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Best Famous Homer Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Homer poems. This is a select list of the best famous Homer poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Homer poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Homer poems.

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Written by John Keats | |

On first looking into Chapmans Homer

MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold  

And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; 

Round many western islands have I been 

Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.<br> 

Oft of one wide expanse had I been told 5 

That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne: 

Yet did I never breathe its pure serene 

Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: 

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 

When a new planet swims into his ken; 10 

Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes 

He stared at the Pacific¡ªand all his men 

Look'd at each other with a wild surmise¡ª 

Silent upon a peak in Darien.<br> 


Written by Henry David Thoreau | |

The Summer Rain

 My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read, 
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large 
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed, 
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.<br> 
Plutarch was good, and so was Homer too, 
Our Shakespeare's life were rich to live again, 
What Plutarch read, that was not good nor true, 
Nor Shakespeare's books, unless his books were men.<br> 

Here while I lie beneath this walnut bough, 
What care I for the Greeks or for Troy town, 
If juster battles are enacted now 
Between the ants upon this hummock's crown? 

Bid Homer wait till I the issue learn, 
If red or black the gods will favor most, 
Or yonder Ajax will the phalanx turn, 
Struggling to heave some rock against the host.<br> 

Tell Shakespeare to attend some leisure hour, 
For now I've business with this drop of dew, 
And see you not, the clouds prepare a shower-- 
I'll meet him shortly when the sky is blue.<br> 

This bed of herd's grass and wild oats was spread 
Last year with nicer skill than monarchs use.<br> 
A clover tuft is pillow for my head, 
And violets quite overtop my shoes.<br> 

And now the cordial clouds have shut all in, 
And gently swells the wind to say all's well; 
The scattered drops are falling fast and thin, 
Some in the pool, some in the flower-bell.<br> 

I am well drenched upon my bed of oats; 
But see that globe come rolling down its stem, 
Now like a lonely planet there it floats, 
And now it sinks into my garment's hem.<br> 

Drip drip the trees for all the country round, 
And richness rare distills from every bough; 
The wind alone it is makes every sound, 
Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.<br> 

For shame the sun will never show himself, 
Who could not with his beams e'er melt me so; 
My dripping locks--they would become an elf, 
Who in a beaded coat does gayly go.<br>


Written by Petrarch | |

SONNET CLIII.

<H2>SONNET CLIII.<br></H2> <H3><I>Se Virgilio ed Omero avessin visto.<br></I></H3> <H4>THE MOST FAMOUS POETS OF ANTIQUITY WOULD HAVE SUNG HER ONLY, HAD THEY SEEN HER.<br></H4> <DIV class=poem> <DIV class=stanza><SPAN class=i2><SPAN class=smcap>Had</SPAN> tuneful Maro seen, and Homer old,<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>The living sun which here mine eyes behold,<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>The best powers they had join'd of either lyre,<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>Sweetness and strength, that fame she might acquire;<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>Unsung had been, with vex'd Æneas, then<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>Achilles and Ulysses, godlike men,<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>And for nigh sixty years who ruled so well<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>The world; and who before Ægysthus fell;<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>Nay, that old flower of virtues and of arms,<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>As this new flower of chastity and charms,<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>A rival star, had scarce such radiance flung.<br></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>In rugged verse him honour'd Ennius sung,<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>I her in mine.<br> Grant, Heaven! on my poor lays<BR></SPAN><SPAN class=i0>She frown not, nor disdain my humble praise.<br></SPAN></DIV> <DIV class=stanza><SPAN class=iname>Anon.<br>


More great poems below...

Written by Lizette Woodworth Reese | |

Tears

 When I consider Life and its few years --
A wisp of fog betwixt us and the sun;
A call to battle, and the battle done
Ere the last echo dies within our ears;
A rose choked in the grass; an hour of fears;
The gusts that past a darkening shore do beat;
The burst of music down an unlistening street, --
I wonder at the idleness of tears.<br>
Ye old, old dead, and ye of yesternight,
Chieftains, and bards, and keepers of the sheep,
By every cup of sorrow that you had,
Loose me from tears, and make me see aright
How each hath back what once he stayed to weep:
Homer his sight, David his little lad!


Written by Phillis Wheatley | |

To Mæcenas

 Mæcenas, you, beneath the myrtle shade,
Read o'er what poets sung, and shepherds play'd.<br>
What felt those poets but you feel the same?
Does not your soul possess the sacred flame?
Their noble strains your equal genius shares
In softer language, and diviner airs.<br>

 While Homer paints, lo! circumfus'd in air,
Celestial Gods in mortal forms appear;
Swift as they move hear each recess rebound, 
Heav'n quakes, earth trembles, and the shores resound.<br>
Great Sire of verse, before my mortal eyes,
The lightnings blaze across the vaulted skies,
And, as the thunder shakes the heav'nly plains,
A deep felt horror thrills through all my veins.<br>
When gentler strains demand thy graceful song,
The length'ning line moves languishing along.<br>
When great Patroclus courts Achilles' aid,
The grateful tribute of my tears is paid;
Prone on the shore he feels the pangs of love, 
And stern Pelides tend'rest passions move.<br>

 Great Maro's strain in heav'nly numbers flows,
The Nine inspire, and all the bosom glows.<br>
O could I rival thine and Virgil's page,
Or claim the Muses with the Mantuan Sage;
Soon the same beauties should my mind adorn,
And the same ardors in my soul should burn:
Then should my song in bolder notes arise,
And all my numbers pleasingly surprise;
But here I sit, and mourn a grov'ling mind, 
That fain would mount, and ride upon the wind.<br>

 Not you, my friend, these plaintive strains become,
Not you, whose bosom is the Muses home;
When they from tow'ring Helicon retire,
They fan in you the bright immortal fire,
But I less happy, cannot raise the song,
The fault'ring music dies upon my tongue.<br>

 The happier Terence all the choir inspir'd,
His soul replenish'd, and his bosom fir'd;
But say, ye Muses, why this partial grace,
To one alone of Afric's sable race;
>From age to age transmitting thus his name
With the first glory in the rolls of fame?

 Thy virtues, great Mæcenas! shall be sung
In praise of him, from whom those virtues sprung:
While blooming wreaths around thy temples spread,
I'll snatch a laurel from thine honour'd head,
While you indulgent smile upon the deed.<br>

 As long as Thames in streams majestic flows,
Or Naiads in their oozy beds repose
While Phoebus reigns above the starry train
While bright Aurora purples o'er the main,
So long, great Sir, the muse thy praise shall sing,
So long thy praise shal' make Parnassus ring:
Then grant, Mæcenas, thy paternal rays,
Hear me propitious, and defend my lays.<br>


Written by Helen Hunt Jackson | |

Songs of Battle

 Old as the world--no other things so old; 
Nay, older than the world, else, how had sprung 
Such lusty strength in them when earth was young?-- 
Stand valor and its passion hot and bold, 
Insatiate of battle.<br> How, else, told 
Blind men, born blind, that red was fitting tongue 
Mute, eloquent, to show how trumpets rung 
When armies charged adn battle-flags unfurled? 
Who sings of valor speaks for life, for death, 
Beyond all death, and long as life is life, 
in rippled waves the eternal air hs breath 
Eternal bears to stir all noble strife.<br> 
Dead Homer from his lost and vanished grave 
Keeps battle glorious still and soldiers brave.<br>


Written by Friedrich von Schiller | |

The Iliad

 Tear forever the garland of Homer, and number the fathers
Of the immortal work, that through all time will survive!
Yet it has but one mother, and bears that mother's own feature,
'Tis thy features it bears,--Nature,--thy features eterne!


Written by Henry Van Dyke | |

The Glory of Ships

 The glory of ships is an old, old song,
since the days when the sea-rovers ran 
In their open boats through the roaring surf,
and the spread of the world began; 
The glory of ships is a light on the sea,
and a star in the story of man.<br> 

When Homer sang of the galleys of Greece
that conquered the Trojan shore,
And Solomon lauded the barks of Tyre that
brought great wealth to his door, 
'Twas little they knew, those ancient men,
what would come of the sail and the oar.<br> 

The Greek ships rescued the West from the East,
when they harried the Persians home; 
And the Roman ships were the wings of strength
that bore up the empire, Rome;
And the ships of Spain found a wide new world,
far over the fields of foam.<br> 

Then the tribes of courage at last saw clear
that the ocean was not a bound,
But a broad highway, and a challenge to seek
for treasure as yet unfound;
So the fearless ships fared forth to the search,
in joy that the globe was round.<br> 

Their hulls were heightened, their sails spread out,
they grew with the growth of their quest; 
They opened the secret doors of the East,
and the golden gates of the West; 
And many a city of high renown
was proud of a ship on its crest.<br> 

The fleets of England and Holland and France
were at strife with each other and Spain; 
And battle and storm sent a myriad ships
to sleep in the depths of the main; 
But the seafaring spirit could never be drowned,
and it filled up the fleets again.<br> 

They greatened and grew, with the aid of steam,
to a wonderful, vast array,
That carries the thoughts and the traffic of men
into every harbor and bay;
And now in the world-wide work of the ships
'tis England that leads the way.<br> 

O well for the leading that follows the law
of a common right on the sea!
But ill for the leader who tries to hold
what belongs to mankind in fee!
The way of the ships is an open way,
and the ocean must ever be free! 

Remember, O first of the maritime folk,
how the rise of your greatness began.<br> 
It will live if you safeguard the round-the-world road
from the shame of a selfish ban;
For the glory of ships is a light on the sea,
and a star in the story of man!


Written by Ogden Nash | |

Very Like a Whale

 One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and
metaphor.<br>
Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts,
Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to
go out of their way to say that it is like something else.<br>
What does it mean when we are told
That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold?
In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience
To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of
Assyrians.<br>
However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and
thus hinder longevity.<br>
We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.<br>
Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were
gleaming in purple and gold,
Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a
wold on the fold?
In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy
there are great many things.<br>
But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple
and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.<br>
No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was
actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof;
Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red
mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof Woof?
Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say,
at the very most,
Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian
cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.<br>
But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he
had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them,
With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers
to people they say Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of
wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them.<br>
That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets,
from Homer to Tennyson;
They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison,
And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket
after a winter storm.<br>
Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of
snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical
blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm,
And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly
What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.<br>


Written by Alexander Pushkin | |

To Gnedich

 With Homer you conversed alone for days and nights,
Our waiting hours were passing slowly,
And shining you came down from the mysterious heights
And brought to us your tablets holy -
So? in the wilderness, beneath a tent, you found
Us, feasting mad in empty gaiety,
Singing our savage songs and galloping around
Some newly hand-created deity.<br>
We grew confused, aloof from your good rays hid we.<br>
Then, seized of wrath and desolation,
Have you, O prophet, cursed your mindless family And smashed your tablets in frustration?
No, you have cursed us not.<br> From heights you disappear
Into the shade of little valleys;
You love the heavens' crash, but also wish to hear
Bees humming over red azaleas.<br>
Such is the honest bard.<br> With passion he laments
At solemn fairs of Melpomena -
To smile upon the crowd's plebeian merriments,
The liberties of coarse arena.<br>
Now Rome is calling him, now majesties of Troy,
Now elder Ossian's craggy gravels -
And in the meantime he will hear with childish joy
Of Czar Sultan's heroic travels.<br>


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

Sonnet Suggested By Homer Chaucer Shakespeare Edgar Allan Poe Paul Vakzy James Joyce Et Al.

 Let me not, ever, to the marriage in Cana
Of Galilee admit the slightest sentiment
Of doubt about the astonishing and sustaining manna
Of chance and choice to throw a shadow's element
Of disbelief in truth -- Love is not love
Nor is the love of love its truth in consciousness
If it can be made hesitant by any crow or dove or 
 seeming angel or demon from above or from below
Or made more than it is knows itself to be by the authority
 of any ministry of love.<br>

O no -- it is the choice of chances and the chancing of 
 all choice -- the wine
which was the water may be sickening, unsatisfying or
 sour
A new barbiturate drawn from the fattest flower
That prospers green on Lethe's shore.<br> For every hour
Denies or once again affirms the vow and the ultimate 
 tower
Of aspiration which made Ulysses toil so far away from
 home
And then, for years, strive against every wanton desire,
 sea and fire, to return across the.<br>
 ever-threatening seas
A journey forever far beyond all the vivid eloquence 
 of every poet and all poetry.<br>


Written by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Petit The Poet

 Seeds in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick,
Tick, tick, tick, like mites in a quarrel--
Faint iambics that the full breeze wakens--
But the pine tree makes a symphony thereof.<br>
Triolets, villanelles, rondels, rondeaus,
Ballades by the score with the same old thought:
The snows and the roses of yesterday are vanished;
And what is love but a rose that fades?
Life all around me here in the village:
Tragedy, comedy, valor and truth,
Courage, constancy, heroism, failure--
All in the loom, and oh what patterns!
Woodlands, meadows, streams and rivers--
Blind to all of it all my life long.<br>
Triolets, villanelles, rondels, rondeaus,
Seeds in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick,
Tick, tick, tick, what little iambics,
While Homer and Whitman roared in the pines?


Written by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Homer Clapp

 Often Aner Clute at the gate
Refused me the parting kiss,
Saying we should be engaged before that;
And just with a distant clasp of the hand
She bade me good-night, as I brought her home
From the skating rink or the revival.<br>
No sooner did my departing footsteps die away
Than Lucius Atherton,
(So I learned when Aner went to Peoria)
Stole in at her window, or took her riding
Behind his spanking team of bays
Into the country.<br>
The shock of it made me settle down,
And I put all the money I got from my father's estate
Into the canning factory, to get the job
Of head accountant, and lost it all.<br>
And then I knew I was one of Life's fools,
Whom only death would treat as the equal
Of other men, making me feel like a man.<br>


Written by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Gustav Richter

 After a long day of work in my hot-houses
Sleep was sweet, but if you sleep on your left side
Your dreams may be abruptly ended.<br>
I was among my flowers where some one
Seemed to be raising them on trial,
As if after-while to be transplanted
To a larger garden of freer air.<br>
And I was disembodied vision
Amid a light, as it were the sun
Had floated in and touched the roof of glass
Like a toy balloon and softly bursted,
And etherealized in golden air.<br>
And all was silence, except the splendor
Was immanent with thought as clear
As a speaking voice, and I, as thought,
Could hear a Presence think as he walked
Between the boxes pinching off leaves,
Looking for bugs and noting values,
With an eye that saw it all: --
"Homer, oh yes! Pericles, good.<br>
Caesar Borgia, what shall be done with it?
Dante, too much manure, perhaps.<br>
Napoleon, leave him awhile as yet.<br>
Shelley, more soil.<br> Shakespeare, needs spraying --"
Clouds, eh! --


Written by Robert William Service | |

Shakespeare And Cervantes

 Obit 23rd April 1616

Is it not strange that on this common date,
Two titans of their age, aye of all Time,
Together should renounce this mortal state,
And rise like gods, unsullied and sublime?
Should mutually render up the ghost,
And hand n hand join Jove's celestial host?

What wondrous welcome from the scribes on high!
Homer and Virgil would be waiting there;
Plato and Aristotle standing nigh;
Petrarch and Dante greet the peerless pair:
And as in harmony they make their bow,
Horace might quip: "Great timing, you'll allow.<br>"

Imagine this transcendant team arrive
At some hilarious banquet of the gods!
Their nations battled when they were alive,
And they were bitter foes - but what's the odd?
Actor and soldier, happy hand in hand,
By death close-linked, like loving brothers stand.<br>

But how diverse! Our Will had gold and gear,
Chattels and land, the starshine of success;
The bleak Castilian fought with casque and spear,
Passing his life in prisons - more or less.<br>
The Bard of Avon was accounted rich;
Cervantes often bedded in a ditch.<br>

Yet when I slough this flesh, if I could meet
By sweet, fantastic fate one of these two,
In languorous Elysian retreat,
Which would I choose? Fair reader, which would you?
Well, though our William more divinely wrote,
By gad! the lousy Spaniard has my vote.<br>