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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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by Christina Rossetti | |

Sleeping at last

 Sleeping at last, the trouble and tumult over, 
Sleeping at last, the struggle and horror past, 
Cold and white, out of sight of friend and of lover, 
Sleeping at last.
No more a tired heart downcast or overcast, No more pangs that wring or shifting fears that hover, Sleeping at last in a dreamless sleep locked fast.
Fast asleep.
Singing birds in their leafy cover Cannot wake her, nor shake her the gusty blast.
Under the purple thyme and the purple clover Sleeping at last.


by Christina Rossetti | |

Beneath Thy Cross

 Am I a stone, and not a sheep, 
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath thy cross, 
To number drop by drop Thy Blood's slow loss, 
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved 
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee; 
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly; 
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon 
Which hid their faces in a starless sky, 
A horror of great darkness at broad noon-- 
I, only I.
Yet give not o'er, But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock; Greater than Moses, turn and look once more And smite a rock.


by Richard Wilbur | |

The Ride

 The horse beneath me seemed 
To know what course to steer 
Through the horror of snow I dreamed,
And so I had no fear,

Nor was I chilled to death 
By the wind’s white shudders, thanks 
To the veils of his patient breath 
And the mist of sweat from his flanks.
It seemed that all night through, Within my hand no rein And nothing in my view But the pillar of his mane, I rode with magic ease At a quick, unstumbling trot Through shattering vacancies On into what was not, Till the weave of the storm grew thin, With a threading of cedar-smoke, And the ice-blind pane of an inn Shimmered, and I awoke.
How shall I now get back To the inn-yard where he stands, Burdened with every lack, And waken the stable-hands To give him, before I think That there was no horse at all, Some hay, some water to drink, A blanket and a stall?


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

The Shepherd’s Brow Fronting Forked Lightning Owns

 The shepherd's brow, fronting forked lightning, owns 
The horror and the havoc and the glory 
Of it.
Angels fall, they are towers, from heaven—a story Of just, majestical, and giant groans.
But man—we, scaffold of score brittle bones; Who breathe, from groundlong babyhood to hoary Age gasp; whose breath is our memento mori— What bass is our viol for tragic tones? He! Hand to mouth he lives, and voids with shame; And, blazoned in however bold the name, Man Jack the man is, just; his mate a hussy.
And I that die these deaths, that feed this flame, That … in smooth spoons spy life’s masque mirrored: tame My tempests there, my fire and fever fussy.


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!"


by George William Russell | |

The Everlasting Battle

 WHEN in my shadowy hours I pierce the hidden heart of hopes and fears,
They change into immortal joys or end in immemorial tears.
Moytura’s battle still endures and in this human heart of mine The golden sun powers with the might of demon darkness intertwine.
I think that every teardrop shed still flows from Balor’s eye of doom, And gazing on his ageless grief my heart is filled with ageless gloom: I close my ever-weary eyes and in my bitter spirit brood And am at one in vast despair with all the demon multitude.
But in the lightning flash of hope I feel the sungod’s fiery sling Has smote the horror in the heart where clouds of demon glooms take wing, I shake my heavy fears aside and seize the flaming sword of will, I am of Dana’s race divine and know I am immortal still.


by Mary Darby Robinson | |

Sonnet XXXV: What Means the Mist

 What means the mist opaque that veils these eyes;
Why does yon threat'ning tempest shroud the day?
Why does thy altar, Venus, fade away,
And on my breast the dews of horror rise?
Phaon is false! be dim ye orient Skies;
And let black Erebus succeed your ray;
Let clashing thunders roll, and lightning play;
Phaon is false! and hopeless Sappho dies!
"Farewell! my Lesbian love, you might have said,"
Such sweet remembrance had some pity prov'd,
"Or coldly this, farewell, Oh! Lesbian maid!"
No task severe, for one so fondly lov'd!
The gentle thought had sooth'd my wand'ring shade,
From life's dark valley, and its thorns remov'd!


by A E Housman | |

Be Still My Soul Be Still

 Be still, my soul, be still; the arms you bear are brittle, 
Earth and high heaven are fixt of old and founded strong.
Think rather,-- call to thought, if now you grieve a little, The days when we had rest, O soul, for they were long.
Men loved unkindness then, but lightless in the quarry I slept and saw not; tears fell down, I did not mourn; Sweat ran and blood sprang out and I was never sorry: Then it was well with me, in days ere I was born.
Now, and I muse for why and never find the reason, I pace the earth, and drink the air, and feel the sun.
Be still, be still, my soul; it is but for a season: Let us endure an hour and see injustice done.
Ay, look: high heaven and earth ail from the prime foundation; All thoughts to rive the heart are here, and all are vain: Horror and scorn and hate and fear and indignation-- Oh why did I awake? when shall I sleep again?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


by Marcin Malek | |

For life and death of a Poet

Poets
In literal meaning
Are not responsive
To normative rules of dying

Moreover 
Just like the Saints
They do not fit into a
Written conventions

Of the existence
Of the survival
At all costs
At the cost of their own greatness

They rather resemble
Orphaned fortresses
Which has to be taken
Meter by meter - as in the past

With the severe blood loss

Or permanently straining
Among the yellow fields
Mossy towers with no vaults
But with the ever-vigilant gaze

Poet as gaper
- Windblown
- Caressed by storms 
Until he not falls


Never measures 
Himself as the one
- And then all fading behind
For life and death of a Poet
There is no proper time

He lives in himself
Stirring up higher and higher
By the abandoned fortification
Of horror of consequences

To the moment in which
He is taken - far far away 


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.


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.


by Rg Gregory | |

chickens claw

 by a dank and ancient coffin
in the gaunt and gloomy hall
alone and sighing deeply
crouched the sorriest crone of all
her worn hands clutched a feather
her eyes were sore with tears
her lips were mumbling slowly
through the burdens of her fears
her clothes were drab and tattered
her body drooped and old
she waited waited waited
her blood let in the cold
she waited waited waited
a chill draught killed her sighs
day slunk down from the windows
night spied with its evil eyes
the mildewed sagging curtains
dragged on the harsh stone floor
and the fitful crash re-echoed
of the limping thickset door
a distant churchbell gloated
a groan grew in the trees
a shudder of horror shook the coffin
the crone sank to her knees
the coffin lid was lifting slowly
a weird light glowed within
and a hand as thin as a chicken's claw
seized the crone and pulled her in


by Ted Hughes | |

Crow Blacker than ever

When God, disgusted with man, 
Turned towards heaven.
And man, disgusted with God, Turned towards Eve, Things looked like falling apart.
But Crow .
.
Crow Crow nailed them together, Nailing Heaven and earth together - So man cried, but with God's voice.
And God bled, but with man's blood.
Then heaven and earth creaked at the joint Which became gangrenous and stank - A horror beyond redemption.
The agony did not diminish.
Man could not be man nor God God.
The agony Grew.
Crow Grinned Crying: 'This is my Creation,' Flying the black flag of himself.


by Ted Hughes | |

How To Paint A Water Lily

 To Paint a Water Lily

A green level of lily leaves
Roofs the pond's chamber and paves

The flies' furious arena: study
These, the two minds of this lady.
First observe the air's dragonfly That eats meat, that bullets by Or stands in space to take aim; Others as dangerous comb the hum Under the trees.
There are battle-shouts And death-cries everywhere hereabouts But inaudible, so the eyes praise To see the colours of these flies Rainbow their arcs, spark, or settle Cooling like beads of molten metal Through the spectrum.
Think what worse is the pond-bed's matter of course; Prehistoric bedragoned times Crawl that darkness with Latin names, Have evolved no improvements there, Jaws for heads, the set stare, Ignorant of age as of hour— Now paint the long-necked lily-flower Which, deep in both worlds, can be still As a painting, trembling hardly at all Though the dragonfly alight, Whatever horror nudge her root.


by Robinson Jeffers | |

We Are Those People

 I have abhorred the wars and despised the liars, laughed at the frightened
And forecast victory; never one moment's doubt.
But now not far, over the backs of some crawling years, the next Great war's column of dust and fire writhes Up the sides of the sky: it becomes clear that we too may suffer What others have, the brutal horror of defeat— Or if not in the next, then in the next—therefore watch Germany And read the future.
We wish, of course, that our women Would die like biting rats in the cellars, our men like wolves on the mountain: It will not be so.
Our men will curse, cringe, obey; Our women uncover themselves to the grinning victors for bits of chocolate.