Get Your Premium Membership

Famous Bedlam Poems by Famous Poets

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

See also:

by Burns, Robert
...c, stony groves;
Windows and doors in nameless sculptures drest
With order, symmetry, or taste unblest;
Forms like some bedlam Statuary’s dream,
The craz’d creations of misguided whim;
Forms might be worshipp’d on the bended knee,
And still the second dread command be free;
Their likeness is not found on earth, in air, or sea!
Mansions that would disgrace the building taste
Of any mason reptile, bird or beast:
Fit only for a doited monkish race,
Or frosty maids forsworn the d...Read More

by Wilmot, John
...hen I reflect on this, I straight grow wise,
And my own self thus gravely I advise:
--Dear Artemesia, poetry's a snare;
Bedlam has many mansions; have a care.
Your muse diverts you, makes the reader sad:
Consider, too, 'twill be discreetly done
To make yourself the fiddle of the town,
To find th' ill-humored pleasure at their need,
Cursed if you fail, and scorned though you succeed!
Thus, like an errant woman as I am,
No sooner well convinced writing's a shame,
That whore...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...iving all things to one creature,
Left out the first, -- faith, innocence, illusion,
Whatever 'tis that keeps us out o' Bedlam, -- 
And thereby, for his too consuming vision,
Empowered him out of nature; though to see him,
You'd never guess what's going on inside him.
He'll break out some day like a keg of ale
With too much independent frenzy in it;
And all for collaring what he knows won't keep,
And what he'd best forget -- but that he can't.
You'll have it, and have...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...John! fatigu'd, I said, 
Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.
The dog-star rages! nay 'tis past a doubt,
All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.

What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide?
They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide;
By land, by water, they renew the charge;
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge.
No place is sacred, not the church...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
As Eusden, Philips, Settle, writ of kings)
Clothe spice, line trunks, or flutt'ring in a row,
Befringe the rails of Bedlam and Soho....Read More

by Gluck, Louise the window sills
and from another building
a goat calls in his dreams.
This is the TV parlor
in the best ward at Bedlam.
The night nurse is passing
out the evening pills.
She walks on two erasers,
padding by us one by one.
MY sleeping pill is white.
It is a splendid pearl;
it floats me out of myself,
my stung skin as alien
as a loose bolt of cloth.
I will ignore the bed.
I am linen on a shelf.
Let the others moan in secret;
let each lost but...Read More

by Trumbull, John
..., her judgment ends;
She quite forgot her nearest friends,
Lost all her former sense and knowledge,
And fitted fast for Bedlam-college.
Of all the powers she once retain'd,
Conceit and pride alone remain'd.
As Eve, when falling, was so modest
To fancy she should grow a goddess;
As madmen, straw who long have slept on,
Style themselves Jupiter and Neptune:
So Britain in her airs so flighty,
Now took a whim to be Almighty;
Urg'd on to desperate heights of frenzy,
Affirm...Read More

by Swift, Jonathan
...can't go without hands."
"The devil take me!" said she, (blessing herself,) "if ever I saw't!"
So she roared like a bedlam, as though I had called her all to naught.
So, you know, what could I say to her any more?
I e'en left her, and came away as wise as I was before.
Well; but then they would have had me gone to the cunning man:
"No," said I, "'tis the same thing, the CHAPLAIN will be here anon."
So the Chaplain came in. Now the servants say he is my swe...Read More

by Drayton, Michael
...nd those more ancient do enhance
Alcides in his fury,
And others Ajax Telamon:
But to this time there hath been none
So bedlam as our Oberon,
Of which I dare assure you.
And first encount'ring with a wasp,
He in his arms the fly doth clasp,
As tho' his breath he forth would grasp,
Him for Pigwiggen taking:
'Where is my wife, thou rogue?" quoth he,
"Pigwiggen, she is come to thee,
Restore her, or thou di'st by me."
Whereat the poor wasp quaking,
Cries, "Oberon, great F...Read More

by Schwartz, Delmore
...t an hour,
A sausage balloon - chalk-white and lifeless looking--
 floated motionless
Until, at midnight, I went to New Bedlam and saw what I
 the most - I heard nothing, but it
 had all happened several times elsewhere.

Now, in the cold glittering morning, shining at the
The pears hang, yellowed and over-ripe, sodden brown in
 erratic places, all bunched and dangling,
Like a small choir of bagpipes, silent and waiting. And I
 rise now,
Go to the win...Read More

by Drayton, Michael
...ey last thought of when the brain grew sick 
In most distraction they keep that in mind. 
Thus talking idly in this bedlam fit, 
Reason and I, you must conceive, are twain; 
"Tis nine years now since first I lost my wit; 
Bear with me then, though troubled be my brain. 
With diet and correction men distraught 
(Not too far past) may to their wits be brought....Read More

by Drayton, Michael
...spent in uttering my woe, 
And I want words wherewith to tell my wrong; 
But, still distracted in Love's lunacy, 
And, bedlam-like, thus raging in my grief, 
Now rail upon her hair, then on her eye, 
Now call her Goddess, then I call her thief, 
Now I deny her, then I do confess her, 
Now do I curse her, then again I bless her....Read More

by Simic, Charles
...Not a peep out of you now
After the bedlam early this morning.
Are you begging pardon of me
Hidden up there among the leaves,
Or are your brains momentarily overtaxed?

You savvy a few things I don't:
The overlooked sunflower seed worth a holler;
The traffic of cats in the yard;
Strangers leaving the widow's house,
Tieless and wearing crooked grins.

Or have you got wind of the world's...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...d with my mother, the witches said.
But I didn't leave. I had my portrait
done instead.

Part way back from Bedlam
I came to my mother's house in Gloucester,
Massachusetts. And this is how I came
to catch at her; and this is how I lost her.
I cannot forgive your suicide, my mother said.
And she never could. She had my portrait
done instead.

I lived like an angry guest,
like a partly mended thing, an outgrown child.
I remember my mother did...Read More

by Bradstreet, Anne
...ugly marks of his eternal scars.
3.81 Sometimes the Frenzy strangely mads my Brain
3.82 That oft for it in Bedlam I remain.
3.83 Too many's my Diseases to recite,
3.84 That wonder 'tis I yet behold the light,
3.85 That yet my bed in darkness is not made,
3.86 And I in black oblivion's den long laid.
3.87 Of Marrow full my bones, of Milk my breasts,
3.88 Ceas'd by the gripes of Serjeant Death's Arrests:
3.89 Thus I have said, an...Read More

by Dryden, John
A tyrant theirs; the heaven their priesthood paints 
A conventicle of gloomy sullen saints; 
A heaven, like Bedlam, slovenly and sad, 
Foredoomed for souls with false religion mad. 

Without a vision poets can foreshow 
What all but fools by common sense may know: 
If true succession from our Isle should fail, 
And crowds profane with impious arms prevail, 
Not thou nor those thy factious arts engage 
Shall reap that harvest of rebellious rage, 
With which tho...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ay I be damn'd myself! 


'Sooner will I with Cerberus exchange 
My office (and his no sinecure) 
Than see this royal Bedlam bigot range 
The azure fields of heaven, of that be sure!' 
'Saint!' replied Satan, 'you do well to avenge 
The wrongs he made your satellites endure; 
And if to this exchange you should be given, 
I'll try to coax our Cerberus up to heaven!' 


Here Michael interposed: 'Good saint! and devil! 
Pray, not so fast; you both outrun discretion. 
Sa...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...This is the man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is the time
of the tragic man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a wristwatch
telling the time
of the talkative man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a sailor
wearing the watch
that tells the time
of the honored man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is the roadstead all of board
reached b...Read More

by Trumbull, John
Like Helen's, set the world in arms.

Oh, save it but from ridicule,
How blest the state, to be a fool!
The bedlam-king in triumph shares
The bliss of crowns, without the cares;
He views with pride-elated mind,
His robe of tatters trail behind;
With strutting mien and lofty eye,
He lifts his crabtree sceptre high;
Of king's prerogative he raves,
And rules in realms of fancied slaves.

In her soft brain, with madness warm,
Thus airy throngs of lovers swarm.Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...This is the house of Bedlam.

This is the man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is the time 
of the tragic man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a wristwatch
telling the time
of the talkative man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a sailor 
wearing the watch
that tells the time
of the honored man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This ...Read More

Dont forget to view our wonderful member Bedlam poems.