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Famous Avarice Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wilmot, John
...his unbiased mind,
Who does his arts and policies apply
To raise his country, not his family;
Nor while his pride owned avarice withstands,
Receives close bribes, from friends corrupted hands.

Is there a churchman who on God relies
Whose life, his faith and doctrine justifies
Not one blown up, with vain prelatic pride,
Who for reproofs of sins does man deride;
Whose envious heart makes preaching a pretence
With his obstreperous, saucy eloquence,
To chide at kings, and ra...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Mary Darby ! I 

What were the feelings of the hapless throng, 
By threats insulted, and oppress'd with wrong ?
While grasping avarice, with skill profound, 
Spread her fell snares, and dealt destruction round; 
Each rising sun some new infringement saw, 
While pride was consequence­and pow'r was law; 
A people's suff'rings hop'd redress in vain, 
Subjection curb'd the tongue that dar'd complain. 
Imputed guilt each virtuous victim led 
Where all the fiends their direst mischief...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...uggish surge, or where the secret caves,
Rugged and dark, winding among the springs
Of fire and poison, inaccessible
To avarice or pride, their starry domes 
Of diamond and of gold expand above
Numberless and immeasurable halls,
Frequent with crystal column, and clear shrines
Of pearl, and thrones radiant with chrysolite.
Nor had that scene of ampler majesty
Than gems or gold, the varying roof of heaven
And the green earth, lost in his heart its claims
To love and wonder;...Read more of this...

by Pope, Alexander
...Truth is disapprov'd;
That only makes Superior Sense belov'd.

Be Niggards of Advice on no Pretence;
For the worst Avarice is that of Sense:
With mean Complacence ne'er betray your Trust,
Nor be so Civil as to prove Unjust;
Fear not the Anger of the Wise to raise;
Those best can bear Reproof, who merit Praise.

'Twere well, might Criticks still this Freedom take;
But Appius reddens at each Word you speak,
And stares, Tremendous! with a threatning Eye
Like some fierce...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Clash the darts and on the buckler beat with rapid unanimous hand,
Thought on all her evil tyrannies, all her pitiless avarice,
Till she felt the heart within her fall and flutter tremulously,
Then her pulses at the clamoring of her enemy fainted away.
Out of evil evil flourishes, out of tyranny tyranny buds.
Ran the land with Roman slaughter, multitudinous agonies.
Perish'd many a maid and matron, many a valorous legionary.
Fell the colony, city, and citadel...Read more of this...

by Hugo, Victor
 ("L'Avarice et l'Envie.") 

 Envy and Avarice, one summer day, 
 Sauntering abroad 
 In quest of the abode 
 Of some poor wretch or fool who lived that way— 
 You—or myself, perhaps—I cannot say— 
 Along the road, scarce heeding where it tended, 
 Their way in sullen, sulky silence wended; 
 For, though ...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
How am I theirs, 
If they cannot hold me, 
But I hold them?'

When I heard the Earth-song, 
I was no longer brave; 
My avarice cooled 
Like lust in the chill of the grave....Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...f Liberty
And yet has nothing, Ignorance the real
One Fraticide since Cain, Envy the asp
That stings itself to anguish, Avarice whose palsied grasp

Is in its extent stiffened, moneyed Greed
For whose dull appetite men waste away
Amid the whirr of wheels and are the seed
Of things which slay their sower, these each day
Sees rife in England, and the gentle feet
Of Beauty tread no more the stones of each unlovely street.

What even Cromwell spared is desecrated
By weed and ...Read more of this...

by Alighieri, Dante
...hey were erst offended, helped by him 
 So long who palters with both parts. The fire 
 Three sparks have lighted - Avarice, Envy, Pride, - 
 And there is none may quench it." 
 he ceased 
 His lamentable tale, and I replied, 
 "Of one thing more I ask thee. Great desire 
 Is mine to learn it. Where are those who sought 
 Our welfare earlier? Those whose names at least 
 Are fragrant for the public good they wrought, 
 Arrigo, Mosca, and the Tegghiaio 
 ...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...of their light,
The while it did unthread the horrid woof
Of the late darken'd time,--the murderous spite
Of pride and avarice,--the dark pine roof
In the forest,--and the sodden turfed dell,
Where, without any word, from stabs he fell.

Saying moreover, "Isabel, my sweet!
"Red whortle-berries droop above my head,
"And a large flint-stone weighs upon my feet;
"Around me beeches and high chestnuts shed
"Their leaves and prickly nuts; a sheep-fold bleat
"Comes...Read more of this...

by Lanier, Sidney
...e show to strike
Her gloved hands together and to smile
What time her weary feet unconsciously
Trode wheels that lifted Avarice to power,
-- And while, moreover, -- O thou God, thou God --
His worshipful sweet wife sat still, afar,
Within the village whence she sent him forth
Into the town to make his name and fame,
Waiting, all confident and proud and calm,
Till he should make for her his name and fame,
Waiting -- O Christ, how keen this cuts! -- large-eyed,
With Baby Charle...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...was given. 
By him no peasant mourn'd his rifled cot, 
And scarce the serf could murmur o'er his lot; 
With him old avarice found its hoard secure, 
With him contempt forbore to mock the poor; 
Youth present cheer and promised recompense 
Detain'd, till all too late to part from thence: 
To hate he offer'd, with the coming change, 
The deep reversion of delay'd revenge; 
To love, long baffled by the unequal match, 
The well-won charms success was sure to snatch. 
All ...Read more of this...

by Marvell, Andrew
...strike Paston dumb, 
Should pay land armies, should dissolve the vain 
Commons, and ever such a court maintain; 
Hyde's avarice, Bennet's luxury should suffice, 
And what can these defray but the Excise? 
Excise a monster worse than e'er before 
Frighted the midwife and the mother tore. 
A thousand hands she has and thousand eyes, 
Breaks into shops and into cellars pries, 
And on all trade like cassowar she feeds: 
Chops off the piece wheres'e'er she close the jaw, 
Else...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...all -- 
I thought I lived securely as yourselves -- 
No lewdness, narrowing envy, monkey-spite,
No madness of ambition, avarice, none;
No larger feast than under plane or pine
With neighbors laid along the grass, to take
Only such cups as left us friendly-warm,
Affirming each his own philosophy
Nothing to mar the sober majesties
Of settled, sweet, Epicurean life.
But now it seems some unseen monster lays
His vast and filthy hands upon my will,
Wrenching it backward into h...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...laming jewel, Life; 
Terrestrial goods, the goblet and the knife; 
The knights and ladies, all whose flesh and bone 
By avarice have been hardened into stone; 
The clerk, the scholar whom the love of pelf 
Tempts from his books and from his nobler self. 

The scholar and the world! The endless strife, 
The discord in the harmonies of life! 
The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, 
And all the sweet serenity of books; 
The market-place, the eager love of gain, 
Whose...Read more of this...

by Wilmot, John
...yass'd Mind; 
Who does his Arts, and Pollicies apply, 
To raise his Country, not his Family; 
Nor while his Pride own'd Avarice withstands, 
Receives close Bribes, from Friends corrupted hands. 
Is there a Church-Man who on God relyes? 
Whose Life, his Faith, and Doctrine Justifies? 
Not one blown up, with vain Prelatique Pride, 
Who for reproof of Sins, does Man deride: 
Whose envious heart makes preaching a pretence 
With his obstrep'rous sawcy Eloquence, 
To chide at K...Read more of this...

by Turner Smith, Charlotte
...cause that ever warm'd
The heart of Patriot Virtue 8 --There arise
The infernal passions; Vengeance, seeking blood,
And Avarice; and Envy's harpy fangs
Pollute the immortal shrine of Liberty,
Dismay her votaries, and disgrace her name.
Respect is due to principle; and they,
Who suffer for their conscience, have a claim,
Whate'er that principle may be, to praise.
These ill-starr'd Exiles then, who, bound by ties,
To them the bonds of honour; who resign'd
Their country ...Read more of this...

by Turner Smith, Charlotte
...e charms,
Aided by stern but equal Justice, drive
From the ensanguin'd earth the hell-born fiends
Of Pride, Oppression, Avarice, and Revenge,
That ruin what thy mercy made so fair!
Then shall these ill-starr'd wanderers, whose sad fate
These desultory lines lament, regain
Their native country; private vengeance then
To public virtue yield; and the fierce feuds,
That long have torn their desolated land,
May (even as storms, that agitate the air,
Drive noxious vapours from the ...Read more of this...

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang gives me pain;
A happier resting-place
Its trunk deserved.

Yet the strength of its nature
To Earth's exhausting avarice,
To Air's destructive inroads,
An antidote opposed.

See how it in springtime
Coins its pale green leaves!
Their orange-fragrance
Poisons each flyblow straight.

The caterpillar's tooth
Is blunted by them;
With silv'ry hues they gleam
In the bright sunshine,

Its twigs the maiden
Fain would twine in
Her bridal-garland;
Youths its fruit are se...Read more of this...

by Swift, Jonathan
...Tis all bequeathed to public uses." - 
"To public use! A perfect whim!
What had the public done for him?
Mere envy, avarice, and pride:
He gave it all -but first he died.
And had the Dean, in all the nation,
No worthy friend, no poor relation?
So ready to do strangers good,
Forgetting his own flesh and blood!"

Now Grub Street wits are all employed;
With elegies the town is cloyed:
Some paragraph in ev'ry paper,
To curse the Dean, or bless the Drapier.

The doctor...Read more of this...

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