Heaven Poems

Bards of Passion and of Mirth

by John Keats

‘Bards of Passion and of Mirth’ by John Keats is one of the poet’s early odes. In it, Keats confirms that bards, or authors, have two souls, with one rising to heaven, and the other staying on earth.

Keat's imagining of heaven is highly original, and it represents a mish-mash of Greek, Roman, and Christian ideas of the afterlife. The poet's focus on how storytellers, such as playwrights and poets, all go to heaven to learn divine truths, which they can disseminate to other people on earth, is also inspiring for writers and poets.

    Bards of Passion and of Mirth,  

Ye have left your souls on earth!  

Have ye souls in heaven too,  

Doubled-lived in regions new?  

Explore more poems about Heaven

June (from “The Vision of Sir Launfal”)

by James Russell Lowell

‘June’ by James Russell Lowell is a religiously-charged romantic narrative poem about the overwhelming beauty and rejuvenating power of summer. 

In this poem, the speaker describes June's beauty in religious terms, explaining that, in June, heaven comes down to earth and brings the dead back to life.

And what is so rare as a day in June?

Then, if ever, come perfect days;

Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,

And over it softly her warm ear lays:

‘Yes, Holy Be Thy Resting Place’ Poem

by Emily Brontë

‘Yes, Holy Be Thy Resting Place’ is one of Emily Brontë’s poems that visits the softly sentimental side of her poetic talent.

The poem speaks of heaven as a place where the departed loved one's resting place will be holy, and where a beam of glory may shine down to make summer's grass more green and flowers more fair.

Yes, holy be thy resting place

Wherever thou may'st lie;

The sweetest winds breathe on thy face,

The softest of the sky.

In Heaven

by Stephen Crane

‘In Heaven’ by Stephen Crane offers a parable-like anecdote that contrasts humility with self-righteous pride. It also challenges religion and those the poet’s speaker deemed hypocritical.

Heaven is an important topic in this poem. It presents a vision of what awaits the faithful who find themselves there. The poem borrows heavily from biblical descriptions of a throne but also uses symbolism to emphasize humankind’s minuteness.

In Heaven,

Some little blades of grass

Stood before God.

“What did you do?”

The Woman and the Angel

by Robert Service

‘The Woman and the Angel’ is an allegory by Robert Service that reflects on the evolving nature of ethics and morality in human society.

In the poem, the woman asks the angel to take her to heaven with him, describing it as a place of "singing and sunlight and laughter." The angel promises the woman that in heaven, they will have "all that the heart of a woman can ask for."

An angel was tired of heaven, as he lounged in the golden street;

His halo was tilted sideways, and his harp lay mute at his feet;

So the Master stooped in His pity, and gave him a pass to go,

For the space of a moon, to the earth-world, to mix with the men below.

On Being Human

by C.S. Lewis

‘On Being Human’ by C.S Lewis is incredibly unique and fascinating as it deals with both the physical and the spiritual realm as compared to one another.

The poem alludes to a higher power, the Maker, who shares some secrets with humans within the tiny "parlour of the brain." This suggests a belief in a divine presence and that humans have access to a unique understanding of the world that angels do not.

Angelic minds, they say, by simple intelligence

Behold the Forms of nature. They discern

Unerringly the Archtypes, all the verities

Which mortals lack or indirectly learn.

Early Death

by Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal

‘Early Death’ by Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal is a haunting meditation on mortality and spiritual transcendence. Written in the mid-19th century, the poem’s evocative imagery and simple yet powerful language have made it a lasting contribution to the canon of Victorian poetry. 

Heaven is a central concept in the poem, serving as the ultimate destination of the speaker's journey. The poem presents heaven as a place of peace, joy, and eternal life, where the speaker will be reunited with loved ones who have passed on before.

Oh grieve not with thy bitter tears

The life that passes fast;

The gates of heaven will open wide

And take me in at last.

‘Twas the old — road — through pain—

by Emily Dickinson

‘Twas the old — road — through pain—’ by Emily Dickinson describes a woman’s path from life to death and her entrance into Heaven. 

The main character makes it pretty clear in this Dickinson poem that she hopes she's going to end up in Heaven when she dies.

In Chambers bright —

Too out of sight — though —

For our hoarse Good Night —

To touch her Head!


by Josiah Gilbert Holland

‘Gradatim’ by Josiah Gilbert Holland is a poem about the lifetime of work it takes to climb the ladder to Heaven. One needs to dedicate themselves to a life of good deeds to reach God. 

Reaching Heaven and spending the afterlife by God's side is the central focus of this poem. The speaker knows that it takes a great deal of effort to climb the metaphorical ladder to Heaven.

Heaven is not reached at a single bound;

But we build the ladder by which we rise

From the lowly earth, to the vaulted skies,

And we mount to its summit round by round.


by Alice Cary

‘Nobility’ by Alice Cary is a straightforward, inspirational poem about where honor and nobility truly come from. 

The five-stanzas imply that if one lives their life this way, they'll be right in the eyes of God and therefore make their way to Heaven.

True worth is in being, not seeming,—

In doing, each day that goes by,

Some little good—not in dreaming

Of great things to do by and by.

The Eternal Goodness

by John Greenleaf Whittier

‘The Eternal Goodness’ by John Greenleaf Whittier is a relatively unknown 19th-century poem that explores religious themes and the various ways that God’s love comes through. 

Heaven is another alluded-to topic in this piece. The poet expresses several times how he feels incredibly safe knowing that God is protecting him wherever he goes. This likely holds true for his perception of the afterlife.

O friends! with whom my feet have trod

The quiet aisles of prayer,

Glad witness to your zeal for God

And love of man I bear.


A Night-Piece

by William Wordsworth

A Night-Piece is a 26 line poem without a regulated rhyme scheme. There are a number of half-rhymes and unstructured end

———The sky is overcast

With a continuous cloud of texture close,

Heavy and wan, all whitened by the Moon,

Which through that veil is indistinctly seen


by Léonie Adams

Apostate’ by Léonie Adams describes the freedom a speaker sees in the joyful stars and how she aches to live as they do. 

From weariness I looked out on the stars And there beheld them, fixed in throbbing joy, Nor racked by such mad dance of moods as mars For us each moment’s grace with swift alloy.


by Patrick Kavanagh

The poem’s title, ‘Ascetic’, is basically the practice of going without, usually this means leading a Spartan lifestyle and avoiding


by Robert Frost

‘Birches’ is one of the most famous, admired, and thoughtful Robert Frost poems. The poem profoundly describes something simple, an ordinary incident, in elevated terms.

When I see birches bend to left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay


by William Cullen Bryant

‘Consumption’ by William Cullen Bryant describes the fast-approaching death of a tuberculosis patient and her path to heaven. 

De Profundis

by Christina Rossetti

‘De Profundis’ by Christina Rossetti describes a speaker’s longing for heaven, and the impossibility of reaching it during one’s lifetime. 

Oh why is heaven built so far, Oh why is earth set so remote? I cannot reach the nearest star That hangs afloat.

Holy Sonnet II

by John Donne

‘Holy Sonnet II’ by John Donne is the second in a series of religious sonnets that Donne is well-known for. This poem is directed to God and explores a speaker’s concerns about their fate. 

As due by many titles I resign

Myself to thee, O God. First I was made

By Thee; and for Thee, and when I was decay’d

Thy blood bought that, the which before was Thine.

Holy Sonnet IX

by John Donne

‘Holy Sonnet IX’ by John Donne, also known by its first line ‘If poisonous minerals, and if that tree’ is one of several “Holy Sonnets” the poet composed during his lifetime. This particular poem focuses on a dispute between the speaker and God.

If poisonous minerals, and if that tree,

Whose fruit threw death on (else immortal) us,

If lecherous goats, if serpents envious

Cannot be damn'd, alas ! why should I be ?

Holy Thursday (Songs of Innocence)

by William Blake

William Blake’s poem, ‘Holy Thursday,’ was first published in 1789. It was included in a poetry collection called ‘Songs of Innocence’.

‘Twas on a holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,

The children walking two and two in red and blue and green:

Grey-headed beadles walked before, with wands as white as snow,

Till into the high dome of Paul’s they like Thames waters flow.

Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness

by John Donne

‘Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness’ by John Donne is written from the perspective of a dying man hoping to gain access to heaven. 

Since I am coming to that holy room,

         Where, with thy choir of saints for evermore,

I shall be made thy music; as I come

         I tune the instrument here at the door,

I did not reach Thee

by Emily Dickinson

‘I did not reach Thee’ by Emily Dickinson is a complex poem about a speaker’s journey through life. She expresses both optimism and hesitation in the face of her death and attempts to reach God. 

I did not reach Thee

But my feet slip nearer every day

Three Rivers and a Hill to cross

I saw no Way – The Heavens were stitched

by Emily Dickinson

‘I saw no Way – The Heavens were stitched’ by Emily Dickinson depicts heaven and the afterlife. The poet thoughtfully explores how she feels about the breadth of the universe.

I saw no Way—The Heavens were stitched—

I felt the Columns close—

The Earth reversed her Hemispheres— I

touched the Universe—

Lucifer in Starlight

by George Meredith

‘Lucifer in Starlight’ describes Lucifer’s power, past, attempted ascent from Hell back into Heaven, and the sights seen along the way. 

Mad Girl’s Love Song

by Sylvia Plath

‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ by Sylvia Plath explores the truth of a relationship. The speaker wonders how deep and meaningful it really was.

"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;

I lift my lids and all is born again.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

Mad Song

by William Blake

‘Mad Song’ by William Blake describes the intense madness a speaker feels and the frantic pain that accompanies the dawning of a new day.

The wild winds weep, 

         And the night is a-cold;

Come hither, Sleep,

         And my griefs infold:

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