117 Awe-Inspiring Poems About Wishes

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Here are my favorite poems about wishes categorized:

  • Poems about wishes and dreams
  • Poems about wishing things were different
  • Poems about wishing someone happiness

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

Keep reading!

117 Best Poems About Wishes (Categorized)
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4 Poems About Wishes and Dreams

Awe-Inspiring Poems About Wishes

Discover a curated selection of the most beautiful poems about wishes, thoughtfully categorized for your browsing pleasure.

Our collection offers works that explore the power of wishes and dreams, as well as the desire to wish someone happiness and joy.

With our handpicked selection, you can find the best poems about wishes all in one convenient location.

So take a moment to immerse yourself in the inspiring imagery and heartfelt sentiments of these compelling works.

Let’s get started!

My #1 Favorite Poem About Wishes

A beautiful woman a little fabulous fairy with butterfly wings sits on green water lily leaf. Fantasy scenery of huge pink flowers on the lake, green trees. River nymph innocent girl in an blue dress

“A Wish” by Frances Anne Kemble

Oh! that I were a fairy sprite, to wander
In forest paths, o’erarched with oak and beech;
Where the sun’s yellow light, in slanting rays,
Sleeps on the dewy moss: what time the breath
Of early morn stirs the white hawthorn boughs,
And fills the air with showers of snowy blossoms.
Or lie at sunset ‘mid the purple heather,
Listening the silver music that rings out
From the pale mountain bells, swayed by the wind.
Or sit in rocky clefts above the sea,
While one by one the evening stars shine forth
Among the gathering clouds, that strew the heavens
Like floating purple wreaths of mournful nightshade!

Poems About Wishes and Dreams

quiet tomb

“I Wish I Had a Quiet Tomb” by Louisa May Alcott

I wish I had a quiet tomb,
Beside a little rill;
Where birds, and bees, and butterflies,
Would sing upon the hill.

“Dreams” by Madison Julius Cawein

They mock the present and they haunt the past,
And in the future there is naught agleam
With hope, the soul desires, that at last
The heart pursuing does not find a dream.

“Before Sleep” by Elsa Gidlow

There is an autumn sadness upon me,
A sadness of bared trees,
And mist and delicate death of flowers.
There is an autumn sadness upon me,
A falling of leaves in my soul.

There is an autumn sadness upon me,
A dreamfulness in my heart,
And a wistful sense of longing.
There is faint moaning music
Like cries of departing birds.

There are trembling hands on my eyelids,
A dim foreknowledge of tears
And dreams, patterning ultimate slumber.
There is an autumn sadness upon me,
A falling of leaves in my soul.

Mystical medieval hands writing with quill pen

“For a Poet” by Countee Cullen

I have wrapped my dreams in a silken cloth,
And laid them away in a box of gold;
Where long will cling the lips of the moth,
I have wrapped my dreams in a silken cloth;
I hide no hate; I am not even wroth
Who found earth’s breath so keen and cold;
I have wrapped my dreams in a silken cloth,
And laid them away in a box of gold.

“It Is No Dream of Mine” by Henry David Thoreau

It is no dream of mine,
To ornament a line,
I cannot come nearer to God and Heaven
Than I live to Walden even
I am its stony shore,
And the breeze that passes o’er,
In the hollow of my hand
Are its water and its sand,
And its deepest resort
Lies high in my thought

“Christian” by Ambrose Bierce

I dreamed I stood upon a hill, and, lo!
The godly multitudes walked to and fro
Beneath, in Sabbath garments fitly clad,
With pious mien, appropriately sad,
While all the church bells made a solemn din,
A fire-alarm to those who lived in sin.
Then saw I gazing thoughtfully below,
With tranquil face, upon that holy show
A tall, spare figure in a robe of white,
Whose eyes diffused a melancholy light.
“God keep you, stranger,” I exclaimed. “You are
No doubt (your habit shows it) from afar;
And yet I entertain the hope that you,
Like these good people, are a Christian too.”
He raised his eyes and with a look so stern
It made me with a thousand blushes burn
Replied his manner with disdain was spiced:
“What! I a Christian? No, indeed! I’m Christ.”

Old book in female hands with a flower

“Envoy” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Go, little book, and wish to all
Flowers in the garden, meat in the hall,
A bin of wine, a spice of wit,
A house with lawns enclosing it,
A living river by the door,
A nightingale in the sycamore!

“Dreams of Autumn” by Paul Bewsher

When through the heat of some long afternoon
In blazing August, on the grass I lie,
And watch the white clouds move across the sky,
On whose azure is faintly etched the moon,
That, when the evening deepens, will be soon
The brightest figure of those hosts on high,
My heart is discontented, and I sigh,
For Autumn and its vapours; till I swoon

Upon the vision of October days
In dreaming London, when each mighty tree
Sheds daily more brown showers through the haze,
Which lends each street Romance and Mystery –
When pallid silver Sunshine only gleams
On that grey Lovers’ City of Sweet Dreams.

“It’s a Long Way” by William Stanley Braithwaite

It’s a long way the sea-winds blow
Over the sea-plains blue,—
But longer far has my heart to go
Before its dreams come true.

It’s work we must, and love we must,
And do the best we may,
And take the hope of dreams in trust
To keep us day by day.

It’s a long way the sea-winds blow—
But somewhere lies a shore—
Thus down the tide of Time shall flow
My dreams forevermore.

dream reflection

“A Day-Dream’s Reflection” by William Allingham

Chequer’d with woven shadows as I lay
Among the grass, blinking the watery gleam,
I saw an Echo-Spirit in his bay
Most idly floating in the noontide beam.
Slow heaved his filmy skiff, and fell, with sway
Of ocean’s giant pulsing, and the Dream,
Buoyed like the young moon on a level stream
Of greenish vapour at decline of day,
Swam airily, watching the distant flocks
Of sea-gulls, whilst a foot in careless sweep
Touched the clear-trembling cool with tiny shocks,
Faint-circling; till at last he dropt asleep,
Lull’d by the hush-song of the glittering deep,
Lap-lapping drowsily the heated rocks.

“Bad Dreams I” by Robert Browning

Last night I saw you in my sleep:
And how your charm of face was changed!
I asked, ‘Some love, some faith you keep?’
You answered, ‘Faith gone, love estranged.’

Whereat I woke, a twofold bliss:
Waking was one, but next there came
This other: ‘Though I felt, for this,
My heart break, I loved on the same.’

“Dreamland” by Lewis Carroll

When midnight mists are creeping,
And all the land is sleeping,
Around me tread the mighty dead,
And slowly pass away.
Lo, warriors, saints, and sages,
From out the vanished ages,
With solemn pace and reverend face
Appear and pass away.
The blaze of noonday splendour,
The twilight soft and tender,
May charm the eye: yet they shall die,
Shall die and pass away.
But here, in Dreamland’s centre,
No spoiler’s hand may enter,
These visions fair, this radiance rare,
Shall never pass away.
I see the shadows falling,
The forms of old recalling;
Around me tread the mighty dead,
And slowly pass away.

Woman on dandelion field in sunset. Allergic

“The Dream Keeper” by Langston Hughes

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers.
Bring me all of your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too rough fingers
Of the world.

“The Cabbage” by Madison Julius Cawein

Here is a tale for any one who wishes:
There grew a cabbage once among the flowers,
A plain, broad cabbage a good wench, whose hours
Were kitchen-busy with plebeian dishes.
The rose and lily, toilless, without mottle,
Patricians born, despised her: “How unpleasant!”
They cried;”What odour! Worse than any peasant
Who soils God’s air! Give us our smelling- bottle.”
There came a gentleman who owned the garden,
Looking about him at both flower and edible,
Admiring here and there; a simple sinner,
Who sought some bud to be his heart’s sweet warden:
But passed the flowers and took it seems incredible!
That cabbage! But a man must have his dinner.

“Masked” by Madison Julius Cawein

Lying alone I dreamed a dream last night:
Methought that Joy had come to comfort me
For all the past, its suffering and slight,
Yet in my heart I felt this could not be.
All that he said unreal seemed and strange,
Too beautiful to last beyond to-morrow;
Then suddenly his features seemed to change,
The mask of joy dropped from the face of Sorrow.

Young Caucasian female in a stylish black hat praying in the scenic forest, autumn mood

“A Wish” by John Clare

Be where I may when Death brings in his bill,
Demanding payment for life’s ling’ring debt,
Or in my native village nestling still,
Or tracing scenes I’ve never known as yet,
O let one wish, go where I will, be mine,–
To turn me back and wander home to die,
‘Mong nearest friends my latest breath resign,
And in the church-yard with my kindred lie,
‘Neath the thick-shaded sycamore’s decay,
Its broad leaves trembling to the breeze of day:
To see its shadow o’er my ashes wave,
How soothing will it be, while, hovering near,
My unseen spirit haunts its daisied grave,
Pausing on scenes in life once lov’d so dear.

“Our Dreams” by Madison Julius Cawein

Spare us our Dreams, O God! The dream we dreamed
When we were children and dwelt near the Land
Of Faery, which our Childhood often planned
To reach, beholding where its towers gleamed:
The dream our Youth put seaward with; that streamed
With Love’s wild hair, or beckoned with the hand
Of stout Adventure: Then that dream which spanned
Our Manhood’s skies with fame; that shone, it seemed,
The one fixed star of purpose, fair and far,
The dream of great achievement, in the heaven
Of our desire, and gave the soul strong wings:
Then that last dream, through which these others are
Made true: The dream that holds us at Life’s even,
The mortal hope of far immortal things.

“Calling Dreams” by Georgia Douglas Johnson

The right to make my dreams come true,
I ask, nay, I demand of life,
Nor shall fate’s deadly contraband
Impede my steps, nor countermand;
Too long my heart against the ground
Has beat the dusty years around,
And now at length I rise! I wake!
And stride into the morning break!

Happy little girl with closed eyes praying in autumn forest.

“Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” by W.B. Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

“Idle Fame” by John Clare

I would not wish the burning blaze
Of fame around a restless world,
The thunder and the storm of praise
In crowded tumults heard and hurled.
I would not be a flower to stand
The stare of every passer-bye;
But in some nook of fairyland,
Seen in the praise of beauty’s eye.

“Dreams” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

What dreams we have and how they fly
Like rosy clouds across the sky;
Of wealth, of fame, of sure success,
Of love that comes to cheer and bless;
And how they wither, how they fade,
The waning wealth, the jilting jade–
The fame that for a moment gleams,
Then flies forever,–dreams, ah–dreams!

O burning doubt and long regret,
O tears with which our eyes are wet,
Heart-throbs, heart-aches, the glut of pain,
The somber cloud, the bitter rain,
You were not of those dreams–ah! well,
Your full fruition who can tell?
Wealth, fame, and love, ah! love that beams
Upon our souls, all dreams–ah! dreams.

Famous temples of Khajuraho

“A Dream Temple” by Edith M. Thomas

My temple hath yon city roofs for floor;
For roof, the azure; and, to stay the roof,
A thousand alabastrine columns soar
In coiling smoke that, silent, steals aloof!

My temple builds itself at windless prime,—
At dawn,—or in the rosy eventime;
Ere garish midday, roof and pillar melt,—
And they are gone,—the Blest, who there have knelt!

“Douce Souvenance” by Jessie Redmon Fauset

Again, as always, when the shadows fall,
In that sweet space between the dark and day,
I leave the present and its fretful claims
And seek the dim past where my memories stay.
I dream an old, forgotten, far-off dream,
And think old thoughts and live old scenes anew,
Till suddenly I reach the heart of Spring—
The spring that brought me you!
I see again a little woody lane,
The moonlight rifting golden through the trees;
I hear the plaintive chirp of drowsy bird
Lulled dreamward by a tender, vagrant breeze;
I hold your hand, I look into your eyes,
I touch your lips,—oh, peerless, matchless dower!
Oh, Memory thwarting Time and Space and Death!
Oh, Little Perfect Hour!

“Wishing–Fishing.” by George W. Doneghy

Full well I know that wishing never yet has brought
The things that seem to us would satisfy the heart,
And that anticipated pleasure, when at last ’tis caught,
Has naught but transitory solace to impart;
And yet, somehow, I’ve ever felt and thought
A joy there is that never can depart–
(As long as we are capable of feeling–wishing)–
And that’s to leave dull care behind, and–go a-fishing!

Some dream of wealth–of place–of fame–
And fleeting shadows vainly they pursue;
And some have sighed to win a deathless name
Where fields of carnage corpses thickly strew,
And shrieks of agony are heard ‘mid smoke and flame;
But these are dizzy heights attained by few;
So, when Dame Fortune is her favors dishing,
I hope that I’ll get mine in ample time to–go a-fishing!

Oh, was there ever any sweeter dream,
Or music with a tone that’s more entrancing,
Than just to wander where some mountain stream
Is o’er the rocks and polished pebbles dancing?
And nothing short of heaven itself, I ween,
Is like the moment when, his scales all glancing,
You see the happy consummation of your wishing,
And catch the very fish for which you have been fishing!


“Wistful” by Carl Sandburg

Wishes left on your lips
The mark of their wings.
Regrets fly kites in your eyes.

“I Dream’d in a Dream” by Walt Whitman

I dream’d in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth;
I dream’d that was the new City of Friends;
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love—it led the rest;
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.

“Stars, Songs, Faces” by Carl Sandburg

Gather the stars if you wish it so.
Gather the songs and keep them.
Gather the faces of women.
Gather for keeping years and years.

And then …
Loosen your hands, let go and say good-by.
Let the stars and songs go.
Let the faces and years go.
Loosen your hands and say good-by.

Junge Frau betet im Wald zum Sonnenuntergang

“Into My Own” by Robert Frost

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as ’twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e’er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him they knew—
Only more sure of all I thought was true.

“Sonnet 135” by William Shakespeare

Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will
And Will to boot, and Will in over-plus;
More than enough am I that vex thee still,
To thy sweet will making addition thus.
Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious,
Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?
Shall will in others seem right gracious,
And in my will no fair acceptance shine?
The sea, all water, yet receives rain still,
And in abundance addeth to his store;
So thou, being rich in Will, add to thy Will
One will of mine, to make thy large Will more.
Let no unkind ‘No’ fair beseechers kill;
Think all but one, and me in that one Will.

“The Angel” by William Blake

I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne’er beguiled!

And I wept both night and day,
And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart’s delight.

So he took his wings, and fled;
Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten-thousand shields and spears.

Soon my Angel came again;
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.

woman standing in a lake

“Sunday Up the River” by James Thomson

My love o’er the water bends dreaming;
It glideth and glideth away:
She sees there her own beauty, gleaming
Through shadow and ripple and spray.

O tell her, thou murmuring river,
As past her your light wavelets roll,
How steadfast that image for ever
Shines pure in pure depths of my soul.

“The Nearest Dream Recedes, Unrealized” by Emily Dickinson

The nearest dream recedes, unrealized.
The heaven we chase
Like the June bee
Before the school-boy
Invites the race;
Stoops to an easy clover—
Then to the royal clouds
Lifts his light pinnace
Heedless of the boy
Staring, bewildered, at the mocking sky.

Homesick for steadfast honey,
Ah! the bee flies not
That brews that rare variety.

“I Dream’d I Lay” by Robert Burns

I dream’d I lay where flowers were springing
Gaily in the sunny beam;
List’ning to the wild birds singing,
By a falling crystal stream:
Straight the sky grew black and daring;
Thro’ the woods the whirlwinds rave;
Tress with aged arms were warring,
O’er the swelling drumlie wave.

Such was my life’s deceitful morning,
Such the pleasures I enjoyed:
But lang or noon, loud tempests storming
A’ my flowery bliss destroy’d.
Tho’ fickle fortune has deceiv’d me—
She promis’d fair, and perform’d but ill,
Of mony a joy and hope bereav’d me—
I bear a heart shall support me still.


“Ode on Solitude” by Alexander Pope

Happy the man whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest who can unconcern’dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mixt, sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

“The Bonie Wee Thing” by Robert Burns

Bonie wee thing, cannie wee thing,
Lovely wee thing, wert thou mine,
I wad wear thee in my bosom,
Lest my jewel it should tine.

Wishfully I look and languish
In that bonie face o’ thine,
And my heart it stounds wi’ anguish,
Lest my wee thing be na mine.
Bonie wee thing, &c.

Wit, and Grace, and Love, and Beauty,
In ae constellation shine;
To adore thee is my duty,
Goddess o’ this soul o’ mine!
Bonie wee thing, &c.

“Days” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days,
Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes,
And marching single in an endless file,
Bring diadems and fagots in their hands.
To each they offer gifts after his will,
Bread, kingdoms, stars, and sky that holds them all.
I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp,
Forgot my morning wishes, hastily
Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day
Turned and departed silent. I, too late,
Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn.

fog in the mountains in an autumn morning

“A Wish” by Samuel Rogers

Mine be a cot beside the hill;
A beehive’s hum shall soothe my ear;
A willowy brook that turns a mill,
With many a fall shall linger near.

The swallow, oft, beneath my thatch
Shall twitter from her clay-built nest;
Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,
And share my meal, a welcome guest.

Around my ivied porch shall spring
Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew;
And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing
In russet-gown and apron blue.

The village church among the trees,
Where first our marriage vows were given.
With merry peals shall swell the breeze
And point with taper spire to Heaven.

“Dream-Pedlary” by Thomas Lovell Beddoes

If there were dreams to sell,
What would you buy?
Some cost a passing bell;
Some a light sigh,
That shakes from Life’s fresh crown
Only a rose-leaf down.
If there were dreams to sell,
Merry and sad to tell,
And the crier rang the bell,
What would you buy?

A cottage lone and still,
With bowers nigh,
Shadowy, my woes to still,
Until I die.
Such pearl from Life’s fresh crown
Fain would I shake me down.
Were dreams to have at will,
This would best heal my ill,
This would I buy.

“The Desponding Soul’s Wish” by John Byrom

My spirit longeth for Thee,
Within my troubled breast,
Altho’ I be unworthy
Of so divine a Guest.

Of so divine a Guest
Unworthy tho’ I be,
Yet has my heart no rest,
Unless it come from Thee.

Unless it come from Thee,
In vain I look around;
In all that I can see
No rest is to be found.

No rest is to be found,
But in Thy blessèd love;
O! let my wish be crown’d,
And send it from above!

Woman hands with yellow leaves closeup. Fall season in city park.

“Turn Me to My Yellow Leaves” by William Stanley Braithwaite

Turn me to my yellow leaves,
I am better satisfied;
There is something in me grieves—
That was never born, and died.
Let me be a scarlet flame
On a windy autumn morn,
I who never had a name,
Nor from breathing image born.
From the margin let me fall
Where the farthest stars sink down,
And the void consumes me,—all
In nothingness to drown.
Let me dream my dream entire,
Withered as an autumn leaf—
Let me have my vain desire,
Vain—as it is brief.

“On James and John Wishinge Fire on Ye Samaritans” by Thomas Fuller

The sons of thunder was enough for you
You need not to be sons of Lightning too.

From “A Dream of Love” by Walter von der Vogelweide

Look, this is why I feel so gay:
I have grown warm with cheer,
Clasped by a dream so dear.
Alas, I had to wake, for it was day.
Hear what she has done unto me:
All the summer I must peer
Into ladies’ eyes to see
If I can find my dear: then sorrow’s end were near.
Maybe she is going to this dance.
Ladies, I beg you, be so kind,
Push back your hats, if you don’t mind!
If I should find her ’neath this wreath by chance!

Young woman sleeping on sofa in rural country house with sunligh

“Last Wish of Pocahontas” by Miss Baker

The setting sun threw a parting ray
O’er the lowly couch where the dying lay;
The fragrant breeze from a rosy bough,
Moved the long, dark locks on the hueless brow;
A tear-drop stood in the swimming eye,
And the bosom laboured with a sigh:
Then the dying turn’d to the sunset glow,
And said, with a faltering voice and low—
“Yon sun goes down—but never to me
Shall the glory of his rising be:
For my form is faint, my heart throbs slow,
The fountain of life is chill and low:
The spirit’s home looks brightly afar,
And I go to dwell with my kindred there.
I wish for my lowly grave to be made
In my native vale, ’neath the wild-wood shade.
When the dying strife in my bosom is o’er,
And closes mine eye to wake no more,
Then bear ye my pallid corse away
To my own green vale, where the sunbeams play—
Where the streams with a gentle murmur flow,
The wild birds sing, and the fresh winds blow.
There first I sported when wild and free,
And there may the place of my resting be;
My fathers sleep there ’neath the green oak shade—
With theirs let my lowly couch be made.”

“A Dream Pang” by Robert Frost

I had withdrawn in forest, and my song
Was swallowed up in leaves that blew alway;
And to the forest edge you came one day
(This was my dream) and looked and pondered long,
But did not enter, though the wish was strong:
You shook your pensive head as who should say,
‘I dare not—too far in his footsteps stray—
He must seek me would he undo the wrong.’

Not far, but near, I stood and saw it all
Behind low boughs the trees let down outside;
And the sweet pang it cost me not to call
And tell you that I saw does still abide.
But ’tis not true that thus I dwelt aloof,
For the wood wakes, and you are here for proof.

“A Wish for the Unfadingness of the Loving Eye” by Laman Blanchard

Gayly and greenly let my seasons run;
And should the war-winds of the world uproot
The sanctities of life, and its sweet fruit
Cast forth as fuel for the fiery sun,
The dews be turned to ice, fair days begun
In peace wear out in pain, and sounds that suit
Despair and discord keep Hope’s harp-strings mute,
Still let me live as love and life were one:
Still let me turn on earth a childlike gaze,
And trust the whispered charities that bring
Tidings of human truth; with inward praise
Watch the weak motion of each common thing,
And find it glorious:—still let me raise
On wintry wrecks an altar to the spring.

beautiful young woman with frangipani portrait

“Dream Land” by Frances Anne Kemble

When in my dreams thy lovely face,
Smiles with unwonted tender grace,
Grudge not the precious seldom cheer;
I know full well, my lady dear!
It is no boon of thine.

In thy sweet sanctuary of sleep,
If my sad sprite should kneeling weep,
Suffer its speechless worship there;
Thou know’st full well, my lady fair!
It is no fault of mine.

“I Will Not Wish All Grief and Loss and Fear” by Lilla Perry

I will not wish all grief and loss and fears
Should leave my life and let my heart go free;
For then true love could never come to me,—
That deepest love that has its birth in tears,
And never unto laughing eyes appears,
But only rises from grief’s boundless sea,
As, where black night and ocean blended be,
Sudden the moon its tranquil splendor rears.

Though rough the waters, golden is the way
That guides to it my weary heart and eyes;
And a soft whisper through the night wind sighs,
“They know me not who see me but by day;
Love’s moon shines brightest from the darkest skies;
Its golden path across grief’s ocean lies!”

“Sonnet 227” by Francesco Petrarca

My lord and friend! thoughts, wishes, all inclined
My heart to visit one so dear to me,
But Fortune–can she ever worse decree?–
Held me in hand, misled, or kept behind.
Since then the dear desire Love taught my mind
But leads me to a death I did not see,
And while my twin lights, wheresoe’er I be,
Are still denied, by day and night I’ve pined.
Affection for my lord, my lady’s love,
The bonds have been wherewith in torments long
I have been bound, which round myself I wove.
A Laurel green, a Column fair and strong,
This for three lustres, that for three years more
In my fond breast, nor wish’d it free, I bore.

Mid body portrait of a young woman in white dress with eyes closed

“My Little Dreams” by Georgia Douglas Johnson

I’m folding up my little dreams
Within my heart to-night,
And praying I may soon forget
The torture of their sight.

For Time’s deft fingers scroll my brow
With fell relentless art—
I’m folding up my little dreams
To-night, within my heart!

“What Be His Dreams” by William Alexander

What be his dreams in Patmos? O’er the seas
Looks he toward Athens, where the very fall
Of Grecian sunlight is Platonical?
Or, peradventure, towards the Cyclades,
The Delian earth-star, ray’d with laurel trees—
From ribbon’d baskets where Demeter threw
Flowers the colour of the country blue
Oat-garlanded in Pares—or where bees
Humming o’er Amalthæa, who fed Zeus
With goat-milk, goldenly the forest starr’d,
While rosy purple apples full of juice
Laugh’d in the grassy horn—where, Naxosward,
Flush’d Dyonysus, driven o’er the brine,
Ivied the mast, and cream’d the crimson wine.

“A Vain Wish” by Philip Bourke Marston

I would not, could I, make thy life as mine;
Only I would, if such a thing might be,
Thou shouldst not, love, forget me utterly;
Yea, when the sultry stars of summer shine
On dreaming woods, where nightingales repine,
I would that at such times should come to thee
Some thought not quite unmix’d with pain, of me,—
Some little sorrow for a soul’s decline.
Yea, too, I would that through thy brightest times,
Like the sweet burden of remember’d rhymes,
That gentle sadness should be with thee, dear;
And when the gates of sleep are on thee shut,
I Would not, even then, it should be mute,
But murmur, shell-like, at thy spirit ’s ear.

Young boy praying in a church

“The Child’s Wish Granted” by George Parsons Lathrop

Do you remember, my sweet, absent son,
How in the soft June days forever done
You loved the heavens so warm and clear and high;
And, when I lifted you, soft came your cry,—
“Put me ’way up,—’way, ’way up in blue sky”?
I laughed and said I could not,—set you down,
Your gray eyes wonder-filled beneath that crown
Of bright hair gladdening me as you raced by.
Another Father now, more strong than I,
Has borne you voiceless to your dear blue sky.

“A Wish” by Abraham Cowley

This only grant me, that my means may lie
Too low for envy, for contempt too high.
Some honour I would have
Not from great deeds, but good alone.
The unknown are better than ill known;
Rumour can ope the grave.
Acquaintance I would have, but when ’t depends
Not on the number, but the choice of friends.

Books should, not business, entertain the light,
And sleep, as undisturb’d as death, the night.
My house a cottage, more
Than palace, and should fitting be,
For all my use, not luxury.
My garden painted o’er
With nature’s hand, not art’s; and pleasures yield,
Horace might envy in his Sabine field.

Thus would I double my life’s fading space,
For he that runs it well, twice runs his race.
And in this true delight,
These unbought sports, this happy state,
I would not fear nor wish my fate,
But boldly say each night,
To-morrow let my sun his beams display,
Or in clouds hide them; I have liv’d to-day.

“At Applewaite, Near Keswick” by William Wordsworth

Beaumont! it was thy wish that I should rear
A seemly Cottage in this sunny Dell,
On favoured ground, thy gift, where I might dwell
In neighbourhood with One to me most dear,
That undivided we from year to year
Might work in our high Calling, a bright hope
To which our fancies, mingling, gave free scope
Till checked by some necessities severe.
And should these slacken, honoured Beaumont! still
Even then we may perhaps in vain implore
Leave of our fate thy wishes to fulfil.
Whether this boon be granted us or not,
Old Skiddaw will look down upon the Spot
With pride, the Muses love it evermore.

One young alone woman in white dress slowly walking on sidewalk

“A Wish for Her Retreat” by Anne, Countess of Winchilsea

Give me there (since Heaven has shown
It was not good to be alone)
A partner suited to my mind,
Solitary, pleas’d and kind;
Who, partially, may something see
Preferr’d to all the world in me;
Slighting, by my humble side,
Fame and Splendour, Wealth and Pride.
When but two the Earth possest,
’Twas then happiest days, and best;
They by bus’ness, nor by wars,
They by no domestick cares,
From each other e’er were drawn,
But in some grove, or flow’ry lawn,
Spent the swiftly flying time,
Spent their own and Nature’s prime,
In Love; that only passion given
To perfect Man, whilst friends with Heaven.

“His Wish” by Robert Herrick

Fat be my hind; unlearned be my wife;
Peaceful my night; my day devoid of strife:
To these a comely offspring I desire,
Singing about my everlasting fire.

“The Criminal” by Madison Julius Cawein

Here is a tale for all who wish to listen:
There was a thief who, in his cut-throat quarter,
Was hailed as chief; he had a way of barter,
Persuasion, masked, behind a weapon’s glisten,
That made it cockrow with each good man’s riches.
At last he joined the Brotherhood of Murder,
And rose in his profession; lived a herder
Of crime in some dark tavern of the ditches.
There was a war. He went. Became a gunner.
And slew, as soldiers should, his many a hundred,
In authorized and most professional manner.
Here he advanced again. Was starred a oner.
Was captained, pensioned, and nobody wondered;
And lived and died respectable as a tanner.

Lonely man sits alone on the rocky coast and enjoying sunset. View over rocky cliff to ocean horizon

“His Wish to Privacy” by Bliss Carman

Give me a cell
To dwell,
Where no foot hath
A path;
There will I spend,
And end,
My wearied years
In tears.

“Sonnet 223” by Francesco Petrarca

Feels any fair the glorious wish to gain
Of sense, of worth, of courtesy, the praise?
On those bright eyes attentive let her gaze
Of her miscall’d my love, but sure my foe.
Honour to gain, with love of God to glow,
Virtue more bright how native grace displays,
May there be learn’d; and by what surest ways
To heaven, that for her coming pants, to go.
The converse sweet, beyond what poets write,
Is there; the winning silence, and the meek
And saint-like manners man would paint in vain.
The matchless beauty, dazzling to the sight,
Can ne’er be learn’d; for bootless ’twere to seek
By art, what by kind chance alone we gain.

“To Lawgivers” by Friedrich Schiller

Ever take it for granted, that man collectively wishes
That which is right; but take care never to think so of one!

Young couple having conflict.

“Heart-Coldness” by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Fain would I wish what my heart cannot will:
Between it and the fire a veil of ice
Deadens the fire, so that I deal in lies;
My words and actions are discordant still.
I love Thee with my tongue, then mourn my fill;
For love warms not my heart, nor can I rise,
Or ope the doors of Grace, who from the skies
Might flood my soul, and pride and passion kill.
Rend Thou the veil, dear Lord! Break Thou that wall
Which with its stubbornness retards the rays
Of that bright sun this earth hath dulled for me!
Send down Thy promised light to cheer and fall
On Thy fair spouse, that I with love may blaze,
And, free from doubt, my heart feel only Thee!

“An Appreciative Audience” by Ringgold Wilmer Lardner

My son, I wish that it were half
As easy to extract a laugh
From grown-ups as from thee.
Then I’d go on the stage, my boy,
While Richard Carle and Eddie Foy
Burned up with jealousy.

I wouldn’t have to rack my brain
Or lie awake all night in vain
Pursuit of brand new jokes;
Nor fear my lines were heard with groans
Of pain and sympathetic moans
From sympathetic folks.

I’d merely have to make a face,
Just twist a feature out of place,
And be the soul of wit;
Or bark, and then pretend to bite,
And, from the screams of wild delight,
Be sure I’d made a hit.

“Lines to Miss —-” by Sir John Carr

Is it that plaided thus you wish to prove
How northern is the region of your love?
Ah, Mary! tho’, within that far-fam’d clime,
Deeds have been done that mock the wreck of Time;
Tho’ there the brave have bled, or, o’er the wave,
On distant shores have found a glorious grave;
Tho’ there the mountain-nymph of song has pour’d
Her loftiest strain, to bless the hero’s sword;
Still, lovely wand’rer, with a jealous eye,
O’er Scotia’s hills we see thy fancy fly;
For here the warrior oft has rais’d his sword,
The patriot too his noble blood has pour’d;
Here too the sweet Recorder of the brave
Has sat and sung upon her hero’s grave.
Then cease, romantic maid! ah, cease to rove;
The very wood-dove loves its native grove:
Oh! then, let Nature bid thy guileless heart
Here shed its love, and all its warmth impart;
And on the land that gave thee birth bestow
The fondness which it claims, and treasures too.

Eurasian reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus bird singing in re

“A Minor Bird” by Robert Lee Frost

I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;

Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.

And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.

“His Wish” by Robert Herrick

It is sufficient if we pray
To Jove, who gives and takes away:
Let him the land and living find;
Let me alone to fit the mind.

“His Wish to God” by Robert Herrick

I would to God that mine old age might have
Before my last, but here a living grave,
Some one poor almshouse; there to lie, or stir
Ghostlike, as in my meaner sepulchre;
A little piggin and a pipkin by,
To hold things fitting my necessity,
Which rightly used, both in their time and place,
Might me excite to fore and after-grace.
Thy Cross, my Christ, fix’d ‘fore mine eyes should be,
Not to adore that, but to worship Thee.
So, here the remnant of my days I’d spend,
Reading Thy Bible, and my Book; so end.

Young woman wearing pink dress enjoying fragrance of blooming roses

“Wishes” by Sara Teasdale

I wish for such a lot of things
That never will come true,
And yet I want them all so much
I think they might, don’t you?
I want a little kitty-cat
That’s soft and tame and sweet,
And every day I watch and hope
I’ll find one in the street.
But nursie says, “Come, walk along,
“Don’t stand and stare like that”,
I’m only looking hard and hard
To try to find my cat.
And then I want a blue balloon
That tries to fly away,
I thought if I wished hard enough
That it would come some day.
One time when I was in the park
I knew that it would be
Beside the big old clock at home
A-waiting there for me,
And soon as we got home again,
I hurried thro’ the hall,
And looked beside the big old clock,
It wasn’t there at all.
I think I’ll never wish again,
But then, what shall I do?
The wishes are a lot of fun
Altho’ they don’t come true.

“Persistence” by Walter Savage Landor

My hopes retire; my wishes as before
Struggle to find their resting-place in vain:
The ebbing sea thus beats against the shore;
The shore repels it; it returns again.

“A Wish Rebuked” by W. M. MacKeracher

If one could have a hundred years to live,
After the settlement of youth’s unrest,
A hundred years of vigorous life to give
To the pursuit of what he counted best,
A hundred summers, autumns, winters, springs,
To train and use the forces of his mind,
He might fulfil his fond imaginings,
And lift himself and benefit his kind.

O faint of heart, to whom this life appears
Too short for thy ambitious projects, He
Who plied His task in weakness and in tears
Along the countrysides of Galilee,
And blest the world for these two thousand years,
Did His incomparable work in three.

Happy couple having fun in autumn day at the park

“To All Young Men That Love” by Robert Herrick

I could wish you all who love,
That ye could your thoughts remove
From your mistresses, and be
Wisely wanton, like to me,
I could wish you dispossessed
Of that fiend that mars your rest,
And with tapers comes to fright
Your weak senses in the night.
I could wish ye all who fry
Cold as ice, or cool as I;
But if flames best like ye, then,
Much good do ‘t ye, gentlemen.
I a merry heart will keep,
While you wring your hands and weep.

“A Wish” by Frances Anne Kemble

Let me not die for ever when I’m laid
In the cold earth! but let my memory
Live still among ye, like the evening shade,
That o’er the sinking day steals placidly.
Let me not be forgotten! though the knell
Has tolled for me its solemn lullaby;
Let me not be forgotten! though I dwell
For ever now in death’s obscurity.
Yet oh! upon the emblazoned leaf of fame,
Trace not a record, not a line for me,
But let the lips I loved oft breathe my name,
And in your hearts enshrine my memory!

“A Sea-Shore Grave: To M. J. L.” by Sidney Lanier

O wish that’s vainer than the plash
Of these wave-whimsies on the shore:
“Give us a pearl to fill the gash –
God, let our dead friend live once more!”

O wish that’s stronger than the stroke
Of yelling wave and snapping levin;
“God, lift us o’er the Last Day’s smoke,
All white, to Thee and her in Heaven!”

O wish that’s swifter than the race
Of wave and wind in sea and sky;
Let’s take the grave-cloth from her face
And fall in the grave, and kiss, and die!

Look! High above a glittering calm
Of sea and sky and kingly sun,
She shines and smiles, and waves a palm –
And now we wish – Thy will be done!

little boy

“Wishes” by Kate Greenaway

Oh, if you were a little boy,
And I was a little girl–
Why you would have some whiskers grow
And then my hair would curl.

Ah! if I could have whiskers grow,
I’d let you have my curls;
But what’s the use of wishing it–
Boys never can be girls.

“Valentine’s Day” by Charles Kingsley

Oh! I wish I were a tiny browny bird from out the south,
Settled among the alder-holts, and twittering by the stream;
I would put my tiny tail down, and put up my tiny mouth,
And sing my tiny life away in one melodious dream.

I would sing about the blossoms, and the sunshine and the sky,
And the tiny wife I mean to have in such a cosy nest;
And if some one came and shot me dead, why then I could but die,
With my tiny life and tiny song just ended at their best.

“Dreamers” by Siegfried Sassoon

Soldiers are citizens of death’s gray land,
Drawing no dividend from time’s to-morrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds, and wives.

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train.

women's legs and arms are visible above the tall grass in the fi

“Freedom” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once I wished I might rehearse
Freedom’s paean in my verse,
That the slave who caught the strain
Should throb until he snapped his chain,
But the Spirit said, ‘Not so;
Speak it not, or speak it low;
Name not lightly to be said,
Gift too precious to be prayed,
Passion not to be expressed
But by heaving of the breast:
Yet,–wouldst thou the mountain find
Where this deity is shrined,
Who gives to seas and sunset skies
Their unspent beauty of surprise,
And, when it lists him, waken can
Brute or savage into man;
Or, if in thy heart he shine,
Blends the starry fates with thine,
Draws angels nigh to dwell with thee,
And makes thy thoughts archangels be;
Freedom’s secret wilt thou know?–
Counsel not with flesh and blood;
Loiter not for cloak or food;
Right thou feelest, rush to do.’

“Would You Believe It?” by Ellis Parker Butler

One year ago I wished that I
A banker great might be
With a hundred million dollars
And financial majesty;

A mighty Wall Street banker
With a whopping lot of power
And an income of somewhere around
A thousand plunks per hour;

A solid Wall Street banker
With securities in sacks
And with clever men to show me
How to pay no income tax;

A wealthy Wall Street banker
Who raked in cash like hay;
I wished that just a year ago
And I wish the same today

“The Wish” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Should some great angel say to me to-morrow,
“Thou must re-tread thy pathway from the start,
But God will grant, in pity, for thy sorrow,
Some one dear wish, the nearest to thy heart.”

This were my wish! from my life’s dim beginning
Let be what has been! wisdom planned the whole;
My want, my woe, my errors, and my sinning,
All, all were needed lessons for my soul.

couple standing in intimate silence in the afternoon

“Dreams” by Amy Lowell

I do not care to talk to you although
Your speech evokes a thousand sympathies,
And all my being’s silent harmonies
Wake trembling into music. When you go
It is as if some sudden, dreadful blow
Had severed all the strings with savage ease.
No, do not talk; but let us rather seize
This intimate gift of silence which we know.
Others may guess your thoughts from what you say,
As storms are guessed from clouds where darkness broods.
To me the very essence of the day
Reveals its inner purpose and its moods;
As poplars feel the rain and then straightway
Reverse their leaves and shimmer through the woods.

Poems About Wishing Things Were Different

Religion, death and dolor  - man at funeral

“May and Death” by Robert Browning

I wish that when you died last May,
Charles, there had died along with you
Three parts of spring’s delightful things;
Ay, and, for me, the fourth part too.

A foolish thought, and worse, perhaps!
There must be many a pair of friends
Who, arm in arm, deserve the warm
Moon-births and the long evening-ends.

So, for their sake, be May still May!
Let their new time, as mine of old,
Do all it did for me: I bid
Sweet sights and sounds throng manifold.

Only, one little sight, one plant,
Woods have in May, that starts up green
Save a sole streak which, so to speak,
Is spring’s blood, spilt its leaves between,

That, they might spare; a certain wood
Might miss the plant; their loss were small:
But I, whene’er the leaf grows there,
Its drop comes from my heart, that’s all.

“The Volunteer” by Herbert Asquith

Here lies the clerk who half his life had spent
Toiling at ledgers in a city grey,
Thinking that so his days would drift away
With no lance broken in life’s tournament:
Yet ever ‘twixt the books and his bright eyes
The gleaming eagles of the legions came,
And horsemen, charging under phantom skies,
Went thundering past beneath the oriflamme.

And now those waiting dreams are satisfied;
From twilight to the halls of dawn he went;
His lance is broken; but he lies content
With that high hour, in which he lived and died.
And falling thus, he wants no recompense,
Who found his battle in the last resort;
Nor needs he any hearse to bear him hence,
Who goes to join the men of Agincourt.

“The Way to Dreamland” by Jean Blewett

With an angel flower-laden, every day a dimpled maiden
Sails away from off my bosom on a radiant sea of bliss;
I can see her drifting, drifting, hear the snowy wings uplifting
As he woos her into Dreamland with a kiss.

Blissful hour, my pretty sleeper, guarded by an angel keeper,
List’ning to the words he brings thee from a fairer world than this;
Sweet! thy heart he is beguiling, I can tell it by thy smiling,
As he woos thee into Dreamland with a kiss.

Could there come to weary mortals such a glimpse through golden portals,
Would we not drift on forever toward the longed-for land of peace, Jean
Would we not leave joys and sorrows,
Glad to-days and sad to-morrows,
For the sound of white wings lifting, and the kiss?

fantasy woman sleeping beauty lies sleep on comfortable bed, mattress, soft pillow. Background mystical garden, night, peonies flowers green trees. Fairy-tale girl princess in blue dress. Sweet dreams

“I Slept, and Dreamed That Life Was Beauty” by Louisa May Alcott

“I slept, and dreamed that life was beauty;
I woke, and found that life was duty.
Was thy dream then a shadowy lie?
Toil on, sad heart, courageously,
And thou shall find thy dream to be
A noonday light and truth to thee.”

“Song” by John Clare

I wish I was where I would be,
With love alone to dwell,
Was I but her or she but me,
Then love would all be well.
I wish to send my thoughts to her
As quick as thoughts can fly,
But as the winds the waters stir
The mirrors change and fly.

“Longing” by Matthew Arnold

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam’st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam’st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

person in a hat on the beach

“I Wish I Knew That Woman’s Name” by Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

I wish I knew that woman’s name,
So, when she comes this way,
To hold my life, and hold my ears,
For fear I hear her say

She’s ‘sorry I am dead,’ again,
Just when the grave and I
Have sobbed ourselves almost to sleep, —
Our only lullaby.

“The Suicide’s Argument” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Ere the birth of my life, if I wished it or no
No question was asked me, it could not be so!
If the life was the question, a thing sent to try
And to live on be Yes; what can No be? to die.

Nature’s Answer

Is’t returned, as ’twas sent? Is’t no worse for the wear?
Think first, what you are! Call to mind what you were!
I gave you innocence, I gave you hope,
Gave health, and genius, and an ample scope,
Return you me guilt, lethargy, despair?
Make out the invent’ry; inspect, compare!
Then die, if die you dare!

“Aedh Wishes His Beloved Were Dead” by W.B. Yeats

Were you but lying cold and dead,
And lights were paling out of the West,
You would come hither, and bend your head,
And I would lay my head on your breast;
And you would murmur tender words,
Forgiving me, because you were dead:
Nor would you rise and hasten away,
Though you have the will of the wild birds,
But know your hair was bound and wound
About the stars and moon and sun:
O would beloved that you lay
Under the dock-leaves in the ground,
While lights were paling one by one.

Woman Standing with a Red Rose on Hand Sadness Love in Ending Br

“Mag” by Carl Sandburg

I wish to God I never saw you, Mag.
I wish you never quit your job and came along with me.
I wish we never bought a license and a white dress
For you to get married in the day we ran off to a minister
And told him we would love each other and take care of each other
Always and always long as the sun and the rain lasts anywhere.
Yes, I’m wishing now you lived somewhere away from here
And I was a bum on the bumpers a thousand miles away dead broke.
I wish the kids had never come
And rent and coal and clothes to pay for
And a grocery man calling for cash,
Every day cash for beans and prunes.
I wish to God I never saw you, Mag.

“The Deserted Lover Wisheth That His Rival Might Experience the Same Fortune He Himself Had Tasted” by Sir Thomas Wyatt

To rail or jest, ye know I use it not;
Though that such cause sometime in folks I find.
And though to change ye list to set your mind.
Love it who list, in faith I like it not.
And if ye were to me, as ye are not,
I would be loth to see you so unkind:
But since your fault must needs be so by kind;
Though I hate it I pray you love it not.
Things of great weight I never thought to crave,
This is but small; of right deny it not:
Your feigning ways, as yet forget them not.
But like reward let other Lovers have;
That is to say, for service true and fast,
Too long delays, and changing at the last.

“To His Coy Love” by Michael Drayton

I pray thee, leave, love me no more,
Call home the heart you gave me!
I but in vain that saint adore
That can but will not save me.
These poor half-kisses kill me quite—
Was ever man thus servèd?
Amidst an ocean of delight
For pleasure to be starvèd?

Show me no more those snowy breasts
With azure riverets branchèd,
Where, whilst mine eye with plenty feasts,
Yet is my thirst not stanchèd;
O Tantalus, thy pains ne’er tell!
By me thou art prevented:
‘Tis nothing to be plagued in Hell,
But thus in Heaven tormented.

Clip me no more in those dear arms,
Nor thy life’s comfort call me,
O these are but too powerful charms,
And do but more enthral me!
But see how patient I am grown
In all this coil about thee:
Come, nice thing, let my heart alone,
I cannot live without thee!


“Whene’Er I Recollect the Happy Time” by Frances Anne Kemble

Whenever I recollect the happy time,
When you and I held converse dear together,
There come a thousand thoughts of sunny weather,
Of early blossoms, and the fresh year’s prime;
Your memory lives for ever in my mind
With all the fragrant beauties of the spring,
With od’rous lime and silver hawthorn twined,
And many a noonday woodland wandering.
There’s not a thought of you, but brings along
Some sunny dream of river, field, and sky;
’Tis wafted on the blackbird’s sunset song,
Or some wild snatch of ancient melody.
And as I date it still, our love arose
’Twixt the last violet and the earliest rose.

“To —-” by Frances Anne Kemble

Is it a sin, to wish that I may meet thee
In that dim world whither our spirits stray,
When sleep and darkness follow life and day?
Is it a sin, that there my voice should greet thee
With all that love that I must die concealing?
Will my tear-laden eyes sin in revealing
The agony that preys upon my soul?
Is’t not enough through the long, loathsome day,
To hold each look, and word, in stern control?
May I not wish the staring sunlight gone,
Day and its thousand torturing moments done,
And prying sights and sounds of men away?
Oh, still and silent Night! when all things sleep,
Locked in thy swarthy breast my secret keep:
Come, with thy visioned hopes and blessings now!
I dream the only happiness I know.

“A Child’s Wish” by Abram Joseph Ryan

I wish I were the little key
That locks Love’s Captive in,
And lets Him out to go and free
A sinful heart from sin.

I wish I were the little bell
That tinkles for the Host,
When God comes down each day to dwell
With hearts He loves the most.

I wish I were the chalice fair,
That holds the Blood of Love,
When every gleam lights holy prayer
Upon its way above.

I wish I were the little flower
So near the Host’s sweet face,
Or like the light that half an hour
Burns on the shrine of grace.

I wish I were the altar where,
As on His mother’s breast,
Christ nestles, like a child, fore’er
In Eucharistic rest.

But, oh! my God, I wish the most
That my poor heart may be
A home all holy for each Host

Romantic equine and girls silhouette on horse hiking with red ri

“A Wish” by Hamlin Garland

All day and many days I rode,
My horse’s head set toward the sea;
And as I rode a longing came to me
That I might keep the sunset road,
Riding my horse right on and on,
O’ertake the day still lagging at the west,
And so reach boyhood from the dawn,
And be with all the days at rest.

For then the odor of the growing wheat,
The flare of sumach on the hills,
The touch of grasses to my feet
Would cure my brain of all its ills,—
Would fill my heart so full of joy
That no stern lines could fret my face.
There would I be forever boy,
Lit by the sky’s unfailing grace.

“Rebuke Me Not! I Have nor Wish nor Skill” by John Addington Symonds

Rebuke me not! I have nor wish nor skill
To alter one hair’s breadth in all this house
Of Love, rising with domes so luminous
And air-built galleries on life’s topmost hill!
Only I know that fate, chance, years that kill,
Change that transmutes, have aimed their darts at us;
Envying each lovely shrine and amorous
Reared on earth’s soil by man’s too passionate will.
Dread thou the moment when these glittering towers,
These adamantine walls and gates of gems,
Shall fade like forms of sun-forsaken cloud;
When dulled by imperceptible chill hours,
The golden spires of our Jerusalems
Shall melt to mist and vanish in night’s shroud!

“A Wish” by Thomas Flatman

Not to the hills where cedars move
Their cloudy heads; not to the grove
Of myrtles in th’ Elysian shade,
Nor Tempe which the poets made,
Not on the spicy mountains play,
Or travel to Arabia,
I aim not at the careful throne
Which Fortune’s darlings sit upon:
No, no, the best this fickle world can give
Has but a little, little time to live.

But let me soar, O let me fly
Beyond poor earth’s benighted eye,
Beyond the pitch swift eagles tower,
Beyond the reach of human power,
Above the clouds, above the way
Whence the sun darts his piercing ray,
O let me tread those courts that are
So bright, so pure, so blest, so fair,
As neither thou nor I must ever know
On earth: ’tis thither, thither would I go.

woman sitting on the edge of a lake

“I Wish I Was by That Dim Lake” by Thomas Moore

I wish I was by that dim lake
Where sinful souls their farewells take
Of this vain world, and half-way lie
In Death’s cold shadow, ere they die.
There, there, far from thee,
Deceitful world, my home should be,—
Where, come what might of gloom and pain,
False hope should ne’er deceive again!

The lifeless sky,—the mournful sound
Of unseen waters, falling round,—
The dry leaves quivering o’er my head,
Like man, unquiet even when dead,—
These, ay! these should wean
My soul from life’s deluding scene,
And turn each thought, each wish I have,
Like willows, downward towards the grave.

As they who to their couch at night
Would welcome sleep first quench the light,
So must the hopes that keep this breast
Awake be quenched, ere it can rest.
Cold, cold, my heart must grow,
Unchanged by either joy or woe,
Like freezing founts, where all that ’s thrown
Within their current turns to stone.

“Christ and Our Selves” by Francis Quarles

Wish a greater knowledge, then t’attaine
The knowledge of my selfe: A greater Gaine
Then to augment my selfe; A greater Treasure
Then to enjoy my selfe: A greater Pleasure
Then to content my selfe; How slight, and vaine
Is all selfe-Knowledge, Pleasure, Treasure, Gaine;
Unlesse my better knowledge could retrive
My Christ; unles my better Gaine could thrive
In Christ; unles my better Wealth grow rich
In Christ; unles my better Pleasure pitch
On Christ; Or else my Knowledge will proclaime
To my owne heart how ignorant I am:
Or else my Gaine, so ill improv’d, will shame
My Trade, and shew how much declin’d I am;
Or else my Treasure will but blurre my name
With Bankrupt, and divulge how poore I am;
Or else my Pleasures, that so much inflame
My Thoughts, will blabb how full of sores I am:
Lord, keepe me from my Selfe; ‘Tis best for me,
Never to owne my Selfe, if not in Thee.

“Immortality” by Friedrich Schiller

Dreadest thou the aspect of death! Thou wishest to live on forever?
Live in the whole, and when long thou shalt have gone, ’twill remain!

Beautiful young woman blows dandelion in a wheat field in the su

“Wishing” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Do you wish the world were better?
Let me tell you what to do:
Set a watch upon your actions,
Keep them always straight and true;
Rid your mind of selfish motives;
Let your thoughts be clean and high.
You can make a little Eden
Of the sphere you occupy.

Do you wish the world were wiser?
Well, suppose you make a start,
By accumulating wisdom
In the scrapbook of your heart:
Do not waste one page on folly;
Live to learn, and learn to live.
If you want to give men knowledge
You must get it, ere you give.

Do you wish the world were happy?
Then remember day by day
Just to scatter seeds of kindness
As you pass along the way;
For the pleasures of the many
May be ofttimes traced to one,
As the hand that plants an acorn
Shelters armies from the sun.

“The Coquette and After” by Thomas Hardy

For long the cruel wish I knew
That your free heart should ache for me
While mine should bear no ache for you;
For, long – the cruel wish! – I knew
How men can feel, and craved to view
My triumph – fated not to be
For long! . . . The cruel wish I knew
That your free heart should ache for me!

At last one pays the penalty –
The woman – women always do.
My farce, I found, was tragedy
At last! – One pays the penalty
With interest when one, fancy-free,
Learns love, learns shame . . . Of sinners two
At last one pays the penalty –
The woman – women always do!

“Odes of Anacreon” by Thomas Moore

I often wish this languid lyre,
This warbler of my soul’s desire,
Could raise the breath of song sublime,
To men of fame, in former time.
But when the soaring theme I try,
Along the chords my numbers die,
And whisper, with dissolving tone,
“Our sighs are given to love alone!”
Indignant at the feeble lay,
I tore the panting chords away,
Attuned them to a nobler swell,
And struck again the breathing shell;
In all the glow of epic fire,
To Hercules I wake the lyre,
But still its fainting sighs repeat,
“The tale of love alone is sweet!”
Then fare thee well, seductive dream,
That madest me follow Glory’s theme;
For thou my lyre, and thou my heart,
Shall never more in spirit part;
And all that one has felt so well
The other shall as sweetly tell!

Beautiful blooming white anemone flowers growing in the garden.

“Anemones” by Juliana Horatia Ewing

If I should wish hereafter that your heart
Should beat with one fair memory of me,
May Time’s hard hand our footsteps guide apart,
But lead yours back one spring-time to the Lea.
Nodding Anemones,
Wind-flowers pale,
Bloom with the budding trees,
Dancing to every breeze,
Mock hopes more fair than these,
Love’s vows more frail.

For then the grass we loved grows green again,
And April showers make April woods more fair;
But no sun dries the sad salt tears of pain,
Or brings back summer lights on faded hair,
Nodding Anemones,
Wind-flowers pale,
Bloom with the budding trees,
Dancing to every breeze,
Mock hopes more frail than these,
Love’s vows more frail.

“Amusements” by Anonymous

I wish that my room had a floor;
I don’t so much care for a door;
But this crawling around
Without touching the ground
Is getting to be quite a bore.

Poems About Wishing Someone Happiness

Girl writes a letter to her beloved man sitting at home at the table in a white light dress, purity and innocence. Curly blonde romantic look, beautiful eyes. White wildflowers on the table

“To Mr. C.” by Alexander Pope

Few words are best; I wish you well:
Bethel, I’m told, will soon be here;
Some morning walks along the Mall,
And evening friends, will end the year.

If in this interval, between
The falling leaf and coming frost,
You please to see, on Twit’nam green,
Your friend, your poet, and your host:

For three whole days you here may rest
From office business, news, and strife;
And (what most folks would think a jest)
Want nothing else except your wife.

“A Friend’s Wish” by Bliss Carman (William)

To C. W. S.

Give me your last Aloha,
When I go out of sight,
Over the dark rim of the sea
Into the Polar night!

And all the Northland give you
Skoal for the voyage begun,
When your bright summer sail goes down
Into the zones of sun!

“Helga” by Carl Sandburg

The wishes on this child’s mouth
Came like snow on marsh cranberries;
The tamarack kept something for her;
The wind is ready to help her shoes.
The north has loved her; she will be
A grandmother feeding geese on frosty
Mornings; she will understand
Early snow on the cranberries
Better and better then.

Beatiful little girl in a white dress  with a big bouquet of whi

“To a Little Girl” by Thomas Frederick Young

Each wish, my fairest child, I pen,
For thee I write with earnest heart;
For who shall say, that ere, again,
I shall behold thee; when we part
E’en now the time is near, I start.

Here are my wishes, then, sweet child,
A long life’s pathway may thou go,
Rob’d white, as now, in virtue mild,
Retaining pure, thy virtue’s snow.
I wish thee this, and wish thee more,–
So long as thou on earth hath life,
Oh! may thy heart be never sore,
Nor vex’d with anxious care or strife!

“The Last Wish” by Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton

Since all that I can ever do for thee
Is to do nothing, this my prayer must be:
That thou mayst never guess nor ever see
The all-endured this nothing-done costs me.

“A Wish for Her During the Remainder of Her Life” by Frederick Tennyson

Whatever be my lot, I pray that thou
Mayst see a cloudless autumn of thy years,
Whose summer-tide hath been o’ercast with tears;
Though like the clouds, that vainly overflow
The deep clear sky, they have not dimmed thy brow,
Or darkened the quick flame of liberty
Lit in that eye, which fashioned it and thee.
Be thine a vale where western breezes blow
The livelong year, where thou mayst walk at even
’Mid cherished flowers along a garden slope,
And breathe in peace the purity of heaven,
And turn unto the sun with eyes of hope,
With sweet birds every morn to make thee cheer,
And sound of living waters in thine ear.

Back view of happy woman enjoying view in blooming sunflower field at sunset with bouquet of flowers. Peace and freedom

“Wishes” by Dora Sigerson Shorter

I wish we could live as the flowers live,
To breathe and to bloom in the summer and sun;
To slumber and sway in the heart of the night,
And to die when our glory had done.

I wish we could love as the bees love,
To rest or to roam without sorrow or sigh;
With laughter, when, after the wooer had won,
Love flew with a whispered good-bye.

I wish we could die as the birds die,
To fly and to fall when our beauty was best:
No trammels of time on the years of our face;
And to leave but an empty nest.

“Happiness to Hospitality: Or a Hearty Wish to Good Housekeeping” by Robert Herrick

First, may the hand of bounty bring
Into the daily offering
Of full provision such a store,
Till that the cook cries: Bring no more.
Upon your hogsheads never fall
A drought of wine, ale, beer, at all;
But, like full clouds, may they from thence
Diffuse their mighty influence.
Next, let the lord and lady here
Enjoy a Christ’ning year by year;
And this good blessing back them still,
T’ have boys, and girls too, as they will.
Then from the porch may many a bride
Unto the holy temple ride:
And thence return, short prayers said,
A wife most richly married.
Last, may the bride and bridegroom be
Untouch’d by cold sterility;
But in their springing blood so play,
As that in lusters few they may,
By laughing too, and lying down,
People a city or a town.

“Wishes” by Alan L. Strang

A Birthday Wish

I’m wishing a happy birthday,
To you my dear sweet friend;
And may every day be a happy day
Is the wish I will always send.

A Christmas Wish

A Merry Christmas Wish to you,
And may your heart be gay;
May Santa bring you many things,
This Merry Christmas day.

A New Year’s Wish

A happy happy, New Year,
We all are wishing you;
We hope no sorrow you shall know
This whole year through.

Woman in prayer in the sun, Colorado provencal, rustrel, France

“Wishes for Vin” by Richard Corbet

What I shall leave thee none can tell,
But all shall say I wish thee well,
I wish thee, Vin, before all wealth,
Both bodily and ghostly health;
Nor too much wealth, nor wit, come to thee,
So much of either may undo thee.
I wish thee learning, not for show,
Enough for to instruct and know;
Not such as gentlemen require
To prate at table, or at fire.
I wish thee all thy mother’s graces,
Thy father’s fortunes and his places.
I wish thee friends, and one at court,
Not to build on, but support
To keep thee, not in doing many
Oppressions, but from suffering any.
I wish thee peace in all thy ways,
Nor lazy nor contentious days;
And when thy soul and body part
As innocent as now thou art.

“The Poet’s Good Wishes for the Most Hopeful and Handsome Prince, the Duke of York” by Robert Herrick

May his pretty dukeship grow
Like t’a rose of Jericho:
Sweeter far than ever yet
Showers or sunshines could beget.
May the Graces and the Hours
Strew his hopes and him with flowers:
And so dress him up with love
As to be the chick of Jove.
May the thrice-three sisters sing
Him the sovereign of their spring:
And entitle none to be
Prince of Helicon but he.
May his soft foot, where it treads,
Gardens thence produce and meads:
And those meadows full be set
With the rose and violet.
May his ample name be known
To the last succession:
And his actions high be told
Through the world, but writ in gold.