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Best Famous Prose Poetry Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Prose Poetry poems. This is a select list of the best famous Prose Poetry poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Prose Poetry poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of prose poetry poems.

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Written by Marianne Moore | Create an image from this poem

The Past is the Present

 If external action is effete
and rhyme is outmoded,
I shall revert to you,
Habakkuk, as when in a Bible class
the teacher was speaking of unrhymed verse.
He said - and I think I repeat his exact words - "Hebrew poetry is prose with a sort of heightened consciousness.
" Ecstasy affords the occasion and expediency determines the form.

Written by Ezra Pound | Create an image from this poem

Hugh Selwyn Mauberly (Part I)

 "Vocat aestus in umbram" 
Nemesianus Es.
Ode pour l'élection de son sépulchre For three years, out of key with his time, He strove to resuscitate the dead art Of poetry; to maintain "the sublime" In the old sense.
Wrong from the start -- No, hardly, but, seeing he had been born In a half savage country, out of date; Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn; Capaneus; trout for factitious bait: "Idmen gar toi panth, os eni Troie Caught in the unstopped ear; Giving the rocks small lee-way The chopped seas held him, therefore, that year.
His true Penelope was Flaubert, He fished by obstinate isles; Observed the elegance of Circe's hair Rather than the mottoes on sun-dials.
Unaffected by "the march of events", He passed from men's memory in l'an trentiesme De son eage; the case presents No adjunct to the Muses' diadem.
The age demanded an image Of its accelerated grimace, Something for the modern stage, Not, at any rate, an Attic grace; Not, not certainly, the obscure reveries Of the inward gaze; Better mendacities Than the classics in paraphrase! The "age demanded" chiefly a mould in plaster, Made with no loss of time, A prose kinema, not, not assuredly, alabaster Or the "sculpture" of rhyme.
The tea-rose, tea-gown, etc.
Supplants the mousseline of Cos, The pianola "replaces" Sappho's barbitos.
Christ follows Dionysus, Phallic and ambrosial Made way for macerations; Caliban casts out Ariel.
All things are a flowing, Sage Heracleitus says; But a tawdry cheapness Shall reign throughout our days.
Even the Christian beauty Defects -- after Samothrace; We see to kalon Decreed in the market place.
Faun's flesh is not to us, Nor the saint's vision.
We have the press for wafer; Franchise for circumcision.
All men, in law, are equals.
Free of Peisistratus, We choose a knave or an eunuch To rule over us.
A bright Apollo, tin andra, tin eroa, tina theon, What god, man, or hero Shall I place a tin wreath upon? IV.
These fought, in any case, and some believing, pro domo, in any case .
Some quick to arm, some for adventure, some from fear of weakness, some from fear of censure, some for love of slaughter, in imagination, learning later .
some in fear, learning love of slaughter; Died some pro patria, non dulce non et decor" .
walked eye-deep in hell believing in old men's lies, then unbelieving came home, home to a lie, home to many deceits, home to old lies and new infamy; usury age-old and age-thick and liars in public places.
Daring as never before, wastage as never before.
Young blood and high blood, Fair cheeks, and fine bodies; fortitude as never before frankness as never before, disillusions as never told in the old days, hysterias, trench confessions, laughter out of dead bellies.
There died a myriad, And of the best, among them, For an old ***** gone in the teeth, For a botched civilization.
Charm, smiling at the good mouth, Quick eyes gone under earth's lid, For two gross of broken statues, For a few thousand battered books.
Yeux Glauques Gladstone was still respected, When John Ruskin produced "Kings Treasuries"; Swinburne And Rossetti still abused.
Fœtid Buchanan lifted up his voice When that faun's head of hers Became a pastime for Painters and adulterers.
The Burne-Jones cartons Have preserved her eyes; Still, at the Tate, they teach Cophetua to rhapsodize; Thin like brook-water, With a vacant gaze.
The English Rubaiyat was still-born In those days.
The thin, clear gaze, the same Still darts out faun-like from the half-ruin'd face, Questing and passive .
"Ah, poor Jenny's case" .
Bewildered that a world Shows no surprise At her last maquero's Adulteries.
"Siena Mi Fe', Disfecemi Maremma" Among the pickled fœtuses and bottled bones, Engaged in perfecting the catalogue, I found the last scion of the Senatorial families of Strasbourg, Monsieur Verog.
For two hours he talked of Gallifet; Of Dowson; of the Rhymers' Club; Told me how Johnson (Lionel) died By falling from a high stool in a pub .
But showed no trace of alcohol At the autopsy, privately performed -- Tissue preserved -- the pure mind Arose toward Newman as the whiskey warmed.
Dowson found harlots cheaper than hotels; Headlam for uplift; Image impartially imbued With raptures for Bacchus, Terpsichore and the Church.
So spoke the author of "The Dorian Mood", M.
Verog, out of step with the decade, Detached from his contemporaries, Neglected by the young, Because of these reveries.
The sky-like limpid eyes, The circular infant's face, The stiffness from spats to collar Never relaxing into grace; The heavy memories of Horeb, Sinai and the forty years, Showed only when the daylight fell Level across the face Of Brennbaum "The Impeccable".
Nixon In the cream gilded cabin of his steam yacht Mr.
Nixon advised me kindly, to advance with fewer Dangers of delay.
"Consider Carefully the reviewer.
"I was as poor as you are; "When I began I got, of course, "Advance on royalties, fifty at first", said Mr.
Nixon, "Follow me, and take a column, "Even if you have to work free.
"Butter reviewers.
From fifty to three hundred "I rose in eighteen months; "The hardest nut I had to crack "Was Dr.
"I never mentioned a man but with the view "Of selling my own works.
"The tip's a good one, as for literature "It gives no man a sinecure.
" And no one knows, at sight a masterpiece.
And give up verse, my boy, There's nothing in it.
" * * * Likewise a friend of Bloughram's once advised me: Don't kick against the pricks, Accept opinion.
The "Nineties" tried your game And died, there's nothing in it.
Beneath the sagging roof The stylist has taken shelter, Unpaid, uncelebrated, At last from the world's welter Nature receives him, With a placid and uneducated mistress He exercises his talents And the soil meets his distress.
The haven from sophistications and contentions Leaks through its thatch; He offers succulent cooking; The door has a creaking latch.
"Conservatrix of Milésien" Habits of mind and feeling, Possibly.
But in Ealing With the most bank-clerkly of Englishmen? No, "Milésian" is an exaggeration.
No instinct has survived in her Older than those her grandmother Told her would fit her station.
"Daphne with her thighs in bark Stretches toward me her leafy hands", -- Subjectively.
In the stuffed-satin drawing-room I await The Lady Valentine's commands, Knowing my coat has never been Of precisely the fashion To stimulate, in her, A durable passion; Doubtful, somewhat, of the value Of well-gowned approbation Of literary effort, But never of The Lady Valentine's vocation: Poetry, her border of ideas, The edge, uncertain, but a means of blending With other strata Where the lower and higher have ending; A hook to catch the Lady Jane's attention, A modulation toward the theatre, Also, in the case of revolution, A possible friend and comforter.
* * * Conduct, on the other hand, the soul "Which the highest cultures have nourished" To Fleet St.
where Dr.
Johnson flourished; Beside this thoroughfare The sale of half-hose has Long since superseded the cultivation Of Pierian roses.
Written by Czeslaw Milosz | Create an image from this poem

Ars Poetica?

 I have always aspired to a more spacious form
that would be free from the claims of poetry or prose
and would let us understand each other without exposing
the author or reader to sublime agonies.
In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent: a thing is brought forth which we didn't know we had in us, so we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out and stood in the light, lashing his tail.
That's why poetry is rightly said to be dictated by a daimonion, though its an exaggeration to maintain that he must be an angel.
It's hard to guess where that pride of poets comes from, when so often they're put to shame by the disclosure of their frailty.
What reasonable man would like to be a city of demons, who behave as if they were at home, speak in many tongues, and who, not satisfied with stealing his lips or hand, work at changing his destiny for their convenience? It's true that what is morbid is highly valued today, and so you may think that I am only joking or that I've devised just one more means of praising Art with thehelp of irony.
There was a time when only wise books were read helping us to bear our pain and misery.
This, after all, is not quite the same as leafing through a thousand works fresh from psychiatric clinics.
And yet the world is different from what it seems to be and we are other than how we see ourselves in our ravings.
People therefore preserve silent integrity thus earning the respect of their relatives and neighbors.
The purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just one person, for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors, and invisible guests come in and out at will.
What I'm saying here is not, I agree, poetry, as poems should be written rarely and reluctantly, under unbearable duress and only with the hope that good spirits, not evil ones, choose us for their instrument.
Written by Barry Tebb | Create an image from this poem


 for Ken Kesey and his merry pranksters in a bus called ‘Further.
’ Dear _______ and here’s where the problem begins For who shall I address this letter to? Friends are few and very special, muses in the main I must confess, the first I lost just fifty years ago.
Perhaps the best.
I searched for years and wrote en route ‘Bridge Over the Aire’ after that vision and that voice “I am here.
I am waiting”.
I followed every lead Margaret Gardiner last heard of in the Falmouth’s Of Leeds 9, early fifties.
Barry Tebb your friend from then Would love to hear from you.
” The sole reply A mis-directed estimate for papering a bungalow In Penge.
I nearly came unhinged as weeks Ran into months of silence.
Was it.
I wondered.
A voice from the beyond? The vision was given Complete with backcloth of resplendent stars The bridge’s grey transmuted to a sheen of pearl The chipped steps became transparent stairs to heaven Our worn clothes, like Cinders’ at the ball, cloaks and gowns Of infinite splendour but only for the night, remember! I passed the muse’s diadem to Sheila Pritchard, My genius-child-poet of whom Redgrove said “Of course, you are in love” and wrote for her ‘My Perfect Rose!’ Last year a poet saw it In the British Council Reading Room in distant Kazakstan And sent his poems to me on paper diaphanous As angels’ wings and delicate as ash And tinted with a splash of lemon And a dash of mignonette.
I last saw Sheila circa nineteen sixty seven Expelled from grammar school wearing a poncho Hand-made from an army blanket Working a stall in Kirkgate Market.
Brenda Williams, po?te maudit if ever, By then installed as muse number three Grew sadly jealous for the only time In thirty-seven years: muse number two Passed into the blue There is another muse, who makes me chronologically confused.
Barbara, who overlaps both two and three And still is there, somewhere in Leeds.
Who does remember me and who, almost alone.
Inspired my six novellas: we write and Talk sometimes and in a crisis she is there for me, Muse number four, though absent for a month in Indonesia.
I doubt if there will be a fifth.
There is a poet, too, who is a friend and writes to me From Hampstead, from a caf? in South End Green.
His cursive script on rose pink paper symptomatic Of his gift for eloquent prose and poetry sublime His elegy on David Gascoyne’s death quite takes my breath And the title of his novel ‘Lipstick Boys’ I'll envy always, There are some few I talk and write to And occasionally meet.
David Lambert, poet and teacher Of creative writing, doing it ‘my way’ in the nineties, UEA found his services superfluous to their needs.
? ? you may **** like hell, But I abhor your jealous narcissistic smell And as for your much vaunted pc prose I’d rather stick my prick inside the thorniest rose.
Jeanne Conn of ‘Connections’ your letters are even longer than my own and Maggie Allen Sent me the only Valentine I’ve had in sixty years These two do know my longings and my fears, Dear Simon Jenner, Eratica’s erratic editor, your speech So like the staccato of a bren, yet loaded With a lifetime’s hard-won ken of poetry’s obscurest corners.
I salute David Wright, that ‘difficult deaf son’ Of the sixties, acknowledged my own youthful spasm of enthusiasm But Simon you must share the honour with Jimmy Keery, Of whom I will admit I’m somewhat leery, His critical acuity so absolute and steely.
I ask you all to stay with me Through time into infinity Not even death can undo The love I have for you.
Written by Karl Shapiro | Create an image from this poem

A Garden In Chicago

 In the mid-city, under an oiled sky,
I lay in a garden of such dusky green
It seemed the dregs of the imagination.
Hedged round by elegant spears of iron fence My face became a moon to absent suns.
A low heat beat upon my reading face; There rose no roses in that gritty place But blue-gray lilacs hung their tassels out.
Hard zinnias and ugly marigolds And one sweet statue of a child stood by.
A gutter of poetry flowed outside the yard, Making me think I was a bird of prose; For overhead, bagged in a golden cloud, There hung the fatted souls of animals, Wile at my eyes bright dots of butterflies Turned off and on like distant neon signs.
Assuming that this garden still exists, One ancient lady patrols the zinnias (She looks like George Washington crossing the Delaware), The janitor wanders to the iron rail, The traffic mounts bombastically out there, And across the street in a pitch-black bar With midnight mirrors, the professional Takes her first whiskey of the afternoon-- Ah! It is like a breath of country air.

Written by Thomas Carew | Create an image from this poem

An Elegy upon the Death of the Dean of St. Pauls Dr. John

 Can we not force from widow'd poetry, 
Now thou art dead (great Donne) one elegy 
To crown thy hearse? Why yet dare we not trust, 
Though with unkneaded dough-bak'd prose, thy dust, 
Such as th' unscissor'd churchman from the flower 
Of fading rhetoric, short-liv'd as his hour, 
Dry as the sand that measures it, should lay 
Upon thy ashes, on the funeral day? 
Have we no voice, no tune? Didst thou dispense 
Through all our language, both the words and sense? 
'Tis a sad truth.
The pulpit may her plain And sober Christian precepts still retain, Doctrines it may, and wholesome uses, frame, Grave homilies and lectures, but the flame Of thy brave soul (that shot such heat and light As burnt our earth and made our darkness bright, Committed holy rapes upon our will, Did through the eye the melting heart distil, And the deep knowledge of dark truths so teach As sense might judge what fancy could not reach) Must be desir'd forever.
So the fire That fills with spirit and heat the Delphic quire, Which, kindled first by thy Promethean breath, Glow'd here a while, lies quench'd now in thy death.
The Muses' garden, with pedantic weeds O'erspread, was purg'd by thee; the lazy seeds Of servile imitation thrown away, And fresh invention planted; thou didst pay The debts of our penurious bankrupt age; Licentious thefts, that make poetic rage A mimic fury, when our souls must be Possess'd, or with Anacreon's ecstasy, Or Pindar's, not their own; the subtle cheat Of sly exchanges, and the juggling feat Of two-edg'd words, or whatsoever wrong By ours was done the Greek or Latin tongue, Thou hast redeem'd, and open'd us a mine Of rich and pregnant fancy; drawn a line Of masculine expression, which had good Old Orpheus seen, or all the ancient brood Our superstitious fools admire, and hold Their lead more precious than thy burnish'd gold, Thou hadst been their exchequer, and no more They each in other's dust had rak'd for ore.
Thou shalt yield no precedence, but of time, And the blind fate of language, whose tun'd chime More charms the outward sense; yet thou mayst claim From so great disadvantage greater fame, Since to the awe of thy imperious wit Our stubborn language bends, made only fit With her tough thick-ribb'd hoops to gird about Thy giant fancy, which had prov'd too stout For their soft melting phrases.
As in time They had the start, so did they cull the prime Buds of invention many a hundred year, And left the rifled fields, besides the fear To touch their harvest; yet from those bare lands Of what is purely thine, thy only hands, (And that thy smallest work) have gleaned more Than all those times and tongues could reap before.
But thou art gone, and thy strict laws will be Too hard for libertines in poetry; They will repeal the goodly exil'd train Of gods and goddesses, which in thy just reign Were banish'd nobler poems; now with these, The silenc'd tales o' th' Metamorphoses Shall stuff their lines, and swell the windy page, Till verse, refin'd by thee, in this last age Turn ballad rhyme, or those old idols be Ador'd again, with new apostasy.
Oh, pardon me, that break with untun'd verse The reverend silence that attends thy hearse, Whose awful solemn murmurs were to thee, More than these faint lines, a loud elegy, That did proclaim in a dumb eloquence The death of all the arts; whose influence, Grown feeble, in these panting numbers lies, Gasping short-winded accents, and so dies.
So doth the swiftly turning wheel not stand In th' instant we withdraw the moving hand, But some small time maintain a faint weak course, By virtue of the first impulsive force; And so, whilst I cast on thy funeral pile Thy crown of bays, oh, let it crack awhile, And spit disdain, till the devouring flashes Suck all the moisture up, then turn to ashes.
I will not draw the envy to engross All thy perfections, or weep all our loss; Those are too numerous for an elegy, And this too great to be express'd by me.
Though every pen should share a distinct part, Yet art thou theme enough to tire all art; Let others carve the rest, it shall suffice I on thy tomb this epitaph incise: Here lies a king, that rul'd as he thought fit The universal monarchy of wit; Here lie two flamens, and both those, the best, Apollo's first, at last, the true God's priest.
Written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | Create an image from this poem


 I feel no small reluctance in venturing to give to the public a 
work of the character of that indicated by the title-page to the 
present volume; for, difficult as it must always be to render satisfactorily 
into one's own tongue the writings of the bards of other lands, 
the responsibility assumed by the translator is immeasurably increased 
when he attempts to transfer the thoughts of those great men, who 
have lived for all the world and for all ages, from the language 
in which they were originally clothed, to one to which they may 
as yet have been strangers.
Preeminently is this the case with Goethe, the most masterly of all the master minds of modern times, whose name is already inscribed on the tablets of immortality, and whose fame already extends over the earth, although as yet only in its infancy.
Scarcely have two decades passed away since he ceased to dwell among men, yet he now stands before us, not as a mere individual, like those whom the world is wont to call great, but as a type, as an emblem--the recognised emblem and representative of the human mind in its present stage of culture and advancement.
Among the infinitely varied effusions of Goethe's pen, perhaps there are none which are of as general interest as his Poems, which breathe the very spirit of Nature, and embody the real music of the feelings.
In Germany, they are universally known, and are considered as the most delightful of his works.
Yet in this country, this kindred country, sprung from the same stem, and so strongly resembling her sister in so many points, they are nearly unknown.
Almost the only poetical work of the greatest Poet that the world has seen for ages, that is really and generally read in England, is Faust, the translations of which are almost endless; while no single person has as yet appeared to attempt to give, in an English dress, in any collective or systematic manner, those smaller productions of the genius of Goethe which it is the object of the present volume to lay before the reader, whose indulgence is requested for its many imperfections.
In addition to the beauty of the language in which the Poet has given utterance to his thoughts, there is a depth of meaning in those thoughts which is not easily discoverable at first sight, and the translator incurs great risk of overlooking it, and of giving a prosaic effect to that which in the original contains the very essence of poetry.
It is probably this difficulty that has deterred others from undertaking the task I have set myself, and in which I do not pretend to do more than attempt to give an idea of the minstrelsy of one so unrivalled, by as truthful an interpretation of it as lies in my power.
The principles which have guided me on the present occasion are the same as those followed in the translation of Schiller's complete Poems that was published by me in 1851, namely, as literal a rendering of the original as is consistent with good English, and also a very strict adherence to the metre of the original.
Although translators usually allow themselves great license in both these points, it appears to me that by so doing they of necessity destroy the very soul of the work they profess to translate.
In fact, it is not a translation, but a paraphrase that they give.
It may perhaps be thought that the present translations go almost to the other extreme, and that a rendering of metre, line for line, and word for word, makes it impossible to preserve the poetry of the original both in substance and in sound.
But experience has convinced me that it is not so, and that great fidelity is even the most essential element of success, whether in translating poetry or prose.
It was therefore very satisfactory to me to find that the principle laid down by me to myself in translating Schiller met with the very general, if not universal, approval of the reader.
At the same time, I have endeavoured to profit in the case of this, the younger born of the two attempts made by me to transplant the muse of Germany to the shores of Britain, by the criticisms, whether friendly or hostile, that have been evoked or provoked by the appearance of its elder brother.
As already mentioned, the latter contained the whole of the Poems of Schiller.
It is impossible, in anything like the same compass, to give all the writings of Goethe comprised under the general title of Gedichte, or poems.
They contain between 30,000 and 40,000 verses, exclusive of his plays.
and similar works.
Very many of these would be absolutely without interest to the English reader,--such as those having only a local application, those addressed to individuals, and so on.
Others again, from their extreme length, could only be published in separate volumes.
But the impossibility of giving all need form no obstacle to giving as much as possible; and it so happens that the real interest of Goethe's Poems centres in those classes of them which are not too diffuse to run any risk when translated of offending the reader by their too great number.
Those by far the more generally admired are the Songs and Ballads, which are about 150 in number, and the whole of which are contained in this volume (with the exception of one or two of the former, which have been, on consideration, left out by me owing to their trifling and uninteresting nature).
The same may be said of the Odes, Sonnets, Miscellaneous Poems, &c.
In addition to those portions of Goethe's poetical works which are given in this complete form, specimens of the different other classes of them, such as the Epigrams, Elegies, &c.
, are added, as well as a collection of the various Songs found in his Plays, making a total number of about 400 Poems, embraced in the present volume.
A sketch of the life of Goethe is prefixed, in order that the reader may have before him both the Poet himself and the Poet's offspring, and that he may see that the two are but one--that Goethe lives in his works, that his works lived in him.
The dates of the different Poems are appended throughout, that of the first publication being given, when that of the composition is unknown.
The order of arrangement adopted is that of the authorized German editions.
As Goethe would never arrange them himself in the chronological order of their composition, it has become impossible to do so, now that he is dead.
The plan adopted in the present volume would therefore seem to be the best, as it facilitates reference to the original.
The circumstances attending or giving rise to the production of any of the Poems will be found specified in those cases in which they have been ascertained by me.
Having said thus much by way of explanation, I now leave the book to speak for itself, and to testify to its own character.
Whether viewed with a charitable eye by the kindly reader, who will make due allowance for the difficulties attending its execution, or received by the critic, who will judge of it only by its own merits, with the unfriendly welcome which it very probably deserves, I trust that I shall at least be pardoned for making an attempt, a failure in which does not necessarily imply disgrace, and which, by leading the way, may perhaps become the means of inducing some abler and more worthy (but not more earnest) labourer to enter upon the same field, the riches of which will remain unaltered and undiminished in value, even although they may be for the moment tarnished by the hands of the less skilful workman who first endeavours to transplant them to a foreign soil.
Written by Louisa May Alcott | Create an image from this poem

Thoreaus Flute

 We sighing said, "Our Pan is dead; 
His pipe hangs mute beside the river 
Around it wistful sunbeams quiver, 
But Music's airy voice is fled.
Spring mourns as for untimely frost; The bluebird chants a requiem; The willow-blossom waits for him; The Genius of the wood is lost.
" Then from the flute, untouched by hands, There came a low, harmonious breath: "For such as he there is no death; His life the eternal life commands; Above man's aims his nature rose.
The wisdom of a just content Made one small spot a continent And turned to poetry life's prose.
"Haunting the hills, the stream, the wild, Swallow and aster, lake and pine, To him grew human or divine, Fit mates for this large-hearted child.
Such homage Nature ne'er forgets, And yearly on the coverlid 'Neath which her darling lieth hid Will write his name in violets.
"To him no vain regrets belong Whose soul, that finer instrument, Gave to the world no poor lament, But wood-notes ever sweet and strong.
O lonely friend! he still will be A potent presence, though unseen, Steadfast, sagacious, and serene; Seek not for him -- he is with thee.
Written by Henry Van Dyke | Create an image from this poem



Lover of beauty, walking on the height 
Of pure philosophy and tranquil song; 
Born to behold the visions that belong 
To those who dwell in melody and light; 
Milton, thou spirit delicate and bright!
What drew thee down to join the Roundhead throng
Of iron-sided warriors, rude and strong, 
Fighting for freedom in a world half night? 

Lover of Liberty at heart wast thou,
Above all beauty bright, all music clear:
To thee she bared her bosom and her brow,
Breathing her virgin promise in thine ear,
And bound thee to her with a double vow, --
Exquisite Puritan, grave Cavalier! 


The cause, the cause for which thy soul resigned 
Her singing robes to battle on the plain, 
Was won, O poet, and was lost again; 
And lost the labour of thy lonely mind
On weary tasks of prose.
What wilt thou find To comfort thee for all the toil and pain? What solace, now thy sacrifice is vain And thou art left forsaken, poor, and blind? Like organ-music comes the deep reply: "The cause of truth looks lost, but shall be won.
For God hath given to mine inward eye Vision of England soaring to the sun.
And granted me great peace before I die, In thoughts of lowly duty bravely done.
" III O bend again above thine organ-board, Thou blind old poet longing for repose! Thy Master claims thy service not with those Who only stand and wait for his reward.
He pours the heavenly gift of song restored Into thy breast, and bids thee nobly close A noble life, with poetry that flows In mighty music of the major chord.
Where hast thou learned this deep, majestic strain, Surpassing all thy youthful lyric grace, To sing of Paradise? Ah, not in vain The griefs that won at Dante's side thy place, And made thee, Milton, by thy years of pain, The loftiest poet of the Saxon race!
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

My Masters

 Of Poetry I've been accused,
But much more often I have not;
Oh, I have been so much amused
By those who've put me on the spot,
And measured me by rules above
Those I observe with equal love.
An artisan of verse am I, Of simple sense and humble tone; My Thesaurus is handy by, A rhyming lexicon I own; Without them I am ill at ease - What bards would use such aids as these? Bad poets make good verse, they say; The Great have not distained to woo The modest muse of every day; Read Longfellow and Byron through, The fabric test - much verse you'll see Compared with what is poetry.
Small blame; one cannot always soar To heights of hyaline sublime; Melodious prose one must deplore, And fetters of rebellious rhyme: Keats, Browning - that's another tale, But even Giants fail and fail.
I've worshipped Ryley, Harte and Field, And though their minstrelsy I lack, To them heart-homage here I yield, And follow with my verseman's pack: To them with gratitude I look, For briefing me to make this book.