Lucy Larcom Best Poems

Lucy Larcom was born in 1826 in Beverly, Massachusetts. She enjoyed participating in church and charity work. Her work was first published in mill-girls magazine. She was a religious woman and had complete faith in God. Her health often deteriorated and she passed away in 1893. Her services will always be remembered. Her poetry will always inspire people.

If I Were A Sunbeam

Poet: Lucy Larcom

Lucy Larcom Best Poems

If I were a sunbeam,
I know what I’d do:
I would seek white lilies
Rainy woodlands through;
I would steal among them,
Softest light I’d shed,
Until every lily
Raised its drooping head.

“If I were a sunbeam,
I know where I’d go:
Into lowliest hovels,
Dark with want and woe;
Till sad hearts looked upward,
I would shine and shine;
Then they’d think of heaven,
Their sweet home and mine.”

Art thou not a sunbeam,
Child, whose life is glad
With an inner radiance
Sunshine never had?
Oh, as God has blessed thee,
Scatter rays divine!
For there is no sunbeam
But must die, or shine.


Heavenly Helper

Poet: Lucy Larcom

Heavenly Helper, Friend divine,
Friend of all men, therefore mine,
Let my heart as Thy heart be!
Breathe Thy living breath through me!

Only at Thy love’s pure tide
Human thirst is satisfied:
He who fills his chalice there,
Fills, with thirstier souls to share.

Undefiled One, who dost win
All Thine own from paths of sin,
Never let me dread to go
Where is guilt, or want, or woe!

If another lose the way,
My feet also go astray :
Sleepless Watcher, lead us back,
Safe into the homeward track!

As a bird unto its nest,
Flies the tired soul to Thy breast.
Let not one an alien be!
Lord, we have no home but Thee!


A Friend

Poet: Lucy Larcom

Life offers no joy like a friend:
Fulfillment and prophecy blend
In the throb of a heart with our own,
A heart where we know and are known.

Yet more than thy friend unto thee
Is the friendship hereafter to be,
When the flower of thy life shall unfold
Out of hindering darkness and cold.

Love mocks thee, whose mounting desire
Doth not to the Perfect aspire;
Nor lovest thou the soul thou wouldst win
To shut with thine emptiness in.

A friend! Deep is calling to deep!
A friend! The heart wakes from its sleep,
To behold the worlds lit by one face,
With one heavenward step to keep pace.

O Heart wherein all hearts are known,
Whose infinite throb stirs our own!
O Friend beyond friends! what are we,
Who ask so much less, yet have Thee!



Poet: Lucy Larcom

That haunting dream of Better,
Forever at our side!
It tints the far horizon,
It sparkles on the tide.
The cradle of the Present
Too narrow is for rest:
The feet of the Immortal

Leap forth to seek the Best.
O beauty, trailing sadness!
Despair, hope’s loftiest birth!
With tears and aspirations
Have ye bedewed the earth.
The opening buds of April
Untimely frost may chill;
The soul of sweet October
Faints out in mystery still.

What buriest thou, gay childhood?
Swift youth, what fled with thee?
Laugh’st at our losses, Sorrow,
As in some godlike glee?
Away, away forever
Our vessels seem to sail:
The Eternal Breath o’ertakes them;
Home speeds them every gale.

The filmy gold and purple
Swathed not the hills we trod:
‘T was hard and common climbing,
The bramble and the clod.
The bitterness we tasted
Was Truth’s most wholesome leaven
The friends who left us lonely
Are opening doors in heaven.

And now the deeper midnight
Uncovers larger stars;
And grafts of glory bourgeon
From earthly blights and scars.
And now the mists are lifting
The tides are rushing in
‘Tis sunrise on the mountains!
Lo! life is yet to win!


A Christmas Thought

Poet: Lucy Larcom

Oh, Christmas is coming again, you say,
And you long for the things he is bringing:
But the costliest gift may not gladden the day,
Nor help on the merry bells ringing.
Some getting is losing, you understand,
Some hoarding is far from saving;
What you hold in your hand may slip from your hand;
There is something better than having:
We are richer for what we give;
And only by giving we live.

Your last year’s presents are scattered and gone;
You have almost forgotten who gave them;
But the loving thoughts you bestow live on
As long as you choose to have them.
Love, love is your riches, though ever so poor;
No money can buy that treasure;
Yours always, from robber and rust secure,
Your own, without stint or measure:
It is only love that can give;
It is only by loving we live.

For who is it smiles through the Christmas morn,
The Light of the wide creation?
A dear little Child in a stable born,
Whose love is the world’s salvation.
He was poor on earth, but He gives us all
That can make our life worth the living;
And happy the Christmas Day we call
That is spent, for His sake, in giving:
He shows us the way to live;
Like Him, let us love and give!


Three Old Saws

Poet: Lucy Larcom

If the world seems cold to you,
Kindle fires to warm it!
Let their comfort hide from view
Winters that deform it.
Hearts as frozen as your own
To that radiance gather:
You will soon forget to moan
“Ah! the cheerless weather!”

If the world’s a wilderness,
Go, build houses in it!
Will it help your loneliness
On the winds to din it?
Raise a hut, however slight;
Weeds and brambles smother;
And to roof and meal invite
Some forlorner brother.

If the world’s a vale of tears,
Smile, till rainbows span it!
Breathe the love that life endears,
Clear of clouds to fan it!
Of your gladness lend a gleam
Unto souls that shiver;
Show them how dark Sorrow’s stream
Blends with Hope’s bright river!


Divine And Human

Poet: Lucy Larcom

Jesus, Saviour, Friend most dear!
Dwell Thou with us daily here!
By Thine own life teach us this
How divine, the human is!

One with God, as heart with heart,
Saviour, lift us where Thou art!
Join us to His life, through Thine,
Human still, though all divine!


Getting Along

Poet: Lucy Larcom

We trudge on together, my good man and I,
Our steps growing slow as the years hasten by;
Our children are healthy, our neighbors are kind,
And with the world ’round us we’ve no fault to find.

‘Tis true that he sometimes will choose the worst way
For sore feet to walk in, a weary hot day;
But then my wise husband can scarcely go wrong,
And, somehow or other, we’re getting along.

There are soft summer shadows beneath our home trees:
How handsome he looks, sitting there at his ease!
We watch the flocks coming while sunset grows dim,
His thoughts on the cattle, and mine upon him.

The blackbirds and thrushes come chattering near;
I love the thieves’ music, but listen with fear:
He shoots the gay rogues I would pay for their song;
We’re different, sure; still, we’re getting along.

He seems not to know what I eat, drink, or wear;
He’s trim and he’s hearty, so why should I care?
No harsh word from him my poor heart ever shocks:
I wouldn’t mind scolding, so seldom he talks.

Ah, well! ’tis too much that we women expect:
He only has promised to love and protect.
See, I lean on my husband, so silent and strong;
I’m sure there’s no trouble; we’re getting along.

Life isn’t so bright as it was long ago,
When he visited me amid tempest and snow,
And would bring me a ribbon or jewel to wear,
And sometimes a rosebud to twist in my hair:

But when we are girls, we can all laugh and sing;
Of course, growing old, life’s a different thing!
My good man and I have forgot our May song,
But still we are quietly getting along.

It is true I was rich; I had treasures and land;
But all that he asked was my heart and my hand:
Though people do say it, ’tis what they can’t prove, –
“He married for money; she, poor thing! for love.”

My fortune is his, and he saves me its care;
To make his home cheerful ‘s enough for my share.
He seems always happy our broad fields among;
And so I’m contented: we’re getting along.

With stocks to look after, investments to find,
It’s not very strange that I’m seldom in mind:
He can’t stop to see how my time’s dragging on,
And oh ! would he miss me, if I should be gone?

Should he be called first, I must follow him fast,
For all that’s worth living for then will be past.
But I ‘ll not think of losing him; fretting is wrong,
While we are so pleasantly getting along.



Poet: Lucy Larcom

Birds among the budding trees,
Blossoms on the ringing ground:
Light from those? or song from these?
Can the tangle be unwound?

For the bluebird’s warbled note,
Violet-odors hither flung;
And the violet curved her throat,
Just as if she sat and sung.

Dandelions dressed in gold,
Give out echoes clear and loud,
To the oriole’s story, told
With gay poise and gesture proud.

And the swaying yellow-bird,
Trilling, thrills their hollow stems,
Until every root is stirred,
Under their dropped diadems.

Swallows thicken through the air,
Curve and drift of plumy brown,
Wafting, showering everywhere,
Melody’s light seed-notes down.

Beauty, music on the earth;
Music, beauty in the sky ;
Guess the mystery of their birth!
All the haunting what and why.

Nature weaves a marvellous braid;
Tints and tones how deftly blent!
Who unwinds the web she made?
Thou, who wearest her wise content.

Wrapped within her beauty’s fold,
Of her song thyself a part,
Plainly are her secrets told
Unto thee, O pure of heart!


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