Lyric poems have a musical rhythm, and their topics often explore strong emotions. You can usually tell a lyric poem by its musicality, if you can imagine singing it, then it's probably lyric. In ancient Greece and Rome, lyric poems were in fact sung to the strums of an accompanying lyre. It's the word lyre, in fact, that is at the root of lyric; the Greek lyrikos means "singing to the lyre."

Crossing the Street

I stood beside life's thoroughfare And watched the busy traffic there, All swiftly passing to and from Each in his self-made way to go. Across the crowded road I spied The lights of home on yonder side: But how to cross? I dare not try, A timid little one as I. I could not take a single step, For evil's tide would soon have swept Me down its path to go astray, A frightened child who lost the way; And yet, the rush of traffic there Made me to tremble, near despair. I could not linger there for long, The teeming mass was far too strong; They reached to grasp me, pull me in Stampeding down the road of sin. I needed one who'd crossed before To guide me to the other shore. I cried out in my loneliness For help to cross the wide abyss; I had to find a faithful friend To walk with me to journey's end. I felt a hand enclose my own, Although I thought I was alone; Beside me stood the One I knew Who would prove strong to see me through. He's guiding me and all who dare To walk with Him life's thoroughfare. The path He takes crosses the tide That sweeps the road from side to side. It's hard to walk against the press Of self and all unrighteousness, But Jesus works to help me stay Upon the straight and narrow way. Someday, together, we will stand, Who've walked with Jesus. hand in hand, Upon that other happy shore Where sin and sorrow are no more. We'll know in fullness then the rest That children find on mother's breast When weary, frightened little feet Have finally, safely crossed the street.