10 Poems About Regret

Be encouraged by these poems about regret. The feeling of regret is one that all of us experience at one time or another in our lives. Regret or remorse or guilt however you want to define it makes us wish we had not done something that we did or we wish we had done something we did not do. The verses here all discuss these feelings.

Short Poems   /   Poems Of Encouragement   /   Poems About Regret


  1. Might Have Been
    Poet: Grantland Rice


    Here's to "The days that might have been";
    Here's to "The life I might have led";
    The fame I might have gathered in--
    The glory ways I might have sped.
    Great "Might Have Been," I drink to you
    Upon a throne where thousands hail--
    And then--there looms another view--
    I also "might have been" in jail.

    O "Land of Might Have Been," we turn
    With aching hearts to where you wait;
    Where crimson fires of glory burn,
    And laurel crowns the guarding gate;
    We may not see across your fields
    The sightless skulls that knew their woe--
    The broken spears--the shattered shields--
    That "might have been" as truly so.

    "Of all sad words of tongue or pen"--
    So wails the poet in his pain--
    The saddest are, "It might have been,"
    And world-wide runs the dull refrain.
    The saddest? Yes--but in the jar
    This thought brings to me with its curse,
    I sometimes think the gladdest are
    "It might have been a blamed sight worse."



  2. To Wish
    Poet: Catherine Pulsifer


    To wish you hadn't done a thing
    Is not a good feeling
    To be filled with remorse about this thing
    Can hold you back from truly living

    You can't go back and change the past
    By doing this you're making mistakes last
    Learn what you can and move on
    Today is the breaking of a new dawn.

    We all fall down at times
    But regret should not be the chime
    Start again this very day
    Don't let yesterday's regret stay.



  3. Facing The Future
    Poet: Anna Shipton


    Is the road very dreary?
    Patience yet.
    Rest will be sweeter if thou art a-weary,
    And after night cometh the morning cheery;
    Then bide a wee and dinna fret.

    The clouds have silver lining,
    Don't forget.
    And though he's hidden, still the sun is shining;
    Courage! instead of tears and vain repining,
    Just bide a wee and dinna fret.

    With toil and cares unending
    Art beset?
    Bethink thee how the storms, from heaven descending,
    Snap the stiff oak, but spare the willow bending,
    And bide a wee and dinna fret.

    Grief sharper sting doth borrow
    From regret;
    But yesterday is gone, and shall its sorrow
    Unfit us for the present and the morrow?
    Nay; bide a wee and dinna fret.

    An over-anxious brooding
    Doth beget
    A host of fears and fantasies deluding;
    Then, brother, lest these torments be intruding,
    Just bide a wee and dinna fret.



  4. May We So Live
    by O. Howard Perkins


    May we soon learn,
    That if we would make the day happy and worthwhile,
    We must not seek our own pleasure and good,
    But that of our brethren.

    May we so live that when
    The night shadows are again upon us,
    There shall be no cause
    For shame or regret.



  5. The Other Fellow
    Poet: Edgar A. Guest


    Whose luck is better far than ours?
    The other fellow's.
    Whose road seems always lined with flowers?
    The other fellow's.
    Who is the man who seems to get
    Most joy in life, with least regret,
    Who always seems to win his bet?
    The other fellow.

    Who fills the place we think we'd like?
    The other fellow.
    Whom does good fortune always strike?
    The other fellow.
    Whom do we envy, day by day?
    Who has more time than we to play?
    Who is it, when we mourn, seems gay?
    The other fellow.

    Who seems to miss the thorns we find?
    The other fellow.
    Who seems to leave us all behind?
    The other fellow.
    Who never seems to feel the woe,
    The anguish and the pain we know?
    Who gets the best seats at the show?
    The other fellow.

    And yet, my friend, who envies you?
    The other fellow.
    Who thinks he gathers only rue?
    The other fellow.
    Who sighs because he thinks that he
    Would infinitely happier he,
    If he could be like you or me?
    The other fellow.



  6. Night
    Poet: E. K. Linton


    To thee, as to some silent forest stream,
    I come, O night, to cleanse me from the day;
    From all its restless hours, which neath the sway
    Of savage sunlight quiver and dance and gleam
    In strange delight; and yet, O night, I deem
    Thy depth and darkness and the dim delay
    Of thy slow waters sweeter far away
    With quietude, than the strong day's bright dream.

    Close o'er my head with silence and the chill
    Grasp of sweet waters, that no fear or fret
    Of glamorous day may linger, or regret
    Sully my soul ere it lies calm and still.
    Enfold me. Darkness, that I may forget
    All the sad toil of Life's perpetual hill.



  7. Weight Of Thought
    Poet: Byran W. Procter


    Some weight of thought, though loth,
    On thee he leaves;
    Some lines of care round both
    Perhaps he weaves;
    Some fears - a soft regret
    For joys scarce known;
    Sweet looks we half forget;
    All else is flown.

    Ah! with what thankless heart
    I mourn and sing!
    Look where our children start,
    Like sudden Spring!
    With tongues all sweet and low,
    Like a pleasant rhyme,
    They tell how much I owe
    To thee and Time!



  8. Do Not Wait
    Poet: Lumilla Claire Clark


    Are there duties left undone?
    Are there laurels to be won?
    While the new year has begun,
    Do not wait.

    Is there someone's heart to cheer?
    Have you made life's road less drear?
    You've a chance in this new year.
    Do not wait.

    Have you left life's pages wet?
    With the tears of some regret?
    You've a few bright pages yet.
    Do not wait.

    Fill them full of life's that true,
    Scatter smiles when days look blue,
    They'll reflect more light to you.
    Do not wait.

    Are your records just as bright
    As you wish they were to-night?
    You can make them nearer right.
    Do not wait.



  9. Regret
    Poet: Unknown


    If only we had loved them more,
    Our lost, whom love can never reach;
    Who thrill not at our tenderest speech,
    Nor answer, though our hearts implore!

    If only for one little day, -
    One day of days, - they could return,
    How would our grateful spirits yearn
    To lavish treasures on their way!

    Our feet to serve them, ah, how swift!
    Our hands how gentle! and our eyes
    How clear to see, should shadows rise,
    Or griefs their perfect gladness rift!

    Too late! come back no vanished hours;
    But, living and beloved, there still
    Remain sweet friends. Be ours the will
    To strew their paths with thornless flowers!



  10. The Better Way
    Poet: Samuel Henry Longley


    Do you think you missed a step
    In your walk of yesterday?
    Do you think you failed to score
    In the game you had to play?

    Did you fail to speak a word
    That would cheer a troubled soul?
    Did you miss the chance to smile
    When 'twould make a bruised heart whole?

    Let it make you strive the harder
    In the work the morrow brings
    Just to make your fellows brighter
    With the song your own heart sings.

    Let it make your hand more eager
    To uplift the man who falls.
    Let your heart o'erflow with courage
    For the fainting one who calls.

    Do not let the former failure
    Check the loving help today,
    Rather let it urge you onward
    To a kinder, gentler way.


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