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Famous Advice Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shakespeare, William her own content,
To put the by-past perils in her way?
Counsel may stop awhile what will not stay;
For when we rage, advice is often seen
By blunting us to make our wits more keen.

'Nor gives it satisfaction to our blood,
That we must curb it upon others' proof;
To be forbod the sweets that seem so good,
For fear of harms that preach in our behoof.
O appetite, from judgment stand aloof!
The one a palate hath that needs will taste,
Though Reason weep, and cry, 'It ...Read more of this...

by Pope, Alexander
...urst depart from Aristotle's Rules.
Our Author, happy in a Judge so nice,
Produc'd his Play, and beg'd the Knight's Advice,
Made him observe the Subject and the Plot,
The Manners, Passions, Unities, what not?
All which, exact to Rule were brought about,
Were but a Combate in the Lists left out.
What! Leave the Combate out? Exclaims the Knight;
Yes, or we must renounce the Stagyrite.
Not so by Heav'n (he answers in a Rage)
Knights, Squires, and Steeds, must enter o...Read more of this...

by Milligan, Spike
(The word you see emits a spark)
Only say it in the day
(That's what my grandma used to say)

Young Tiny Tim took her advice
He said it once, he said it twice
he said it till the day he died
And even after that he tried
To say Bazonka! every day
Just like my grandma used to say.

Now folks around declare it's true
That every night at half past two
If you'll stand upon your head
And shout Bazonka! from your bed
You'll hear the word as clear as day
Just like my grandma us...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...hurch bid them?--brother Newman asks. 
Up with the Immaculate Conception, then-- 
On to the rack with faith!--is my advice. 
Will not that hurry us upon our knees, 
Knocking our breasts, "It can't be--yet it shall! 
"Who am I, the worm, to argue with my Pope? 
"Low things confound the high things!" and so forth. 
That's better than acquitting God with grace 
As some folk do. He's tried--no case is proved, 
Philosophy is lenient--he may go! 

You'll say, the ol...Read more of this...

by Milosz, Czeslaw
...enjoys pleasures
Quite unknown to primitive races.

Guided by this mind you cannot fail to see
The soundness of the advice we give you:
Let the sweetness of day fill your lungs
For this we have strict but wise rules.

There can be no question of force triumphant
We live in the age of victorious justice.

Do not mention force, or you will be accused
Of upholding fallen doctrines in secret.

He who has power, has it by historical logic.
Respectfully bow to...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...e and jollity.
Braid your locks with rosy twine,
Dropping odours, dropping wine.
Rigour now is gone to bed;
And Advice with scrupulous head,
Strict Age, and sour Severity,
With their grave saws, in slumber lie.
We, that are of purer fire,
Imitate the starry quire,
Who, in their nightly watchful spheres,
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move;
And on the tawny sands and...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
..., more than I did, 
Patience and wholesome passion. I was there,
And for such honor I gave nothing worse 
Than some advice at which he may have smiled. 
I must have given a modicum besides, 
Or the rough interval between those days 
And these would never have made for me my friends,
Or enemies. I should be something somewhere— 
I say not what—but I should not be here 
If he had not been there. Possibly, too, 
You might not—or that Quaker with his cane. 

B...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...ace of Heaven 
Thus trampled, thus expelled, to suffer here 
Chains and these torments? Better these than worse, 
By my advice; since fate inevitable 
Subdues us, and omnipotent decree, 
The Victor's will. To suffer, as to do, 
Our strength is equal; nor the law unjust 
That so ordains. This was at first resolved, 
If we were wise, against so great a foe 
Contending, and so doubtful what might fall. 
I laugh when those who at the spear are bold 
And venturous, if ...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...u didst reject, 
Is now an iron rod to bruise and break 
Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise; 
Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly 
These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath 
Impendent, raging into sudden flame, 
Distinguish not: For soon expect to feel 
His thunder on thy head, devouring fire. 
Then who created thee lamenting learn, 
When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know. 
So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faithful found 
Among the faithless, faithful on...Read more of this...

by Frost, Robert
...for you
You had us for a half-way station
To stop at. If you were the kind of man
Paid heed to women, you’d take my advice
And for your family’s sake stay where you are.
But what good is my saying it over and over?
You’ve done more than you had a right to think
You could do—now. You know the risk you take
In going on.”

“Our snow-storms as a rule
Aren’t looked on as man-killers, and although
I’d rather be the beast that sleeps the sleep
Under it all, his door ...Read more of this...

by Bradstreet, Anne
...glist'ring Sword, and well advanced Pike.
3.17 I cannot lie in trench before a Town,
3.18 Nor wait til good advice our hopes do crown.
3.19 I scorn the heavy Corslet, Musket-proof;
3.20 I fly to catch the Bullet that's aloof.
3.21 Though thus in field, at home, to all most kind,
3.22 So affable that I do suit each mind,
3.23 I can insinuate into the breast
3.24 And by my mirth can raise the heart deprest.
3.25 Sweet Music ra...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis muffins--they roused him with ice--
 They roused him with mustard and cress--
They roused him with jam and judicious advice--
 They set him conundrums to guess.

When at length he sat up and was able to speak,
 His sad story he offered to tell;
And the Bellman cried "Silence! Not even a shriek!"
 And excitedly tingled his bell.

There was silence supreme! Not a shriek, not a scream,
 Scarcely even a howl or a groan,
As the man they called "Ho!" told his story of wo...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...other ende with me maken
Than one of you shalle be dead or taken.
And if you thinketh this is well y-said,
Say your advice*, and hold yourselves apaid**. *opinion **satisfied
This is your end, and your conclusion."
Who looketh lightly now but Palamon?
Who springeth up for joye but Arcite?
Who could it tell, or who could it indite,
The joye that is maked in the place
When Theseus hath done so fair a grace?
But down on knees went every *manner wight*, *kind of perso...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...our creance?* *denied Mahomet our belief*
But, lordes, will ye maken assurance,
As I shall say, assenting to my lore*? *advice
And I shall make us safe for evermore."

They sworen and assented every man
To live with her and die, and by her stand:
And every one, in the best wise he can,
To strengthen her shall all his friendes fand.* *endeavour
And she hath this emprise taken in hand,
Which ye shall heare that I shall devise*; *relate
And to them all she spake right...Read more of this...

by Dryden, John
...still he found hs fortune at a stay, 
Whole droves of blockheads choking up his way; 
They took, but not rewarded, his advice; 
Villain and wit exact a double price. 
Power was his aim; but thrown from that pretence, 
The wretch turned loyal in his own defence, 
And malice reconciled him to his Prince. 
Him in the anguish of his soul he served, 
Rewarded faster still than he deserved. 
Behold him now exalted into trust, 
His counsels oft convenient, seldom just; ...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...edy in this case?"
"Why, yes, for God," quoth Hendy Nicholas;
"If thou wilt worken after *lore and rede*; *learning and advice*
Thou may'st not worken after thine own head.
For thus saith Solomon, that was full true:
Work all by counsel, and thou shalt not rue*. *repent
And if thou worke wilt by good counseil,
I undertake, withoute mast or sail,
Yet shall I save her, and thee, and me.
Hast thou not heard how saved was Noe,
When that our Lord had warned him beforn,...Read more of this...

by Trumbull, John
...that scorn'd to know
Each flitting wing that waved below.
So doubting, on a point so nice
He deem'd it best to take advice.

Hard by there dwelt an aged Owl,
Of all his friends the gravest fowl;
Who from the cares of business free,
Lived, hermit, in a hollow tree;
To solid learning bent his mind,
In trope and syllogism he shined,
'Gainst reigning follies spent his railing;
Too much a Stoic--'twas his failing.

Hither for aid our Sparrow came,
And told his errand...Read more of this...

by Miller, Alice Duer
And I say, by heck, we're the only people 
Who licked them not only once, but twice. 
Never forget it-that's my advice. 
They have their points—they're honest and brave,
Loyal and sure—as sure as the grave; 
They make other nations seem pale and flighty, 
But they do think England is god almighty, 
And you must remind them now and then 
That other countries breed other men. 
From all of which you will think me rather 
Unjust. I am. Your devoted Father....Read more of this...

by Swift, Jonathan
...tors, tender of their fame,
Wisely on me lay all the blame:
"We must confess his case was nice;
But he would never take advice.
Had he been ruled, for aught appears,
He might have lived these twenty years;
For when we opened him we found
That all his vital parts were sound."

From Dublin soon to London spread,
'Tis told at court "the Dean is dead."
Kind Lady Suffolk, in the spleen,
Runs laughing up to tell the queen.
The queen, so gracious, mild, and good,
Cri...Read more of this...

by Akhmatova, Anna
...e unexpected happened,
How to tame for centuries
Her, whose love is so rapid.

You want glory? Ask from me
For advice for this your plight,
Only it is but a trap,
There's no joy here and no light.

Well, go home, and forget
This our meeting, I implore,
And for your sin, my dear one,
I'll respond before the Lord.

x x x

From memory of you I will remove that day,
So that your helpless-foggy look will ask this:
Where did I see the Persian lil...Read more of this...

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