Countryside Poems

Poems about the countryside evoke the serene beauty and rustic charm of rural landscapes, capturing the essence of nature’s harmonious coexistence.

These poetic works often celebrate the simplicity, tranquility, and timeless rhythms of life away from urban settings. They may explore themes such as the interconnectedness of humans and the natural world, the passage of seasons, or the spiritual connection to the land.

Two famous examples of poems about the countryside include William Wordsworth’sI Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,’ which portrays the blissful encounter with nature’s splendor, and Robert Frost’sThe Road Not Taken,‘ which reflects on the contemplative solitude found in rural settings.

Corinna’s Going A-Maying

by Robert Herrick

‘Corinna’s Going A-Maying’ is a carpe diem (Latin for “seize the day”) poem in which the speaker urges his beloved, Corinna, to arise from bed and join him in the festivities of May Day already in progress.

Robert Herrick is a poet famously associated with the countryside. 'Corinna's Going A-Maying' is certainly a prime example of how his poetry is connected to the countryside. 'Corinna's Going A-Maying' is about the celebrations of May Day going on in a countryside town. The glories of the natural world available in the countryside are praised.

Get up, get up for shame, the Blooming Morne

Upon her wings presents the god unshorne.

See how Aurora throwes her faire

Fresh-quilted colours through the aire:

The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

by Rupert Brooke

‘The Old Vicarage, Grantchester’ is a light poem about a homesick traveler sentimentally remembering his former home in the English town of Grantchester. The poem takes a gently satirical tone to its subject matter.

This poem is about a traveler in a crowded, hot room in a major foreign city remembering his old home in the English countryside. The bucolic charm and beauty of a pleasant, idyllic countryside town are contrasted greatly with the place where the speaker currently finds himself. While the poem is about the specific rural town of Grantchester, much of the natural beauty is typical of the countryside in general. The nature that is such a focus of the poem can only exist in a countryside, rather than urban, setting.

Just now the lilac is in bloom,

All before my little room;

And in my flower-beds, I think,

Smile the carnation and the pink;


by Lord Byron

‘Solitude’ describes how a person can feel content and supported in nature, yet isolated and alone when surrounded by other people.

The countryside, especially its less visited parts, is celebrated in this poem as a place where one can be content and have their energy restored. It is presented in sharp contrast to the city.

To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,

To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,

Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,

And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;

Maud Muller

by John Greenleaf Whittier

‘Maud Muller’ by John Greenleaf Whittier is a classic narrative ballad that recounts how the poor peasant, Maud, and an urban judge fantasize about getting married and living together. However, neither of them ever takes action, which fills their lives with regret.

While the poem does not focus on the details of the American countryside, Maud feels imprisoned in her role as an agricultural laborer. Meanwhile, the judge, who is enamored with her, fantasizes about living a blissful pastoral life.

God pity them both! and pity us all,

Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

Out to Old Aunt Mary’s

by James Whitcomb Riley

‘Out to Old Aunt Mary’s’ by James Whitcomb Riley juxtaposes memories of carefree youth with the passage of time, underlying the lasting significance of the memories

This poem depicts a vibrant rural environment that acts as a backdrop for the speaker's childhood memories. First, there is a description of dewdrops, trees, pastures, and creeks, all of which contribute to the charming attractiveness of rural landscapes. There is also mention of birds and buzzards, which contribute to the sensory images. These natural elements constitute a significant aspect of the poem's nostalgic tone and a vital part of the tale.

Wasn't it pleasant, O brother mine,

In those old days of the lost sunshine

Of youth—when the Saturday's chores were through,

Ode to Dirt

by Sharon Olds

‘Ode to Dirt’ is an impassioned all for everyone to reevaluate their perception of dirt and learn to appreciate it for its many qualities.

The countryside is not mentioned explicitly but that is where there is the greatest concentration of dirt. Olds implies that rural beauty and agriculture both rely on dirt, and thus it should be more appreciated by humanity.

Dear dirt, I am sorry I slighted you,

I thought that you were only the background

for the leading characters—the plants

and animals and human animals.


by Ambrose Bierce

‘Elegy’ by Ambrose Bierce parodies another famous elegy in order to humorously critique the self-indulgence of such poetic lamentations.

The original poem by Thomas Gray mentions that the poem is composed in the churchyard out in the country. This pastoral setting lends itself to the Romantic sentiments offered in his poem, but Bierce twists them to fit his cynical elegy. Much of those changes have to do with the animals, which mocks any attempts to project human sentimentality onto nature as a means of coping with death.

The cur foretells the knell of parting day;

The loafing herd winds slowly o’er the lea;

The wise man homewards plods; I only stay

To fiddle-faddle in a minor key.

A Butterfly Talks

by Annette Wynne

‘A Butterfly Talks’ is a children’s poem written by the American poet Annette Wynne. In this short poem, the poet emphasizes the splendor of simple things in nature.

A butterfly talks to each flower

And stops to eat and drink,

And I have seen one lighting

In a quiet spot to think;

Australia 1970

by Judith Wright

‘Australia 1970’ by Judith Wright speaks on the changing landscape of Australia in the 1970s. It promotes a version of Australia that is fierce, wild, and dangerous just like the animals that have always lived within its boundaries.

Die, wild country, like the eaglehawk,

dangerous till the last breath's gone,

clawing and striking. Die

cursing your captor through a raging eye.

Explore more poems about Countryside

How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix

by Robert Browning

‘How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix’ by Robert Browning depicts three riders’ attempting to gallop from Ghent to Aix. The speaker makes it there, delivering a critical, although unknown, piece of news.

I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;

I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;

‘Good speed!'’ cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew;

‘Speed!’ echoed the wall to us galloping through;

I like to see it lap the Miles

by Emily Dickinson

‘I like to see it lap the Miles’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful poem. It explores themes of industrialization, power, and human ingenuity.

I like to see it lap the Miles -

And lick the Valleys up -

And stop to feed itself at Tanks -

And then - prodigious step

Love Among the Ruins

by Robert Browning

‘Love Among the Ruins’ by Robert Browning is a Victorian, dramatic poem that uses the metaphor of a destroyed city to speak on love and nature. 

Where the quiet-coloured end of evening smiles,

Miles and miles

On the solitary pastures where our sheep


My River runs to thee

by Emily Dickinson

In Emily Dickinson’s ‘My River runs to thee,’ readers explore an extended metaphor that may have sexual or religious undertones. 

My River runs to thee.

Blue sea, wilt thou welcome me?

My river awaits reply.

Oh! Sea, look graciously.

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

by Langston Hughes

’The Negro Speaks of Rivers’ is about a man who has seen the great ages of the world alongside the banks of the most important rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

Winter Landscape, with Rooks

by Sylvia Plath

‘Winter Landscape, with Rooks’ by Sylvia Plath depicts a dark landscape. It’s used to symbolize how the speaker, and perhaps the poet, was feeling.

Water in the millrace, through a sluice of stone,

plunges headlong into that black pond

where, absurd and out-of-season, a single swan

floats chaste as snow, taunting the clouded mind

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