Unicorn Poems - a Brown Unicorn Standing on a Magical Bridge by Moonlight
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Unicorn Poems to Inspire You

Unicorns are such noble, magical creatures; It goes without saying they are very poetic too. Today, I’d like to introduce you to some beautiful unicorn poems I found.

Actually, I expected to find more unicorn poems than I did. After all, you would expect unicorns to inspire so many poets, right?

But you can always write your own unicorn poems in addition to the existing ones. Feel free to share your original unicorn poem in the comment section of this post!

The Unicorn

Written by Ella Young

While yet the morning star 
Flamed in the sky 
A unicorn went mincing by 
Whiter far than blossom of the thorn: 
His silver horn 
Glittered as he danced and pranced 
Silver pale in the silver pale morn. 

The folk that saw him, ran away. 
Where he went, so gay, so fleet, 
Star-like lilies at his feet 
Flowered all day, 
Lilies, lilies in a throng, 
And the wind made for him a song: 

But he dared not stay 
Over-long!

“The Unicorn” is a beautiful poem written by an Irish poet and Celtic mythologist Ella Young.

This poem represents the unicorn as a white creature with a silver horn. I find so much joy in this poem. The unicorn dances and prances, and his silver horn glitters.

The people who see the unicorn run away; they are afraid of his sparkling happiness, his magical grace. The unicorn is beyond their understanding.

A Noble Unicorn in Forest

It seems to me the writer of this poem, Ella Young, was very unicorn-like herself. She was an eccentric white-haired lady who wore Druid robes. When she emigrated to United States, she was suspected to suffer from mental illness, because she believed in fairies and other magical creatures.

But wherever she went, everybody loved her. She seemed to be “lighted from within”. When she spoke, everyone listened.

The Unicorn Is Noble

Medieval German folk song

I stood in the Maytime meadows 
By roses circled round 
Where many a fragile blossom 
Was bright upon the ground 

And as though the roses called them 
And their wild hearts understood, 
The little birds were singing 
In the shadows of the wood. 

The nightingale among them 
Sang sweet and loud and long, 
Until a greater voice than hers 
Rang out above her song. 

For suddenly between the crags, 
Along a narrow vale 
The echoes of a hunting horn 
Came clear along the gale. 

The hunter stood beside me 
Who blew that mighty horn, 
I saw that he was hunting 
The noble unicorn. 

The unicorn is noble, 
He keeps him safe and high 
Upon a narrow path and steep 
Climbing to the sky 

And there no man can take him, 
He scorns the hunter's dart 
And only a virgin's magic power 
Shall tame his haughty heart. 

What would be now the state of us 
But for this unicorn 
And what would be the fate of us, 
Poor sinners, lost, forlorn? 

Oh may He lead us on and up, 
Unworthy though we be, 
Into His Father's kingdom 
To dwell eternally.

There is beauty and grace in this medieval German unicorn poem; the beauty of the nature, the singing birds, the glorious unicorn.

In the Middle Ages, unicorns were represented as an allegory of the Christ. This folk song is no exception; the lyrics say “Oh may He lead us on and up, / Unworthy though we be, / Into His Father’s kingdom / To dwell eternally.” This refers to Jesus (the unicorn) leading people to God’s kingdom.

The medieval tales of the unicorn had a pattern: Hunters hunted the unicorn. Only a virgin could tame the unicorn, so a virgin lured the unicorn, so that the hunters could catch the unicorn and take him to the king.

We can find the familiar pattern in this poem. The hunters represent people who killed the Christ, the virgin is virgin Mary, and the unicorn is the Christ, who was taken to the king (the God) to save mankind. This is not my own interpretation; it is a widely known interpretation of the medieval unicorn tales.

How to Celebrate National Unicorn Day - Unicorn Tapestry
A trapped unicorn in medieval unicorn tapestries.

The Lion and the Unicorn

Traditional nursery rhyme

The lion and the unicorn 
were fighting for the crown 
The lion beat the unicorn 
all around the town 
Some gave them white bread 
and some gave them brown 
Some gave them plum cake 
and drummed them out of town

The Lion and the Unicorn” is an old nursery rhyme. The lyrics are about the fight of two kingdoms, England and Scotland. Traditionally, the lion is the symbol of England, while the unicorn is a symbol of Scotland.

Unicorn Poems – Which One Is Your Favorite?

Do you know any other unicorn poems? What is your favorite unicorn poem? If you know a unicorn poem that wasn’t mentioned on this post, feel free to share it in the comment section below!

Also, if you get inspired to write your original unicorn poem, please share it with us in the comment section as well. Have a magical day!

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6 Comments

  1. I loved the poem by Ella Young and her story. I think I like it cause she was seen as Druid like and possibly magical and full of wonder. The poem sparkles with a childlike innocence and joy, that only a true believer could capture. The poem also feels like most mortals fear such purity and joy. Unicorns are portrayed as nature loving, joyful about the simple things in life, living in the moment, swift, and not wanting to reveal too much to just any person. Whispers of and songs of unicorns are now the legends we draw upon. Ella Young must’ve found such joy envisioning her unicorn.🦄❤️

    1. It’s my favorite unicorn poem too! I also found so much joy in Ella Young’s poem, and interpreted that the people in the poem can’t understand the unicorn because he’s too magical and out of this world. 🦄 Thank you for sharing your favorite unicorn poem.

  2. I have enjoyed reading the poems about the unicorns. My favourite one is the The Lion and The Unicorn. To me it represents a scenario whereby there is a situation or person who is deemed to  be the most powerful, yet there is another rival who comes in and changes the course. It also sends a message that whilst others may cheer and give ‘bread’ so that a fight continues the best thing to do is to resolve differences amicably. Because at the end of the day we are all people, just like these two creatures were both animals.

    1. Thank you for your comment and your interpretation of the poem Lion and the unicorn. I never thought of it that way. Your interpretation shows we can find many meanings in poetry (or any art), more than just the original meaning the author intended. 

  3. Hi.

    I’m looking for a poem that was written on a ceramic book my mom made many years ago. I never knew who the author was and I’m wondering if you might be familiar with it.

    Thanks in advance.

    Oh, how in our childlike hearts still we mourn the passing of the unicorn
    A creature unfit for our worlds pace
    Yet wait, for who’s to say
    Perhaps even now in some cool and distant forest shade… (And I forgot the rest.)

    1. Hi Mel,

      Unfortunately I had never heard of that poem before. I tried searching for information on it, but I didn’t manage to find out who the author is. However, it seems this poem can be found on Bruce Coville’s anthology called The Unicorn Treasury – Stories, Poems and Unicorn Lore. Sorry I couldn’t find more information, sounds like a lovely poem.