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Famous Basilisk Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Browning, Robert
...r lip is curled?
 Patience, a moment's space!


For see, my friend goes shaling and white;
 He eyes me as the basilisk:
I have turned, it appears, his day to night,
 Eclipsing his sun's disk.


And I did it, he thinks, as a very thief:
 "Though I love her—that, he comprehends—
"One should master one's passions, (love, in chief)
 "And be loyal to one's friends!"


And she,—she lies in my hand as tame
 As a pear late basking over a wall;
Just a...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas flew;
Ah! who could deem that root of Indian crew
Was near?--yet there, with lust of murd'rous deeds,
Gleam'd like a basilisk, form woods in view,
The ambush'd foeman's eye, his volley speeds,
And Albert--Albert falls! the dear old father bleeds!

And tranced in giddy horror Gertrude swoon'd;
Yet, while she clasps him lifeless to her zone,
Say, burst they, borrow'd from her father's wound,
These drops?--Oh, God! the life-blood is her own!
And faltering on her Waldegrave's ...Read More

by Graves, Robert
From ruined palace-wall, 
Answered them brotherly. 
He held communion
With the she-pelican 
Of lonely piety. 
Basilisk, cockatrice, 
Flocked to his homilies, 
With mail of dread device,
With monstrous barb?d slings, 
With eager dragon-eyes; 
Great rats on leather wings 
And poor blind broken things, 
Foul in their miseries.
And ever with Him went, 
Of all His wanderings 
Comrade, with ragged coat, 
Gaunt ribs—poor innocent— 
Bleeding foot, burning throat,
The gu...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...tripèd dog 
 That prowl with rusty throats to taunt and roar and howl; 
 Whilst other monsters fast 
 The hissing basilisk; 
 The hippopotamus so vast, 
 And the boa with waking appetite made brisk! 
 The orfrey showing tongue, 
 The fly in stinging mood, 
 The elephant that crushes strong 
 And elastic bamboos an the scorpion's brood; 
 And the men of the trees 
 With their families fierce, 
 Till there is not one scorching breeze 
 But brings here its ...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...o keep the snaky head
In safe perspective, could outface the gorgon-grimace
Of human agony: a look to numb
Limbs: not a basilisk-blink, nor a double whammy,
But all the accumulated last grunts, groans,
Cries and heroic couplets concluding the million
Enacted tragedies on these blood-soaked boards,
And every private twinge a hissing asp
To petrify your eyes, and every village
Catastrophe a writhing length of cobra,
And the decline of empires the thick coil of a vast
Anacnoda.<...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
It bounded from his coat of mail;
And ere I could repeat the throw,
My horse reeled wildly to and fro
Before his basilisk-like look,
And at his poison-teeming breath,--
Sprang backward, and with terror shook,
While I seemed doomed to certain death."

"Then from my steed I nimbly sprung,
My sharp-edged sword with vigor swung;
Yet all in vain my strokes I plied,--
I could not pierce his rock-like hide.
His tail with fury lashing round,
Sudden he bore me to the gr...Read More

by Crowley, Aleister
...fat of many a maid 
Slain by the inchauntments cold 
Of the witches wild and old. 

He had crucified a toad 
In the basilisk abode, 
Muttering the Runes averse 
Mad with many a mocking curse. 

He had traced the serpent sigil 
In his ghastly virgin vigil. 
Sursum cor! the elfin hill, 
Where the wind blows deadly chill 
From the world that wails beneath 
Death's black throat and lipless teeth. 
There he had stood - his bosom bare - 
Tracing Life upon the Air 
W...Read More

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