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Famous Athens Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...on fire: The Hellespont 
And all th' Egean sea shone to the blaze. 


But now more west the gracious day serene 
On Athens rising, throws a dark eclipse 
On that high learning by her sages taught, 
In each high school of philosophic fame; 
Vain wisdom, useless sophistry condemn'd, 
As ignorance and foolishness of men. 
Let her philosophers debate no more 
In the Lyceum, or the Stoics porch, 
Holding high converse, but in error lost 
Of pain, and happiness, and fate su...Read More



by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...: No more of Greece 
Where learning next her early visit paid, 
And spread her glories to illume the world, 
No more of Athens, where she flourished, 
And saw her sons of mighty genius rise 
Smooth flowing Plato, Socrates and him 
Who with resistless eloquence reviv'd 
The Spir't of Liberty, and shook the thrones 
Of Macedon and Persia's haughty king. 
No more of Rome enlighten'd by her beams, 
Fresh kindling there the fire of eloquence, 
And poesy divine; imperial Rome! ...Read More

by Gibran, Kahlil
...hem, they deride them, saying, "Ridicule is more bitter than killing." 

Jerusalem could not kill The Nazarene, nor Athens Socrates; they are living yet and shall live eternally. Ridicule cannot triumph over the followers of Deity. They live and grow forever. 



Part Three


Thou art my brother because you are a human, and we both are sons of one Holy Spirit; we are equal and made of the same earth. 

You are here as my companion along the path of life, a...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...ceful than her own.

His wandering step,
Obedient to high thoughts, has visited
The awful ruins of the days of old:
Athens, and Tyre, and Balbec, and the waste
Where stood Jerusalem, the fallen towers
Of Babylon, the eternal pyramids,
Memphis and Thebes, and whatsoe'er of strange,
Sculptured on alabaster obelisk
Or jasper tomb or mutilated sphinx,
Dark Æthiopia in her desert hills
Conceals. Among the ruined temples there,
Stupendous columns, and wild images
Of more th...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...; a Sound exempt from Pride;
And Love to Praise, with Reason on his Side?

Such once were Criticks, such the Happy Few,
Athens and Rome in better Ages knew.
The mighty Stagyrite first left the Shore,
Spread all his Sails, and durst the Deeps explore;
He steer'd securely, and discover'd far,
Led by the Light of the Maeonian Star.
Poets, a Race long unconfin'd and free,
Still fond and proud of Savage Liberty,
Receiv'd his Laws, and stood convinc'd 'twas fit
Who conquer'...Read More



by Wilde, Oscar
...nd churning foam.

Then fell from the high heaven one bright star,
One dancer left the circling galaxy,
And back to Athens on her clattering car
In all the pride of venged divinity
Pale Pallas swept with shrill and steely clank,
And a few gurgling bubbles rose where her boy lover sank.

And the mast shuddered as the gaunt owl flew
With mocking hoots after the wrathful Queen,
And the old pilot bade the trembling crew
Hoist the big sail, and told how he had seen
Close t...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...we be wiser than our sires?
In ev'ry public virtue we excel:
We build, we paint, we sing, we dance as well,
And learned Athens to our art must stoop,
Could she behold us tumbling through a hoop.

If time improve our wit as well as wine,
Say at what age a poet grows divine?
Shall we, or shall we not, account him so,
Who died, perhaps, an hundred years ago?
End all dispute; and fix the year precise
When British bards begin t'immortalize?

"Who lasts a century can have no fl...Read More

by Raine, Kathleen
...hangri-la, world revolution
Time has taken, and soon will be gone
Cambridge, Princeton and M.I.T.,
Nalanda, Athens and Alexandria
all for the holocaust
of civilization —
To whom shall we pray
when our vision has faded
but the world-destroyer,
the liberator, the purifier?

But great is the realm
of the world-creator,
the world-sustainer
from whom we come,
in whom we move
and have our being,
about us, within us
the wonders of wisdom,
the trees and the fountains,
the...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...oil;
There's a berry blue and gold,—
Autumn-ripe its juices hold,
Sparta's stoutness, Bethlehem's heart,
Asia's rancor, Athens' art,
Slowsure Britain's secular might,
And the German's inward sight;
I will give my son to eat
Best of Pan's immortal meat,
Bread to eat and juice to drink,
So the thoughts that he shall think
Shall not be forms of stars, but stars,
Nor pictures pale, but Jove and Mars.

He comes, but not of that race bred
Who daily climb my specular head.
O...Read More

by Milton, John
...sturbed, yet comely and in act 
Raised, as of some great matter to begin. 
As when of old some orator renowned, 
In Athens or free Rome, where eloquence 
Flourished, since mute! to some great cause addressed, 
Stood in himself collected; while each part, 
Motion, each act, won audience ere the tongue; 
Sometimes in highth began, as no delay 
Of preface brooking, through his zeal of right: 
So standing, moving, or to highth up grown, 
The Tempter, all impassioned, thus beg...Read More

by Milton, John
...uch nearer by south-west; behold
Where on the AEgean shore a city stands,
Built nobly, pure the air and light the soil—
Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts 
And Eloquence, native to famous wits
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
City or suburban, studious walks and shades.
See there the olive-grove of Academe,
Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long;
There, flowery hill, Hymettus, with the sound
Of bees' industrious m...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...21) "Egripo" — the Negropont. According to the proverb, the Turks of Egrip, the Jews of Salonica, and the Greeks of Athens are the worst of their respective races. 

(22) "Tchocadar," one of the attendants who precedes a man of authority. 

(23) The wrangling about this epithet, "the broad Hellespont," or the "boundless Hellespont," whether it means one or the other, or what it means at all, has been beyond all possibility of detail. I have even heard it dispu...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...he two
great poets, to which many of their finest works are owing.]

ONCE a stranger youth to Corinth came,

Who in Athens lived, but hoped that he
From a certain townsman there might claim,

As his father's friend, kind courtesy.

Son and daughter, they

Had been wont to say

Should thereafter bride and bridegroom be.

But can he that boon so highly prized,

Save tis dearly bought, now hope to get?
They are Christians and have been baptized,

He and all of his ar...Read More

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...tars or beacons that we see?
Taygetus takes here the winds abreast,
And there the sun resumes Thermopylae;
The light is Athens where those remnants rest,
And Salamis the sea-wall of that sea.
The grass men tread upon
Is very Marathon,
The leaves are of that time-unstricken tree
That storm nor sun can fret
Nor wind, since she that set
Made it her sign to men whose shield was she;
Here, as dead time his deathless things,
Eurotas and Cephisus keep their sleepless springs.Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...WHILOM*, as olde stories tellen us, *formerly
There was a duke that highte* Theseus. *was called 
Of Athens he was lord and governor,
And in his time such a conqueror
That greater was there none under the sun.
Full many a riche country had he won.
What with his wisdom and his chivalry,
He conquer'd all the regne of Feminie,
That whilom was y-cleped Scythia;
And weddede the Queen Hippolyta
And brought her home with him to his country
With muchel* ...Read More

by Dryden, John
...it thy attribute! 
Nor faith nor reason make thee at a stay, 
Thou leapst o'er all eternal truths in thy Pindaric way! 
Athens, no doubt, did righteously decide, 
When Phocion and when Socrates were tried; 
As righteously they did those dooms repent; 
Still they were wise, whatever way they went. 
Crowds err not, though to both extremes they run; 
To kill the father and recall the son. 
Some think the fools were most, as times went then, 
But now the world's o'erstock...Read More

by Warton, Thomas
...
Lay forth their purple store, and sunny vales
In prospect vast their level laps expand,
Amid whose beauties glistering Athens towers.
Though through the blissful scenes Ilissus roll
His sage-inspiring flood, whose winding marge
The thick-wove laurel shades; though roseate Morn
Pour all her splendors on th' empurpled scene;
Yet fells the hoary hermit truer joys,
As from the cliff that o'er his cavern hangs
He views the piles of fallen Persepolis
In deep arrangement hide t...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...PAN>Could raise the tide of passion, or repelWith more than magic sounds, when Athens stoodBy his superior eloquence subdued.The Marathonian chief, with conquest crown'd,With Cimon came, for filial love renown'd;Who chose the dungeon's gloom and galling chainHis captive father's liberty to gain;Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...r native noon,
Of those who put aside the diadem
Of earthly thrones or gems, till the last one
Were there;--for they of Athens & Jerusalem
Were neither mid the mighty captives seen
Nor mid the ribald crowd that followed them
Or fled before . . Now swift, fierce & obscene
The wild dance maddens in the van, & those
Who lead it, fleet as shadows on the green,
Outspeed the chariot & without repose
Mix with each other in tempestuous measure
To savage music .......Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...rizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
Unreal
 A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light 
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of e...Read More

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