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Famous Astray Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
Wild send thee Pleasure’s devious way,
Misled by Fancy’s meteor-ray,
 By passion driven;
But yet the light that led astray
 Was light from Heaven.

“I taught thy manners-painting strains,
The loves, the ways of simple swains,
Till now, o’er all my wide domains
 Thy fame extends;
And some, the pride of Coila’s plains,
 Become thy friends.

“Thou canst not learn, nor I can show,
To paint with Thomson’s landscape glow;
Or wake the bosom-melting throe,
 With Shensto...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...ernard Shaw discovered that they squall,
Rationalists are growing rational— 
And through thick woods one finds a stream astray

So secret that the very sky seems small— 
I think I will not hang myself to-day. 

Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal, 
The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;

Even to-day your royal head may fall, 
I think I will not hang myself to-day...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...I DREAM'D that as I wander'd by the way 
Bare winter suddenly was changed to spring, 
And gentle odours led my steps astray, 
Mix'd with a sound of waters murmuring 
Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay 5 
Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling 
Its green arms round the bosom of the stream, 
But kiss'd it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream. 

There grew pied wind-flowers and violets, 
Daisies, those pearl'd Arcturi of the earth, 10 
The constellate...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
Whose thunder is its knell; he, as I guess,
Had gazed on Nature's naked loveliness,
Actaeon-like, and now he fled astray
With feeble steps o'er the world's wilderness,
And his own thoughts, along that rugged way,
Pursued, like raging hounds, their father and their prey.

A pardlike Spirit beautiful and swift - 
A Love in desolation masked; -a Power
Girt round with weakness; -it can scarce uplift
The weight of the superincumbent hour;
It is a dying lamp, a f...Read More

by Moody, William Vaughn
Surely some elder singer would arise, 
Whose harp hath leave to threaten and to mourn 
Above this people when they go astray. 
Is Whitman, the strong spirit, overworn? 
Has Whittier put his yearning wrath away? 
I will not and I dare not yet believe! 
Though furtively the sunlight seems to grieve, 
And the spring-laden breeze 
Out of the gladdening west is sinister 
With sounds of nameless battle overseas; 
Though when we turn and question in suspense 
If these things b...Read More

by Lewis, C S
while there's always jam-tomorrow,
While we tread the onward way?
Never knowing where we're going,
We can never go astray.

To whatever variation
Our posterity may turn
Hairy, squashy, or crustacean,
Bulbous-eyed or square of stern,
Tusked or toothless, mild or ruthless,
Towards that unknown god we yearn.

Ask not if it's god or devil,
Brethren, lest your words imply
Static norms of good and evil
(As in Plato) throned on high;
Such scholastic, inelastic,
Abstract...Read More

by Parker, Dorothy
...eart in pain
For an evil-doer;
Never flip it down the lane
To a gifted wooer.

Never love a loving son,
Nor a sheep astray;
Gather up your skirts and run
From a tender way.

Never give away a tear,
Never toss a pine;
Should you heed my words, my dear,
You're no blood of mine!...Read More

by Rossetti, Christina
...there is no friend like a sister,
In calm or stormy weather,
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands."...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante the great dawn-glories strike 
 The wide east, and the utmost peaks of snow. 

 How first I entered on that path astray, 
 Beset with sleep, I know not. This I know. 
 When gained my feet the upward, lighted way, 
 I backward gazed, as one the drowning sea, 
 The deep strong tides, has baffled, and panting lies, 
 On the shelved shore, and turns his eyes to see 
 The league-wide wastes that held him. So mine eyes 
 Surveyed that fear, the while my wearied f...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...hat brought those spots to sight, 
Which in you splendour hid, corrode your light: 
(Kings in the country oft have gone astray 
Nor of a peasant scorned to learn the way.) 
Would she the unattended throne reduce, 
Banishing love, trust, ornament, and use, 
Better it were to live in cloister's lock, 
Or in fair fields to rule the easy flock. 
She blames them only who the court restrain 
And where all England serves, themselves would reign. 

Bold and accursed are t...Read More

by Clare, John
...own rushy thistly place
For plover eggs while oer them flye
The fearful birds wi teazing cry
Trying to lead their steps astray
And coying him another way
And be the weather chill or warm
Wi brown hats truckd beneath his arm
Holding each prize their search has won
They plod bare headed to the sun
Now dames oft bustle from their wheels
Wi childern scampering at their heels
To watch the bees that hang and swive
In clumps about each thronging hive
And flit and thicken in the ligh...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler arm or at face,
Plunges towards nothing, arms and fingers spreading wide
For the embrace of nothing; and I, my wits astray
Because of all that senseless tumult, all but cried
For vengeance on the murderers of Jacques Molay.

Their legs long, delicate and slender, aquamarine their eyes,
Magical unicorns bear ladies on their backs.
The ladies close their musing eyes. No prophecies,
Remembered out of Babylonian almanacs,
Have closed the ladies' eyes, their minds ...Read More

by Bronte, Anne
...ands upraised to Heaven,
A young heart feeling after God,
Oft baffled, never backward driven.
Mistaken oft, and oft astray,
It strives to find the narrow way,
But gropes and toils alone:
That inner life of strife and tears,
Of kindling hopes and lowering fears
To none but God is known.
'Tis better thus; for man would scorn
Those childish prayers, those artless cries,
That darkling spirit tossed and torn,
But God will not despise! 
We may regret such waste of tears
Suc...Read More

by Masefield, John
...k from th'inn to look 
the day my little Nan was took; 
He sat there drinking, glad and gay, 
The night my girl was led astray; 
He praised my Dick for singing well, 
The night Dick took the road to hell; 
And when my corpse goes stiff and blind, 
Leaving four helpless souls behind, 
He will be there still, drunk and strong. 
It do seem hard. It do seem wring. 
But "Woe to him by whom the offense," 
Says our Lord Jesus' Testaments. 
Whatever seems, God doth no...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...bosom stirred
When of the land's fresh grief I heard;
Shepherds of late had been his prey,
When in the marsh they went astray.
I formed my plans then hastily,--
My heart was all that counselled me.
My squires instructing to proceed,
I sprang upon my well-trained steed,
And, followed by my noble pair
Of dogs, by secret pathways rode,
Where not an eye could witness bear,
To find the monster's fell abode."

"Thou, lord, must know the chapel well,
Pitched on a rocky ...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...n how sure the change and nigh,
When ye shall share our strength and mourn to share. 

When parch'd with thirst, astray on sultry sand
The traveller faints, upon his closing ear
Steals a fantastic music: he may hear
The babbling fountain of his native land.
Before his eyes the vision seems to stand,
Where at its terraced brink the maids appear,
Who fill their deep urns at its waters clear,
And not refuse the help of lover's hand. 
O cruel jest--he cries, as som...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter

     Now back they wend their watery way,
     And, 'O my sire!' did Ellen say,
     'Why urge thy chase so far astray?
     And why so late returned? And why '—
     The rest was in her speaking eye.
     'My child, the chase I follow far,
     'Tis mimicry of noble war;
     And with that gallant pastime reft
     Were all of Douglas I have left.
     I met young Malcolm as I strayed
     Far eastward, in Glenfinlas' shade
     Nor strayed I safe, for all a...Read More

by Killigrew, Anne
...urry thee, uncurb'd, from place to place, 
A wild, unruly, and an Uncouth Chace. 
Now cursed Gold does lead the Man astray, 
False flatt'ring Honours do anon betray, 
Then Beauty does as dang'rously delude, 
Beauty, that vanishes, while 'tis pursu'd, 
That, while we do behold it, fades away, 
And even a Long Encomium will not stay. 

 Each one of these can the Whole Man employ, 
Nor knows he anger, sorrow, fear, or joy, 
But what to these relate; no Thought does start...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...>To ruin fall, by Love's alluring swaySeduced from duty's hallow'd path astray;Then he that on the flaming hill survivedThat sight no mortal else beheld, and lived—The Eternal One, and heard, with awe profound,That awful voice that shakes the globe around;With him who check'd the sun in mid career,Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
Under the clouds are hid the steadfast stars of the chariot,
Naught now remains,--in the breast even the god goes astray.
Truth disappears from language, from life all faith and all honor
Vanish, and even the oath is but a lie on the lips.
Into the heart's most trusty bond, and into love's secrets,
Presses the sycophant base, tearing the friend from the friend.
Treason on innocence leers, with looks that seek to devour,
And the fell slanderer's tooth kills w...Read More

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