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Famous Ascent Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Yeats, William Butler
...My Soul. I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air,
"Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;
Fix every wandering thought upon
That quarter where all thought is done:
Who can distinguish darkness from the soul

My Self. The consecretes blade upon my knees
Is Sato's ancient blade, still as it was,
Still razor-keen, still like ...Read More

by Drayton, Michael
...y doth defend,
Violet, carnation, balm, and cassia,
Idea's primrose, coronet of may.
Above this grove a gentle fair ascent,
Which by degrees of milk-white marble went:
Upon the top, a paradise was found,
With which Nature this miracle had crown'd,
Empal'd with rocks of rarest precious stone,
Which like the flames of ?tna brightly shone,
And served as lanthorns furnished with light,
To guide the wand'ring passengers by night:
For which fair Ph{oe}be, sliding from her spher...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...the low world, and thankless men above, 
Unto the kingdom blest of peace and love: 
We only mourned ourselves, in thine ascent, 
Whom thou hadst left beneath with mantle rent. 

For all delight of life thou then didst lose, 
When to command, thou didst thyself dispose; 
Resigning up thy privacy so dear, 
To turn the headstrong people's charioteer; 
For to be Cromwell was a greater thing, 
Then ought below, or yet above a king: 
Therefore thou rather didst thyself depress,...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...ment. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante,
ch'i' fui per ritornar pi? volte v?lto .

He did not disappear from sight, but stayed;
indeed, he so impeded my ascent
that I had often to turn back again.

Temp'era dal principio del mattino,
e 'l sol montava 'n s? con quelle stelle
ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino 

The time was the beginning of the morning;
the sun was rising now in fellowship
with the same stars that had escorted it

mosse di prima quelle cose belle;
s? ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione
di ...Read More

by Keats, John
Gush'd with more pride than do a wretch's tears?--
Why were they proud? Because fair orange-mounts
Were of more soft ascent than lazar stairs?--
Why were they proud? Because red-lin'd accounts
Were richer than the songs of Grecian years?--
Why were they proud? again we ask aloud,
Why in the name of Glory were they proud?

Yet were these Florentines as self-retired
In hungry pride and gainful cowardice,
As two close Hebrews in that land inspired,
Paled in and vine...Read More

by Smart, Christopher
...creature, which is sufficient for him. 

Let Jonathan, David's nephew, rejoice with Oripelargus who is noble by his ascent. 

Let Sheva rejoice with the Hobby, who is the service of the great. 

Let Ahimaaz rejoice with the Silver-Worm who is a living mineral. 

Let Shobi rejoice with the Kastrel -- blessed be the name JESUS in falconry and in the MALL 

Let Elkanah rejoice with Cymindis -- the Lord illuminate us against the powers of darkness. 

Let Ziba ...Read More

by Herbert, George
...end our head.
     All things unto our flesh are kind
In their descent and being; to our mind
          In their ascent and cause.

          Each thing is full of duty:
Waters united are our navigation;
     Distinguishèd, our habitation;
     Below, our drink; above, our meat;
Both are our cleanliness.  Hath one such beauty?
          Then how are all things neat?

          More servants wait on Man
Than he'll take notice of:  in every path
     H...Read More

by Milton, John
...ken rear 
Insulting, and pursued us through the Deep, 
With what compulsion and laborious flight 
We sunk thus low? Th' ascent is easy, then; 
Th' event is feared! Should we again provoke 
Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find 
To our destruction, if there be in Hell 
Fear to be worse destroyed! What can be worse 
Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemned 
In this abhorred deep to utter woe! 
Where pain of unextinguishable fire 
Must exercise us without h...Read More

by Milton, John first moved; 
And now Saint Peter at Heaven's wicket seems 
To wait them with his keys, and now at foot 
Of Heaven's ascent they lift their feet, when lo 
A violent cross wind from either coast 
Blows them transverse, ten thousand leagues awry 
Into the devious air: Then might ye see 
Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tost 
And fluttered into rags; then reliques, beads, 
Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls, 
The sport of winds: All these, upwhirled aloft, 
F...Read More

by Milton, John
...from the spouse 
Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent 
From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound. 
Now to the ascent of that steep savage hill 
Satan had journeyed on, pensive and slow; 
But further way found none, so thick entwined, 
As one continued brake, the undergrowth 
Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplexed 
All path of man or beast that passed that way. 
One gate there only was, and that looked east 
On the other side: which when the arch-felon saw, ...Read More

by Milton, John
...and gains to live, as Man, 
Higher degree of life; inducement strong 
To us, as likely tasting to attain 
Proportional ascent; which cannot be 
But to be Gods, or Angels, demi-Gods. 
Nor can I think that God, Creator wise, 
Though threatening, will in earnest so destroy 
Us his prime creatures, dignified so high, 
Set over all his works; which in our fall, 
For us created, needs with us must fail, 
Dependant made; so God shall uncreate, 
Be frustrate, do, undo, and labou...Read More

by Milton, John
Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness, 
Arraying, covered from his Father's sight. 
To him with swift ascent he up returned, 
Into his blissful bosom reassumed 
In glory, as of old; to him appeased 
All, though all-knowing, what had passed with Man 
Recounted, mixing intercession sweet. 
Mean while, ere thus was sinned and judged on Earth, 
Within the gates of Hell sat Sin and Death, 
In counterview within the gates, that now 
Stood open wide, belching o...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
...488 Prophetic joint, for its diviner young. 
489 The return to social nature, once begun, 
490 Anabasis or slump, ascent or chute, 
491 Involved him in midwifery so dense 
492 His cabin counted as phylactery, 
493 Then place of vexing palankeens, then haunt 
494 Of children nibbling at the sugared void, 
495 Infants yet eminently old, then dome 
496 And halidom for the unbraided femes, 
497 Green crammers of the green fruits of the world, 
498 Bidders and biders...Read More

by Turner Smith, Charlotte
Ah! rather Fortune's worthless favourites!
Who feed on England's vitals--Pensioners
Of base corruption, who, in quick ascent
To opulence unmerited, become
Giddy with pride, and as ye rise, forgetting
The dust ye lately left, with scorn look down
On those beneath ye (tho' your equals once
In fortune , and in worth superior still ,
They view the eminence, on which ye stand,
With wonder, not with envy; for they know
The means, by which ye reach'd it, have been such
As, in all ...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...the low World, and thankless Men above,
Unto the Kingdom blest of Peace and Love:
We only mourn'd our selves, in thine Ascent,
Whom thou hadst lest beneath with Mantle rent.
For all delight of Life thou then didst lose,
When to Command, thou didst thy self Depose;
Resigning up thy Privacy so dear,
To turn the headstrong Peoples Charioteer;
For to be Cromwell was a greater thing,
Then ought below, or yet above a King:
Therefore thou rather didst thy Self depress,
Yielding...Read More

by Nwakanma, Obi
...oubled gestures full of potent wishes. 

…are those wishes -

for as they came, those riders, each
hoof in the ascent; 
each eye veiled by remorse, or anger or

a forlorn thought -

for as they came, weighed down by ancient baggage, 
a skin of water, a measure of wheat, some
penicillin, in case of epidemic
a stretcher to fetch the dead; 
an hourglass, and then the gloved idol, 

the one that ordered the massacre -
who rode ahead of the light; 
muttered a...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...of Uam-Var,
     And roused the cavern where, 't is told,
     A giant made his den of old;
     For ere that steep ascent was won,
     High in his pathway hung the sun,
     And many a gallant, stayed perforce,
     Was fain to breathe his faltering horse,
     And of the trackers of the deer
     Scarce half the lessening pack was near;
     So shrewdly on the mountain-side
     Had the bold burst their mettle tried.

     The noble stag was pausing n...Read More

by Thomson, James
...Song! and, equal, by his Side,
The British Muse, join'd Hand in Hand, they walk,
Darkling, nor miss their Way to Fame's Ascent.

Society divine! Immortal Minds!
Still visit thus my Nights, for you reserv'd,
And mount my soaring Soul to Deeds like yours.
Silence! thou lonely Power! the Door be thine:
See, on the hallow'd Hour, that none intrude,
Save Lycidas, the Friend, with Sense refin'd,
Learning digested well, exalted Faith,
Unstudy'd Wit, and Humour ever gay.
...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...Still on the noble pair my eyes I bent,And watch'd their progress up the steep ascent.The second Scipio next in line was seen,And he that seem'd the lure of Egypt's queen;With many a mighty chief I there beheld,Whose valorous hand the battle's storm repell'd.[Pg 383]Read More

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