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Famous Befall Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Browning, Robert
...Abib, all-sagacious in our art, 
Breeder in me of what poor skill I boast, 
Like me inquisitive how pricks and cracks 
Befall the flesh through too much stress and strain, 
Whereby the wily vapour fain would slip 
Back and rejoin its source before the term,-- 
And aptest in contrivance (under God) 
To baffle it by deftly stopping such:-- 
The vagrant Scholar to his Sage at home 
Sends greeting (health and knowledge, fame with peace) 
Three samples of true snakestone--rarer s...Read More



by Campbell, Thomas
...Although the wild-flower on thy ruin'd wall,
And roofless homes, a sad remembrance bring,
Of what thy gentle people did befall;
Yet thou wert once the loveliest land of all
That see the Atlantic wave their morn restore.
Sweet land! may I thy lost delights recall,
And paint thy Gertrude in her bowers of yore,
Whose beauty was the love of Pennsylvania's shore!

Delightful Wyoming! beneath thy skies,
The happy shepherd swains had nought to do
But feed their flocks on green d...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...hile the mountain of thy hope ahead 
 Lifts into light, the source and cause of all 
 Delectable things that may to man befall?" 

 I answered, "Art thou then that Virgil, he 
 From whom all grace of measured speech in me 
 Derived? O glorious and far-guiding star! 
 Now may the love-led studious hours and long 
 In which I learnt how rich thy wonders are, 
 Master and Author mine of Light and Song, 
 Befriend me now, who knew thy voice, that few 
 Yet hearken. All the na...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...aving loved too well. 

XVIII. 

There was in him a vital scorn of all: 
As if the worst had fall'n which could befall, 
He stood a stranger in this breathing world, 
An erring spirit from another hurled; 
A thing of dark imaginings, that shaped 
By choice the perils he by chance escaped; 
But 'scaped in vain, for in their memory yet 
His mind would half exult and half regret: 
With more capacity for love than earth 
Bestows on most of mortal mould and birth, 
His ear...Read More

by Trumbull, John
...be beaten,
Not taken oft, released or rescued,
Pass for small change, like simple Prescott;
But captured then, as fates befall,
Shall stand thy fortune, once for all.
Then raise thy daring thoughts sublime,
And dip thy conq'ring pen in rhyme,
And changing war for puns and jokes,
Write new Blockades and Maids of Oaks."


This said, he turn'd and saw the tale
Had dyed my trembling cheeks with pale;
Then pitying in a milder vein,
Pursued the visionary strain;


"Too much...Read More



by Milton, John
...e warned; whose eye pursued him down 
 The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount 
 Saw him disfigured, more than could befall 
 Spirit of happy sort; his gestures fierce 
 He marked and mad demeanour, then alone, 
 As he supposed, all unobserved, unseen. 
 So on he fares, and to the border comes 
 Of Eden, where delicious Paradise, 
 Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green, 
 As with a rural mound, the champaign head 
 Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides 
Access...Read More

by Milton, John
...had forewarned 
Adam, by dire example, to beware 
Apostasy, by what befel in Heaven 
To those apostates; lest the like befall 
In Paradise to Adam or his race, 
Charged not to touch the interdicted tree, 
If they transgress, and slight that sole command, 
So easily obeyed amid the choice 
Of all tastes else to please their appetite, 
Though wandering. He, with his consorted Eve, 
The story heard attentive, and was filled 
With admiration and deep muse, to hear 
Of things...Read More

by Milton, John
...tude sometimes is best society, 
And short retirement urges sweet return. 
But other doubt possesses me, lest harm 
Befall thee severed from me; for thou knowest 
What hath been warned us, what malicious foe 
Envying our happiness, and of his own 
Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame 
By sly assault; and somewhere nigh at hand 
Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find 
His wish and best advantage, us asunder; 
Hopeless to circumvent us joined, where each 
To othe...Read More

by Milton, John
...t once 
With Men, as Angels, without feminine; 
Or find some other way to generate 
Mankind? This mischief had not been befallen, 
And more that shall befall; innumerable 
Disturbances on earth through female snares, 
And strait conjunction with this sex: for either 
He never shall find out fit mate, but such 
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake; 
Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain 
Through her perverseness, but shall see her gained 
By a far worse; or, if she lov...Read More

by Milton, John
...t sight was Adam in his heart 
Dismayed, and thus in haste to the Angel cried. 
O Teacher, some great mischief hath befallen 
To that meek man, who well had sacrificed; 
Is piety thus and pure devotion paid? 
To whom Michael thus, he also moved, replied. 
These two are brethren, Adam, and to come 
Out of thy loins; the unjust the just hath slain, 
For envy that his brother's offering found 
From Heaven acceptance; but the bloody fact 
Will be avenged; and the other's ...Read More

by Milton, John
...ptizing in the profluent stream, the sign 
Of washing them from guilt of sin to life 
Pure, and in mind prepared, if so befall, 
For death, like that which the Redeemer died. 
All nations they shall teach; for, from that day, 
Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins 
Salvation shall be preached, but to the sons 
Of Abraham's faith wherever through the world; 
So in his seed all nations shall be blest. 
Then to the Heaven of Heavens he shall ascend 
With victory, trium...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...Lionel great wealth had left
By will to me, and that of all
The ready lies of law bereft 
My child and me,--might well befall.
But let me think not of the scorn
Which from the meanest I have borne,
When, for my child's belovèd sake,
I mixed with slaves, to vindicate
The very laws themselves do make;
Let me not say scorn is my fate,
Lest I be proud, suffering the same
With those who live in deathless fame.

She ceased.--'Lo, where red morning through the woods 
Is...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...asement cheerily doth call
`Nature is new, 'tis birthday every day,
Come feast with me, let no man say me nay,
Whate'er befall.'

"So fare I forth to feast: I sit beside
Some brother bright: but, ere good-morrow's passed,
Burly Opinion wedging in hath cried
`Thou shalt not sit by us, to break thy fast,
Save to our Rubric thou subscribe and swear --
`Religion hath blue eyes and yellow hair:'
She's Saxon, all.'

"Then, hard a-hungered for my brother's grace
Till well-ni...Read More

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
...ith roses waxen-white, 
Well satisfied with dew and light, 
And careless to be seen. 

Long years ago, it might befall, 25 
When all the garden flowers were trim, 
The grave old gardener prided him 
On these the most of all. 

Some Lady, stately overmuch, 
Here moving with a silken noise, 30 
Has blush'd beside them at the voice 
That liken'd her to such. 

Or these, to make a diadem, 
She often may have pluck'd and twined; 
Half-smiling as it came...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...len tales tway,
To Canterbury-ward, I mean it so,
And homeward he shall tellen other two,
Of aventures that whilom have befall.
And which of you that bear'th him best of all,
That is to say, that telleth in this case
Tales of best sentence and most solace,
Shall have a supper *at your aller cost* *at the cost of you all*
Here in this place, sitting by this post,
When that ye come again from Canterbury.
And for to make you the more merry,
I will myselfe gladly with you...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...nk do all
Who come into this world, and since I see
Myself in swim with such good company,
I take my comfort whatsoe'er befall.
I abide and abide, as if more stout and tall
My spirit would grow by waiting like a tree
And, clear of others' toil, it pleaseth me
In dreams their quick ambition to forestall 
And if thro' careless eagerness I slide
To some accomplishment, I give my voice
Still to desire, and in desire abide.
I have no stake abroad; if I rejoice
In what is d...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...Emily,
And all the ladies in the company.
Great pity was it as it thought them all,
That ever such a chance should befall,
For gentle men they were, of great estate,
And nothing but for love was this debate
They saw their bloody woundes wide and sore,
And cried all at once, both less and more,
"Have mercy, Lord, upon us women all."
And on their bare knees adown they fall
And would have kissed his feet there as he stood,
Till at the last *aslaked was his mood* *his an...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...r out of my body start,
Than Mahomet's law go out of mine heart.

"What should us tiden* of this newe law, *betide, befall
But thraldom to our bodies, and penance,
And afterward in hell to be y-draw,
For we *renied Mahound our creance?* *denied Mahomet our belief*
But, lordes, will ye maken assurance,
As I shall say, assenting to my lore*? *advice
And I shall make us safe for evermore."

They sworen and assented every man
To live with her and die, and by her stand:
An...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...owed* he was in some malady, *believed
For no cry that her maiden could him call
He would answer, for nought that might befall."
Thus passed forth all thilke* Saturday, *that
That Nicholas still in his chamber lay,
And ate, and slept, and didde what him list
Till Sunday, that* the sunne went to rest. *when
This silly carpenter *had great marvaill* *wondered greatly*
Of Nicholas, or what thing might him ail,
And said; "I am adrad*, by Saint Thomas! *afraid, in dread
It...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...Not more than now," she said, 
"So puddled as it is with favouritism." 
I tried the mother's heart. Shame might befall 
Melissa, knowing, saying not she knew: 
Her answer was "Leave me to deal with that." 
I spoke of war to come and many deaths, 
And she replied, her duty was to speak, 
And duty duty, clear of consequences. 
I grew discouraged, Sir; but since I knew 
No rock so hard but that a little wave 
May beat admission in a thousand years, 
I recommenced...Read More

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