EPIC POEMS

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To A Bird At Dawn

O bird that somewhere yonder sings,
In the dim hour 'twixt dreams and dawn,
Lone in the hush of sleeping things,
In some sky sanctuary withdrawn;
.....

Richard Le Gallienne
Humanitad

It is full winter now: the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn's gaudy livery whose gold
.....
Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde
Open House

My secrets cry aloud.
I have no need for tongue.
My heart keeps open house,
My doors are widely swung.
.....

Theodore Roethke
Epic

I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided, who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man's land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
.....

Patrick Kavanagh
Brahmā, Vişņu, Śiva

I THE DARK

In a worldless timeless lightless great emptiness
Four-faced Brahma broods.
.....

Rabindranath Tagore
Arms And The Man. - Prologue.

Full-burnished through the long-revolving years
The ploughshare of a Century to-day
Runs peaceful furrows where a crop of Spears
Once stood in War's array.
.....

James Barron Hope
Thousand Star Hotel, Hanoi

I.

Over the road from the three star Galaxy Hotel is our hotel,
the old park on Phan Dinh Phung Street,
.....

S. K. Kelen
Scenes

Observe ye not yon high cliff's brow,
Up which a wanderer clambers slow,
‘T is by a hoary ruin crown'd,
Which rocks when shrill winds whistle round;
.....
George Borrow

George Borrow
Captain Craig Ii

Yet that ride had an end, as all rides have;
And the days coming after took the road
That all days take,-though never one of them
Went by but I got some good thought of it
.....
Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson
Poetry

THE POETRY OF CHAUCER

Grey with all honours of age! but fresh-featured and ruddy
As dawn when the drowsy farm-yard has thrice heard Chaunticlere.
.....
George Meredith

George Meredith
At Sea

When the investing darkness growls,
And deep reverberates to deep;
When keyhole whines and chimney howls,
And all the roofs and windows weep;
.....

Ada Cambridge
The Gardener Xxxviii: My Love, Once Upon A Time

My love, once upon a time your poet
launched a great epic in his mind.
Alas, I was not careful, and it struck
your ringing anklets and came to
.....

Rabindranath Tagore
Life

What know we of the dead, who say these things,
Or of the life in death below the mould--
What of the mystic laws that rule the old
Grey realms beyond our poor imaginings
.....

Victor James Daley
Rizpah

SAID one who led the spears of swarthy Gad,
To Jesseâ??s mighty son: â??My Lord, O King,
I, halting hard by Gibeonâ??s bleak-blown hill
Three nightfalls past, saw dark-eyed Rizpah, clad
.....

Henry Kendall
John Horace Burleson

I won the prize essay at school
Here in the village,
And published a novel before I was twenty-five.
I went to the city for themes and to enrich my art;
.....
Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters
The Epic Stars

The heroic stars spending themselves,
Coining their very flesh into bullets for the lost battle,
They must burn out at length like used candles;
And Mother Night will weep in her triumph, taking home her heroes.
.....

Robinson Jeffers
Don Juan: Canto The First

I
I want a hero: an uncommon want,
When every year and month sends forth a new one,
Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant,
.....

George Gordon Byron
Adventure Of A Poet

As I was walking down the street
A week ago,
Near Henderson's I chanced to meet
A man I know.
.....

Robert Fuller Murray
English Bards And Scotch Reviewers (excerpt)

Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days
Ignoble themes obtain'd mistaken praise,
When sense and wit with poesy allied,
No fabl'd graces, flourish'd side by side;
.....

George Gordon Byron
Pisidice

The incident is from the Love Stories of Parthenius, who
preserved fragments of a lost epic on the expedition of
Achilles against Lesbos, an island allied with Troy.

.....
Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang
The Epic Of The Lion

A Lion in his jaws caught up a child--
Not harming it--and to the woodland, wild
With secret streams and lairs, bore off his prey--
The beast, as one might cull a bud in May.
.....

Victor Marie Hugo
The Ladle. A Tale

The Sceptics think 'twas long ago
Since gods came down
incognito

.....
Matthew Prior

Matthew Prior
Imitations Of Horace: The First Epistle Of The Second Book

Ne Rubeam, Pingui donatus Munere
(Horace, Epistles II.i.267)
While you, great patron of mankind, sustain
The balanc'd world, and open all the main;
.....
Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope
The Woman

Go sleep, my sweetie-rest-rest!
Oh soft little hand on mother's breast!
Oh soft little lips-the din's mos' gone-
Over and done, my dearie one!
.....
Harriet Monroe

Harriet Monroe
Don Juan: Canto The Sixteenth

The antique Persians taught three useful things,
To draw the bow, to ride, and speak the truth.
This was the mode of Cyrus, best of kings--
A mode adopted since by modern youth.
.....

George Gordon Byron
Don Juan: Canto The Eighth

The town was taken--whether he might yield
Himself or bastion, little matter'd now:
His stubborn valour was no future shield.
Ismail's no more! The Crescent's silver bow
.....

George Gordon Byron
English Bards And Scotch Reviewers: A Satire

'I had rather be a kitten, and cry mew!
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers'~Shakespeare

'Such shameless bards we have; and yet 'tis true,
.....

George Gordon Byron
A Familiar Letter

YES, write, if you want to, there's nothing like trying;
Who knows what a treasure your casket may hold?
I'll show you that rhyming's as easy as lying,
If you'll listen to me while the art I unfold.
.....

Oliver Wendell Holmes
L'amitié, Est L'amour Sans Ailes

Why should my anxious breast repine,
Because my youth is fled?
Days of delight may still be mine;
Affection is not dead.
.....
George Gordon Lord Byron

George Gordon Lord Byron
The Spirit Of Discovery By Sea: A Descriptive And Historical Poem. - Introduction.[1]

I need not perhaps inform the reader, that I had before written a Canto on the subject of this poem; but I was dissatisfied with the metre, and felt the necessity of some connecting idea that might give it a degree of unity and coherence.

This difficulty I considered as almost inseparable from the subject; I therefore relinquished the design of making an extended poem on events, which, though highly interesting and poetical, were too unconnected with each other to unite properly in one regular whole. But on being kindly permitted to peruse the sheets of Mr Clarke's valuable work on the History of Navigation, I conceived (without supposing historically with him that all ideas of navigation were derived from the ark of Noah) that I might adopt the circumstance poetically, as capable of furnishing an unity of design; besides which, it had the advantage of giving a more serious cast and character to the whole.

.....

William Lisle Bowles
Kathleen

It was the steamer Alice May that sailed the Yukon foam.
And touched in every river camp from Dawson down to Nome.
It was her builder, owner, pilot, Captain Silas Geer,
Who took her through the angry ice, the last boat of the year;
.....

Robert William Service
Burns

ON RECEIVING A SPRIG OF HEATHER IN BLOSSOM.

No more these simple flowers belong
To Scottish maid and lover;
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Kathleen

It was the steamer Alice May that sailed the Yukon foam.
And touched in every river camp from Dawson down to Nome.
It was her builder, owner, pilot, Captain Silas Geer,
Who took her through the angry ice, the last boat of the year;
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
On The Pleasures Of College Life

With tears I leave these academic bowers,
And cease to cull the scientific flowers;
With tears I hail the fair succeeding train,
And take my exit with a breast of pain.
.....

George Moses Horton
To Charles Cowden Clarke

Oft have you seen a swan superbly frowning,
And with proud breast his own white shadow crowning;
He slants his neck beneath the waters bright
So silently, it seems a beam of light
.....
John Keats

John Keats
Don Juan: Dedication

Difficile est proprie communia dicere
HOR. Epist. ad PisonI
Bob Southey! You're a poet--Poet-laureate,
And representative of all the race;
.....

George Gordon Byron
The Ladle. A Tale

The Sceptics think 'twas long ago
Since gods came down incognito
To see who were their friends or foes,
And how our actions fell or rose;
.....
Matthew Prior

Matthew Prior
Ode To A Child

BRIGHT as a morn of spring,
That jubilates along the earth,
With clouds, and winds, and flowers rejoicing,
And all the creatures that on wing
.....

Mathilde Blind
Poems - The New Edition - Preface

In two small volumes of Poems, published anonymously, one in 1849, the other in 1852, many of the Poems which compose the present volume have already appeared. The rest are now published for the first time.

I have, in the present collection, omitted the Poem from which the volume published in 1852 took its title. I have done so, not because the subject of it was a Sicilian Greek born between two and three thousand years ago, although many persons would think this a sufficient reason. Neither have I done so because I had, in my own opinion, failed in the delineation which I intended to effect. I intended to delineate the feelings of one of the last of the Greek religious philosophers, one of the family of Orpheus and Musaeus, having survived his fellows, living on into a time when the habits of Greek thought and feeling had begun fast to change, character to dwindle, the influence of the Sophists to prevail. Into the feelings of a man so situated there entered much that we are accustomed to consider as exclusively modern; how much, the fragments of Empedocles himself which remain to us are sufficient at least to indicate. What those who are familiar only with the great monuments of early Greek genius suppose to be its exclusive characteristics, have disappeared; the calm, the cheerfulness, the disinterested objectivity have disappeared: the dialogue of the mind with itself has commenced; modern problems have presented themselves; we hear already the doubts, we witness the discouragement, of Hamlet and of Faust.

.....
Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold
The Princess (part Ii)

At break of day the College Portress came:
She brought us Academic silks, in hue
The lilac, with a silken hood to each,
And zoned with gold; and now when these were on,
.....
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Dunciad: Book I

The Mighty Mother, and her son who brings
The Smithfield muses to the ear of kings,
I sing. Say you, her instruments the great!
Called to this work by Dulness, Jove, and Fate;
.....
Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope
Pippa Passes: Part I: Morning

Scene. Up the Hill-side, inside the Shrub-house. Luca's wife, Ottima, and her paramour, the German Sebald.


Sebald
.....
Robert Browning

Robert Browning
The Spooniad

[The late Mr. Jonathan Swift Somers, laureate of Spoon
River, planned The Spooniad as an epic in twenty-four books,
but unfortunately did not live to complete even the first
book. The fragment was found among his papers by William
.....
Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters
The Statue Of Victor Hugo

I.

Since in Athens God stood plain for adoration,
Since the sun beheld his likeness reared in stone,
.....
Algernon Charles Swinburne

Algernon Charles Swinburne
A Letter To Monsieur Boileau Despreaux, Occasioned By The Victory At Blenheim

Since hired for life, thy servile Muse must sing
Successive conquests and a glorious King;
Must of a man immortal vainly boast,
And bring him laurels whatsoe'er they cost,
.....
Matthew Prior

Matthew Prior
National Nomenclature - Prose

To the Editor of the Knickerbocker.

SIR: I am somewhat of the same way of thinking, in regard to names, with that profound philosopher, Mr. Shandy, the elder, who maintained that some inspired high thoughts and heroic aims, while others entailed irretrievable meanness and vulgarity; insomuch that a man might sink under the insignificance of his name, and be absolutely "Nicodemused into nothing." I have ever, therefore, thought it a great hardship for a man to be obliged to struggle through life with some ridiculous or ignoble Christian name, as it is too often falsely called, inflicted on him in infancy, when he could not choose for himself; and would give him free liberty to change it for one more to his taste, when he had arrived at years of discretion.

.....

Washington Irving
The Prophecy Of Famine

A SCOTS PASTORAL INSCRIBED TO JOHN WILKES, ESQ.

Nos patriam fugimus.--VIRGIL.

.....

Charles Churchill
The Dunciad: Book I.

The Mighty Mother, and her son who brings
The Smithfield muses to the ear of kings,
I sing. Say you, her instruments the great!
Called to this work by Dulness, Jove, and Fate;
.....
Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope
English Bards And Scotch Reviewers: A Satire

'I had rather be a kitten, and cry mew!
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers'~Shakespeare

'Such shameless bards we have; and yet 'tis true,
.....

George Gordon Byron