On Julia’s Clothes and 99 other most popular poems

This must be one of the shortest, heavily anthologized poems in the English language. On Julia’s Clothes, by Robert Herrick, runs to only six lines. But, witty and playful, this 17th century poem is one of the 100 most anthologized poems in the English language, according to the Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry. Here are links to the top 100. But first…

On Julia’s Clothes
By Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free,
O how that glittering taketh me!

Roguish but charming, isn’t it?

If you go down the list, you will find one poem with only five lines, but The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell is a sombre Second World War poem  best read elsewhere.

Here is another even shorter poem which I wish had been on the list.

Western wind, when will thou blow?
  The small rain down can rain.
  Christ, if my love were in my arms,
  And I in my bed again!

According to the Oxford Book of English Verse edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch, it was probably written in the 16th century.

The Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry lists the 500 most frequently anthologized poems in the English language.

Here are links to the top 100. There’s more than one poem by Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth, Byron, Blake, Browning, Tennyson, Shakespeare, Yeats, Dylan Thomas, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. And as many by John Donne, Andrew Marvell and other 17th century poets such as Robert Herrick, George Herbert and Richard Lovelace. I have linked outside the Columbia Granger’s website for easier access.

Kubla Khan
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

La Belle Dams Sans Merci
John Keats
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms

To Autumn
John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Christopher Marlowe
Come live with me and be my Love

The Tyger
William Blake
Tyger, Tyger, burning bright

To His Coy Mistress
Andrew Marvell
Had we but World enough and Time

Pied Beauty
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Glory be to God for dappled things

George Herbert
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back

My Last Duchess
Robert Browning
That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall

To the Virgins
Robert Herrick
Gather ye rose-buds while ye may

Because I Could Not Stop for Death
Emily Dickinson
Because I could not stop for Death

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
Dylan Thomas
Do not go gentle into that good night

Dover Beach
Matthew Arnold
The sea is calm tonight

To Lucasta on Going to the Wars
Richard Lovelace
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind

Death Be Not Proud Though Some Have Called Thee
John Donne
Death be not proud, though some have called thee

On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer
John Keats
Much have I travelled in the realms of gold

Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land

Ode to the West Wind
Percy Bysshe Shelley
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,

The Second Coming
William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre

Upon Julia’s Clothes
Robert Herrick
Whenas in silks my Julia goes

Batter My Heart, Three-Person’d God; for, you 
John Donne
Batter my heart, three-person’d God; for you

Fern Hill
Dylan Thomas
Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs

Leda and the Swan
William Butler Yeats
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still,

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
TS Eliot
Let us go then, you and I

Spring and Fall (to a Young Child)
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Margaret, are you grieving

The Good Morrow
John Donne
I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I

She Walks in Beauty
George Gordon Noel Byron
She walks in beauty like the night

The World Is Too Much with Us
William Wordsworth
The world is too much with us, late and soon

Musee des Beaux Arts
WH Auden
About suffering they were never wrong,

The Darkling Thrush
Thomas Hardy
I leant upon a coppice gate

Sailing to Byzantium
William Butler Yeats
That is no country for old men. The young,

Sonnet 116
William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Lewis Carroll
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Mending Wall
Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall

Sonnet 43
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

The Death of the Ball-Turret Gunner
Randall Jarrell
From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State

William Blake
And did those feet in ancient time

On My First Son
Ben Jonson
Farewell, thou child of my right hand and joy

Emily Dickinson

The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter
Li Po (or Rihaku)
While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead

The Windhover
Gerard Manley Hopkins
I caught t
his morning morning’s minion, King

Dulce et Decorum Est
Wilfred Owen
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
William Butler Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree

Miniver Cheevy
Edwin Arlington Robinson
Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

Sonnet 18
William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Anthem for Doomed Youth
Wilfred Owen
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?

God’s Grandeur
Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God

William Blake
I wander thro’ each charter’d street

Sir Patrick Spence
The King sits in Dumferline town

Valediction Forbidding Mourning
John Donne
As virtuous men pass mildly away

At the round earth’s imagin’d corners, blow
John Donne
At the round earth’s imagin’d corners, blow

Break, Break, Break
Alfred Tennyson
Break, break, break

The Eagle
Alfred Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands

The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd
Walter Raleigh
If all the world and love were young

So We’ll Go No More A-Roving
George Gordon Noel Byron
So we’ll go no more a-roving

Upon Westminster Bridge
William Wordsworth
Earth has not anything to show more fair

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
Thomas Gray
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day

Mr Flood’s Party
Edwin Arlington Robinson
Old Eben Flood, climbing alone one night

John Suckling
Why so pale and wan, fond lover?

The Sun Rising
John Donne
Busy old fool, unruly sun

Alfred Tennyson
It little profits that an idle king

Thoughts in a Garden
Andrew Marvell
How vainly men themselves amaze

A Noiseless Patient Spider
Walt Whitman
A noiseless patient spider

The Retreat
Henry Vaughan
Happy those early days! when I

The Solitary Reaper
William Wordsworth
Behold her, single in the field

Edmund Waller
Go, lovely rose

To Althea, from Prison
Richard Lovelace
When Love with unconfined wings

Delight in Disorder
Robert Herrick
A sweet disorder in the dress

My Papa’s Waltz
Theodore Roethke
The whiskey on your breath

Ode to a Nightingale
John Keats
My heart aches and a drowsy numbness pains

Sonnet 73
William Shakespeare
That time of year thou may’st in me behold

The Owl and the Pussycat
Edward Lear
The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea,

Strange Meeting
Wilfred Owen
It seemed that out of battle I escaped

Sunday Morning
Wallace Stevens
Complacencies of the peignoir, and late

To Helen
Edgar Allan Poe
Helen, thy beauty is to me

John Milton
Yet once more, O ye Laurels and once more

Sonnet 129
William Shakespeare
The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Sonnet 30
William Shakespeare
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

When You Are Old
William Butler Yeats
When you are old and grey and full of sleep

There’s a Certain Slant of Light
Emily Dickinson
There’s a certain Slant of light

Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter
John Crowe Ransom
There was such speed in her little body

The Listeners
Walter De La Mare
Is there anybody there? said the Traveller

Meeting at Night
Robert Browning
The grey sea and the long black land,

The Raven
Edgar Allen Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary

The Sick Rose
William Blake
O Rose, thou art sick

Sonnet 29
William Shakespeare
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes

Richard Cory
Edwin Arlington Robinson
Whenever Richard Cory went downtown

A Song
Thomas Carew
Ask me no more where Jove bestows

Sonnet 55
William Shakespeare
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments

To My Dear and Loving Husband
Anne Bradstreet
If ever two were one, then surely we

George Herbert
Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright

The Burning Babe
Robert Southwell
As I in hoary Winter’s night stood shivering in the snow

Home Thoughts, from Abroad
Robert Browning
Oh, to be in England

The Latest Decalogue
Arthur Clough
Thou shalt have one God only; who

The Collar
George Herbert
I struck the board, and cried, No more

The Definition of Love
Andrew Marvell
My Love is of a birth as rare

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may also like

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: