I love narrative poetry for children, like "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" (Eugene Field) and "The Owl and the Pussycat" (Edward Lear). Also for grownups: "The Highwayman" (Alfred Noyes; thank you, Charlotte) and "The Farmer's Bride" (Charlotte Mew). The latter was the Poem of the Week on the Guardian Books blog this week (thank you, Carol Rumens); like "The Highwayman," it is a dark and lovely love poem.
The Farmer's Bride
Three summers since I chose a maid,
Too young maybe - but more's to do
At harvest-time than bide and woo.
When us was wed she turned afraid
Of love and me and all things human;
Like the shut of a winter's day.
Her smile went out, and t'wasn't a woman -
More like a little frightened fay.
One night, in the Fall, she runned away.
"Out 'mong the sheep, her be," they said,
'Should properly have been abed;
But sure enough she wasn't there
Lying awake with her wide brown stare.
So over seven-acre field and up-along across the down
We chased her, flying like a hare
Before our lanterns. To Church-Town
All in a shiver and a scare
We caught her, fetched her home at last
And turned the key upon her, fast.
[Read the rest here.]