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Best Famous Sophocles Poems

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

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Written by Matthew Arnold |

Dover Beach

The sea is calm to-night.<br>

The tide is full, the moon lies fair

Upon the straits; on the French coast the light

Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,

Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.<br>

Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!

Only, from the long line of spray

Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,

Listen! you hear the grating roar

Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,

At their return, up the high strand,

Begin, and cease, and then again begin,

With tremulous cadence slow, and bring

The eternal note of sadness in.<br>

Sophocles long ago

Heard it on the {AE}gean, and it brought

Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow

Of human misery; we

Find also in the sound a thought,

Hearing it by this distant northern sea.<br>

The Sea of Faith

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.<br>

But now I only hear

Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,

Retreating, to the breath

Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear

And naked shingles of the world.<br>

Ah, love, let us be true

To one another! for the world, which seems

To lie before us like a land of dreams,

So various, so beautiful, so new,

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;

And we are here as on a darkling plain

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

Where ignorant armies clash by night.<br> 

Written by Anthony Hecht |

The Dover Bitch: A Criticism Of Life

 So there stood Matthew Arnold and this girl
With the cliffs of England crumbling away behind them,
And he said to her, "Try to be true to me,
And I'll do the same for you, for things are bad
All over, etc.<br>, etc.<br>"
Well now, I knew this girl.<br> It's true she had read
Sophocles in a fairly good translation
And caught that bitter allusion to the sea,
But all the time he was talking she had in mind
the notion of what his whiskers would feel like
On the back of her neck.<br> She told me later on
That after a while she got to looking out
At the lights across the channel, and really felt sad,
Thinking of all the wine and enormous beds
And blandishments in French and the perfumes.<br>
And then she got really angry.<br> To have been brought
All the way down from London, and then be addressed
As sort of a mournful cosmic last resort
Is really tough on a girl, and she was pretty.<br>
Anyway, she watched him pace the room
and finger his watch-chain and seem to sweat a bit,
And then she said one or two unprintable things.<br>
But you mustn't judge her by that.<br> What I mean to say is,
She's really all right.<br> I still see her once in a while
And she always treats me right.<br> We have a drink
And I give her a good time, and perhaps it's a year
Before I see her again, but there she is,
Running to fat, but dependable as they come,
And sometimes I bring her a bottle of Nuit d'Amour.<br> 

[Ed.<br> note: See Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach"]

Written by Emily Dickinson |

A precious -- mouldering pleasure -- tis

 A precious -- mouldering pleasure -- 'tis --
To meet an Antique Book --
In just the Dress his Century wore --
A privilege -- I think --

His venerable Hand to take --
And warming in our own --
A passage back -- or two -- to make --
To Times when he -- was young --

His quaint opinions -- to inspect --
His thought to ascertain
On Themes concern our mutual mind --
The Literature of Man --

What interested Scholars -- most --
What Competitions ran --
When Plato -- was a Certainty --
And Sophocles -- a Man --

When Sappho -- was a living Girl --
And Beatrice wore
The Gown that Dante -- deified --
Facts Centuries before

He traverses -- familiar --
As One should come to Town --
And tell you all your Dreams -- were true --
He lived -- where Dreams were born --

His presence is Enchantment --
You beg him not to go --
Old Volume shake their Vellum Heads
And tantalize -- just so --

More great poems below...

Written by Thomas Hardy |

An Ancient To Ancients

 Where once we danced, where once we sang, 
The floors are sunken, cobwebs hang, 
And cracks creep; worms have fed upon 
The doors.<br> Yea, sprightlier times were then 
Than now, with harps and tabrets gone, 

Where once we rowed, where once we sailed, 
And damsels took the tiller, veiled 
Against too strong a stare (God wot 
Their fancy, then or anywhen!) 
Upon that shore we are clean forgot, 

We have lost somewhat of that, afar and near, 
The thinning of our ranks each year 
Affords a hint we are nigh undone, 
That shall not be ever again 
The marked of many, loved of one, 

In dance the polka hit our wish, 
The paced quadrille, the spry schottische, 
"Sir Roger.<br>"--And in opera spheres 
The "Girl" (the famed "Bohemian"), 
And "Trovatore" held the ears, 

This season's paintings do not please, 
Like Etty, Mulready, Maclise; 
Throbbing romance had waned and wanned; 
No wizard wields the witching pen 
Of Bulwer, Scott, Dumas, and Sand, 

The bower we shrined to Tennyson, 
Is roof-wrecked; damps there drip upon 
Sagged seats, the creeper-nails are rust, 
The spider is sole denizen; 
Even she who voiced those rhymes is dust, 

We who met sunrise sanguine-souled, 
Are wearing weary.<br> We are old; 
These younger press; we feel our rout 
Is imminent to A?des' den,-- 
That evening shades are stretching out, 

And yet, though ours be failing frames, 
So were some others' history names, 
Who trode their track light-limbed and fast 
As these youth, and not alien 
From enterprise, to their long last, 

Sophocles, Plato, Socrates, 
Pythagoras, Thucydides, 
Herodotus, and Homer,--yea, 
Clement, Augustin, Origen, 
Burnt brightlier towards their setting-day, 

And ye, red-lipped and smooth-browed; list, 
Much is there waits you we have missed; 
Much lore we leave you worth the knowing, 
Much, much has lain outside our ken; 
Nay, rush not: time serves: we are going,