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Famous Affliction Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...e o’ a’ my woe and grief!
For lack o’ thee I’ve lost my lass!
For lack o’ thee I scrimp my glass!
I see the children of affliction
Unaided, through thy curst restriction:
I’ve seen the oppressor’s cruel smile
Amid his hapless victim’s spoil;
And for thy potence vainly wished,
To crush the villain in the dust:
For lack o’ thee, I leave this much-lov’d shore,
Never, perhaps, to greet old Scotland more.R. B....Read More

by Herbert, George
...When thou didst entice to thee my heart, 
I thought the service brave: 
So many joys I writ down for my part, 
Besides what I might have
Out of my stock of natural delights, 
Augmented with thy gracious benefits.

I looked on thy furniture so fine, 
And made it fine to me: 
Thy glorious household-stuff did me entwine, 
And 'tice me unto thee.
Such ...Read More

by Herbert, George
...Kill me not ev'ry day, 
Thou Lord of life, since thy one death for me
Is more than all my deaths can be, 
Though I in broken pay
Die over each hour of Methusalem's stay.

If all men's tears were let
Into one common sewer, sea, and brine; 
What were they all, compar'd to thine? 
Wherein if they were set, 
They would discolour thy most bloody sweat.
...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
To whom all this world fleeth for succour,
To have release of sin, of sorrow, of teen!*                 *affliction
Glorious Virgin! of all flowers flow'r,
To thee I flee, confounded in errour!
Help and relieve, almighty debonair,*                  *gracious, gentle
Have mercy of my perilous languour!
Vanquish'd me hath my cruel adversair.


Bounty* so fix'd hath in thy heart his tent,          *goodness, chari...Read More

by Pushkin, Alexander and agitation:
Time and again I'll savor harmony,
Melt into tears about some fantasy,
And on my sad decline, to ease affliction,
May love yet show her smile of valediction....Read More

by Bradstreet, Anne
...t's full of friends, of honour, and of treasure,
221 Fond fool, he takes this earth ev'n for heav'ns bower,
222 But sad affliction comes and makes him see
223 Here's neither honour, wealth, or safety.
224 Only above is found all with security. 


225 O Time the fatal wrack of mortal things
226 That draws oblivion's curtains over kings,
227 Their sumptuous monuments, men know them not;
228 Their names with a Record are forgot,
229 Their parts, their ports, their po...Read More

by Herbert, George
...ost thin.
      With thee
     Let me combine
   And feel this day thy victory:
   For, if I imp my wing on thine,
 Affliction shall advance the flight in me....Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...s, and solicit new;
Now turn'd to Heav'n, I weep my past offence,
Now think of thee, and curse my innocence.
Of all affliction taught a lover yet,
'Tis sure the hardest science to forget!
How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense,
And love th' offender, yet detest th' offence?
How the dear object from the crime remove,
Or how distinguish penitence from love?
Unequal task! a passion to resign,
For hearts so touch'd, so pierc'd, so lost as mine.
Ere such a soul regai...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

Half-way down to the shore Evangeline waited in silence,
Not overcome with grief, but strong in the hour of affliction,--
Calmly and sadly she waited, until the procession approached her,
And she beheld the face of Gabriel pale with emotion.
Team then filled her eyes, and, eagerly running to meet him,
Clasped she his hands, and laid her head on his shoulder, and whispered,--
"Gabriel! be of good cheer! for if we love one another
Nothing, in truth, can harm us,...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
All his moody melancholy;
As the ice is swept from rivers,
Straightway from his heart departed
All his sorrow and affliction.
Then they summoned Chibiabos
From his grave beneath the waters,
From the sands of Gitche Gumee
Summoned Hiawatha's brother.
And so mighty was the magic
Of that cry and invocation,
That he heard it as he lay there
Underneath the Big-Sea-Water;
From the sand he rose and listened,
Heard the music and the singing,
Came, obedient to the summon...Read More

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...wilder'd Memory retires. 
See! See! she grasps her flowing hair, 
From her fix'd eye the big drops roll, 
Her proud Affliction mocks controul, 
And riots in DESPAIR, 
Such are thy haunts, malignant Pow'r, 
There all thy murd'rous Poisons pour; 
But come not near my calm retreat, 
Where Peace and holy FRIENDSHIP meet; 
Where SCIENCE sheds a gentle ray, 
And guiltless Mirth beguiles the day, 
Where Bliss congenial to the MUSE 
Shall round my Heart her sweets diffuse, 
Where...Read More

by Milton, John
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain 
Torments him: round he throws his baleful eyes, 
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay, 
Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate. 
At once, as far as Angels ken, he views 
The dismal situation waste and wild. 
A dungeon horrible, on all sides round, 
As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames 
No light; but rather darkness visible 
Served only to discover sights of woe, 
Regions of sorrow, doleful sha...Read More

by Bronte, Charlotte
...lessly ? 
And have I not his red salute withstood ? 
Aye,­when, as erst, he plunged all Galilee 
In dark bereavement­in affliction sore, 
Mingling their very offerings with their gore. 

Then came he­in his eyes a serpent-smile, 
Upon his lips some false, endearing word, 
And, through the streets of Salem, clanged the while,
His slaughtering, hacking, sacrilegious sword­ 
And I, to see a man cause men such woe, 
Trembled with ire­I did not fear to show. 

And now, the...Read More

by Milton, John
...these? for with joint pace I hear 
The tread of many feet stearing this way;
Perhaps my enemies who come to stare
At my affliction, and perhaps to insult,
Thir daily practice to afflict me more.

Chor: This, this is he; softly a while,
Let us not break in upon him;
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelessly diffus'd,
With languish't head unpropt,
As one past hope, abandon'd 
And by himself given over;
In slavish habit, ill-fitted wee...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...whose speaking harmony suggested the idea; for this passage is not drawn from imagination but memory, that mirror which Affliction dashes to the earth, and looking down upon the fragments, only beholds the reflection multiplied. 

(7) Carasman Oglou, or Kara Osman Oglou, is the principle landholder in Turkey; he governs Magnesia. Those who, by a kind of feudal tenure, possess land on condition of service, are called Timariots; they serve as Spahis, according to the ex...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...had all she loved,
And he who had so loved her was not there
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
Or ill-repressed affliction, her pure thoughts.
What could her grief be?—she had loved him not,
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
Nor could he be a part of that which preyed
Upon her mind—a spectre of the past.


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Wanderer was returned.—I saw him stand
Before an altar—with a gentle bride;
Her face wa...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...whirlwind's sweep,  Untaught that soon such anguish must ensue,  Our hopes such harvest of affliction reap,  That we the mercy of the waves should rue.  We readied the western world, a poor, devoted crew.   Oh I dreadful price of being to resign  All that is dear in being! better far  In Want's most lonely cave till death to pine,  Unseen, unheard, un...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...the sorrow prizeI know not, nor have heart that can sufficeThe sad affliction to relate in verseOf these fair dames, that wept about her hearse;"Courtesy, Virtue, Beauty, all are lost;What shall become of us? None else can boastSuch high perfection; no more we shallHear her wise words, nor the an...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...r own shadow walked, and called it death ...
And some fled from it as it were a ghost,
Half fainting in the affliction of vain breath.
But more with motions which each other crost
Pursued or shunned the shadows the clouds threw
Or birds within the noonday ether lost,
Upon that path where flowers never grew;
And weary with vain toil & faint for thirst
Heard not the fountains whose melodious dew
Out of their mossy cells forever burst
Nor felt the breeze which fr...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are --

None may teach it -- Any --
'Tis the Seal Despair --
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air --

When it comes, the Landscape listens --
Shadows -- hold their breath --
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death --...Read More

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