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Famous Bank Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wilde, Oscar
...And down amid the startled reeds he lay
Panting in breathless sweet affright, and waited for the day.

On the green bank he lay, and let one hand
Dip in the cool dark eddies listlessly,
And soon the breath of morning came and fanned
His hot flushed cheeks, or lifted wantonly
The tangled curls from off his forehead, while
He on the running water gazed with strange and secret smile.

And soon the shepherd in rough woollen cloak
With his long crook undid the wattled cote...Read More

by Milton, John
Where may she wander now, whither betake her
From the chill dew, amongst rude burs and thistles
Perhaps some cold bank is her bolster now,
Or 'gainst the rugged bark of some broad elm
Leans her unpillowed head, fraught with sad fears.
What if in wild amazement and affright,
Or, while we speak, within the direful grasp
Of savage hunger, or of savage heat!
 ELD. BRO. Peace, brother: be not over-exquisite
To cast the fashion of uncertain evils;
For, grant they ...Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...t of the West, 
To rescue fair white captives from the hands
Of brutal Cheyenne and Comanche bands, 
On Washita's bleak banks. Nine hundred strong
It moved its slow determined way along, 
Past frontier homes left dark and desolate
By the wild Indians' fierce and unrelenting hate; 


Past forts where ranchmen, strong of heart and bold, 
Wept now like orphaned children as they told, 
With quivering muscles and with anguished breath, 
Of captured wives, whose fate wa...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...ttered were they, like flakes of snow, when the wind from the northeast
Strikes aslant through the fogs that darken the Banks of Newfoundland.
Friendless, homeless, hopeless, they wandered from city to city,
From the cold lakes of the North to sultry Southern savannas,--
From the bleak shores of the sea to the lands where the Father of Waters
Seizes the hills in his hands, and drags them down to the ocean,
Deep in their sands to bury the scattered bones of the mammoth.Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
Across the open field, leaving the deep lane
Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon,
Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
And the deep lane insists on the direction
Into the village, in the electric heat
Hypnotised. In a warm haze the sultry light
Is absorbed, not refracted, by grey stone.
The dahlias sleep in the empty silence.
Wait for the early owl.

 In that open field
If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close,
On a ...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...ld thee." If he meant 
 Reproof I know not, but with shame I bent 
 My downward eyes, and no more spake until 
 The bank we reached, and on the stream beheld 
 A bark ply toward us. 
 Of exceeding eld, 
 And hoary showed the steersman, screaming shrill, 
 With horrid glee the while he neared us, "Woe 
 To ye, depraved! - Is here no Heaven, but ill 
 The place where I shall herd ye. Ice and fire 
 And darkness are the wages of their hire 
 Who serve unceasing here ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...glide like happiness away; 
Reflecting far and fairy-like from high 
The immortal lights that live along the sky: 
Its banks are fringed with many a goodly tree, 
And flowers the fairest that may feast the bee; 
Such in her chaplet infant Dian wove, 
And Innocence would offer to her love. 
These deck the shore; the waves their channel make 
In windings bright and mazy like the snake. 
All was so still, so soft in earth and air, 
You scarce would start to meet a spiri...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...ter the while, that had our ocean curbed, 
Sailed now among our rivers undistrubed, 
Surveyed their crystal streams and banks so green 
And beauties ere this never naked seen. 
Through the vain sedge, the bashful nymphs he eyed: 
Bosoms, and all which from themselves they hide. 
The sun much brighter, and the skies more clear, 
He finds the air and all things sweeter here. 
The sudden change, and such a tempting sight 
Swells his old veins with fresh blood, fresh ...Read More

by Milton, John
Luxuriant; mean while murmuring waters fall 
Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake, 
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crowned 
Her crystal mirrour holds, unite their streams. 
The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs, 
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune 
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan, 
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance, 
Led on the eternal Spring. Not that fair field 
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flower...Read More

by Milton, John
...pine, or palm; 
Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen, 
Among thick-woven arborets, and flowers 
Imbordered on each bank, the hand of Eve: 
Spot more delicious than those gardens feigned 
Or of revived Adonis, or renowned 
Alcinous, host of old Laertes' son; 
Or that, not mystick, where the sapient king 
Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse. 
Much he the place admired, the person more. 
As one who long in populous city pent, 
Where houses thick and sewers ...Read More

by Milton, John
...he Prison in Gaza.

Sam: A little onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little further on;
For yonder bank hath choice of Sun or shade,
There I am wont to sit, when any chance
Relieves me from my task of servile toyl,
Daily in the common Prison else enjoyn'd me,
Where I a Prisoner chain'd, scarce freely draw
The air imprison'd also, close and damp,
Unwholsom draught: but here I feel amends,
The breath of Heav'n fresh-blowing, pure and sweet, 
With day-spring...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west, 
The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank 
From sight beneath the smothering bank, 
We piled, with care, our nightly stack 
Of wood against the chimney-back, -- 
The oaken log, green, huge, and thick, 
And on its top the stout back-stick; 
The knotty forestick laid apart, 
And filled between with curious art 
The ragged brush; then, hovering near, 
We watched the first red blaze appear, 
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam 
On ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...has no taste of the distillation—it
 is odorless; 
It is for my mouth forever—I am in love with it;
I will go to the bank by the wood, and become undisguised and naked; 
I am mad for it to be in contact with me. 

The smoke of my own breath; 
Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine; 
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood
 and air through my lungs;
The sniff of green leaves and dry leave...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...aid. "I go not far;
Where would you meet? For you must hold
Half Wiltshire and the White Horse wold,
And the Thames bank to Owsenfold,
If Wessex goes to war.

"Guthrum sits strong on either bank
And you must press his lines
Inwards, and eastward drive him down;
I doubt if you shall take the crown
Till you have taken London town.
For me, I have the vines."

"If each man on the Judgment Day
Meet God on a plain alone,"
Said Alfred, "I will speak for you
As for my...Read More

by Masefield, John
...wilt not let me stand alone; 
And I shall feel (thou wilt not fail), 
Thy hand on mine upon the hale. 
Near Bullen Bank, on Gloucester Road, 
Thy everlasting mercy showed 
The ploughman patient on the hill 
Forever there, forever still, 
Ploughing the hill with steady yoke 
Of pine-trees lightning-struck and broke. 
I've marked the May Hill ploughman stay 
There on his hill, day after day 
Driving his team against the sky, 
While men and women live and die. 
And ...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...tanding there.
Down on the pallet bed he sank, ashen his face, his voice a wail:
"Save me, brother! I've robbed the bank; to-morrow it's ruin, capture, gaol.
Yet there's a chance: I could to-day pay back the money, save our name;
You have a manuscript, they say, worth a thousand -- think, man! the shame. . . ."
Brown with his heart pain-pierced the while, with his stern, starved face,
 and his lips stone-pale,
Shuddered and smiled his twisted smile: "B...Read More

by Tagore, Rabindranath
..., and we cannot tell
where we are going.
Suddenly you call me and ask me in a whisper, "What light is
that near the bank?"
Just then there bursts out a fearful yell, and figures come
running towards us.
You sit crouched in your palanquin and repeat the names of the
gods in prayer.
The bearers, shaking in terror, hide themselves in the thorny
I shout to you, "Don't be afraid, mother. I am here."
With long sticks in their hands and hair all wild ab...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
     He sorrowed o'er the expiring horse.
     'I little thought, when first thy rein
     I slacked upon the banks of Seine,
     That Highland eagle e'er should feed
     On thy fleet limbs, my matchless steed!
     Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day,
     That costs thy life, my gallant gray!'

     Then through the dell his horn resounds,
     From vain pursuit to call the hounds.
     Back limped, with slow and crippled pace,
     The sulk...Read More

by Blake, William
...s station into the mill;
I remain'd alone, & then this appearance was no more, but I found
myself sitting on a pleasant bank beside a river by moon light
hearing a harper who sung to the harp. & his theme was, The man
who never alters his opinion is like standing water, & breeds
reptiles of the mind.
But I arose, and sought for the mill, & there I found my
Angel, who surprised asked me, how I escaped?
I answerd. All that we saw was owing to your metaphysics: for
w...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
 The river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city direc...Read More

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