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Famous Bible Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Yeats, William Butler
...e fell;
And that a slight companionable ghost,
Wild with divinity,
Had so lit up the whole
Immense miraculous house
The Bible promised us,
It seemed a gold-fish swimming in a bowl.

On Florence Emery I call the next,
Who finding the first wrinkles on a face
Admired and beautiful,
And knowing that the future would be vexed
With 'minished beauty, multiplied commonplace,
preferred to teach a school
Away from neighbour or friend,
Among dark skins, and there
permit foul years ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...rial wealth and
 civilization must remain in vain;) 
Thee in thy all-supplying, all-enclosing Worship—thee in no single bible, saviour,

Thy saviours countless, latent within thyself—thy bibles incessant, within thyself,
 to any, divine as any; 
Thee in an education grown of thee—in teachers, studies, students, born of thee;
Thee in thy democratic fetes, en masse—thy high original festivals, operas,
Thee in thy ultimata, (the preparati...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
To live, I might erect a cenotaph 
To Job’s wife. I assume that you remember; 
If you forget, she’s extant in your Bible.”

Now this was not the language of a man 
Whom I had known as Avon, and I winced 
Hearing it—though I knew that in my heart 
There was no visitation of surprise. 
Unwelcome as it was, and off the key
Calamitously, it overlived a silence 
That was itself a story and affirmed 
A savage emphasis of honesty 
That I would only gladly have attuned 
...Read More

by Betjeman, John
...ld I know
Such goings-on could not be so,
For human beings only do
What their religion tells them to.
They read the Bible every day
And always, night and morning, pray,
And just like me, the good church mouse,
Worship each week in God's own house,
But all the same it's strange to me
How very full the church can be
With people I don't see at all
Except at Harvest Festival....Read More

by Frost, Robert
...oom was her father's still,
Where she could watch her mother's picture fading.
Once she found for a bookmark in the Bible
A maple leaf she thought must have been laid
In wait for her there. She read every word
Of the two pages it was pressed between,
As if it was her mother speaking to her.
But forgot to put the leaf back in closing
And lost the place never to read again.
She was sure, though, there had been nothing in it.

So she looked for herself, as ev...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord and fool;
Nor deeds of gift, but gifts of grace he forged,
And snakelike slimed his victim ere he gorged;
And oft at Bible meetings, o'er the rest
Arising, did his holy oily best,
Dropping the too rough H in Hell and Heaven,
To spread the Word by which himself had thriven."
How like you this old satire?' 

`Nay,' she said
`I loathe it: he had never kindly heart,
Nor ever cared to better his own kind,
Who first wrote satire, with no pity in it.
But will you hear MY ...Read More

by Swift, Jonathan
...uite forgot to say his prayers.
He cannot help it for his heart
Sometimes to act the parson's part:
Quotes from the Bible many a sentence,
That moves his patients to repentance:
And, when his med'cines do no good,
Supports their minds with heav'nly food,
At which, however well intended,
He hears the clergy are offended;
And grown so bold behind his back,
To call him hypocrite and quack.
In his own church he keeps a seat;
Says grace before and after meat;
And calls, wi...Read More

by Wordsworth, William a line in Milton: a charge than which none could be more painful to him, except perhaps that of having ridiculed his Bible.]   When he had better far have stretch'd his limbs  Beside a 'brook in mossy forest-dell  By sun or moonlight, to the influxes  Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements  Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song  And of his fame forgetful! so his fame&nbs...Read More

by Blake, William
Loath’d as a nation’s bitterest curse, 
And Caiaphas was in his own mind 
A benefactor to mankind. 
Both read the Bible day and night, 
But thou read’st black where I read white. 

Was Jesus gentle, or did He 
Give any marks of gentility? 
When twelve years old He ran away, 
And left His parents in dismay. 
When after three days’ sorrow found, 
Loud as Sinai’s trumpet-sound: 
‘No earthly parents I confess— 
My Heavenly Father’s business! 
Ye understand not what ...Read More

by Masefield, John
...Joe the ostler come in sad, 
He said th'old mare had bit his dad. 
He said there'd come a blazing screeching 
Daft Bible-prophet chap a-preaching, 
Had put th'old mare in such a taking 
she'd thought the bloody earth was quaking. 
And others come and spread a tale 
Of cut-throats out of Gloucester jail, 
And how we needed extra cops 
With all them Welsh come picking hops: 
With drunken Welsh in all our sheds 
We might be murdered in our beds.

By all accounts, bo...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey was he,
For it was of no superfluity,
But of great nourishing, and digestible.
His study was but little on the Bible.
In sanguine* and in perse** he clad was all *red **blue
Lined with taffeta, and with sendall*. *fine silk
And yet *he was but easy of dispense*: *he spent very little*
He kept *that he won in the pestilence*. *the money he made
For gold in physic is a cordial; during the plague*
Therefore he loved gold in special.

A good WIFE was ther...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...sacred your honour, her dark despair;
Never shall it see printed line: here, by the living God I swear."
Brown on a Bible laid his hand; Smith, great writer of stories, sighed:
"Comrade, I trust you, and understand. Keep my secret!" And so he died.

Smith was buried -- up soared his sales; lured you his books in every store;
Exquisite, whimsy, heart-wrung tales; men devoured them and craved for more.
So when it slyly got about Brown had a posthumous manuscript...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...trace this curious nation,
And respect this somewhat scattered Principality;
When you see a B in Both
You may take your Bible oath
You are violating Belgian neutrality....Read More

by Blake, William is the active
springing from Energy.
Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.

The voice of the Devil

All Bibles or sacred codes. have been the causes of the
following Errors.

That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a
That Energy. calld Evil. is alone from the Body. & that
Reason. calld Good. is alone from the Soul.
That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his

But the following ...Read More

by Walcott, Derek a young leaf in sunlight.
I bawl for Maria, and her Book of Dreams.

It anchored her sleep, that insomniac's Bible,
a soiled orange booklet with a cyclop's eye
center, from the Dominican Republic.
Its coarse pages were black with the usual
symbols of prophecy, in excited Spanish:
an open palm upright, sectioned and numbered
like a butcher chart, delivered the future.
One night, in a fever, radiantly ill,
she say, "Bring me the book, the end has come."
S...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
I saw a taper, far below me, wink, 
And stooping, caught this fellow at a libel — 
No less on history than the Holy Bible. 


'The former is the devil's scripture, and 
The latter yours, good Michael: so the affair 
Belongs to all of us, you understand. 
I snatch'd him up just as you see him there, 
And brought him off for sentence out of hand: 
I've scarcely been ten minutes in the air — 
At least a quarter it can hardly be: 
I dare say that his wife is ...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
And hope was born-the future lived again. 
To me a son was born, 
The lonely hard forlorn 
Travail was, as the Bible tells, forgot. 
How old, how commonplace 
To look upon the face
Of your first-born, and glory in your lot.

To look upon his face
And understand your place
Among the unknown dead in churchyards lying,
To see the reason why
You lived and why you die—
Even to find a certain grace in dying.

To know the reason why
Buds blow and blossoms die,
W...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...y name,
That, for his wife was at a summer game
Without his knowing, he forsook her eke.
And then would he upon his Bible seek
That ilke* proverb of Ecclesiast, *same
Where he commandeth, and forbiddeth fast,
Man shall not suffer his wife go roll about.
Then would he say right thus withoute doubt:
"Whoso that buildeth his house all of sallows,* *willows
And pricketh his blind horse over the fallows,
And suff'reth his wife to *go seeke hallows,* *make pilgrimages*
Is w...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...carved bench, till it show 
 The wood is torn; and freely too, 
 I'll leave in your own hands to view, 
 My pictured Bible—oft desired— 
 But which to touch your fear inspired— 
 With God in emperor's robes attired. 
 Then if to see my verses burn, 
 Should seem to you a pleasant turn, 
 Take them to freely tear away 
 Or burn. But, oh! not so I'd say, 
 If this were Méry's room to-day. 
 That noble poet! Happy town, 
 Marseilles the Greek, that him doth own! 
...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...salm-singer I am reading.
Sleet is fluffy, and stars turn blue,
And more marvelous is each meeting --
And in the Bible a leaf
On Song of Songs is sitting.

x x x

All year long you are close to me
And, like formerly, happy and young!
Aren't you tortured already
By the traumatized strings' dark song?
Those now only lightly moan
That once, taut, loudly rang
And aimlessly they are torn
By my dry, waxen hand.
Little is necessary to make happy
On...Read More

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