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Famous Abuse Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Abuse poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous abuse poems. These examples illustrate what a famous abuse poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Burns, Robert
...Priesthood, I shall say but little,
Corbies and Clergy are a shot right kittle:
But, under favour o’ your langer beard,
Abuse o’ Magistrates might weel be spar’d;
To liken them to your auld-warld squad,
I must needs say, comparisons are odd.
In Ayr, wag-wits nae mair can hae a handle
To mouth ’a Citizen,’ a term o’ scandal;
Nae mair the Council waddles down the street,
In all the pomp of ignorant conceit;
Men wha grew wise priggin owre hops and raisins,
Or gather’d lib’ra...Read More

by Sidney, Sir Philip
But that rich foole, who by blind Fortunes lot
The richest gemme of loue and life enioys,
And can with foule abuse such beauties blot;
Let him, depriu'd of sweet but vnfelt ioys,
Exild for ay from those high treasures which
He knowes not, grow in only folly rich! 

The wisest scholler of the wight most wise
By Phoebus doom, with sugred sentence sayes,
That vertue, if it once met with our eyes,
Strange flames of loue it in our souls would raise;
But f...Read More

by Cheney-Coker, Syl
we shall plant a eureka supported by a blood knot.
And remorse not being theirs to feel,
I offer an inventory of abuse by these men,
with this wretched earth on my palms,
so as to remind them of our stilted growth
the length of a cutlass, or if you prefer
the size of our burnt-out brotherhood....Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...aying, we have our rights
and let them see the sandwiches and wine we bought

for we do not explain my husband's insane abuse
and we do not say why your wild-haired wife has fled
or that my father opened like a walnut and then was dead.
Your palms fold over me like knees. Love is the only use.

Both a little drunk in the afternoon
with the forgotten smart of August on our skin
we hold hands as if we were still children who trudge

up the wooden tower, on up past t...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...h, and dulness not his own;
The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape;
The libell'd person, and the pictur'd shape;
Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father, dead;
The whisper, that to greatness still too near,
Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear:--
Welcome for thee, fair Virtue! all the past:
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the last!

"But why insult the poor? affront the great?"
A knave's a knave, to me, in ev'ry state:
A...Read More

by Tebb, Barry

Carers’ input, we call patients ‘residents’ and insist on chores

Not medication", then the letters of terrible abuse, the finding of a flat,

‘The discharge into the community.’

His ‘keyworker’ was the keyworker from hell: the more

Isaiah’s care fell apart the more she encouraged 

Him to blame us and ‘Make his life his own’, vital signs

Of decline ignored or consigned to files, ‘confidentiality’ reigned supreme.

Insidiously the way back to the ward unvei...Read More

by Milton, John
...ality. So little knows 
Any, but God alone, to value right 
The good before him, but perverts best things 
To worst abuse, or to their meanest use. 
Beneath him with new wonder now he views, 
To all delight of human sense exposed, 
In narrow room, Nature's whole wealth, yea more, 
A Heaven on Earth: For blissful Paradise 
Of God the garden was, by him in the east 
Of Eden planted; Eden stretched her line 
From Auran eastward to the royal towers 
Of great Seleucia, bui...Read More

by Milton, John
Law and edict on us, who without law 
Err not? much less for this to be our Lord, 
And look for adoration, to the abuse 
Of those imperial titles, which assert 
Our being ordained to govern, not to serve. 
Thus far his bold discourse without controul 
Had audience; when among the Seraphim 
Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal adored 
The Deity, and divine commands obeyed, 
Stood up, and in a flame of zeal severe 
The current of his fury thus opposed. 
O argumen...Read More

by Milton, John
...o thyself ascrib'st the truth foretold.
But this thy glory shall be soon retrenched;
No more shalt thou by oracling abuse
The Gentiles; henceforth oracles are ceased,
And thou no more with pomp and sacrifice
Shalt be enquired at Delphos or elsewhere—
At least in vain, for they shall find thee mute.
God hath now sent his living Oracle 
Into the world to teach his final will,
And sends his Spirit of Truth henceforth to dwell
In pious hearts, an inward oracle
To all trut...Read More

by Milton, John
Of man or worm; the vilest here excel me,
They creep, yet see, I dark in light expos'd
To daily fraud, contempt, abuse and wrong,
Within doors, or without, still as a fool,
In power of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more then half.
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, 
Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse
Without all hope of day!
O first created Beam, and thou great Word,
Let there be light, and light was over all;
Why am I thus berea...Read More

by Lewis, C S
...s after the up-to-date, 
Normal type had achieved snug
Darkness, safe from the guns of heavn;

Whose blind mouths would abuse words that belonged to their 
Great-grandsires, unabashed, talking of light in some 
Eunuch'd, etiolated,
Fungoid sense, as a symbol of

Abstract thoughts. If a man, one that had eyes, a poor 
Misfit, spoke of the grey dawn or the stars or green-
Sloped sea waves, or admired how
Warm tints change in a lady's cheek,

None complained he had used word...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...l was good;
Whereof 'twas writ the angels aye upclomb,
Down sped, and at the top the Lord God stood. 
But I my time abuse, my eyes by day
Center'd on thee, by night my heart on fire--
Letting my number'd moments run away--
Nor e'en 'twixt night and day to heaven aspire:
So true it is that what the eye seeth not
But slow is loved, and loved is soon forgot. 

O my life's mischief, once my love's delight,
That drew'st a mortgage on my heart's estate,
Whose baneful cla...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...trokes of ill that pass th' ill-doers' heads
And cleave the innocent, so desperate tired
Of insult that doth day by day abuse
The humblest dignity of humblest men,
Ye cannot call toward the Church for help.
The Church already is o'erworked with care
Of its dyspeptic stomach.
Ha, the Church
Forgets about eternity.
I had
A vision of forgetfulness.
O Dream
Born of a dream, as yonder cloud is born
Of water which is born of cloud!
I thought
I saw the moonlight lyin...Read More

by Alcott, Louisa May
Who still from every fall arose 
Saddened but undeterred. 

She knew she was no nightingale 
Yet spite of much abuse, 
She longed to help and cheer the world, 
Although a plain gray goose 

She could not sing, she could not fly, 
Nor even walk, with grace, 
And all the farmyard had declared 
A puddle was her place. 

But something stronger than herself 
Would cry, "Go on, go on! 
Remember, though an humble fowl, 
You're cousin to a swan." 

So up and down poo...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...Give us, then, your mind at large: 
How say you, war or not?' 
'Not war, if possible, 
O king,' I said, 'lest from the abuse of war, 
The desecrated shrine, the trampled year, 
The smouldering homestead, and the household flower 
Torn from the lintel--all the common wrong-- 
A smoke go up through which I loom to her 
Three times a monster: now she lightens scorn 
At him that mars her plan, but then would hate 
(And every voice she talked with ratify it, 
And every face she l...Read More

by Herbert, George should be kept: 
Was ever grief like mine? 

The soldiers lead me to the common hall; 
There they deride me, they abuse me all: 
Yet for twelve heavn'ly legions I could call: 
Was ever grief like mine? 

Then with a scarlet robe they me array; 
Which shows my blood to be the only way.
And cordial left to repair man's decay: 
Was ever grief like mine? 

Then on my head a crown of thorns I wear: 
For these are all the grapes SIon doth bear, 
Though I my vine planted a...Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...t to all the beholders -- 
Don't shift your own sins on to other folks' shoulders; 
Be kind to dumb creatures and never abuse them, 
Nor curse them nor kick them, nor spitefully use them: 
Take their lives if needs must -- when it comes to the worst, 
But don't let them perish of hunger or thirst. 
Remember, no matter how far you may roam 
That dogs, goats, and chickens, it's simply the dickens, 
Their talent stupendous for "getting back home". 
Your sins, without dou...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) great respect for you; and this 
Makes me regret whate'er you do amiss — 


'Why, my dear Lucifer, would you abuse 
My call for witnesses? I did not mean 
That you should half of earth and hell produce; 
'Tis even superfluous, since two honest, clean 
True testimonies are enough: we lose 
Our time, nay, our eternity, between 
The accusation and defence: if we 
Hear both, 'twill stretch our immortality.' 


Satan replied, 'To me the matter is 
Indifferent,...Read More

by Rumi, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad
...ormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; text-align: center;">Love so needs to love
that it will endure almost anything, even abuse,
just to flicker for a moment. But the sky’s mouth is kind,
its song will never hurt you, for I sing those words.  What will our children do in the morning
if they do not see us


by Hugo, Victor I sent 
 Back to the wall, and then let fly 
 A shower of words the envious use— 
 "Get out," I said, with hard abuse, 
 "Leave me alone—alone I say." 
 Poor man alone! Ah, well-a-day, 
 What fine result—what triumph rare! 
 As one turns from the coffin'd dead 
 So left you me:—I could but stare 
 Upon the door through which you fled— 
 I proud and grave—but punished quite. 
 And what care you for this my plight!— 
 You have recovered liberty, 
 Fresh air an...Read More

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