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Famous Ajax Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Pope, Alexander
...ers flows;
But when loud Surges lash the sounding Shore,
The hoarse, rough Verse shou'd like the Torrent roar.
When Ajax strives, some Rocks' vast Weight to throw,
The Line too labours, and the Words move slow;
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the Plain,
Flies o'er th'unbending Corn, and skims along the Main.
Hear how Timotheus' vary'd Lays surprize,
And bid Alternate Passions fall and rise!
While, at each Change, the Son of Lybian Jove
Now burns with Glory, and then...Read More

by Jonson, Ben
...Argive queen,Or, in an army's head, that lock'd in brass Gave killing strokes.  There were brave men before Ajax, or Idomen, or all the store That Homer brought to Troy ;  yet none so live, Because they lack'd the sacred pen could give Like life unto them.  Who heav'd Hercules Unto the stars, or the Tindarides ? Who placed Jason's Argo in the sky,Or lifted Cassiopea in her chair, But only poets, rapt with rage divine ? And such, or ...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...thy valor sought.
Peace be to thine ashes blest!
Thou wert vanquished not in fight:
Anger 'tis destroys the best,--
Ajax fell by Ajax' might!"

Neoptolemus poured then,
To his sire renowned the wine--
"'Mongst the lots of earthly men,
Mighty father, prize I thine!
Of the goods that life supplies,
Greatest far of all is fame;
Though to dust the body flies,
Yet still lives a noble name.
Valiant one, thy glory's ray
Will immortal be in song;
For, though life may pass awa...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
And question of you; asking, "Who is he 
That towers above the others? Which may be 
Atreides, Menelaus, Odysseus, 
Ajax the great, or bold Idomeneus?" 

Let him not boast who puts his armor on 
As he who puts it off, the battle done. 
Study yourselves; and most of all note well 
Wherein kind Nature meant you to excel. 
Not every blossom ripens into fruit; 
Minerva, the inventress of the flute, 
Flung it aside, when she her face surveyed 
Distorted in a fountain a...Read More

by Drayton, Michael
...can poet doth advance
The frantic Paladine of France,
And those more ancient do enhance
Alcides in his fury,
And others Ajax Telamon:
But to this time there hath been none
So bedlam as our Oberon,
Of which I dare assure you.
And first encount'ring with a wasp,
He in his arms the fly doth clasp,
As tho' his breath he forth would grasp,
Him for Pigwiggen taking:
'Where is my wife, thou rogue?" quoth he,
"Pigwiggen, she is come to thee,
Restore her, or thou di'st by me."...Read More

by Milton, John the elder was no less ambitious, then before of his
attaining to the Tyranny. Augustus Caesar also had begun his
Ajax, but unable to please his own judgment with what he had
begun. left it unfinisht. Seneca the Philosopher is by some thought
the Author of those Tragedies (at lest the best of them) that go
under that name. Gregory Nazianzen a Father of the Church,
thought it not unbeseeming the sanctity of his person to write a
Tragedy which he entitl'd, Chr...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco the end.Well Valentinian knew that to such painWrath leads, and Ajax, he whose death it wrought.Strong against many, 'gainst himself at last.Wrath is brief madness, and, when unrestrain'd,Long madness, which its master often leadsTo shame and crime, and haply e'en to death. Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...numbers flows;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar;
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labors, and the words move slow;
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise,
And bid alternate passions fall and rise!...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...with dainty hand his helmet's plume,
And far away the moil, the shout, the groan,
As Hector shielded off the spear and Ajax hurled the stone;

Of winged Perseus with his flawless sword
Cleaving the snaky tresses of the witch,
And all those tales imperishably stored
In little Grecian urns, freightage more rich
Than any gaudy galleon of Spain
Bare from the Indies ever! these at least bring back again,

For well I know they are not dead at all,
The ancient Gods of Grecian poesy...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth,
How bitter are the drops of woe,
With which its brim may overflow,
He has not learned to live.

The prayer of Ajax was for light;
Through all that dark and desperate fight
The blackness of that noonday night
He asked but the return of sight,
To see his foeman's face.

Let our unceasing, earnest prayer
Be, too, for light,--for strength to bear
Our portion of the weight of care,
That crushes into dumb despair
One half the human race.

O suffering, sad humanity...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...ll of Troy:
Thou from this tow'r defend th' important post
There Agamemnon points his dreadful host,
That pass Tydides, Ajax, strive to gain,
And there the vengeful Spartan fires his train.
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have giv'n,
Or led by hopes, or dictated from heav'n.
Let others in the field their arms employ,
But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy."

The chief replied: "That post shall be my care,
Not that alone, but all the works of war.
H...Read More

by Thoreau, Henry David
...on this hummock's crown? 

Bid Homer wait till I the issue learn, 
If red or black the gods will favor most, 
Or yonder Ajax will the phalanx turn, 
Struggling to heave some rock against the host. 

Tell Shakespeare to attend some leisure hour, 
For now I've business with this drop of dew, 
And see you not, the clouds prepare a shower-- 
I'll meet him shortly when the sky is blue. 

This bed of herd's grass and wild oats was spread 
Last year with nicer skill than mon...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...bans join'd the train,Whose noble names adorn a former strain;Great Ajax with Tydides next appear'd,And he that o'er the sea's broad bosom steer'dIn search of shores unknown with daring prow,And ancient Nestor, with his looks of snow,Who thrice beheld the race of man decline,And hail'd as oft a ne...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
And Tyrant Love his brest does ply
With all his wing'd Artillery.
Whilst he, betwixt the Flames and Waves,
Like Ajax, the mad Tempest braves.

See how he nak'd and fierce does stand,
Cuffing the Thunder with one hand;
While with the other he does lock,
And grapple, with the stubborn Rock:
From which he with each Wave rebounds,
Torn into Flames, and ragg'd with Wounds.
And all he saies, a Lover drest
In his own Blood does relish best.

This is the only Bann...Read More

by Swift, Jonathan
Makes wit inflame, or anger burn:
So the sun's heat, with different powers,
Ripens the grape, the liquor sours:
Thus Ajax, when with rage possest,
By Pallas breathed into his breast,
His valour would no more employ,
Which might alone have conquered Troy;
But, blinded be resentment, seeks
For vengeance on his friends the Greeks.
You think this turbulence of blood
From stagnating preserves the flood,
Which, thus fermenting by degrees,
Exalts the spirits, sinks the lees.<...Read More

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