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Famous Altars Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Pope, Alexander
...mend?
No Place so Sacred from such Fops is barr'd,
Nor is Paul's Church more safe than Paul's Church-yard:
Nay, fly to Altars; there they'll talk you dead;
For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.
Distrustful Sense with modest Caution speaks;
It still looks home, and short Excursions makes;
But ratling Nonsense in full Vollies breaks;
And never shock'd, and never turn'd aside,
Bursts out, resistless, with a thundering Tyde!

But where's the Man, who Counsel can best...Read More



by Naidu, Sarojini
...cover my face,
Profane the law of my father's creed for a foe 
of my father's race?
Thy kinsmen have broken our sacred altars and slaughtered our sacred kine,
The feud of old faiths and the blood of old battles sever thy people and mine.

He

What are the sins of my race, Beloved, 
what are my people to thee? 
And what are thy shrines, and kine and kindred, 
what are thy gods to me?
Love recks not of feuds and bitter follies, 
of stranger, comrade or kin,
Alike in his ea...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
...I

Thou who hast made thy dwelling fair
With flowers beneath, above with starry lights,
And set thine altars everywhere,--
On mountain heights,
In woodlands dim with many a dream,
In valleys bright with springs,
And on the curving capes of every stream:
Thou who hast taken to thyself the wings
Of morning, to abide
Upon the secret places of the sea,
And on far islands, where the tide
Visits the beauty of untrodden shores,
Waiting for worshippers to come to th...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
...till none
Is left to teach their worship; then the fires
Of sacrifice are chilled, and the green moss
O'ercreeps their altars; the fallen images
Cumber the weedy courts, and for loud hymns,
Chanted by kneeling crowds, the chiding winds
Shriek in the solitary aisles. When he
Who gives his life to guilt, and laughs at all
The laws that God or man has made, and round
Hedges his seat with power, and shines in wealth,--
Lifts up his atheist front to scoff at Heaven,
And celeb...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...a name
Above all Greek, above all Roman fame:
Whose word is truth, as sacred and rever'd,
As Heav'n's own oracles from altars heard.
Wonder of kings! like whom, to mortal eyes
None e'er has risen, and none e'er shall rise.

Just in one instance, be it yet confest
Your people, Sir, are partial in the rest:
Foes to all living worth except your own,
And advocates for folly dead and gone.
Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old;
It is the rust we value, not t...Read More



by Dryden, John
...is brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace,
And lambent dullness play'd around his face.
As Hannibal did to the altars come,
Sworn by his sire a mortal foe to Rome;
So Shadwell swore, nor should his vow be vain,
That he till death true dullness would maintain;
And in his father's right, and realm's defence,
Ne'er to have peace with wit, nor truce with sense.
The king himself the sacred unction made,
As king by office, and as priest by trade:
In his sinister hand, ...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...cuitous wanderer," and "took dejectedly
His seat upon the intellectual throne"—
Agreed in 'frowning on these improvised
Altars the woods are full of nowadays,
Again as in the days when Ahaz sinned
By worship under green trees in the open.
Scarcely a mile but that I come on one,
A black-checked stone and stick of rain-washed charcoal.
Even to say the groves were God's first temples
Comes too near to Ahaz' sin for safety.
Nothing not built with hands of course is sa...Read More

by Neruda, Pablo
...s a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
altars,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
wells
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet....Read More

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
...hall,
But one more pale, more pensive, most beloved of you all.
I seek her from afar,
I come from temples where her altars are,
From groves that bear her name,
Noisy with stricken victims now and sacrificial flame,
And cymbals struck on high and strident faces
Obstreperous in her praise
They neither love nor know,
A goddess of gone days,
Departed long ago,
Abandoning the invaded shrines and fanes
Of her old sanctuary,
A deity obscure and legendary,
Of whom there now remai...Read More

by Milton, John
...the pit of Hell 
Roaming to seek their prey on Earth, durst fix 
Their seats, long after, next the seat of God, 
Their altars by his altar, gods adored 
Among the nations round, and durst abide 
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned 
Between the Cherubim; yea, often placed 
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines, 
Abominations; and with cursed things 
His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned, 
And with their darkness durst affront his light. 
First, Moloch, horrid ...Read More

by Milton, John
...s tree 
'Stood visible; among these pines his voice 
'I heard; here with him at this fountain talked: 
So many grateful altars I would rear 
Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone 
Of lustre from the brook, in memory, 
Or monument to ages; and theron 
Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers: 
In yonder nether world where shall I seek 
His bright appearances, or foot-step trace? 
For though I fled him angry, yet recalled 
To life prolonged and promised race, I now ...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...h they drag from mines of gore
The chains their slaves yet ever wore;
And in the streets men met each other,
And by old altars and in halls,
And smiled again at festivals.
But each man found in his heart's brother
Cold cheer; for all, though half deceived,
The outworn creeds again believed,
And the same round anew began
Which the weary world yet ever ran. 

Many then wept, not tears, but gall,
Within their hearts, like drops which fall
Wasting the fountain-stone away....Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...e bells of the mule; 
I hear the Arab muezzin, calling from the top of the mosque; 
I hear the Christian priests at the altars of their churches—I hear the responsive bass
 and
 soprano;
I hear the wail of utter despair of the white-hair’d Irish grandparents, when they learn
 the
 death
 of their grandson; 
I hear the cry of the Cossack, and the sailor’s voice, putting to sea at Okotsk; 
I hear the wheeze of the slave-coffle, as the slaves march on—as the husky gangs pass on
...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...ye had strewed.

When chased by fierce barbarian hordes away,
The last remaining votive brand ye tore
From Orient's altars, now pollution's prey,
And to these western lands in safety bore.
The fugitive from yonder eastern shore,
The youthful day, the West her dwelling made;
And on Hesperia's plains sprang up once more
Ionia's flowers, in pristine bloom arrayed.
Over the spirit fairer Nature shed,
With soft refulgence, a reflection bright,
And through the graceful ...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...now rules in heaven,

On the cross a Saviour they adore.

Victims slay they here,

Neither lamb nor steer,
But the altars reek with human gore."

And he lists, and ev'ry word he weighs,

While his eager soul drinks in each sound:
"Can it be that now before my gaze

Stands my loved one on this silent ground?

Pledge to me thy troth!

Through our father's oath:

With Heav'ns blessing will our love be crown'd."

"Kindly youth, I never can be thine!

'Tis my sister t...Read More

by Seeger, Alan
...owers and share
Their simple loveliness with the enamored air.

Thrice dear to them whose votive fingers decked
The altars of First Love were these green ways,
These lawns and verdurous brakes forever flecked
With the warm sunshine of midsummer days;
Oft where the long straight allies intersect
And marble seats surround the open space,
Where a tiled pool and sculptured fountain stand,
Hath Evening found them seated, silent, hand in hand.

When twilight deepened, in th...Read More

by Turner Smith, Charlotte
...ied with splendid palaces 3 ; the beds
Of silk and down, the silver chalices,
Vestments with gold enwrought for blazing altars;
Where, amid clouds of incense, he held forth
To kneeling crowds the imaginary bones
Of Saints suppos'd, in pearl and gold enchas'd,
And still with more than living Monarchs' pomp
Surrounded; was believ'd by mumbling bigots
To hold the keys of Heaven, and to admit
Whom he thought good to share it--Now alas!
He, to whose daring soul and high ambition
T...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
....

For lo! the Board with Cups and Spoons is crown'd,
The Berries crackle, and the Mill turns round.
On shining Altars of Japan they raise
The silver Lamp; the fiery Spirits blaze.
From silver Spouts the grateful Liquors glide,
And China's Earth receives the smoking Tyde. 
At once they gratify their Scent and Taste,
While frequent Cups prolong the rich Repast.
Strait hover round the Fair her Airy Band;
Some, as she sip'd, the fuming Liquor fann'd,
Some o'e...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...the Sun sprang forth
Rejoicing in his splendour, & the mask
Of darkness fell from the awakened Earth.
The smokeless altars of the mountain snows
Flamed above crimson clouds, & at the birth
Of light, the Ocean's orison arose
To which the birds tempered their matin lay,
All flowers in field or forest which unclose
Their trembling eyelids to the kiss of day,
Swinging their censers in the element,
With orient incense lit by the new ray
Burned slow & inconsumably, & sent
Their...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...s,
Looking after the march, till the distance 'twas lost.
Then in prayer they threw themselves down at the deities' altars,
Praying for triumph and fame, praying for your safe return.
Honor and triumph were yours, but naught returned save your glory,
And by a heart-touching stone, told are your valorous deeds.
"Traveller! when thou com'st to Sparta, proclaim to the people
That thou hast seen us lie here, as by the law we were bid."
Slumber calmly, ye loved one...Read More

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