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Famous Ails Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...WHAT ails ye now, ye lousie *****
To thresh my back at sic a pitch?
Losh, man! hae mercy wi’ your natch,
 Your bodkin’s bauld;
I didna suffer half sae much
 Frae Daddie Auld.

What tho’ at times, when I grow crouse,
I gie their wames a random pouse,
Is that enough for you to souse
 Your servant sae?
Gae mind your seam, ye prick-the-louse,
 An’ jag-the-flea!
...Read more of this...

by Burns, Robert
...’ tak a whirl,
To learn bon ton, an’ see the worl’.
 There, at Vienna, or Versailles,
He rives his father’s auld entails;
Or by Madrid he takes the rout,
To thrum guitars an’ fecht wi’ nowt;
Or down Italian vista startles,
 Wh-re-hunting amang groves o’ myrtles:
Then bowses drumlie German-water,
To mak himsel look fair an’ fatter,
An’ clear the consequential sorrows,
Love-gifts of Carnival signoras.
 For Britain’s guid! for her destruction!
Wi’ dissipation, feud, an’ ...Read more of this...

by Bradstreet, Anne
...ew England. 

1 Alas, dear Mother, fairest Queen and best,
2 With honour, wealth, and peace happy and blest,
3 What ails thee hang thy head, and cross thine arms,
4 And sit i' the dust to sigh these sad alarms?
5 What deluge of new woes thus over-whelm
6 The glories of thy ever famous Realm?
7 What means this wailing tone, this mournful guise?
8 Ah, tell thy Daughter; she may sympathize. 

Old England. 

9 Art ignorant indeed of these my woes,
10 Or must my forced...Read more of this...

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles, chilled and bowed, 
Warped and wrinkled: here the days are fair as dreams. 

O russet-robed November, 
What ails thee so to smile? 
Chill August, pale September, 
Endured a woful while, 
And fell as falls an ember 
From forth a flameless pile: 
But golden-girt November 
Bids all she looks on smile. 

The lustrous foliage, waning 
As wanes the morning moon, 
Here falling, here refraining, 
Outbraves the pride of June 
With statelier semblance, feigning 
No fear...Read more of this...

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles

Thou art far too far for wings of words to follow, 
 Far too far off for thought or any prayer. 
 What ails us with thee, who art wind and air? 
What ails us gazing where all seen is hollow? 
 Yet with some fancy, yet with some desire, 
 Dreams pursue death as winds a flying fire, 
Our dreams pursue our dead and do not find. 
 Still, and more swift than they, the thin flame flies, 
 The low light fails us in elusive skies, 
Still the foil'd earnest ear is...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
He must have all or perish, -- or look out
Of London, where he sees too many lords.
They're part of half what ails him: I suppose
There's nothing fouler down among the demons
Than what it is he feels when he remembers
The dust and sweat and ointment of his calling
With his lords looking on and laughing at him.
King as he is, he can't be king de facto,
And that's as well, because he wouldn't like it;
He'd frame a lower rating of men then
Than he has now; and afte...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
Out of His reach, that feels nor joy nor grief, 
Since both derive from weakness in some way. 
I joy because the quails come; would not joy 
Could I bring quails here when I have a mind: 
This Quiet, all it hath a mind to, doth. 
'Esteemeth stars the outposts of its couch, 
But never spends much thought nor care that way. 
It may look up, work up,--the worse for those 
It works on! 'Careth but for Setebos 
The many-handed as a cuttle-fish, 
Who, making Himself fe...Read more of this...

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...with altered voice, said she-
'Off, wandering mother! Peak and pine!
I have power to bid thee flee.'
Alas! what ails poor Geraldine?
Why stares she with unsettled eye?
Can she the bodiless dead espy?
And why with hollow voice cries she,
'Off, woman, off! this hour is mine-
Though thou her guardian spirit be,
Off, woman. off! 't is given to me.'

Then Christabel knelt by the lady's side,
And raised to heaven her eyes so blue-
'Alas!' said she, 'this g...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...half-fledg'd little ones to brush
About the dewy forest, whisper tales?--
Speak not of grief, young stranger, or cold snails
Will slime the rose to night. Though if thou wilt,
Methinks 'twould be a guilt--a very guilt--
Not to companion thee, and sigh away
The light--the dusk--the dark--till break of day!"
"Dear lady," said Endymion, "'tis past:
I love thee! and my days can never last.
That I may pass in patience still speak:
Let me have music dying, and I seek
No mor...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...race was in her face, her bearing high and stately,
And sinking down by Hongray's side she spoke to him sedately:
"What ails you so, my precious child? What throngs of sorrow smite you?
Why are your eyes so wet and wild? Come tell me, I invite you."
"Ah! if I told you, Mother dear," said Hongray with a shiver,
"Another's honour would, I fear, be in the soup forever."
"Nay trust," she begged, "My only boy, the fond Mama who bore you.
Perhaps I may, your grief alloy...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
But not so parlous and implacable 
In their undoing of poor human triumph
As easy fashion—or brief novelty 
That ails even while it grows, and like sick fruit 
Falls down anon to an indifferent earth 
To break with inward rot. I say all this, 
And I concede, in honor of your silence,
A waste of innocent facility 
In tints of other colors than are mine. 
I cannot paint with words, but there’s a time 
For most of us when words are all we have 
To serve our strick...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...ll wait until my money's gone
Before I take the sleeping pills;
Then when they find me in the dawn,
Remote from earthly ails and ills
They'll say: "She's broke, the foreign *****!"
And dump me in the common ditch.

So thought I, of all hope bereft,
And by my evil fate obsessed;
A thousand franks was all I'd left
Of that fair fortune I possessed.
...I throw it on the table there,
And wait, with on my lips a prayer.

I fear my very life's at stake;
My no...Read more of this...

by Clampitt, Amy
like the wind itself, that's merely air
in a terrible fret, without so much
as a finger to articulate
what ails it, the aeolian
syrinx, that reed
in the throat of a bird,
when it comes to the shaping of
what we call consonants, is
too imprecise for consensus
about what it even seems to
be saying: is it o-ka-lee
or con-ka-ree, is it really jug jug,
is it cuckoo for that matter?—
much less whether a bird's call
means anything in
particular, or at all.

Syntax c...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy pinched her 
"You'd like to have our good Elector turn
Me out I think." "But, Theodore, something *****
Ails me. Oh, do but notice how they burn,
My cheeks! The thunder worried me. You're 
And cold, and only love your work, I know.
But Theodore, for this evening, do not go."
But he had gone, hurriedly at the end,
For she had kept him talking. Now she sat
Alone again, always alone, the trend
Of all her thinking brought her back to tha...Read more of this...

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles her tomb.

By those eyes blinded and that heavenly head
And the secluded soul adorable,
O Milton's land, what ails thee to be dead?
Thine ears are yet sonorous with his shell
That all the songs of all thy sea-line fed
With motive sound of spring-tides at mid swell,
And through thine heart his thought as blood is shed,
Requickening thee with wisdom to do well;
Such sons were of thy womb,
England, for love of whom
Thy name is not yet writ with theirs that fell,
But, t...Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
Has dried the sap out of my veins, and rent
Spontaneous joy and natural content
Out of my heart. There's something ails our colt
That must, as if it had not holy blood
Nor on Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,
Shiver under the lash, strain, sweat and jolt
As though it dragged road-metal. My curse on plays
That have to be set up in fifty ways,
On the day's war with every knave and dolt,
Theatre business, management of men.
I swear before the dawn comes round agai...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...>  Old Susan lies a bed in pain,  And sorely puzzled are the twain,  For what she ails they cannot guess.   And Betty's husband's at the wood,  Where by the week he doth abide,  A woodman in the distant vale;  There's none to help poor Susan Gale,  What must be done? what will betide?   And Betty from the lane has fetched  Her p...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...  To wipe those briny tears away.  I follow'd him, and said, "My friend  What ails you? wherefore weep you so?"  —"Shame on me, Sir! this lusty lamb,  He makes my tears to flow.  To-day I fetched him from the rock;  He is the last of all my flock."   When I was young, a single man,  And after youthful follies ran.  Though littl...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...veciously thunderin' oot;
When sudden I heard a bit sound like a sigh,
 And there in a crump-hole a kiltie I saw:
"Whit ails ye, ma lad? Are ye woundit?" says I.
 "I've lost ma wee whustle," says Sandy McGraw.
"'Twas oot by yon bing where we pressed the attack,
 It drapped frae ma pooch, and between noo and dawn
There isna much time so I'm jist crawlin' back. . . ."
 "Ye're daft, man!" I telt him, but Sandy wis gone.
Weel, I waited a wee, then I cr...Read more of this...

by Taylor, Edward
...ume of choice precepts clear.
As if her satin jacket hot
Contained apothecary's shop
Of nature's receipts, that prevails
To remedy all her sad ails,
As if her velvet helmet high
Did turret rationality.
She fans her wing up to the wind
As if her pettycoat were lined,
With reason's fleece, and hoists sails
And humming flies in thankful gales
Unto her dun curled palace hall
Her warm thanks offering for all.

 Lord, clear my misted sight that I
May hence view Thy divi...Read more of this...

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