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Famous Ancestry Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Tebb, Barry
...tone effigy of a knight in repose

With the words upon his tomb:

“Come here and you will discover

The secrets of your ancestry”

But still I did not go, nor to the

Dairy in Northampton where they

Washed the floors in milk each

Afternoon in the cool silence,

The butter-making done, milk in the

Tall, chiming churns rolled onto the

Platform by the railway.


I began my poetry on a Woolworth’s’ pad

Where a lily floated on the cover

In green and white and red....Read More

by Moore, Thomas
Because of its birth? 
Hath the violet less brightness 
For growing near earth? 

No -- Man for his glory 
To ancestry flies; 
But Woman's bright story 
Is told in her eyes. 
While the Monarch but traces 
Through mortals his line, 
Beauty, born of the Graces, 
Ranks next to Divine!...Read More

by Rilke, Rainer Maria
...? And the youth
follows. He is touched by her gentle bearing. The shoulders,
the neck, -perhaps she is of noble ancestry? 
Yet he leaves her, turns around, looks back and waves...
What could come of it? She is a Lament.

Only those who died young, in their first state of
timeless serenity, while they are being weaned,
follow her lovingly. She waits for girls
and befriends them. Gently she shows them
what she is wearing. Pearls of grief
and ...Read More

by Sherrick, Fannie Isabelle
...led thee daughter, child,
No blood of theirs flowed in thy veins, thy race
Was of a noble kind, to splendor born;
An ancestry who wore a kingly grace,
The traces of a lineage undefiled.
Upon thy brow their dauntless pride is worn—-
But stay, thy mother, child, though strangely fair,
Was but a singer whose voice of wondrous power
Thine own is like, a voice that filled the air
With strange, sweet sounds, and oft, in many an hour,
Enchantment threw o'er all the eager t...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf' that writes upon your plains
The blasting of Almighty wrath against a land of chains.

Still shame your gallant ancestry, the cavaliers of old,
By watching round the shambles where human flesh is sold;
Gloat o'er the new-born child, and count his market value, when
The maddened mother's cry of woe shall pierce the slaver's den!

Lower than plummet soundeth, sink the Virginia name;
Plant, if ye will, your fathers' graves with rankest weeds of shame;
Be, if ye will, the...Read More

by Robinson, Mary Darby

And tho' no lofty VASE or sculptur'd BUST 
Bends o'er the sod that hides thy sacred dust; 
Tho' no long line of ancestry betrays 
Tho' o'er thy name a blushing nation rears 
OBLIVION'S wing­ to hide REFLECTION'S tears! 
Still shall thy verse in dazzling lustre live, 
And claim a brighter wreath THAN WEALTH CAN GIVE....Read More

by Service, Robert William grey,
 She had a single tooth;
Her mutch was grimed, I grieve to say,
 For I would speak the truth.

You of your ancestry may boast,--
 Well, here I brag of mine;
For if there is a heaven host
 I hope they'll be in line:
My dad with collie at his heel
 In plaid of tartan stripe;
My mammie with her spinning wheel,
 My granny with her pipe....Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
...en have found
Poor footmen or rich merchants on the roll
Of his forbears? Did they beget his soul? 
Nay, for he came of ancestry renowned 
Through all the world, -- the poets laurel-crowned
With wreaths from which the autumn takes no toll. 

The blazons on his coat-of-arms are these:
The flaming sign of Shelley's heart on fire,
The golden globe of Shakespeare's human stage,
The staff and scrip of Chaucer's pilgrimage, 
The rose of Dante's deep, divine desire,
The tragic m...Read More

by Lowell, Amy a very ancient house,
The entries on my books would rouse
Your wonder, perhaps incredulity.
I inherited from an ancestry
Stretching remotely back and far,
This business, and my clients are
As were those of my grandfather's days,
Writers of books, and poems, and plays.
My swords are tempered for every speech,
For fencing wit, or to carve a breach
Through old abuses the world condones.
In another room are my grindstones and hones,
For whetting razors and putting...Read More

by Turner Smith, Charlotte
Even Britons controvert the unwelcome truth,
Can it be relish'd by the sons of France?
Men, who derive their boasted ancestry
From the fierce leaders of religious wars,
The first in Chivalry's emblazon'd page;
Who reckon Gueslin, Bayard, or De Foix,
Among their brave Progenitors? Their eyes,
Accustom'd to regard the splendid trophies
Of Heraldry (that with fantastic hand
Mingles, like images in feverish dreams,
"Gorgons and Hydras, and Chimeras dire,"
With painted puns, an...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...ut here in the rain 
Studying genealogy with me 
You never saw before. What will we come to 
With all this pride of ancestry, we Yankees? 
I think we're all mad. Tell me why we're here 
Drawn into town about this cellar hole 
Like wild geese on a lake before a storm? 
What do we see in such a hole, I wonder." 
"The Indians had a myth of Chicamoztoc, 
Which means The Seven Caves that We Came out of. 
This is the pit from which we Starks were digged." 
"You ...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...leave to fall,
Not on thy pity for my pain to call. 

When sometimes in an ancient house where state
From noble ancestry is handed on,
We see but desolation thro' the gate,
And richest heirlooms all to ruin gone;
Because maybe some fancied shame or fear,
Bred of disease or melancholy fate,
Hath driven the owner from his rightful sphere
To wander nameless save to pity or hate: 
What is the wreck of all he hath in fief
When he that hath is wrecking? nought is fine
Unto ...Read More

by Knight, Etheridge
...Taped to the wall of my cell are 47 pictures: 47 black
faces: my father, mother, grandmothers (1 dead), grand-
fathers (both dead), brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts,
cousins (1st and 2nd), nieces, and nephews.They stare
across the space at me sprawling on my bunk.I know
their dark eyes, they know mine.I know their style,
they know mine.I am...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...her marriage. *he made it a matter
His purpose was for to bestow her high of difficulty*
Into some worthy blood of ancestry.
For holy Church's good may be dispended* *spent
On holy Church's blood that is descended.
Therefore he would his holy blood honour
Though that he holy Churche should devour.

Great soken* hath this miller, out of doubt, *toll taken for grinding
With wheat and malt, of all the land about;
And namely* there was a great college *especially...Read More

by Hardy, Thomas
...future second death is near;
When, with the living, memory of us numbs,
And blank oblivion comes!

"These, our sped ancestry,
Lie here embraced by deeper death than we;
Nor shape nor thought of theirs can you descry
With keenest backward eye.

"They count as quite forgot;
They are as men who have existed not;
Theirs is a loss past loss of fitful breath;
It is the second death.

"We here, as yet, each day
Are blest with dear recall; as yet, can say
We hold in ...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...tle house, *because
And had his elders noble and virtuous,
And will himselfe do no gentle deedes,
Nor follow his gentle ancestry, that dead is,
He is not gentle, be he duke or earl;
For villain sinful deedes make a churl.
For gentleness is but the renomee* *renown
Of thine ancestors, for their high bounte,* *goodness, worth
Which is a strange thing to thy person:
Thy gentleness cometh from God alone.
Then comes our very* gentleness of grace; *true
It was no thing bequ...Read More

by Gibran, Kahlil
...the name of my noble family, and of whom you will be justly proud. He is the new bearer of a great and illustrious ancestry, and upon him depends the brilliant future of this realm. Sing and be merry!" The voices of the throngs, full of joy and thankfulness, flooded the sky with exhilarating song, welcoming the new tyrant who would affix the yoke of oppression to their necks by ruling the weak with bitter authority, and exploiting their bodies and killing their souls...Read More

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