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Famous Axes Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...e down in their tracks
Or follow -- a tottering flock --
The scrub-cutter's axe.
While ever a creature survives
The axes shall swing;
We are fighting with fate for their lives --
And the combat I sing....Read More

by Atwood, Margaret
grips, won't let go.

That is not a train.
There is no cricket.
Let's not panic.

Let's talk about axes,
which kinds are good,
the many names of wood.

This is how to build
a house, a boat, a tent.
No use; the toolbox

refuses to reveal its verbs;
the rasp, the plane, the awl,
revert to sullen metal.

Do you recognize anything? I said.
Anything familiar?
Yes, you said. The bed.

Better to watch the stream
that flows across the floo...Read More

by Goose, Mother
...sea that would be!And if all the trees were one tree,What a great tree that would be!And if all the axes were one axe,What a great axe that would be!And if all the men were one man,What a great man he would be!And if the great man took the great axe,And cut down the great tree,And let it fall into the great sea,What a splish splash that would be!...Read More

by Browning, Robert
Four overbears them all, strident and strepitant,
Five ... O Danaides, O Sieve!


Now, they ply axes and crowbars;
Now, they prick pins at a tissue
Fine as a skein of the casuist Escobar's
Worked on the bone of a lie. To what issue?
Where is our gain at the Two-bars?


_Est fuga, volvitur rota._
On we drift: where looms the dim port?
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, contribute their quota;
Something is gained, if one caught but the impor...Read More

by Clare, John
...tens bye
And on to other labours hie
While wood men still on spring intrudes
And thins the shadow solitudes
Wi sharpend axes felling down
The oak trees budding into brown
Where as they crash upon the ground
A crowd of labourers gather round
And mix among the shadows dark
To rip the crackling staining bark
From off the tree and lay when done
The rolls in lares to meet the sun
Depriving yearly where they come
The green wood pecker of its home
That early in the spring began
Far ...Read More

by Milton, John
...od, temples and towers,
Cut shorter many a league. Here thou behold'st
Assyria, and her empire's ancient bounds, 
Araxes and the Caspian lake; thence on
As far as Indus east, Euphrates west,
And oft beyond; to south the Persian bay,
And, inaccessible, the Arabian drouth:
Here, Nineveh, of length within her wall
Several days' journey, built by Ninus old,
Of that first golden monarchy the seat,
And seat of Salmanassar, whose success
Israel in long captivity still mourns;
Th...Read More

by Whitman, Walt tan-faced children, 
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready; 
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp edged axes? Pioneers! O pioneers! 

 For we cannot tarry here, 
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We, the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend, Pioneers! O pioneers! 

 O you youths, western youths, 
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship, 
Plain I see you, western youths, see you tramping with t...Read More

by Arnold, Matthew
...clang together, and a din
Rose, such as that the sinewy woodcutters
Make often in the forest's heart at morn,
Of hewing axes, crashing trees--such blows
Rustum and Sohrab on each other hail'd.
And you would say that sun and stars took part
In that unnatural conflict; for a cloud
Grew suddenly in Heaven, and dark'd the sun
Over the fighters' heads; and a wind rose
Under their feet, and moaning swept the plain,
And in a sandy whirlwind wrapp'd the pair.
In gloom they tw...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...en that live among cattle, or taste of the ocean or woods, 
Of the builders and steerers of ships, and the wielders of axes and mauls, and
 the drivers of horses; 
I can eat and sleep with them week in and week out. 

What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me;
Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns; 
Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first that will take me; 
Not asking the sky to come down to my good will; 
Scattering it freely fo...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ishing by
—Spar-makers in the spar-yard, the swarming row of well-grown apprentices, 
The swing of their axes on the square-hew’d log, shaping it toward the shape of a mast, 
The brisk short crackle of the steel driven slantingly into the pine, 
The butter-color’d chips flying off in great flakes and slivers, 
The limber motion of brawny young arms and hips in easy costumes;
The constructor of wharves, bridges, piers, bulk-heads, floats, stays against the sea; ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...regon, far in the north and west, 
Or in Maine, far in the north and east, thy cheerful axemen, 
Wielding all day their axes!

Behold, on the lakes, thy pilots at their wheels—thy oarsmen! 
Behold how the ash writhes under those muscular arms! 

There by the furnace, and there by the anvil, 
Behold thy sturdy blacksmiths, swinging their sledges; 
Overhand so steady—overhand they turn and fall, with joyous clank,
Like a tumult of laughter. 

Behold! (for still the processi...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...the sea, in the Mendocino country, 
With the surge for bass and accompaniment low and hoarse, 
With crackling blows of axes, sounding musically, driven by strong arms, 
Riven deep by the sharp tongues of the axes—there in the Redwood forest dense, 
I heard the mighty tree its death-chant chanting.

The choppers heard not—the camp shanties echoed not; 
The quick-ear’d teamsters, and chain and jack-screw men, heard not, 
As the wood-spirits came from their haunts of a thou...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...f the Danes.

Even so he had watched and wondered,
Knowing neither less nor more,
Till all his lords lay dying,
And axes on axes plying,
Flung him, and drove him flying
Like a pirate to the shore.

Wise he had been before defeat,
And wise before success;
Wise in both hours and ignorant,
Knowing neither more nor less.

As he went down to the river-hut
He knew a night-shade scent,
Owls did as evil cherubs rise,
With little wings and lantern eyes,
As though he sank t...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...the sun 
Was the noble task begun, 
And soon throughout the ship-yard's bounds 
Were heard the intermingled sounds 
Of axes and of mallets, plied 
With vigorous arms on every side; 
Plied so deftly and so well, 
That, ere the shadows of evening fell, 
The keel of oak for a noble ship, 
Scarfed and bolted, straight and strong, 
Was lying ready, and stretched along 
The blocks, well placed upon the slip. 
Happy, thrice happy, every one 
Who sees his labor well begun, 
And ...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
All to swell the concourse, pour,
Brandishing the hunting-spear,--
Set to work,--glad shouts uprise,--
'Neath their axes' blows so clear
Crashing down the pine-wood flies.

E'en the sedge-crowned God ascends
From his verdant spring to light,
And his raft's direction bends
At the goddess' word of might,--
While the hours, all gently bound,
Nimbly to their duty fly;
Rugged trunks are fashioned round
By her skilled hand gracefully.

E'en the sea-god thither fares;--
...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter to shine
     The bold Sir Roderick's bannered Pine.
     Nearer and nearer as they bear,
     Spears, pikes, and axes flash in air.
     Now might you see the tartars brave,
     And plaids and plumage dance and wave:
     Now see the bonnets sink and rise,
     As his tough oar the rower plies;
     See, flashing at each sturdy stroke,
     The wave ascending into smoke;
     See the proud pipers on the bow,
     And mark the gaudy streamers flow
     From th...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...e strown it, and are fallen themselves. 

'Our enemies have fallen, have fallen: they came, 
The woodmen with their axes: lo the tree! 
But we will make it faggots for the hearth, 
And shape it plank and beam for roof and floor, 
And boats and bridges for the use of men. 

'Our enemies have fallen, have fallen: they struck; 
With their own blows they hurt themselves, nor knew 
There dwelt an iron nature in the grain: 
The glittering axe was broken in their arms, 
Thei...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...have strown it, and are fall'n themselves.

Our enemies have fall'n, have fall'n: they came,
The woodmen with their axes: lo the tree!
But we will make it faggots for the hearth,
And shape it plank and beam for roof and floor,
And boats and bridges for the use of men.

Our enemies have fall'n, have fall'n: they struck;
With their own blows they hurt themselves, nor knew
There dwelt an iron nature in the grain:
The glittering axe was broken in their arms,
Their arms we...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...rpe y-grounde,
With arwes, dartes, swerdes, maces felle,
They fighte and bringen hors and man to grounde, 
And with hir axes out the braynes quelle.
But in the laste shour, sooth for to telle,
The folk of Troye hem-selven so misledden,
That with the worse at night homward they fledden.

At whiche day was taken Antenor, 
Maugre Polydamas or Monesteo,
Santippe, Sarpedon, Polynestor,
Polyte, or eek the Troian daun Ripheo,
And othere lasse folk, as Phebuseo.
So that, ...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
After whose stroke the wood rings, 
And the echoes! 
Echoes traveling 
Off from the center like horses. 

The sap 
Wells like tears, like the 
Water striving 
To re-establish its mirror 
Over the rock 

That drops and turns, 
A white skull, 
Eaten by weedy greens. 
Years later I 
Encounter them on the road--- 

Words dry and r...Read More

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