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Famous Asphodel Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Service, Robert William with the vintage of Assam:
 God bless the man that first invented Tea!

I think them lazy lumps o' gods wot kips on asphodel
 Swigs nectar that's a flavour of Oolong;
I only wish them sons o' guns a-grillin' down in 'ell
 Could 'ave their daily ration of Suchong.
Hurrah! I'm off to battle, which is 'ell and 'eaven too;
 And if I don't give some poor bloke a sexton's job to do,
To-night, by Fritz's campfire, won't I 'ave a gorgeous brew
 (For fightin' mustn't interfere...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...O dear sweet rosy 
 unattainable desire sad, no way 
 to change the mad 
cultivated asphodel, the 
 visible reality... 

and skin's appalling 
 petals--how inspired 
to be so Iying in the living 
 room drunk naked 
and dreaming, in the absence 
 of electricity... 
over and over eating the low root 
 of the asphodel, 
gray fate... 

 rolling in generation 
on the flowery couch 
 as on a bank in Arden-- 
my...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar odours through our spring-tide air.

With such strange arts this flower did allure
That all forgotten was the asphodel,
And the brown bee, the lily's paramour,
Forsook the cup where he was wont to dwell,
For not a thing of earth it seemed to be,
But stolen from some heavenly Arcady.

In vain the sad narcissus, wan and white
At its own beauty, hung across the stream,
The purple dragon-fly had no delight
With its gold dust to make his wings a-gleam,
Ah! no delight...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...f his waking. 
 He knowing not what sweet guile she was making; 
 She knowing not what God would have in sooth. 
 Asphodel scents did Gilgal's breezes bring— 
 Through nuptial shadows, questionless, full fast 
 The angels sped, for momently there passed 
 A something blue which seemed to be a wing. 
 Silent was all in Jezreel and Ur— 
 The stars were glittering in the heaven's dusk meadows. 
 Far west among those flowers of the shadows. 
 The thin clear cresce...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...ate no more,

There by a dim and dark Lethaean well
Young Charmides was lying; wearily
He plucked the blossoms from the asphodel,
And with its little rifled treasury
Strewed the dull waters of the dusky stream,
And watched the white stars founder, and the land was like a dream,

When as he gazed into the watery glass
And through his brown hair's curly tangles scanned
His own wan face, a shadow seemed to pass
Across the mirror, and a little hand
Stole into his, and warm lips t...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...mering lawns
Of that Elysium, all the hateful fires
Of torment, and the shadowy warrior glide
Along the silent field of Asphodel....Read More

by Keats, John
..., down, uncertain to what pleasant doom,
Swift as a fathoming plummet down he fell
Through unknown things; till exhaled asphodel,
And rose, with spicy fannings interbreath'd,
Came swelling forth where little caves were wreath'd
So thick with leaves and mosses, that they seem'd
Large honey-combs of green, and freshly teem'd
With airs delicious. In the greenest nook
The eagle landed him, and farewel took.

 It was a jasmine bower, all bestrown
With golden moss. His ...Read More

by Williams, William Carlos (WCW)
...Of asphodel, that greeny flower,
 like a buttercup
 upon its branching stem-
save that it's green and wooden-
 I come, my sweet,
 to sing to you.
We lived long together
 a life filled,
 if you will,
with flowers. So that
 I was cheered
 when I came first to know
that there were flowers also
 in hell.
I'm filled with the fading memory of those...Read More

by Ransom, John Crowe
...n had spoiled them where they fell; 
In defeat the heroes' bodies were whitely bare, 
The field was white like meads of asphodel. 

Not all were white; some gory and fabulous 
Whom the sword had pierced and then the grey wolf eaten; 
But the brother reasoned that heroes' flesh was thus. 
Flesh fails, and the postured bones lie weather-beaten. 

The lords of chivalry lay prone and shattered. 
The gentle and the bodyguard of yeomen; 
Bartholomew's stroke went ho...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard be one to startle Gl-dst-ne's soul
In that new land where all the wires are cut.
And Cr-ss snores anthems on the asphodel.)
God help you! And I'd help you if I could,
But that's beyond me. Yes, your speech was crude.
Sound claret after olives -- yours and mine;
But Medoc slips into vin ordinaire.
(I'll drink my first at Genoa to your health.)
Raise it to Hock. You'll never catch my style.
And, after all, the middle-classes grip
The middle-cl...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...y sit at ease,
Strewing with leaves of rose their scented wine,
They sleep, they sleep, beneath the rocking trees
Where asphodel and yellow lotus twine,
Mourning the old glad days before they knew
What evil things the heart of man could dream, and dreaming do.

And far beneath the brazen floor they see
Like swarming flies the crowd of little men,
The bustle of small lives, then wearily
Back to their lotus-haunts they turn again
Kissing each others' mouths, and mix more de...Read More

by Milton, John
...ick over-head with verdant roof imbowered, 
He led her nothing loth; flowers were the couch, 
Pansies, and violets, and asphodel, 
And hyacinth; Earth's freshest softest lap. 
There they their fill of love and love's disport 
Took largely, of their mutual guilt the seal, 
The solace of their sin; till dewy sleep 
Oppressed them, wearied with their amorous play, 
Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit, 
That with exhilarating vapour bland 
About their spirits had playe...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...nd mysteries in single temple at Eleusis,
Spring-green Persephone nuptialed to his inevitable
 Shade, Demeter mother of asphodel weeping dew,
her daughter stored in salty caverns under white snow, 
 black hail, grey winter rain or Polar ice, immemor-
 able seasons before
Fish flew in Heaven, before a Ram died by the starry
 bush, before the Bull stamped sky and earth
or Twins inscribed their memories in clay or Crab'd
washed memory from the skull, or Lion sniffed the
 ...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...hast caught no flambeau in the race.

Yet wake not from thy slumbers, - rest thee well,
Amidst thy fields of amber asphodel,
Thy lily-sprinkled meadows, - rest thee there,
To mock all human greatness: who would dare
To vent the paltry sorrows of his life
Before thy ruins, or to praise the strife
Of kings' ambition, and the barren pride
Of warring nations! wert not thou the Bride
Of the wild Lord of Adria's stormy sea!
The Queen of double Empires! and to thee
Were not the...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...per'd¡ªdown in hell 
Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell, 
Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel. 125 
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore 
Than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar; 
O rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more. ...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...owered caves!

O for Medea with her poppied spell!
O for the secret of the Colchian shrine!
O for one leaf of that pale asphodel
Which binds the tired brows of Proserpine,
And sheds such wondrous dews at eve that she
Dreams of the fields of Enna, by the far Sicilian sea,

Where oft the golden-girdled bee she chased
From lily to lily on the level mead,
Ere yet her sombre Lord had bid her taste
The deadly fruit of that pomegranate seed,
Ere the black steeds had harried her away...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...whisper'd--down in hell
Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell,
Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel.
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore
Than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar;
O, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.Credits and CopyrightTogether with the editors, the Department ofEnglish (University of Toronto), and the University of Toronto Press,the following individuals share copyr...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...ace to run,
In the last year of thy beleaguerment;
Ay! even now the glory of thy fame
Burns in those fields of trampled asphodel,
Where the high lords whom Ilion knew so well
Clash ghostly shields, and call upon thy name.

Where hast thou been? in that enchanted land
Whose slumbering vales forlorn Calypso knew,
Where never mower rose at break of day
But all unswathed the trammelling grasses grew,
And the sad shepherd saw the tall corn stand
Till summer's red had changed t...Read More

by Frost, Robert
On waking to find valor reign,
Even as on earth, in paradise;
And where they sought without the sword
Wide fields of asphodel fore'er,
To find that the utmost reward
Of daring should be still to dare.

The light of heaven falls whole and white
And is not shattered into dyes,
The light forever is morning light;
The hills are verdured pasture-wise;
The angle hosts with freshness go,
And seek with laughter what to brave;--
And binding all is the hushed snow
Of the far-dis...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
From the white pinnacles of that cold hill,
She passed at dewfall to a space extended,
Where, in a lawn of flowering asphodel
Amid a wood of pines and cedars blended,
There yawned an inextinguishable well
Of crimson fire, full even to the brim,
And overflowing all the margin trim:--

Within the which she lay when the fierce war
Of wintry winds shook that innocuous liquor,
In many a mimic moon and bearded star,
O'er woods and lawns. The serpent heard it flicker
In sleep...Read More

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