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Best Famous Horror Poems

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

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Written by Edgar Allan Poe | |

The Conqueror Worm

Lo! 't is a gala night

Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng bewinged bedight

In veils and drowned in tears 
Sit in a theatre to see

A play of hopes and fears 
While the orchestra breathes fitfully

The music of the spheres.
Mimes in the form of God on high Mutter and mumble low And hither and thither fly - Mere puppets they who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro Flapping from out their Condor wings Invisible Woe! That motley drama! - oh be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased for evermore By a crowd that seize it not Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot And much of Madness and more of Sin And Horror the soul of the plot.
But see amid the mimic rout A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes! - it writhes! - with mortal pangs The mimes become its food And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued.
Out - out are the lights - out all! And over each quivering form The curtain a funeral pall Comes down with the rush of a storm And the angels all pallid and wan Uprising unveiling affirm That the play is the tragedy "Man" And its hero the Conqueror Worm.


Written by Siegfried Sassoon | |

Haunted

EVENING was in the wood, louring with storm.
A time of drought had sucked the weedy pool And baked the channels; birds had done with song.
Thirst was a dream of fountains in the moon, Or willow-music blown across the water 5 Leisurely sliding on by weir and mill.
Uneasy was the man who wandered, brooding, His face a little whiter than the dusk.
A drone of sultry wings flicker¡¯d in his head.
The end of sunset burning thro¡¯ the boughs 10 Died in a smear of red; exhausted hours Cumber¡¯d, and ugly sorrows hemmed him in.
He thought: ¡®Somewhere there¡¯s thunder,¡¯ as he strove To shake off dread; he dared not look behind him, But stood, the sweat of horror on his face.
15 He blunder¡¯d down a path, trampling on thistles, In sudden race to leave the ghostly trees.
And: ¡®Soon I¡¯ll be in open fields,¡¯ he thought, And half remembered starlight on the meadows, Scent of mown grass and voices of tired men, 20 Fading along the field-paths; home and sleep And cool-swept upland spaces, whispering leaves, And far off the long churring night-jar¡¯s note.
But something in the wood, trying to daunt him, Led him confused in circles through the thicket.
25 He was forgetting his old wretched folly, And freedom was his need; his throat was choking.
Barbed brambles gripped and clawed him round his legs, And he floundered over snags and hidden stumps.
Mumbling: ¡®I will get out! I must get out!¡¯ 30 Butting and thrusting up the baffling gloom, Pausing to listen in a space ¡¯twixt thorns, He peers around with peering, frantic eyes.
An evil creature in the twilight looping, Flapped blindly in his face.
Beating it off, 35 He screeched in terror, and straightway something clambered Heavily from an oak, and dropped, bent double, To shamble at him zigzag, squat and bestial.
Headlong he charges down the wood, and falls With roaring brain¡ªagony¡ªthe snap¡¯t spark¡ª 40 And blots of green and purple in his eyes.
Then the slow fingers groping on his neck, And at his heart the strangling clasp of death.


Written by Allen Ginsberg | |

Hospital Window

At gauzy dusk, thin haze like cigarette smoke 
ribbons past Chrysler Building's silver fins 
tapering delicately needletopped, Empire State's 
taller antenna filmed milky lit amid blocks 
black and white apartmenting veil'd sky over Manhattan, 
offices new built dark glassed in blueish heaven--The East 
50's & 60's covered with castles & watertowers, seven storied 
tar-topped house-banks over York Avenue, late may-green trees 
surrounding Rockefellers' blue domed medical arbor-- 
Geodesic science at the waters edge--Cars running up 
East River Drive, & parked at N.
Y.
Hospital's oval door where perfect tulips flower the health of a thousand sick souls trembling inside hospital rooms.
Triboro bridge steel-spiked penthouse orange roofs, sunset tinges the river and in a few Bronx windows, some magnesium vapor brilliances're spotted five floors above E 59th St under grey painted bridge trestles.
Way downstream along the river, as Monet saw Thames 100 years ago, Con Edison smokestacks 14th street, & Brooklyn Bridge's skeined dim in modern mists-- Pipes sticking up to sky nine smokestacks huge visible-- U.
N.
Building hangs under an orange crane, & red lights on vertical avenues below the trees turn green at the nod of a skull with a mild nerve ache.
Dim dharma, I return to this spectacle after weeks of poisoned lassitude, my thighs belly chest & arms covered with poxied welts, head pains fading back of the neck, right eyebrow cheek mouth paralyzed--from taking the wrong medicine, sweated too much in the forehead helpless, covered my rage from gorge to prostate with grinding jaw and tightening anus not released the weeping scream of horror at robot Mayaguez World self ton billions metal grief unloaded Pnom Penh to Nakon Thanom, Santiago & Tehran.
Fresh warm breeze in the window, day's release >from pain, cars float downside the bridge trestle and uncounted building-wall windows multiplied a mile deep into ash-delicate sky beguile my empty mind.
A seagull passes alone wings spread silent over roofs.
- May 20, 1975 Mayaguez Crisis


More great poems below...

Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

A Word for the Hour

 The firmament breaks up.
In black eclipse Light after light goes out.
One evil star, Luridly glaring through the smoke of war, As in the dream of the Apocalypse, Drags others down.
Let us not weakly weep Nor rashly threaten.
Give us grace to keep Our faith and patience; wherefore should we leap On one hand into fratricidal fight, Or, on the other, yield eternal right, Frame lies of laws, and good and ill confound? What fear we? Safe on freedom's vantage ground Our feet are planted; let us there remain In unrevengeful calm, no means untried Which truth can sanction, no just claim denied, The sad spectators of a suicide! They break the lines of Union: shall we light The fires of hell to weld anew the chain On that red anvil where each blow is pain? Draw we not even now a freer breath, As from our shoulders falls a load of death Loathsome as that the Tuscan's victim bore When keen with life to a dead horror bound? Why take we up the accursed thing again? Pity, forgive, but urge them back no more Who, drunk with passion, flaunt disunion's rag With its vile reptile blazon.
Let us press The golden cluster on our brave old flag In closer union, and, if numbering less, Brighter shall shine the stars which still remain.


Written by William Lisle Bowles | |

Bereavement

 Whose was that gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
Promised methought long days of bliss sincere!
Soothing it stole on my deluded ear,
Most like soft music, that might sometimes cheat
Thoughts dark and drooping! 'Twas the voice of Hope.
Of love and social scenes, it seemed to speak, Of truth, of friendship, of affection meek; That, oh! poor friend, might to life's downward slope Lead us in peace, and bless our latest hours.
Ah me! the prospect saddened as she sung; Loud on my startled ear the death-bell rung; Chill darkness wrapt the pleasurable bowers, Whilst Horror, pointing to yon breathless clay, "No peace be thine," exclaimed, "away, away!"


Written by William Cullen Bryant | |

Mutation

 They talk of short-lived pleasure--be it so-- 
Pain dies as quickly; stern, hard-featured pain 
Expires, and lets her weary prisoner go.
The fiercest agonies have shortest reign; And after dreams of horror, comes again The welcome morning with its rays of peace.
Oblivion, softly wiping out the stain, Makes the strong secret pangs of pain to cease: Remorse is virtue's root; its fair increase Are fruits of innocence and blessedness; Thus joy, o'erborne and bound, doth still release His young limbs from the chains that round him press.
Weep not that the world changes--did it keep A stable, changeless state, 'twere cause indeed to weep.


Written by William Cullen Bryant | |

The Death of Lincoln

 Oh, slow to smit and swift to spare, 
Gentle and merciful and just! 
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear 
The sword of power, a nation's trust! 

In sorrow by thy bier we stand, 
Amid the awe that hushes all, 
And speak the anguish of a land 
That shook with horror at thy fall.
Thy task is done; the bond of free; We bear thee to an honored grave, Whose proudest monument shall be The broken fetters of the slave.
Pure was thy life; its bloddy close Hath placed thee with the sons of light, Among the noble host of those Who perished in the cause of Right.


Written by Alec Derwent (A D) Hope | |

Standardization

 When, darkly brooding on this Modern Age, 
The journalist with his marketable woes 
Fills up once more the inevitable page 
Of fatuous, flatulent, Sunday-paper prose; 

Whenever the green aesthete starts to whoop 
With horror at the house not made with hands 
And when from vacuum cleaners and tinned soup 
Another pure theosophist demands 

Rebirth in other, less industrial stars 
Where huge towns thrust up in synthetic stone 
And films and sleek miraculous motor cars 
And celluloid and rubber are unknown; 

When from his vegetable Sunday School 
Emerges with the neatly maudlin phrase 
Still one more Nature poet, to rant or drool 
About the "Standardization of the Race"; 

I see, stooping among her orchard trees, 
The old, sound Earth, gathering her windfalls in, 
Broad in the hams and stiffening at the knees, 
Pause and I see her grave malicious grin.
For there is no manufacturer competes With her in the mass production of shapes and things.
Over and over she gathers and repeats The cast of a face, a million butterfly wings.
She does not tire of the pattern of a rose.
Her oldest tricks still catch us with surprise.
She cannot recall how long ago she chose The streamlined hulls of fish, the snail's long eyes, Love, which still pours into its ancient mould The lashing seed that grows to a man again, From whom by the same processes unfold Unending generations of living men.
She has standardized his ultimate needs and pains.
Lost tribes in a lost language mutter in His dreams: his science is tethered to their brains, His guilt merely repeats Original Sin.
And beauty standing motionless before Her mirror sees behind her, mile on mile, A long queue in an unknown corridor, Anonymous faces plastered with her smile.


Written by William Ernest Henley | |

I. M. R. T. Hamilton Bruce (1846-1899)

 Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.


Written by William Ernest Henley | |

Invictus

 Out of the night that covers me, 
 Black as the Pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
 For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.


Written by Thomas Edward Brown | |

Dora

 SHE knelt upon her brother's grave, 
 My little girl of six years old-- 
He used to be so good and brave, 
 The sweetest lamb of all our fold; 
He used to shout, he used to sing, 
Of all our tribe the little king-- 
And so unto the turf her ear she laid, 
To hark if still in that dark place he play'd.
No sound! no sound! Death's silence was profound; And horror crept Into her aching heart, and Dora wept.
If this is as it ought to be, My God, I leave it unto Thee.


Written by C S Lewis | |

On a Vulgar Error

 No.
It's an impudent falsehood.
Men did not Invariably think the newer way Prosaic mad, inelegant, or what not.
Was the first pointed arch esteemed a blot Upon the church? Did anybody say How modern and how ugly? They did not.
Plate-armour, or windows glazed, or verse fire-hot With rhymes from France, or spices from Cathay, Were these at first a horror? They were not.
If, then, our present arts, laws, houses, food All set us hankering after yesterday, Need this be only an archaising mood? Why, any man whose purse has been let blood By sharpers, when he finds all drained away Must compare how he stands with how he stood.
If a quack doctor's breezy ineptitude Has cost me a leg, must I forget straightway All that I can't do now, all that I could? So, when our guides unanimously decry The backward glance, I think we can guess why.


Written by Marilyn L Taylor | |

The Blue Water Buffalo

 One in 250 Cambodians, or 40,000 people,
have lost a limb to a landmine.
—Newsfront, U.
N.
Development Programme Communications Office On both sides of the screaming highway, the world is made of emerald silk—sumptuous bolts of it, stitched by threads of water into cushions that shimmer and float on the Mekong's munificent glut.
In between them plods the ancient buffalo—dark blue in the steamy distance, and legless where the surface of the ditch dissects the body from its waterlogged supports below or it might be a woman, up to her thighs in the lukewarm ooze, bending at the waist with the plain grace of habit, delving for weeds in water that receives her wrist and forearm as she feels for the alien stalk, the foreign blade beneath that greenest of green coverlets where brittle pods in their corroding skins now shift, waiting to salt the fields with horror.


Written by Petrarch | |

SONNET CCXIII.

SONNET CCXIII.

O misera ed orribil visione.

HE CANNOT BELIEVE IN HER DEATH, BUT IF TRUE, HE PRAYS GOD TO TAKE HIM ALSO FROM LIFE.

O misery! horror! can it, then, be true,
That the sweet light before its time is spent,
'Mid all its pains which could my life content,
And ever with fresh hopes of good renew?
If so, why sounds not other channels through,
Nor only from herself, the great event?
No! God and Nature could not thus consent,
And my dark fears are groundless and undue.
Still it delights my heart to hope once more
The welcome sight of that enchanting face,
The glory of our age, and life to me.
But if, to her eternal home to soar,
That heavenly spirit have left her earthly place,
Oh! then not distant may my last day be!
Macgregor.


Written by Petrarch | |

SONNET CXLIII.

SONNET CXLIII.

Per mezzo i boschi inospiti e selvaggi.

EVER THINKING ON HER, HE PASSES FEARLESS AND SAFE THROUGH THE FOREST OF ARDENNES.

Through woods inhospitable, wild, I rove,
Where armèd travellers bend their fearful way;
[Pg 164]Nor danger dread, save from that sun of love,
Bright sun! which darts a soul-enflaming ray.
Of her I sing, all-thoughtless as I stray,
Whose sweet idea strong as heaven's shall prove:
And oft methinks these pines, these beeches, move
Like nymphs; 'mid which fond fancy sees her play
I seem to hear her, when the whispering gale
Steals through some thick-wove branch, when sings a bird,
When purls the stream along yon verdant vale.
How grateful might this darksome wood appear,
Where horror reigns, where scarce a sound is heard;
But, ah! 'tis far from all my heart holds dear.
Anon.
1777.
Amid the wild wood's lone and difficult ways,
Where travel at great risk e'en men in arms,
I pass secure—for only me alarms
That sun, which darts of living love the rays—
Singing fond thoughts in simple lays to her
Whom time and space so little hide from me;
E'en here her form, nor hers alone, I see,
But maids and matrons in each beech and fir:
Methinks I hear her when the bird's soft moan,
The sighing leaves I hear, or through the dell
Where its bright lapse some murmuring rill pursues.
Rarely of shadowing wood the silence lone,
The solitary horror pleased so well,
Except that of my sun too much I lose.
Macgregor.