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Famous Afflicted Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shakespeare, William
...rer, that the ruffle knew
Of court, of city, and had let go by
The swiftest hours, observed as they flew--
Towards this afflicted fancy fastly drew,
And, privileged by age, desires to know
In brief the grounds and motives of her woe.

So slides he down upon his grained bat,
And comely-distant sits he by her side;
When he again desires her, being sat,
Her grievance with his hearing to divide:
If that from him there may be aught applied
Which may her suffering ecstasy assua...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...says, to startle us, 
‘A poison for us, if we make it so, 
And, if we make it so, an antidote
For the same poison that afflicted us.’ 
I’m witness to the poison, but the cure 
Of my complaint is not, for me, in Time. 
There may be doctors in eternity 
To deal with it, but they are not here now.
There’s no specific for my three diseases 
That I could swallow, even if I should find it, 
And I shall never find it here on earth.” 

“Mightn’t it be as well, my fri...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...wise,Even the first and with the brightest lamp:O solid buckler of afflicted hearts!'Neath which against the blows of Fate and Death,Not mere deliverance but great victory is;Relief from the blind ardour which consumesVain mortals here below!Virgin! those lustrous eyes,W...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas
...d aloud.

Then mournfully the parting bugle bid
Its farewell, o'er the grave of worth and truth;
Prone to the dust, afflicted Waldegrave hid
His face on earth; him watch'd, in gloomy ruth,
His woodland guide; but words had none to soothe
The grief that knew not consolation's name;
Casting his Indian mantle o'er the youth,
He watch'd, beneath its folds, each burst that came
Convulsive, ague-like, across his shuddering frame!

"And I could weep;"--th' Oneyda chief
His desca...Read More

by Keats, John
...not one:
I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thou?'
For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth
Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God;
And ocean too, with all its solemn noise,
Has from thy sceptre pass'd; and all the air
Is emptied of thine hoary majesty.
Thy thunder, conscious of the new command,
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands
Scorches and burns our once serene domain.
O aching time! O moments big as year...Read More

by Trumbull, John
Or at town-meetings speechifying,
Could utter more melodious whine,
And shut his eyes, and vent his moan,
Like owl afflicted in the sun;
Who once sent home, his canting rival,
Lord Dartmouth's self, might outbedrivel.

"Have you forgot," Honorius cried,
"How your prime saint the truth defied,
Affirm'd he never wrote a line
Your charter'd rights to undermine,
When his own letters then were by,
Which proved his message all a lie?
How many promises he seal'd
To get th'...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...hat died
 And stranded after a month at sea. . . .
There is a pain in my inside.
 Why have the Gods afflicted me?
Ow! I am purged till I am a wraith!
 Wow! I am sick till I cannot see!
What is the sense of Religion and Faith :
 Look how the Gods have afflicted me!


How can the skin of rat or mouse hold
 Anything more than a harmless flea?. . .
The burning plague has taken my household.
 Why have my Gods afflicted me?
All my kith an...Read More

by Milton, John tend 
From off the tossing of these fiery waves; 
There rest, if any rest can harbour there; 
And, re-assembling our afflicted powers, 
Consult how we may henceforth most offend 
Our enemy, our own loss how repair, 
How overcome this dire calamity, 
What reinforcement we may gain from hope, 
If not, what resolution from despair." 
 Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, 
With head uplift above the wave, and eyes 
That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides 
Prone ...Read More

by Milton, John
...abyss, and spy 
This new created world, whereof in Hell 
Fame is not silent, here in hope to find 
Better abode, and my afflicted Powers 
To settle here on earth, or in mid air; 
Though for possession put to try once more 
What thou and thy gay legions dare against; 
Whose easier business were to serve their Lord 
High up in Heaven, with songs to hymn his throne, 
And practised distances to cringe, not fight, 
To whom the warriour Angel soon replied. 
To say and straight ...Read More

by Milton, John
...the accursed, that withered all their strength, 
And of their wonted vigour left them drained, 
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen. 
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but checked 
His thunder in mid volley; for he meant 
Not to destroy, but root them out of Heaven: 
The overthrown he raised, and as a herd 
Of goats or timorous flock together thronged 
Drove them before him thunder-struck, pursued 
With terrours, and with furies, to the bounds 
And crystal wal...Read More

by Milton, John
...dales, and bowers! 
With other echo late I taught your shades 
To answer, and resound far other song.-- 
Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld, 
Desolate where she sat, approaching nigh, 
Soft words to his fierce passion she assayed: 
But her with stern regard he thus repelled. 
Out of my sight, thou Serpent! That name best 
Befits thee with him leagued, thyself as false 
And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape, 
Like his, and colour serpentine, may show 
Th...Read More

by Milton, John
...Consolatories writ
With studied argument, and much perswasion sought
Lenient of grief and anxious thought,
But with th' afflicted in his pangs thir sound 
Little prevails, or rather seems a tune,
Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint,
Unless he feel within
Some sourse of consolation from above;
Secret refreshings, that repair his strength,
And fainting spirits uphold.
God of our Fathers, what is man!
That thou towards him with hand so various,
Or might I say con...Read More

by Blake, William
...of holiness! 
The mental powers by diseases we bind; 
But He heals the deaf, the dumb, and the blind. 
Whom God has afflicted for secret ends, 
He comforts and heals and calls them friends.’ 
But, when Jesus was crucified, 
Then was perfected His galling pride. 
In three nights He devour’d His prey, 
And still He devours the body of clay; 
For dust and clay is the Serpent’s meat, 
Which never was made for Man to eat. 

Seeing this False Christ, in fury and pas...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...upright on their couches,
Weeping in the silent midnight.
And he said: "O guests! why is it
That your hearts are so afflicted,
That you sob so in the midnight?
Has perchance the old Nokomis,
Has my wife, my Minnehaha,
Wronged or grieved you by unkindness,
Failed in hospitable duties?"
Then the shadows ceased from weeping,
Ceased from sobbing and lamenting,
And they said, with gentle voices:
"We are ghosts of the departed,
Souls of those who once were with you.
From th...Read More

by Warton, Thomas
...the lowering south,
Blackening the landscape's face, that grove and hill
In formless vapours undistinguish'd swim:
Th' afflicted of the sadden'd groves
Hail not the sullen gloom; the waving elms
That, hoar through time, and ranged in thick array,
Enclose with stately row some rural hall,
Are mute, nor echo with the clamours hoarse
Of rooks rejoicing on their airy; boughs
While to the shed the dripping poultry crowd,
A mournful train: secure the village hind
Hangs o'er the cr...Read More

by Pound, Ezra sea-surge, and there I oft spent
Narrow nightwatch nigh the ship's head
While she tossed close to cliffs. Coldly afflicted,
My feet were by frost benumbed.
Chill its chains are; chafing sighs
Hew my heart round and hunger begot
Mere-weary mood. Lest man know not
That he on dry land loveliest liveth,
List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea,
Weathered the winter, wretched outcast
Deprived of my kinsmen;
Hung with hard ice-flakes, where hail-scur flew,
There I ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...oud and flame athwart the heaven, 
By that tremendous blast — 
Proclaim'd the desperate conflict o'er 
On that too long afflicted shore! 
Up to the sky like rockets go 
All that mingled there below: 
Many a tall and goodly man, 
Scorch'd and shrivell'd to a span, 
When he fell to earth again 
Like a cinder strew'd the plain: 
Down the ashes shower like rain; 
Some fell in the gulf, which received the sprinkles 
With a thousand circling wrinkles; 
Some fell on the shore, but, ...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco;And he who conquer'd Greece from sea to sea,Then mildly bade th' afflicted race be free.Next came the dauntless envoy, with his wand,Whose more than magic circle on the sandThe frenzy of the Syrian king confined:O'er-awed he stood, and at his fate repined.Great Manlius, too, who drove the hosti...Read More

by Johnson, Samuel
...ews engage,
306 Superfluous lags the vet'ran on the stage,
307 Till pitying Nature signs the last release,
308 And bids afflicted worth retire to peace.

309 But few there are whom hours like these await,
310 Who set unclouded in the gulfs of fate.
311 From Lydia's monarch should the search descend,
312 By Solon caution'd to regard his end,
313 In life's last scene what prodigies surprise,
314 Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise?
315 From Marlb'rough's eyes th...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...with pain,
Like a jarred pendulum, retain
Only its motion, not its power,--
Remember, in that perilous hour,
When most afflicted and oppressed,
From labor there shall come forth rest.

And if a more auspicious fate
On thy advancing steps await
Still let it ever be thy pride
To linger by the laborer's side;
With words of sympathy or song
To cheer the dreary march along
Of the great army of the poor,
O'er desert sand, o'er dangerous moor.
Nor to thyself the task shall ...Read More

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