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Famous Behaviour Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...beaver, and cock it fu’ sprush,
We’ll over the border, and gie them a brush;
There’s somebody there we’ll teach better behaviour,
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!...Read More

by Herrick, Robert and successful too;
Winning postures; and withal,
Manners each way musical;
Sweetness to allay my sour
And unsmooth behaviour:
For I know you have the skill
Vines to prune, though not to kill;
And of any wood ye see,
You can make a Mercury....Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...r all their foolish talk and prattle. 

Then he thought he would take a voyage home to his friends,
And for his bad behaviour towards them he would make some amends;
For he hadn't seen them for many years,
And when he thought of them he shed briny tears. 

And when he arrived in London
The people after him in crowds did run;
And they flocked to see him every minute,
Because they thought him the most famous man in it. 

And all the greatest people in the land
Were ...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...gazed on the bonnie banks of the silvery Tay. 

To do justice to the passengers, they were a goodly band,
For their behaviour, 'tis said, was truly grand;
But to the eastward of Newburgh, the Steamer was too close inshore,
And on passing a boatman, he warningly to them did roar,- 

Warning them not to come inshore so near,
But his warning voice the helmsman didn't hear;
Neither the Captain or passengers his warning dreads,
Until the Steamer struck a number of boulders, kn...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...the sound of the sea bell's
Perpetual angelus.


To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits,
To report the behaviour of the sea monster,
Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,
Observe disease in signatures, evoke
Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
And tragedy from fingers; release omens
By sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable
With playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams
Or barbituric acids, or dissect
The recurrent image into pre-conscious ter...Read More

by Herrick, Robert
...o be buried; 
So shall the blankets which come over me 
Present those turfs, which once must cover me;
And with as firm behaviour I will meet 
The sheet I sleep in, as my winding-sheet. 
When Sleep shall bathe his body in mine eyes, 
I will believe, that then my body dies; 
And if I chance to wake, and rise thereon, 
I'll have in mind my resurrection, 
Which must produce me to that Gen'ral Doom,
To which the peasant, so the prince must come, 
To hear the Judge give senten...Read More

by Hopkins, Gerard Manley
...Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise
 Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
 Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies? 
I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
 Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
 And, éyes, heárt, what looks, what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love's greeting of realer, of rounder replies? 

And the azurous hung hills are his wo...Read More

by Trumbull, John on the question,
That they'd accept this full confession,
And to their fellowship and favor,
Restore him on his good behaviour.

Not so our 'Squire submits to rule,
But stood, heroic as a mule.
"You'll find it all in vain, quoth he,
To play your rebel tricks on me.
All punishments, the world can render,
Serve only to provoke th' offender;
The will gains strength from treatment horrid,
As hides grow harder when they're curried.
No man e'er felt the halter d...Read More

by Austen, Jane
...Oh! Mr. Best, you're very bad
And all the world shall know it;
Your base behaviour shall be sung
By me, a tunefull Poet.-- 
You used to go to Harrowgate
Each summer as it came,
And why I pray should you refuse
To go this year the same?-- 

The way's as plain, the road's as smooth,
The Posting not increased;
You're scarcely stouter than you were,
Not younger Sir at least.-- 

If e'er the waters were of use
Why now their us...Read More

by Strode, William
...mother than a childe.
Weigh the composure of her pretty partes:
Her gravity in childhood; all her artes
Of womanly behaviour; weigh her tongue
So wisely measurde, not too short nor long;
And to her youth adde some few riches more,
She tooke upp now what due was at threescore.
She livde seven years, our age's first degree;
Journeys at first time ended happy bee;
Yet take her stature with the age of man,
They well are fitted: both are but a span....Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...w more white,
More vapoury, and wavier -
Seen in the dim and flickering light,
As he proceeded to recite
His "Maxims of Behaviour."...Read More

by Gregory, Rg 
the other's limpid as a crystal ball
they took the ins and outs of life
strove to prime mortality afresh
beyond behaviour - scraped clay
to let creation loose in its re-phrasing...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...thy poet doth invent
He robs thee of, and pays it thee again.
He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word
From thy behaviour; beauty doth he give,
And found it in thy cheek; he can afford
No praise to thee, but what in thee doth live.
Then thank him not for that which he doth say,
Since what he owes thee, thou thyself dost pay....Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...the bass -- 
You'd think the devil's band was playing. 

A valiant comrade crawling near 
Observed his most supine behaviour, 
And crept towards him; "Hey! what cheer? 
Buck up," said he, "I've come to save yer. 

"You get up on my shoulders, mate, 
And, if we live beyond the firing, 
I'll get the V.C. sure as fate, 
Because our blokes is all retiring. 

"It's fifty pound a year," says he, 
"I'll stand you lots of beer and whisky." 
"No," says the wou...Read More

by Hood, Thomas
Into her rest.— 
Cross her hands humbly 
As if praying dumbly, 
Over her breast! 

Owning her weakness, 
Her evil behaviour, 
And leaving, with meekness, 
Her sins to her Saviour!...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...he was his mother's favourite, and very kind to his wife,
And he had also a particular liking for his child,
And in his behaviour he was very mild.

Oh! noble-hearted Leopold, most beautiful to see,
Who was wont to fill your audience's hearts with glee,
With your charming songs, and lectures against strong drink:
Britain had nothing else to fear, as far as you could think

A wise prince you were, and well worthy of the name,
And to write in praise of thee I cannot refrain...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...conduct to day has been hereoic and grand,
And without your assistance to-day we'd been at a loss,
And for your heroic behaviour you shall receive the Victoria Cross."...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey man coulde know
His speech, neither his voice, though men it heard.
And in his gear* for all the world he far'd *behaviour 
Not only like the lovers' malady
Of Eros, but rather y-like manie* *madness
Engender'd of humours melancholic,
Before his head in his cell fantastic.
And shortly turned was all upside down,
Both habit and eke dispositioun,
Of him, this woful lover Dan* Arcite. *Lord 
Why should I all day of his woe indite?
When he endured had a...Read More

by Gregory, Rg
...we say blame the teachers
don't we send our young to school
to be taught the simple rules
for decent public-spirited behaviour
do we pay such crushing rates
to have our children turned to louts
we're sick of all this fuss
we say blame the teachers
or the preachers
they're all the same to us

we say blame the preachers
what right have they to shake
their moral fingers every week
at us and call us pharisees and sinners
let them wave their holy book
where these thugs can take...Read More

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