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Famous Battles Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
...e traceable to it—and shall be to the end!

How all heroic martyrdoms to it! 
How, justified by it, the horrors, evils, battles of the earth!
How the bright fascinating lambent flames of it, in every age and land, have drawn
Rich as a sunset on the Norway coast, the sky, the islands, and the cliffs, 
Or midnight’s silent glowing northern lights unreachable. 

Haply God’s riddle it, so vague and yet so certain, 
The soul for it, and all the visible universe ...Read More

by Naidu, Sarojini
Thy kinsmen have broken our sacred altars and slaughtered our sacred kine,
The feud of old faiths and the blood of old battles sever thy people and mine.


What are the sins of my race, Beloved, 
what are my people to thee? 
And what are thy shrines, and kine and kindred, 
what are thy gods to me?
Love recks not of feuds and bitter follies, 
of stranger, comrade or kin,
Alike in his ear sound the temple bells 
and the cry of the muezzin.
For Love shall cancel the ...Read More

by Moody, William Vaughn
...r brow, 
And pointest a slow finger at her shame? 


Lies! lies! It cannot be! The wars we wage 
Are noble, and our battles still are won 
By justice for us, ere we lift the gage. 
We have not sold our loftiest heritage. 
The proud republic hath not stooped to cheat 
And scramble in the market-place of war; 
Her forehead weareth yet its solemn star. 
Here is her witness: this, her perfect son, 
This delicate and proud New England soul 
Who leads despisèd men, ...Read More

by Milosz, Czeslaw

We, from the fiery furnaces, from behind barbed wires
On which the winds of endless autumns howled,
We, who remember battles where the wounded air roared in
paroxysms of pain.
We, saved by our own cunning and knowledge.

By sending others to the more exposed positions
Urging them loudly to fight on
Ourselves withdrawing in certainty of the cause lost.

Having the choice of our own death and that of a friend
We chose his, coldly thinking: Let it be done quickly....Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...s equal mate, 
Not his competitor in toil and trade.
While coarser man, with greater strength was made
To fight her battles and her rights protect.
Ay! to protect the rights of earth's elect
(The virgin maiden and the spotless wife) 
From immemorial time has man laid down his life.


And now brave Custer's valiant army pressed
Across the dangerous desert of the West, 
To rescue fair white captives from the hands
Of brutal Cheyenne and Comanche bands, 
On Wa...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord right arm, 
The mightiest of my knights, abode with me, 
Have everywhere about this land of Christ 
In twelve great battles ruining overthrown. 
And knowest thou now from whence I come--from him 
From waging bitter war with him: and he, 
That did not shun to smite me in worse way, 
Had yet that grace of courtesy in him left, 
He spared to lift his hand against the King 
Who made him knight: but many a knight was slain; 
And many more, and all his kith and kin 
Clave t...Read More

by Homer,
...e and Rhodope and Pluto and charming Calypso; Styx too was there and Urania and lovely Galaxaura with Pallas who rouses battles and Artemis delighting in arrows.[5] We were playing and gathering sweet flowers in our hands, soft crocuses mingled with irises and hyacinths, and rose-blooms and lilies, marvellous to see, and the narcissus which the wide earth caused to grow yellow as a crocus. That I plucked in my joy; but the earth parted beneath, and there the strong lo...Read More

by Levine, Philip pages 
and my sight, a slow darkness 
calmed me, and I forgot 
the agony of those men 
I'd come to love, forgot 
the battles lost and won, 
forgot the final trek 
over hopeless mountain roads, 
defeat, surrender, the vows 
to live on. I slept until 
the lights came on and off. 
A girl was prodding my arm, 
for the place was closing. 
A slender Indonesian girl 
in sweater and American jeans, 
her black hair falling 
almost to my eyes, she told 
me in perfect Eng...Read More

by Milton, John
...hings created first he weighed, 
The pendulous round earth with balanced air 
In counterpoise, now ponders all events, 
Battles and realms: In these he put two weights, 
The sequel each of parting and of fight: 
The latter quick up flew, and kicked the beam, 
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend. 
Satan, I know thy strength, and thou knowest mine; 
Neither our own, but given: What folly then 
To boast what arms can do? since thine no more 
Than Heaven permits, nor...Read More

by Milton, John
...s, hitherto the only argument 
Heroick deem'd chief mastery to dissect 
With long and tedious havock fabled knights 
In battles feign'd; the better fortitude 
Of patience and heroick martyrdom 
Unsung; or to describe races and games, 
Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields, 
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds, 
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights 
At joust and tournament; then marshall'd feast 
Serv'd up in hall with sewers and seneshals; 
The skill of artific...Read More

by Milton, John
...ey come, 
Conducted by his Angel, to the land 
Promised to Abraham and his seed:--The rest 
Were long to tell; how many battles fought 
How many kings destroyed; and kingdoms won; 
Or how the sun shall in mid Heaven stand still 
A day entire, and night's due course adjourn, 
Man's voice commanding, 'Sun, in Gibeon stand, 
'And thou moon in the vale of Aialon, 
'Till Israel overcome! so call the third 
From Abraham, son of Isaac; and from him 
His whole descent, who thus shall...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...e sickness of one of my folks, or of myself, or ill-doing, or loss or lack of
 money, or depressions or exaltations; 
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful
These come to me days and nights, and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself. 

Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am; 
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary; 
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable ...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...Wessex men,
As grain out of the chaff
The few that were alive to die,
Laughing, as littered skulls that lie
After lost battles turn to the sky
An everlasting laugh.

The King went gathering Christian men,
As wheat out of the husk;
Eldred, the Franklin by the sea,
And Mark, the man from Italy,
And Colan of the Sacred Tree,
From the old tribe on Usk.

The rook croaked homeward heavily,
The west was clear and warm,
The smoke of evening food and ease
Rose like a blue tre...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...t Leyes was he, and at Satalie,
When they were won; and in the Greate Sea
At many a noble army had he be.
At mortal battles had he been fifteen,
And foughten for our faith at Tramissene.
In listes thries, and aye slain his foe.
This ilke* worthy knight had been also *same 
Some time with the lord of Palatie,
Against another heathen in Turkie:
And evermore *he had a sovereign price*. *He was held in very
And though that he was worthy he was wise, high esteem...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...elve great windows blazon Arthur's wars, 
And all the light that falls upon the board 
Streams through the twelve great battles of our King. 
Nay, one there is, and at the eastern end, 
Wealthy with wandering lines of mount and mere, 
Where Arthur finds the brand Excalibur. 
And also one to the west, and counter to it, 
And blank: and who shall blazon it? when and how?-- 
O there, perchance, when all our wars are done, 
The brand Excalibur will be cast away. 

`So...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter shrieks of grief shall rend yon hill!
     What tears of burning rage shall thrill,
     When mourns thy tribe thy battles done,
     Thy fall before the race was won,
     Thy sword ungirt ere set of sun!
     There breathes not clansman of thy line,
     But would have given his life for thine.
     O, woe for Alpine's honoured Pine!

     'Sad was thy lot on mortal stage!—
     The captive thrush may brook the cage,
     The prisoned eagle dies for rage.
   ...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Before Isolt of Brittany on the strand, 
Would that have chilled her bride-kiss? Wedded her? 
Fought in her father's battles? wounded there? 
The King was all fulfilled with gratefulness, 
And she, my namesake of the hands, that healed 
Thy hurt and heart with unguent and caress-- 
Well--can I wish her any huger wrong 
Than having known thee? her too hast thou left 
To pine and waste in those sweet memories. 
O were I not my Mark's, by whom all men 
Are noble, I should...Read More

by Lindsay, Vachel
While the black-mammoths boomed —
"You are elephant men,
Elephant men."
The dawn-winds prophesied battles untold.
While the Tiger Trees roared of the glories of old,
Of the masterful spirits and hard.

The drunken cats came in their joy
In the sunrise, a glittering wave.
"We are tigers, are tigers," they yowled.
Go the swine to the grave."
But we tramp
Trampled them there,
Then charged with our sabres and spears.Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...w a hearty anti-Jacobin — 
Had turn'd his coat — and would have turn'd his skin. 


He had sung against all battles, and again 
In their high praise and glory; he had call'd 
Reviewing (1)'the ungentle craft,' and then 
Become as base a critic as e'er crawl'd — 
Fed, paid, and pamper'd by the very men 
By whom his muse and morals had been maul'd: 
He had written much blank verse, and blanker prose, 
And more of both than anybody knows. 


He had written ...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
...their rebellion.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

I ate my dinners between the battles,
I lay down to sleep among the murderers,
I didn't care for much for love
And for nature's beauties I had little patience.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

The city streets all led to foul swamps in my time,
My speech betrayed me to the butchers.
I could do only little
But without me those that ruled could ...Read More

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