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Best Famous Now Or Never Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Now Or Never poems. This is a select list of the best famous Now Or Never poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Now Or Never poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of now or never poems.

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Written by Robert Browning | Create an image from this poem

A Grammarians Funeral

 SHORTLY AFTER THE REVIVAL OF
LEARNING IN EUROPE.
Let us begin and carry up this corpse, Singing together.
Leave we the common crofts, the vulgar thorpes Each in its tether Sleeping safe on the bosom of the plain, Cared-for till cock-crow: Look out if yonder be not day again Rimming the rock-row! That's the appropriate country; there, man's thought, Rarer, intenser, Self-gathered for an outbreak, as it ought, Chafes in the censer.
Leave we the unlettered plain its herd and crop; Seek we sepulture On a tall mountain, citied to the top, Crowded with culture! All the peaks soar, but one the rest excels; Clouds overcome it; No! yonder sparkle is the citadel's Circling its summit.
Thither our path lies; wind we up the heights: Wait ye the warning? Our low life was the level's and the night's; He's for the morning.
Step to a tune, square chests, erect each head, 'Ware the beholders! This is our master, famous calm and dead, Borne on our shoulders.
Sleep, crop and herd! sleep, darkling thorpe and croft, Safe from the weather! He, whom we convoy to his grave aloft, Singing together, He was a man born with thy face and throat, Lyric Apollo! Long he lived nameless: how should spring take note Winter would follow? Till lo, the little touch, and youth was gone! Cramped and diminished, Moaned he, ``New measures, other feet anon! ``My dance is finished?'' No, that's the world's way: (keep the mountain-side, Make for the city!) He knew the signal, and stepped on with pride Over men's pity; Left play for work, and grappled with the world Bent on escaping: ``What's in the scroll,'' quoth he, ``thou keepest furled? ``Show me their shaping, ``Theirs who most studied man, the bard and sage,--- ``Give!''---So, he gowned him, Straight got by heart that hook to its last page: Learned, we found him.
Yea, but we found him bald too, eyes like lead, Accents uncertain: ``Time to taste life,'' another would have said, ``Up with the curtain!'' This man said rather, ``Actual life comes next? ``Patience a moment! ``Grant I have mastered learning's crabbed text, ``Still there's the comment.
``Let me know all! Prate not of most or least, ``Painful or easy! ``Even to the crumbs I'd fain eat up the feast, ``Ay, nor feel queasy.
'' Oh, such a life as he resolved to live, When he had learned it, When he had gathered all books had to give! Sooner, he spurned it.
Image the whole, then execute the parts--- Fancy the fabric Quite, ere you build, ere steel strike fire from quartz, Ere mortar dab brick! (Here's the town-gate reached: there's the market-place Gaping before us.
) Yea, this in him was the peculiar grace (Hearten our chorus!) That before living he'd learn how to live--- No end to learning: Earn the means first---God surely will contrive Use for our earning.
Others mistrust and say, ``But time escapes: ``Live now or never!'' He said, ``What's time? Leave Now for dogs and apes! ``Man has Forever.
'' Back to his book then: deeper drooped his head _Calculus_ racked him: Leaden before, his eyes grew dross of lead: _Tussis_ attacked him.
``Now, master, take a little rest!''---not he! (Caution redoubled, Step two abreast, the way winds narrowly!) Not a whit troubled Back to his studies, fresher than at first, Fierce as a dragon He (soul-hydroptic with a sacred thirst) Sucked at the flagon.
Oh, if we draw a circle premature, Heedless of far gain, Greedy for quick returns of profit, sure Bad is our bargain! Was it not great? did not he throw on God, (He loves the burthen)--- God's task to make the heavenly period Perfect the earthen? Did not he magnify the mind, show clear Just what it all meant? He would not discount life, as fools do here, Paid by instalment.
He ventured neck or nothing---heaven's success Found, or earth's failure: ``Wilt thou trust death or not?'' He answered ``Yes: ``Hence with life's pale lure!'' That low man seeks a little thing to do, Sees it and does it: This high man, with a great thing to pursue, Dies ere he knows it.
That low man goes on adding nine to one, His hundred's soon hit: This high man, aiming at a million, Misses an unit.
That, has the world here---should he need the next, Let the world mind him! This, throws himself on God, and unperplexed Seeking shall find him.
So, with the throttling hands of death at strife, Ground he at grammar; Still, thro' the rattle, parts of speech were rife: While he could stammer He settled _Hoti's_ business---let it be!--- Properly based _Oun_--- Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic _De_, Dead from the waist down.
Well, here's the platform, here's the proper place: Hail to your purlieus, All ye highfliers of the feathered race, Swallows and curlews! Here's the top-peak; the multitude below Live, for they can, there: This man decided not to Live but Know--- Bury this man there? Here---here's his place, where meteors shoot, clouds form, Lightnings are loosened, Stars come and go! Let joy break with the storm, Peace let the dew send! Lofty designs must close in like effects Loftily lying, Leave him---still loftier than the world suspects, Living and dying.


Written by Leonard Cohen | Create an image from this poem

Everybody Knows

 (co-written by Sharon Robinson)
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded 
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed 
Everybody knows that the war is over 
Everybody knows the good guys lost 
Everybody knows the fight was fixed 
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich 
That's how it goes 
Everybody knows 
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking 
Everybody knows the captain lied 
Everybody got this broken feeling 
Like their father or their dog just died 
Everybody talking to their pockets 
Everybody wants a box of chocolates 
And a long stem rose 
Everybody knows 
Everybody knows that you love me baby 
Everybody knows that you really do 
Everybody knows that you've been faithful 
Ah give or take a night or two 
Everybody knows you've been discreet 
But there were so many people you just had to meet 
Without your clothes 
And everybody knows 
Everybody knows, everybody knows 
That's how it goes 
Everybody knows 
Everybody knows, everybody knows 
That's how it goes 
Everybody knows 
And everybody knows that it's now or never 
Everybody knows that it's me or you 
And everybody knows that you live forever 
Ah when you've done a line or two 
Everybody knows the deal is rotten 
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton 
For your ribbons and bows 
And everybody knows 
And everybody knows that the Plague is coming 
Everybody knows that it's moving fast 
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman 
Are just a shining artifact of the past 
Everybody knows the scene is dead 
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed 
That will disclose 
What everybody knows 
And everybody knows that you're in trouble 
Everybody knows what you've been through 
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary 
To the beach of Malibu 
Everybody knows it's coming apart 
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart 
Before it blows 
And everybody knows 
Everybody knows, everybody knows 
That's how it goes 
Everybody knows 
Oh everybody knows, everybody knows 
That's how it goes 
Everybody knows 
Everybody knows
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Old Pardon the Son of Reprieve

 You never heard tell of the story? 
Well, now, I can hardly believe! 
Never heard of the honour and glory 
Of Pardon, the son of Reprieve? 
But maybe you're only a Johnnie 
And don't know a horse from a hoe? 
Well, well, don't get angry, my sonny, 
But, really, a young un should know.
They bred him out back on the "Never", His mother was Mameluke breed.
To the front -- and then stay there - was ever The root of the Mameluke creed.
He seemed to inherit their wiry Strong frames -- and their pluck to receive -- As hard as a flint and as fiery Was Pardon, the son of Reprieve.
We ran him at many a meeting At crossing and gully and town, And nothing could give him a beating -- At least when our money was down.
For weight wouldn't stop him, nor distance, Nor odds, though the others were fast; He'd race with a dogged persistence, And wear them all down at the last.
At the Turon the Yattendon filly Led by lengths at the mile-and-a-half, And we all began to look silly, While her crowd were starting to laugh; But the old horse came faster and faster, His pluck told its tale, and his strength, He gained on her, caught her, and passed her, And won it, hands down, by a length.
And then we swooped down on Menindie To run for the President's Cup; Oh! that's a sweet township -- a shindy To them is board, lodging, and sup.
Eye-openers they are, and their system Is never to suffer defeat; It's "win, tie, or wrangle" -- to best 'em You must lose 'em, or else it's "dead heat".
We strolled down the township and found 'em At drinking and gaming and play; If sorrows they had, why they drowned 'em, And betting was soon under way.
Their horses were good uns and fit uns, There was plenty of cash in the town; They backed their own horses like Britons, And, Lord! how we rattled it down! With gladness we thought of the morrow, We counted our wages with glee, A simile homely to borrow -- "There was plenty of milk in our tea.
" You see we were green; and we never Had even a thought of foul play, Though we well might have known that the clever Division would "put us away".
Experience docet, they tell us, At least so I've frequently heard; But, "dosing" or "stuffing", those fellows Were up to each move on the board: They got to his stall -- it is sinful To think what such villains will do -- And they gave him a regular skinful Of barley -- green barley -- to chew.
He munched it all night, and we found him Next morning as full as a hog -- The girths wouldn't nearly meet round him; He looked like an overfed frog.
We saw we were done like a dinner -- The odds were a thousand to one Against Pardon turning up winner, 'Twas cruel to ask him to run.
We got to the course with our troubles, A crestfallen couple were we; And we heard the " books" calling the doubles -- A roar like the surf of the sea.
And over the tumult and louder Rang "Any price Pardon, I lay!" Says Jimmy, "The children of Judah Are out on the warpath today.
" Three miles in three heats: -- Ah, my sonny, The horses in those days were stout, They had to run well to win money; I don't see such horses about.
Your six-furlong vermin that scamper Half-a-mile with their feather-weight up, They wouldn't earn much of their damper In a race like the President's Cup.
The first heat was soon set a-going; The Dancer went off to the front; The Don on his quarters was showing, With Pardon right out of the hunt.
He rolled and he weltered and wallowed -- You'd kick your hat faster, I'll bet; They finished all bunched, and he followed All lathered and dripping with sweat.
But troubles came thicker upon us, For while we were rubbing him dry The stewards came over to warn us: "We hear you are running a bye! If Pardon don't spiel like tarnation And win the next heat -- if he can -- He'll earn a disqualification; Just think over that now, my man!" Our money all gone and our credit, Our horse couldn't gallop a yard; And then people thought that we did it It really was terribly hard.
We were objects of mirth and derision To folks in the lawn and the stand, Anf the yells of the clever division Of "Any price Pardon!" were grand.
We still had a chance for the money, Two heats remained to be run: If both fell to us -- why, my sonny, The clever division were done.
And Pardon was better, we reckoned, His sickness was passing away, So we went to the post for the second And principal heat of the day.
They're off and away with a rattle, Like dogs from the leashes let slip, And right at the back of the battle He followed them under the whip.
They gained ten good lengths on him quickly He dropped right away from the pack; I tell you it made me feel sickly To see the blue jacket fall back.
Our very last hope had departed -- We thought the old fellow was done, When all of a sudden he started To go like a shot from a gun.
His chances seemed slight to embolden Our hearts; but, with teeth firmly set, We thought, "Now or never! The old un May reckon with some of 'em yet.
" Then loud rose the war-cry for Pardon; He swept like the wind down the dip, And over the rise by the garden The jockey was done with the whip.
The field was at sixes and sevens -- The pace at the first had been fast -- And hope seemed to drop from the heavens, For Pardon was coming at last.
And how he did come! It was splendid; He gained on them yards every bound, Stretching out like a greyhound extended, His girth laid right down on the ground.
A shimmer of silk in the cedars As into the running they wheeled, And out flashed the whips on the leaders, For Pardon had collared the field.
Then right through the ruck he was sailing -- I knew that the battle was won -- The son of Haphazard was failing, The Yattendon filly was done; He cut down The Don and The Dancer, He raced clean away from the mare -- He's in front! Catch him now if you can, sir! And up went my hat in the air! Then loud fron the lawn and the garden Rose offers of "Ten to one on!" "Who'll bet on the field? I back Pardon!" No use; all the money was gone.
He came for the third heat light-hearted, A-jumping and dancing about; The others were done ere they started Crestfallen, and tired, and worn out.
He won it, and ran it much faster Than even the first, I believe; Oh, he was the daddy, the master, Was Pardon, the son of Reprieve.
He showed 'em the method of travel -- The boy sat still as a stone -- They never could see him for gravel; He came in hard-held, and alone.
* * * * * * * But he's old -- and his eyes are grown hollow Like me, with my thatch of the snow; When he dies, then I hope I may follow, And go where the racehorses go.
I don't want no harping nor singing -- Such things with my style don't agree; Where the hoofs of the horses are ringing There's music sufficient for me.
And surely the thoroughbred horses Will rise up again and begin Fresh faces on far-away courses, And p'raps they might let me slip in.
It would look rather well the race-card on 'Mongst Cherubs and Seraphs and things, "Angel Harrison's black gelding Pardon, Blue halo, white body and wings.
" And if they have racing hereafter, (And who is to say they will not?) When the cheers and the shouting and laughter Proclaim that the battle grows hot; As they come down the racecourse a-steering, He'll rush to the front, I believe; And you'll hear the great multitude cheering For Pardon, the son of Reprieve
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

The Old Timers Steeplechase

 The sheep were shorn and the wool went down 
At the time of our local racing; 
And I'd earned a spell -- I was burnt and brown -- 
So I rolled my swag for a trip to town 
And a look at the steeplechasing.
Twas rough and ready--an uncleared course As rough as the blacks had found it; With barbed-wire fences, topped with gorse, And a water-jump that would drown a horse, And the steeple three times round it.
There was never a fence the tracks to guard, -- Some straggling posts defined 'em: And the day was hot, and the drinking hard, Till none of the stewards could see a yard Before nor yet behind 'em! But the bell was rung and the nags were out, Excepting an old outsider Whose trainer started an awful rout, For his boy had gone on a drinking bout And left him without a rider.
"Is there not a man in the crowd," he cried, "In the whole of the crowd so clever, Is there not one man that will take a ride On the old white horse from the Northern side That was bred on the Mooki River?" Twas an old white horse that they called The Cow, And a cow would look well beside him; But I was pluckier then than now (And I wanted excitement anyhow), So at last I agreed to ride him.
And the trainer said,"Well, he's dreadful slow, And he hasn't a chance whatever; But I'm stony broke, so it's time to show A trick or two that the trainers know Who train by the Mooki River.
"The first time round at the further side, With the trees and the scrub about you, Just pull behind them and run out wide And then dodge into the scrub and hide, And let them go round without you.
"At the third time round, for the final spin With the pace and the dust to blind 'em, They'll never notice if you chip in For the last half-mile -- you'll be sure to win, And they'll think you raced behind 'em.
"At the water-jump you may have to swim -- He hasn't a hope to clear it, Unless he skims like the swallows skim At full speed over -- but not for him! He'll never go next or near it.
"But don't you worry -- just plunge across, For he swims like a well-trained setter.
Then hide away in the scrub and gorse The rest will be far ahead, of course -- The further ahead the better.
"You must rush the jumps in the last half-round For fear that he might refuse 'em; He'll try to baulk with you, I'11 be bound; Take whip and spurs to the mean old hound, And don't be afraid to use 'em.
"At the final round, when the field are slow And you are quite fresh to meet 'em, Sit down, and hustle him all you know With the whip and spurs, and he'll have to go -- Remember, you've got to beat 'em!" * The flag went down, and we seemed to fly, And we made the timbers shiver Of the first big fence, as the stand dashed by, And I caught the ring of the trainer's cry; "Go on, for the Mooki River!" I jammed him in with a well-packed crush, And recklessly -- out for slaughter -- Like a living wave over fence and brush We swept and swung with a flying rush, Till we came to the dreaded water.
Ha, ha! I laugh at it now to think Of the way I contrived to work it Shut in amongst them, before you'd wink, He found himself on the water's brink, With never a chance to shirk it! The thought of the horror he felt beguiles The heart of this grizzled rover! He gave a snort you could hear for miles, And a spring would have cleared the Channel Isles, And carried me safely over! Then we neared the scrub, and I pulled him back In the shade where the gum-leaves quiver: And I waited there in the shadows black While the rest of the horses, round the track, Went on like a rushing river! At the second round, as the field swept by, I saw that the pace was telling; But on they thundered, and by-and-by As they passed the stand I could hear the cry Of the folk in the distance, yelling! Then the last time round! And the hoofbeats rang! And I said, "Well, it's now or never!" And out on the heels of the throng I sprang, And the spurs bit deep and the whipcord sang As I rode.
For the Mooki River! We raced for home in a cloud of dust And the curses rose in chorus.
'Twas flog, and hustle, and jump you must! And The Cow ran well -- but to my disgust There was one got home before us.
Twas a big black horse, that I had not seen In the part of the race I'd ridden; And his coat was cool and his rider clean -- And I thought that perhaps I had not been The only one that had hidden.
And the trainer came with a visage blue With rage, when the race concluded: Said he, "I thought you'd have pulled us through, But the man on the black horse planted too, And nearer to home than you did!" Alas to think that those times so gay Have vanished and passed for ever! You don't believe in the yarn, you say? Why, man, 'twas a matter of every day When we raced on the Mooki River!