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12 Free Inspirational Poems

Looking for free inspirational poems to read? These 12 inspiring pieces have been selected for their beautiful messages and good cheer.

Most contain sound advice and wisdom to be relished.

If your spirits are a little low, browse through these poems and let the words slowly lift up your spirits. If you're seeking for words of wisdom or insightful thoughts, read these poems carefully for encouragement and be motivated!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed compiling them.

A Smile
by Author Unknown

A happy smile

Smiling is infectious,
You catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner,
And someone saw my grin,
When he smiled I realized,
I'd passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,
Then realized its worth,
A single smile, just like mine,
Could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin,
Don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic quick,
And get the world infected.

Don't you have a similar experience before? Where you saw a stranger having a happy smile on her face and before you knew it, you were grinning for no apparent reason too. Then someone saw your grin, and he smiled too. You probably felt a little silly for smiling without any reason at first, but when your smile brought a smile to someone's face, you knew that it cost nothing to brighten up someone's day. May you freely give away your beautiful, happy smiles!

Good Advice to Live By
by Author Unknown

This is not really a poem but it lists out some very good advice, so I decided to give it a home here.

Lime Light

  • If you want your dreams to come true, don't oversleep.

  • The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.

  • Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

  • The best vitamin for making friends....B1.

  • The 10 commandments are not multiple choice.

  • The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

  • Minds are like parachutes.. .they function only when open.

  • Ideas won't work unless YOU do.

  • One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

  • One who lacks the courage to start has already finished.

  • The heaviest thing to carry is a grudge.

  • Don't learn safety rules by accident.

  • We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.

  • Jumping to conclusions can be bad exercise.

  • A turtle makes progress when it sticks its head out.

  • One thing you can give and still your word.

  • A friend walks in when everyone else walks out.


  • The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime!!!

    A very special thank you to Tanja Cilia for letting me know about this good advice!

    I Know Not Why
    by Morris Rosenfeld


    I lift mine eyes against the sky,
    The clouds are weeping, so am I;
    I lift mine eyes again on high,
    The sun is smiling, so am I.
    Why do I smile? Why do I weep?
    I do not know; it lies too deep.

    I hear the winds of autumn sigh,
    They break my heart, they make me cry;
    I hear the birds of lovely spring,
    My hopes revive, I help them sing.
    Why do I sing? Why do I cry?
    It lies so deep, I know not why.

    Laughing Song
    by William Blake

    Wandsworth Common London

    When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
    And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
    When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
    And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

    when the meadows laugh with lively green,
    And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,
    When Mary and Susan and Emily
    With their sweet round mouths sing "Ha, ha he!"

    When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
    Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
    Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
    To sing the sweet chorus of "Ha, ha, he!"

    One of These Days
    by James W. Foley


    Say! Let's forget it! Let's put it aside!
    Life is so large and the world is so wide.
    Days are so short and there's so much to do,
    What if it was false--there's plenty that's true.
    Say! Let's forget it! Let's brush it away
    Now and forever, so what do you say?
    All of the bitter words said may be praise
    One of these days.

    Say! Let's forget it! Let's wipe off the slate,
    Find something better to cherish than hate.
    There's so much good in the world that we've had,
    Let's strike a balance and cross off the bad.
    Say! Let's forgive it, whatever it be,
    Let's not be slaves when we ought to be free.
    We shall be walking in sunshiny ways
    One of these days.

    Say! Let's not mind it! Let's smile it away,
    Bring not a withered rose from yesterday;
    Flowers are so fresh from the wayside and wood,
    Sorrows are blessings but half understood.
    Say! Let's not mind it, however it seems,
    Hope is so sweet and holds so many dreams;
    All of the sere fields with blossoms shall blaze
    One of these days.

    Say! Let's not take it so sorely to heart!
    Hates may be friendships just drifted apart,
    Failure be genius not quite understood,
    Say! Let's get closer to somebody's side,
    See what his dreams are and learn how he tried,
    See if our scoldings won't give way to praise
    One of these days.

    Say! Let's not wither! Let's branch out and rise
    Out of the byways and nearer the skies.
    Let's spread some shade that's refreshing and deep
    Where some tired traveler may lie down and sleep.
    Say! Let's not tarry! Let's do it right now;
    So much to do if we just find out how!
    We may not be here to help folks or praise
    One of these days.

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


    Smile a little, smile a little,
    As you go along,
    Not alone when life is pleasant,
    But when things go wrong.
    Care delights to see you frowning,
    Loves to hear you sigh;
    Turn a smiling face upon her,
    Quick the dame will fly.

    Smile a little, smile a little,
    All along the road;
    Every life must have its burden,
    Every heart its load.
    Why sit down in gloom and darkness,
    With your grief to sup?
    As you drink Fate's bitter tonic
    Smile across the cup.

    Smile upon the troubled pilgrims
    Whom you pass and meet;
    Frowns are thorns, and smiles are blossoms
    Oft for weary feet.
    Do not make the way seem harder
    By a sullen face,
    Smile a little, smile a little,
    Brighten up the place.

    Smile upon your undone labor;
    Not for one who grieves
    O'er his task, waits wealth or glory;
    He who smiles achieves.
    Though you meet with loss and sorrow
    In the passing years,
    Smile a little, smile a little,
    Even through your tears.

    The Disappointed
    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    French Desert

    There are songs enough for the hero
    Who dwells on the heights of fame;
    I sing of the disappointed--
    For those who have missed their aim.

    I sing with a tearful cadence
    For one who stands in the dark,
    And knows that his last, best arrow
    Has bounded back from the mark.

    I sing for the breathless runner,
    The eager, anxious soul,
    Who falls with his strength exhausted.
    Almost in sight of the goal;

    For the hearts that break in silence,
    With a sorrow all unknown,
    For those who need companions,
    Yet walk their ways alone.

    There are songs enough for the lovers
    Who share love's tender pain,
    I sing for the one whose passion
    Is given all in vain.

    For those whose spirit comrades
    Have missed them on their way,
    I sing, with a heart o'erflowing,
    This minor strain to-day.

    And I know the Solar system
    Must somewhere keep in space
    A prize for that spent runner
    Who barely lost the race.

    For the plan would be imperfect
    Unless it held some sphere
    That paid for the toil and talent
    And love that are wasted here.

    The World is Against Me
    by Edgar A. Guest

    A Bugs View

    "The world is against me," he said with a sigh.
    "Somebody stops every scheme that I try.
    The world has me down and it's keeping me there;
    I don't get a chance. Oh, the world is unfair!
    When a fellow is poor then he can't get a show;
    The world is determined to keep him down low."

    "What of Abe Lincoln?" I asked. "Would you say
    That he was much richer than you are to-day?
    He hadn't your chance of making his mark,
    And his outlook was often exceedingly dark;
    Yet he clung to his purpose with courage most grim
    And he got to the top. Was the world against him?

    "What of Ben Franklin? I've oft heard it said
    That many a time he went hungry to bed.
    He started with nothing but courage to climb,
    But patiently struggled and waited his time.
    He dangled awhile from real poverty's limb,
    Yet he got to the top. Was the world against him?

    "I could name you a dozen, yes, hundreds, I guess,
    Of poor boys who've patiently climbed to success;
    All boys who were down and who struggled alone,
    Who'd have thought themselves rich if your fortune they'd known;
    Yet they rose in the world you're so quick to condemn,
    And I'm asking you now, was the world against them?"

    Two Raindrops
    by Joseph Morris


    Two little raindrops were born in a shower,
    And one was so pompously proud of his power,
    He got in his head an extravagant notion
    He'd hustle right off and swallow the ocean.
    A blade of grass that grew by the brook
    Called for a drink, but no notice he took
    Of such trifling things. He must hurry to be
    Not a mere raindrop, but the whole sea.
    A stranded ship needed water to float,
    But he could not bother to help a boat.
    He leaped in the sea with a puff and a blare--
    And nobody even knew he was there!

    But the other drop as along it went
    Found the work to do for which it was sent:
    It refreshed the lily that drooped its head,
    And bathed the grass that was almost dead.
    It got under the ships and helped them along,
    And all the while sang a cheerful song.
    It worked every step of the way it went,
    Bringing joy to others, to itself content.
    At last it came to its journey's end,
    And welcomed the sea as an old-time friend.
    "An ocean," it said, "there could not be
    Except for the millions of drops like me.

    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.

    Write Down Your Goals!
    by Al Argo

    IF you don’t write your goal down on paper,
    Beware, it may try to be an escaper.
    But when you do write your goal in your journal,
    What you have done is planted a kernel.
    And everyone, who knows anything knows,
    That what a man reaps is what a man sows!
    So write down your hopes and journal your goals
    And press on through the highs and the lows.
    Through the thick and through the thin,
    If you never, never quit – eventually you win.
    In every failure is a seed of success,
    So keep trying, keep trying –
    And you’ll be the best.
    Write down your goals
    And surprise the rest.

    Copyright © Al Argo. All rights reserved.

    A wise man once said "You can if you think you can!" My challenge for you is simply this; if you think you can then begin.
    -- Al Argo

    Do your absolute best to win –
    But if you lose –
    Don’t get bitter, get better!
    -- Al Argo

    The hardest step of any worthwhile endeavor is always the first step. The second hardest step is the one you take after every fiber in your body says “Quit! but you know in your spirit you must carry on!
    -- Al Argo

    The more you give of yourself, the more you will receive for yourself, your family and your future!
    -- Al Argo

    YOU can make a difference,
    You CAN make a difference,
    You can MAKE a difference,
    You can make a DIFFERENCE!
    Say this everyday,
    Believe this,
    And you will achieve this!
    -- Al Argo

    Your Mission
    by Ellen M.H. Gates

    Siwa Oasis Sunset

    If you cannot on the ocean
    Sail among the swiftest fleet,
    Rocking on the highest billows,
    Laughing at the storms you meet;
    You can stand among the sailors,
    Anchored yet within the bay,
    You can lend a hand to help them
    As they launch their boats away.

    If you are too weak to journey
    Up the mountain, steep and high,
    You can stand within the valley
    While the multitudes go by;
    You can chant in happy measure
    As they slowly pass along--
    Though they may forget the singer,
    They will not forget the song.

    If you cannot in the harvest
    Garner up the richest sheaves,
    Many a grain, both ripe and golden,
    Oft the careless reaper leaves;
    Go and glean among the briars
    Growing rank against the wall,
    For it may be that their shadow
    Hides the heaviest grain of all.

    If you cannot in the conflict
    Prove yourself a soldier true;
    If, where fire and smoke are thickest,
    There's no work for you to do;
    When the battle field is silent,
    You can go with careful tread;
    You can bear away the wounded,
    You can cover up the dead.

    Do not then stand idly waiting
    For some greater work to do;
    Fortune is a lazy goddess,
    She will never come to you;
    Go and toil in any vineyard,
    Do not fear to do and dare.
    If you want a field of labor
    You can find it anywhere.

    For more poems, please visit 13 Life-Changing Short Inspirational Poems!

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