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Famous Alternate Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...ture's ebb and flow, grew feebler still;
And when two lessening points of light alone
Gleamed through the darkness, the alternate gasp
Of his faint respiration scarce did stir
The stagnate night:--till the minutest ray
Was quenched, the pulse yet lingered in his heart.
It paused--it fluttered. But when heaven remained
Utterly black, the murky shades involved 
An image silent, cold, and motionless,
As their own voiceless earth and vacant air.
Even as a vapor fed wi...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...he 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 melts with Love;
Now his fierce Eyes with sparkling Fury glow;
Now Sighs steal out, and Tears begin to flow:
Persians and Greeks like Turns of Nature found,
And the World's Victor stood subdu'd by Sound!
The Pow'rs of Musick all our Hearts allow;
An...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...Fretted for news that made him fret again,
Snatched at each telegram of Future Sale,
And thrilled with Bulls' or Bears' alternate wail --
In hope or fear alike for ever pale.
And thus from year to year, through hope and fear,
With many a curse and many a secret tear,
Striving in vain his cloud of debt to clear,
At last
He woke to find his foolish dreaming past,
And all his best-of-life the easy prey
Of squandering scamps and quacks that lined his way
With vile array,
From...Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...ey throng, 
Slow measures chanting of a dirge-like song.
In one great circle dizzily they swing, 
A squaw and chief alternate in the ring.
Coarse raven locks stream over robes of white, 
Their deep set orbs emit a lurid light, 
And as through pine trees moan the winds refrains, 
So swells and dies away, the ghostly graveyard strains.

Like worded wine is music to the ear, 
And long indulged makes mad the hearts that hear. 
The dancers, drunken with ...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...l doth clearly cross. 
 The Marquis' mortar beams near Ducal wreath, 
 And on the helm and gleaming shield beneath 
 Alternate triple pearls with leaves displayed 
 Of parsley, and the royal robes are made 
 So large that with the knightly harness they 
 Seem to o'ermaster palfreys every way. 
 To Rome the oldest armor might be traced, 
 And men and horses' armor interlaced 
 Blent horribly; the man and steed we feel 
 Made but one hydra with its scales of steel. 
...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...his dark-eyed daughter, 
Wayward as the Minnehaha,
With her moods of shade and sunshine, 
Eyes that smiled and frowned alternate, 
Feet as rapid as the river,
Tresses flowing like the water, 
And as musical a laughter: 
And he named her from the river, 
From the water-fall he named her, 
Minnehaha, Laughing Water.
Was it then for heads of arrows, 
Arrow-heads of chalcedony, 
Arrow-heads of flint and jasper, 
That my Hiawatha halted
In the land of the Dacotahs?
Was it not...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...gry sea-gulls, 
Came back from the reedy islands, 
Clamorous for their morning banquet.
Three whole days and nights alternate 
Old Nokomis and the sea-gulls 
Stripped the oily flesh of Nahma, 
Till the waves washed through the rib-bones, 
Till the sea-gulls came no longer, 
And upon the sands lay nothing 
But the skeleton of Nahma....Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...dants on the bowl,
Smooth'd ev'ry brow, and open'd ev'ry soul:
With growing years the pleasing licence grew,
And taunts alternate innocently flew.
But times corrupt, and nature, ill-inclin'd,
Produc'd the point that left a sting behind;
Till friend with friend, and families at strife,
Triumphant malice rag'd through private life.
Who felt the wrong, or fear'd it, took th' alarm,
Appeal'd to law, and justice lent her arm.
At length, by wholesome dread of statutes b...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...e round us, and is spilt 
 Light here, and darkness yonder, so doth she 
 From man to man, from race and kindred take 
 Alternate wealth, or yield it. None may save 
 The spoil that she depriveth: none may flee 
 The bounty that she wills. No human wits 
 May hinder, nor may human lore reject 
 Her choice, that like a hidden snake is set 
 To reach the feet unheeding. Where she sits 
 In judgment, she resolves, and whom she wills 
 Is havened, chased by petulant s...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) cry was vain, 
The captive died upon the battle-slain: 
In either cause, one rage alone possess'd 
The empire of the alternate victor's breast; 
And they that smote for freedom or for sway, 
Deem'd few were slain, while more remain'd to slay. 
It was too late to check the wasting brand, 
And Desolation reap'd the famish'd land; 
The torch was lighted, and the flame was spread, 
And Carnage smiled upon her daily bread. 


Fresh with the nerve the new-born i...Read More

by Trumbull, John
...e straining of his wits;
While troops, in Boston commons placed,
Laid nought, but quires of paper, waste;
While strokes alternate stunn'd the nation,
Protest, Address and Proclamation,
And speech met speech, fib clash'd with fib,
And Gage still answer'd, squib for squib.

"Though this not all his time was lost on;
He fortified the town of Boston,
Built breastworks, that might lend assistance
To keep the patriots at a distance;
For howsoe'er the rogues might scoff,
He lik...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...ny a woman dear.

Henceforward shall his image fair

Stand in yon starry skies,
And, ever mild and gracious there,

Alternate set and rise.

1815.*...Read More

by Milton, John
..., where they slept 
Fanned with cool winds; save those, who, in their course, 
Melodious hymns about the sovran throne 
Alternate all night long: but not so waked 
Satan; so call him now, his former name 
Is heard no more in Heaven; he of the first, 
If not the first Arch-Angel, great in power, 
In favour and pre-eminence, yet fraught 
With envy against the Son of God, that day 
Honoured by his great Father, and proclaimed 
Messiah King anointed, could not bear 
Through pride...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ld, at last accomplish’d. 

O, vast Rondure, swimming in space! 
Cover’d all over with visible power and beauty! 
Alternate light and day, and the teeming, spiritual darkness; 
Unspeakable, high processions of sun and moon, and countless stars, above;
Below, the manifold grass and waters, animals, mountains, trees; 
With inscrutable purpose—some hidden, prophetic intention; 
Now, first, it seems, my thought begins to span thee. 

Down from the gardens of Asia, desce...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
49 That seemed hallucinating horn, and here, 
50 A sunken voice, both of remembering 
51 And of forgetfulness, in alternate strain. 
52 Just so an ancient Crispin was dissolved. 
53 The valet in the tempest was annulled. 
54 Bordeaux to Yucatan, Havana next, 
55 And then to Carolina. Simple jaunt. 
56 Crispin, merest minuscule in the gates, 
57 Dejected his manner to the turbulence. 
58 The salt hung on his spirit like a frost, 
59 The de...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...the other.
Each is turned half-way round so that
its corners point toward the sides
of the one below and the angles alternate.
Then on the topmost cube is set 
a sort of fleur-de-lys of weathered wood,
long petals of board, pierced with odd holes,
four-sided, stiff, ecclesiastical.
From it four thin, warped poles spring out,
(slanted like fishing-poles or flag-poles)
and from them jig-saw work hangs down,
four lines of vaguely whittled ornament
over the edges of t...Read More

by Khayyam, Omar
As, buried once, Men want dug up again. 

Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two and went his way. 

They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep:
And Bahram, that great Hunter -- the Wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep. 

I sometimes think that never blows so red
The...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord plight my troth, 
And gain her for my bride. 

And when my marriage morn may fall, 
She, Dryad-like, shall wear 
Alternate leaf and acorn-ball 
In wreath about her hair. 

And I will work in prose and rhyme, 
And praise thee more in both 
Than bard has honour'd beech or lime, 
Or that Thessalian growth, 

In which the swarthy ringdove sat, 
And mystic sentence spoke; 
And more than England honours that, 
Thy famous brother-oak, 

Wherein the younger Charles abode 
...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...f anew:—"What is the end of this incessant flightOf life and death, alternate day and night?When will the motion on these orbs impress'dSink on the bosom of eternal rest?"At once, as if obsequious to my will,Another prospect shone, unmoved and still;Eternal as the heavens that glow'd above,Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...rue to Pleasure's laws.Chrysippus next his subtle web disposed:Zeno alternate spread his hand, and closed;To show how eloquence expands the soul,And logic boasts a close and nervous whole.And there Cleanthes drew the mighty lineThat led his pupils on, with heart divine,Through time's fallacious jo...Read More

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