the wave?
Before him pass’d the young and fair,
In pleasure’s reckless train;
But seas dash’d o’er his son’s bright hair—
He never smiled again!

He sat where festal bowls went round,
He heard the minstrel sing,
He saw the tourney’s victor crown’d
Amidst the knightly ring:
A murmur of the restless deep
Was blent with every strain,
A voice of winds that would not sleep—
He never smiled again!

Hearts, in that time, closed o’er the trace
Of vows once fondly pour’d,
And strangers took the kinsman’s place
At many a joyous board;
Graves, which true love had bathed with tears,
Were left to heaven’s bright rain,
Fresh hopes were born for other years—
He never smiled again!

Felicia Hemans

The Syndicated Smile

I knew a girl who had a beau
And his name wasn’t Adams—
No child of hers would ever call
The present writer “daddums.”
I didn’t love the girl, but still
I found her most beguiling;
And so did all the other chaps—
She did it with her smiling.
“I’m not a one-man girl,” she said—
“Of smiles my beau first took his;
But some are left; I’ll syndicate
And pass them round like cookies.”

That syndicated smile!
When trouble seemed the most in style,
It heartened us—
That indicated,
Syndicated
Smile.

It’s not enough to please your boss
Or fawn round folks with bankrolls;
Be just as friendly to the guys
Whose homespun round their shank rolls.
The best investment in the world
Is goodwill, twenty carat;
It costs you nothing, brings returns;
So get yours out and air it.
A niggard of good nature cheats
Himself and wrongs his fellows.
You’d serve mankind? Then be less close
With friendly nods and helloes.

The syndicated smile!
If you have kept it all the while,
You’ve vindicated
The indicated,
Syndicated
Smile.

St. Clair Adams

Smiles

I saw a black girl once,
As black as winter’s night;
Till through her parted lips
There came a flood of light;
It was the milky way
Across her face so black:
Her two lips closed again,
And night came back.

I see a maiden now,
Fair as a summer’s day;
Yet through her parted lips
I see the milky way;
It makes the broad daylight
In summer time look black:
Her two lips close again,
And night comes back.

William Henry Davies

Smile Rhyme Poems

Young woman in a camper van in a beautiful camping with pink flowers.

One Dear Smile

Couldst thou look as dear as when
First I sighed for thee;
Couldst thou make me feel again
Every wish I breathed thee then,
Oh, how blissful life would be!
Hopes that now beguiling leave me,
Joys that lie in slumber cold–
All would wake, couldst thou but give me
One dear smile like those of old.

No–there’s nothing left us now,
But to mourn the past;
Vain was every ardent vow–
Never yet did Heaven allow
Love so warm, so wild, to last.
Not even hope could now deceive me–
Life itself looks dark and cold;
Oh, thou never more canst give me
One dear smile like those of old

Thomas Moore

Then, Most, I Smile

Late it is to look so proud,
Daisy queen! come is the gloom
Of the winter-burdened cloud!–
‘But, in winter, most I bloom!’

Star of even! sunk the sun!
Lost for e’er the ruddy line;
And the earth is veiled in dun,–
‘Nay, in darkness, best I shine!’

O, my soul! art ‘bove alarm,
Quaffing thus the cup of gall–
Canst thou face the grave with calm?–
‘Yes, the Christians smile at all.’

Victor-Marie Hugo

Without a Smile – Without a Throe

A Summer’s soft assemblies go
To their entrancing end
Unknown-for all the times we met-
Estranged, however intimate-
What a dissembling Friend-

Emily Dickinson
Happy young black woman in a sunflower field.

When First That Smile (Venetian Air)

When first that smile, like sunshine, blest my sight,
Oh what a vision then came o’er me!
Long years of love, of calm and pure delight,
Seemed in that smile to pass before me.
Ne’er did the peasant dream of summer skies,
Of golden fruit and harvests springing,
With fonder hope than I of those sweet eyes,
And of the joy their light was bringing.

Where now are all those fondly-promised hours?
Ah! woman’s faith is like her brightness–
Fading as fast as rainbows or day-flowers,
Or aught that’s known for grace and lightness.
Short as the Persian’s prayer, at close of day,
Should be each vow of Love’s repeating;
Quick let him worship Beauty’s precious ray–
Even while he kneels, that ray is fleeting!

Thomas Moore

What Heavenly Smiles! O Lady Mine

What heavenly smiles! O Lady mine
Through my very heart they shine;
And, if my brow gives back their light,
Do thou look gladly on the sight;
As the clear Moon with modest pride
Beholds her own bright beams
Reflected from the mountain’s side
And from the headlong streams.

William Wordsworth

Spring’s First Smile

While up and down the earth men pant and plod,
March, laughing at the showers and days unsteady,
And whispering secret orders to the sod,
For Spring makes ready.

And slyly when the world is sleeping yet,
He smooths out collars for the Easter daisies,
And fashions golden buttercups to set
In woodland mazes.

Coif-maker fine, he worketh well his plan.
Orchard and vineyard for his touch are prouder.
From a white swan he hath a down to fan
The trees with powder.

While Nature still upon her couch doth lean,
Stealthily hies he to the garden closes,
And laces in their bodices of green
Pale buds of roses.

Composing his solfeggios in the shade,
He whistles them to blackbirds as he treadeth,
And violets in the wood, and in the glade
Snowdrops, he spreadeth.

Where for the restless stag the fountain wells,
His hidden hand glides soft amid the cresses,
And scatters lily-of-the-valley bells,
In silver dresses.

He sinks the sweet, vermilion strawberries
Deep in the grasses for thy roving fingers,
And garlands leaflets for thy forehead’s ease,
When sunshine lingers.

When, labour done, he must away, turns he
On April’s threshold from his fair creating,
And calleth unto Spring: “Come, Spring—for see,
The woods are waiting!”

Théophile Gautier
Walking withour container.

To…

Sweet lady, look not thus again:
Those bright, deluding smiles recall
A maid remember’d now with pain,
Who was my love, my life, my all!

Oh! while this heart bewildered took
Sweet poison from her thrilling eye,
Thus would she smile and lisp and look,
And I would hear and gaze and sigh!

Yes, I did love her—wildly love—
She was her sex’s best deceiver!
And oft she swore she’d never rove—
And I was destined to believe her!

Then, lady, do not wear the smile
Of one whose smile could thus betray;
Alas! I think the lovely wile
Again could steal my heart away.

For, when those spells that charmed my mind
On lips so pure as thine I see,
I fear the heart which she resigned
Will err again and fly to thee!

Sir Thomas Moore

Erin! The Tear and the Smile in Thine Eyes

Erin! the tear and the smile in thine eyes
Blend like the rainbow that hangs in thy skies,
Shining through sorrow’s stream,
Saddening through pleasure’s beam,
Thy suns with doubtful gleam,
Weep while they rise.

Erin, thy silent tear never shall cease,
Erin, thy languid smile ne’er shall increase,
Till, like the rainbow’s light,
Thy various tints unite,
And form in heaven’s sight
One arch of peace!

Thomas Moore

Smile, Smile, Smile

Head to limp head, the sunk-eyed wounded scanned
Yesterday’s Mail; the casualties (typed small)
And (large) Vast Booty from our Latest Haul.
Also, they read of Cheap Homes, not yet planned;
For, said the paper, “When this war is done
The men’s first instinct will be making homes.
Meanwhile their foremost need is aerodromes,
It being certain war has just begun.
Peace would do wrong to our undying dead,—
The sons we offered might regret they died
If we got nothing lasting in their stead.
We must be solidly indemnified.
Though all the worthy Victory which all bought,
We rulers sitting in this ancient spot
Would wrong our very selves if we forgot
The greatest glory will be theirs who fought,
Who kept this nation in integrity.
Nation?—The half-limbed readers did not chafe
But smiled at one another curiously
Like secret men who know their secret safe.
This is the thing they know and never speak,
That England one by one had fled to France
(Not many elsewhere not save under France).
Pictures of these broad smiles appear each week,
And people in whose voice real feeling rings
Say: How they smile! They’re happy now, poor things.

Wilfred Owen
Woman walking in the garden

A Song

Sweet dreams, form a shade
O’er my lovely infant’s head!
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams
By happy, silent, moony beams!

Sweet Sleep, with soft down
Weave thy brows an infant crown
Sweet Sleep, angel mild,
Hover o’er my happy child!

Sweet smiles, in the night
Hover over my delight!
Sweet smiles, mother’s smile,
All the livelong night beguile.

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,
Chase not slumber from thine eyes!
Sweet moan, sweeter smile,
All the dovelike moans beguile.

Sleep, sleep, happy child!
All creation slept and smiled.
Sleep, sleep, happy sleep,
While o’er thee doth mother weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Holy image I can trace;
Sweet babe, once like thee
Thy Maker lay, and wept for me:

Wept for me, for thee, for all,
When He was an infant small.
Thou His image ever see,
Heavenly face that smiles on thee!

Smiles on thee, on me, on all,
Who became an infant small;
Infant smiles are his own smiles;
Heaven and earth to peace beguiles.

William Blake

We Are Not Always Glad When We Smile

We are not always glad when we smile:
Though we wear a fair face and are gay,
And the world we deceive
May not ever believe
We could laugh in a happier way.–
Yet, down in the deeps of the soul,
Ofttimes, with our faces aglow,
There’s an ache and a moan
That we know of alone,
And as only the hopeless may know.

We are not always glad when we smile,–
For the heart, in a tempest of pain,
May live in the guise
Of a smile in the eyes
As a rainbow may live in the rain;
And the stormiest night of our woe
May hang out a radiant star
Whose light in the sky
Of despair is a lie
As black as the thunder-clouds are.

We are not always glad when we smile!–
But the conscience is quick to record,
All the sorrow and sin
We are hiding within
Is plain in the sight of the Lord:
And ever, O ever, till pride
And evasion shall cease to defile
The sacred recess
Of the soul, we confess
We are not always glad when we smile.

James Whitcomb Riley

When Midst the Gay I meet

When midst the gay I meet
That gentle smile of thine,
Tho’ still on me it turns most sweet,
I scarce can call it mine:
But when to me alone
Your secret tears you show,
Oh, then I feel those tears my own,
And claim them while they flow.
Then still with bright looks bless
The gay, the cold, the free;
Give smiles to those who love you less,
But keep your tears for me.

The snow on Jura’s steep
Can smile in many a beam,
Yet still in chains of coldness sleep.
How bright soe’er it seem.
But, when some deep-felt ray
Whose touch is fire appears,
Oh, then the smile is warmed away,
And, melting, turns to tears.
Then still with bright looks bless
The gay, the cold, the free;
Give smiles to those who love you less,
But keep your tears for me.

Sir Thomas Moore

Smile Short Poems

Happy girls friends sitting in cafe talking with each other drinking tea or coffee.

A Smile

A smile is cheer to you and me
The cost is nothing – it’s given free
It comforts the weary – gladdens the sad
Consoles those in trouble – good or bad
To rich and poor – beggar or thief
It’s free to all of any belief.
A natural gesture of young and old
Cheers on the faint – disarms the bold
Unlike most blessings for which we pray
It’s one thing we keep when we give it away.

Unknown

A Smiling Paradox

I’ve squandered smiles to-day,
And, strange to say,
Altho’ my frowns with care I’ve stowed away,
To-night I’m poorer far in frowns than at the start;
While in my heart,
Wherein my treasures best I store,
I find my smiles increased by several score.

John Kendrick Bangs

The Smile
(Her Word)

I didn’t like the way he went away.
That smile! It never came of being gay.
Still, he smiled—did you see him?—I was sure!
Perhaps because we gave him only bread
And the wretch knew from that that we were poor.
Perhaps because he let us give instead
Of seizing from us as he might have seized.
Perhaps he mocked at us for being wed,
Or being very young (and he was pleased
To have a vision of us old and dead).
I wonder how far down the road he’s got.
He’s watching from the woods as like as not.

Robert Frost
Young lovely woman in spring flowers.

Red Cross Song

When I heard the bees humming in the hive,
They were so busy about their honey,
I said to my mother,
What can I give,
What can I give to help the Red Cross?
And Mother said to me:
You can give honey too!
Honey of smiles!
Honey of love!

Hilda Conkling

Try Smiling

When the weather suits you not, Try smiling.
When your coffee isn’t hot, Try smiling.
When your neighbors don’t do right,
Or your relatives all fight,
Sure ’tis hared, but then you might Try smiling.

Doesn’t change the things, of course- Just smiling.
But it cannot make them worse- Just smiling.
And it seems to help your case,
Brightens up a gloomy place,
Then, it sort o’ rests your face- Just smiling.

Unknown

Maidens I

Others must by a long dark way
Stray to the mystic bards,
Or ask some one who has heard them sing
Or touch the magic chords.
Only the maidens question not
The bridges that lead to Dream;
Their luminous smiles are like strands of pearls
On a silver vase agleam.

The maidens’ doors of Life lead out
Where the song of the poet soars,
And out beyond to the great world—
To the world beyond the doors.

Rainer Maria Rilke
A young happy woman holding burning sparklers.

November (A Sonnet)

Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
One mellow smile through the soft vapoury air,
Ere, o’er the frozen earth, the loud winds run,
Or snows are sifted o’er the meadows bare.
One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
And the blue gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.

William Cullen Bryant

She Is Not Fair to Outward View

She is not fair to outward view,
As many maidens be;
Her loveliness I never knew
Until she smiled on me.
Oh, then I saw her eye was bright,
A well of love, a spring of light.

But now her looks are coy and cold,
To mine they ne’er reply,
And yet I cease not to behold
The love-light in her eye:
Her very frowns are fairer far
Than smiles of other maidens are.

H. Coleridge

Charm Verses

Eden’s smile my vineyard wore,
Flowers bloomed, a goodly store;
Handsome youth and ugly maid—
This was never seen before!

Armenian Legends and Poems
(gutenburg EBook #54036)

Well I Remember How You Smiled

Well I remember how you smiled
To see me write your name upon
The soft sea-sand—‘O! what a child!
You think you’re writing upon stone!’
I have since written what no tide
Shall ever wash away, what men
Unborn shall read o’er ocean wide
And find Ianthe’s name again.

Walter Savage Landor

Poems About Smiles and Laughter

Smiling and laughing women driving convertible

Laugh and Be Merry

Laugh and be merry, remember, better the world with a song,
Better the world with a blow in the teeth of a wrong.
Laugh, for the time is brief, a thread the length of a span.
Laugh and be proud to belong to the old proud pageant of man.

Laugh and be merry: remember, in olden time.
God made Heaven and Earth for joy He took in a rhyme,
Made them, and filled them full with the strong red wine of
His mirth
The splendid joy of the stars: the joy of the earth.

So we must laugh and drink from the deep blue cup of the sky,
Join the jubilant song of the great stars sweeping by,
Laugh, and battle, and work, and drink of the wine outpoured
In the dear green earth, the sign of the joy of the Lord.

Laugh and be merry together, like brothers akin,
Guesting awhile in the rooms of a beautiful inn,
Glad till the dancing stops, and the lilt of the music ends.
Laugh till the game is played; and be you merry, my friends.

John Masefield

Smile

Like a bread without the spreadin’.
Like a mattress without beddin’,
Like a cart without a hoss,
Like a door without a latchstring,
Like a dry an’ barren creed bed-
Is the face without a smile.
Like a house without a dooryard,
Like a clock without a mainspring,
That will never tell the hour;
A thing that sort o’ makes yo’ feel
A hunger all the while-
Oh, the saddest sight that ever was
Is a face without a smile!
The face of man was built for smiles,
An’ thereby he is blest
Above the critters of the field,
The birds an’ all the rest;
He’s just a little lower
Than the angels in the skies,
An’ the reason is that he can smile;
Therein his glory lies!
So smile an’ don’t forget to smile,
An’ smile, an’ smile ag’in
‘Twill help you all along the way,
An’ cheer you mile by mile;
An’ so, whatever is your lot,
Jes’ smile, an’ smile, an’ smile.

Unknown

Laughing Song

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

when the meadows laugh with lively green,
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,
When Mary and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing “Ha, ha he!”

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of “Ha, ha, he!”

William Blake
A lovely woman with long red hair and freckles.

A Fixed Smile

Egnatius, spruce owner of superb white teeth,
Smiles sweetly, smiles forever. Is the bench in view,
Where stands the pleader just prepared to rouse our tears,
Egnatius smiles sweetly. Near the pyre they mourn,
Where weeps a mother o’er the lost, the kind, one son;
Egnatius smiles sweetly—what the time, or place,
Or thing soe’er, smiles sweetly. Such a rare complaint
Is his, not handsome, scarce to please the town, say I.
So take a warning for the nonce, my friend; town-bred
Were you, a Sabine hale, a pearly Tiburtine,
A frugal Umbrian body, Tuscan, huge of paunch,
A grim Samnian, black of hue, prodigious-tooth’d,
A Transpadane, my country not to pass untaxed—
In short, whoever cleanly cares to rinse foul teeth;
Yet sweetly smiling ever I would have you not:
For silly laughter, it’s a silly thing indeed.

Catullus

Laughter Holding Both His Sides

Ay, thou varlet! Laugh away!
All the world’s a holiday!
Laugh away, and roar and shout
Till thy hoarse tongue lolleth out!
Bloat thy cheeks, and bulge thine eyes
Unto bursting; pelt thy thighs
With thy swollen palms, and roar
As thou never hast before!
Lustier! Wilt thou! Peal on peal!
Stiflest? Squat and grind thy heel–
Wrestle with thy loins, and then
Wheeze thee whiles, and whoop again!

James Whitcomb Riley

The Smiling Spring

I.

The smiling Spring comes in rejoicing,
And surly Winter grimly flies;
Now crystal clear are the falling waters,
And bonnie blue are the sunny skies;
Fresh o’er the mountains breaks forth the morning,
The ev’ning gilds the ocean’s swell;
All creatures joy in the sun’s returning,
And I rejoice in my bonnie Bell.

II.

The flowery Spring leads sunny Summer,
And yellow Autumn presses near,
Then in his turn comes gloomy Winter,
Till smiling Spring again appear.
Thus Seasons dancing, life advancing,
Old Time and Nature their changes tell,
But never ranging, still unchanging,
I adore my bonnie Bell.

Robert Burns
Loving couple drinking coffee in outdoor cafe at sunset

Maiden Melancholy

A young knight comes into my mind
As from some myth of old.

He came! You felt yourself entwined
As a great storm would round you wind.
He went! A blessing undefined
Seemed left, as when church-bells declined
And left you wrapt in prayer.
You fain would cry aloud—but bind
Your scarf about you and tear-blind
Weep softly in its fold.

A young knight comes into my mind
Full armored forth to fare.

His smile was luminously kind
Like glint of ivory enshrined,
Like a home longing undivined,
Like Christmas snows where dark ways wind,
Like sea-pearls about turquoise twined,
Like moonlight silver when combined
With a loved book’s rare gold.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Worth While

It is easy enough to be pleasant,
When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is one who will smile,
When everything goes dead wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth,
Is the smile that shines through tears.

It is easy enough to be prudent,
When nothing tempts you to stray,
When without or within no voice of sin
Is luring your soul away;
But it’s only a negative virtue
Until it is tried by fire,
And the life that is worth the honor on earth,
Is the one that resists desire.

By the cynic, the sad, the fallen,
Who had no strength for the strife,
The world’s highway is cumbered to-day,
They make up the sum of life.
But the virtue that conquers passion,
And the sorrow that hides in a smile,
It is these that are worth the homage on earth
For we find them but once in a while.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Glad Song

Sing a song, sing a song,
Ring the glad-bells all along;
Smile at him who frowns at you,
He will smile and then they’re two.
Laugh a bit, laugh a bit,
Folks will soon be catching it,
Can’t resist a happy face;
World will be a merry place.
Laugh a Bit and Sing a Song,
Where they are there’s nothing wrong;
Joy will dance the whole world through,
But it must begin with you.

Joseph Morris
 Love couple on the street with retro scooter

Madeline

1

Thou art not steep’d in golden languors,
No tranced summer calm is thine,
Ever varying Madeline.
Thro light and shadow thou dost range,
Sudden glances, sweet and strange,
Delicious spites and darling angers,
And airy forms of flitting change.

2

Smiling, frowning, evermore,
Thou art perfect in love-lore.
Revealings deep and clear are thine
Of wealthy smiles: but who may know
Whether smile or frown be fleeter?
Whether smile or frown be sweeter,
Who may know?
Frowns perfect-sweet along the brow
Light-glooming over eyes divine,
Like little clouds sun-fringed, are thine,
Ever varying Madeline.
Thy smile and frown are not aloof
From one another,
Each to each is dearest brother;
Hues of the silken sheeny woof
Momently shot into each other.
All the mystery is thine;
Smiling, frowning, evermore,
Thou art perfect in love-lore,
Ever varying Madeline.

3

A subtle, sudden flame,
By veering passion fann’d,
About thee breaks and dances
When I would kiss thy hand,
The flush of anger’d shame
O’erflows thy calmer glances,
And o’er black brows drops down
A sudden curved frown:
But when I turn away,
Thou, willing me to stay,
Wooest not, nor vainly wranglest;
But, looking fixedly the while,
All my bounding heart entanglest
In a golden-netted smile;
Then in madness and in bliss,
If my lips should dare to kiss
Thy taper fingers amorously,
Again thou blushest angerly;
And o’er black brows drops down
A sudden-curved frown.

Lord Alfred Tennyson

Laughter

Laughter sort o’ settles breakfast better than digestive pills;
Found it, somehow in my travels, cure for every sort of ills;
When the hired help have riled me with their slipshod, careless ways,
An’ I’m bilin’ mad an’ cussin’ an’ my temper’s all ablaze,
If the calf gets me to laughin’ while they’re teachin’ him to feed
Pretty soon I’m feelin’ better, ’cause I’ve found the cure I need.

Like to start the day with laughter; when I’ve had a peaceful night,
An’ can greet the sun all smilin’, that day’s goin’ to be all right.
But there’s nothing goes to suit me, when my system’s full of bile;
Even horses quit their pullin’ when the driver doesn’t smile,
But they’ll buckle to the traces when they hear a glad giddap,
Just as though they like to labor for a cheerful kind o’ chap.

Laughter keeps me strong an’ healthy. You can bet I’m all run down,
Fit for doctor folks an’ nurses when I cannot shake my frown.
Found in farmin’ laughter’s useful, good for sheep an’ cows an’ goats;
When I’ve laughed my way through summer, reap the biggest crop of oats.
Laughter’s good for any business, leastwise so it seems to me
Never knew a smilin’ feller but was busy as could be.

Sometimes sit an’ think about it, ponderin’ on the ways of life,
Wonderin’ why mortals gladly face the toil an care an’ strife,
Then I come to this conclusion–take it now for what it’s worth
It’s the joy of laughter keeps us plodding on this stretch of earth.
Men the fun o’ life are seeking–that’s the reason for the calf
Spillin’ mash upon his keeper–men are hungry for a laugh.

Edgar A. Guest