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Famous Birthright Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Jennings, Elizabeth is

Dispensed with justice. Shakespeare has the mood
And draws the music from the dullest heart.
This is our birthright, speeches for the dumb
And unaccomplished. Henry has the words
For grief and we learn how to tell of death
With dignity. "All was as cold" she said
"As any stone" and so, we who lacked scope
For big or little deaths, increase, grow up
To purposes and means to face events
Of cruelty, stupidity. I walked
Fast under stars. The Avon wa...Read More

by Moody, William Vaughn
...iric praise 
And muffled laughter of our enemies, 
Bidding us never sheathe our valiant sword 
Till we have changed our birthright for a gourd 
Of wild pulse stolen from a barbarian's hut; 
Showing how wise it is to cast away 
The symbols of our spiritual sway, 
That so our hands with better ease 
May wield the driver's whip and grasp the jailer's keys. 


Was it for this our fathers kept the law? 
This crown shall crown their struggle and their ruth? 
Are we the e...Read More

by Sidney, Sir Philip
...nkrout know
Of all those goods which heauen to me hath lent;
Vnable quite to pay euen Natures rent,
Which vnto it by birthright I do ow;
And, which is worse, no good excuse can showe,
But that my wealth I haue most idly spent!
My youth doth waste, my knowledge brings forth toyes,
My wit doth striue those passions to defende,
Which, for reward, spoil it with vain annoyes.
I see, my course to lose myself doth bend;
I see: and yet no greater sorrow take
Than that ...Read More

by Gregory, Rg
it's a good colour - red

give of your blood
you're not having mine
i'm the collector
santa looks after himself

your birthright - get lost
when i'm on my rounds
what i see i snaffle
that's today's lesson

give to santa - or
i'll cut your throat
that's today's christmas
the future looks good...Read More

by Parker, Dorothy
...Unto seventy years and seven,
Hide your double birthright well-
You, that are the brat of Heaven
And the pampered heir to Hell.

Let your rhymes be tinsel treasures,
Strung and seen and thrown aside.
Drill your apt and docile measures
Sternly as you drill your pride.

Show your quick, alarming skill in
Tidy mockeries of art;
Never, never dip your quill in
Ink that rushes from your heart.
...Read More

by Crashaw, Richard
Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heav'n to earth.

Welcome; though nor to gold nor silk,
To more than C{ae}sar's birthright is;
Two sister seas of virgin-milk,
With many a rarely temper'd kiss,
That breathes at once both maid and mother,
Warms in the one, cools in the other.

Welcome, though not to those gay flies
Gilded i' th' beams of earthly kings,
Slippery souls in smiling eyes;
But to poor shepherds, homespun things,
Whose wealth's their flock, whose wit, to b...Read More

by Milton, John
...nfessed later than Heaven and Earth, 
Their boasted parents;--Titan, Heaven's first-born, 
With his enormous brood, and birthright seized 
By younger Saturn: he from mightier Jove, 
His own and Rhea's son, like measure found; 
So Jove usurping reigned. These, first in Crete 
And Ida known, thence on the snowy top 
Of cold Olympus ruled the middle air, 
Their highest heaven; or on the Delphian cliff, 
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds 
Of Doric land; or who with Sat...Read More

by Milton, John
...lly enjoying 
God-like fruition, quitted all, to save 
A world from utter loss, and hast been found 
By merit more than birthright Son of God, 
Found worthiest to be so by being good, 
Far more than great or high; because in thee 
Love hath abounded more than glory abounds; 
Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt 
With thee thy manhood also to this throne: 
Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign 
Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man, 
Anointed universal King; all...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...a-fires in our wake:
This is the road to our Father's House,
 Whither we go for our souls' sake!

We have forfeited our birthright,
 We have forsaken all things meet;
We have forgotten the look of light,
 We have forgotten the scent of heart.

They that walk with shaded brows,
 Year by year in a shining land,
They be men of our Father's House,
 They shall receive us and understand.

We shall go back by the boltless doors,
 To the life unaltered our childhood knew --
T...Read More

by Sidney, Sir Philip
...of purest light 
Whose numbers, ways, greatness, eternity, 
Promising wonders, wonder do invite, 

To have for no cause birthright in the sky, 
But for to spangle the black weeds of night: 
Or for some brawl, which in that chamber high, 
They should still dance to please a gazer's sight; 

For me, I do Nature unidle know, 
And know great causes, great effects procure: 
And know those bodies high reign on the low. 

And if these rules did fail, proof makes me sure, 
Who of...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...till remain,
No grovelling thought can tempt, no fate affright;
The spiritual life, so free from stain,
Freedom's sweet birthright, they receive again,
Under the mystic sway of holy might.

The purest among millions, happy they
Whom to her service she has sanctified,
Whose mouths the mighty one's commands convey,
Within whose breasts she deigneth to abide;
Whom she ordained to feed her holy fire
Upon her altar's ever-flaming pyre,--
Whose eyes alone her unveiled graces me...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...hiefest grace.
For what to us were halls and corridors
However large and fitting, if we part
With this which is our birthright; if we lose
A sentiment profound, unsoundable,
Which Time's slow ripening alone can make,
And man's blind foolishness so quickly mar....Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...SSA. Frederick of Swabia, Emperor of Almain. 
 ALL. The Red Beard? 
 BARBAROSSA. Aye, Frederick, by my mountain birthright Prince 
 O' th' Romans, chosen king, crowned emperor, 
 Heaven's sword-bearer, monarch of Burgundy 
 And Arles—the tomb of Karl I dared profane, 
 But have repented me on bended knees 
 In penance 'midst the desert twenty years; 
 My drink the rain, the rocky herbs my food, 
 Myself a ghost the shepherds fled before, 
 And the world named ...Read More

by Gorman, Amanda
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children's birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimm...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
     The rank, the honors, thou hast lost!
     O. might I live to see thee grace,
     In Scotland's court, thy birthright place,
     To see my favorite's step advance
     The lightest in the courtly dance,
     The cause of every gallant's sigh,
     And leading star of every eye,
     And theme of every minstrel's art,
     The Lady of the Bleeding Heart!'

     'Fair dreams are these,' the maiden cried,—
     Light was her accent, yet she sighe...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer free,
Who took our desperate chance, and fought and won
Under a colonist called Washington?

One does not lose one's birthright, it appears.
I had been English then for many years.

We went down to Cambridge, 
Cambridge in the spring. 
In a brick court at twilight 
We heard the thrushes sing, 
And we went to evening service 
In the chapel of the King. 
The library of Trinity, 
The quadrangle of Clare, 
John bought a pipe from Bacon, 
And I acquired there...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...ll worth in the man shall forever be o'er
When in those three words he believes no more.

Man is made free!--Man by birthright is free,
Though the tyrant may deem him but born for his tool.
Whatever the shout of the rabble may be--
Whatever the ranting misuse of the fool--
Still fear not the slave, when he breaks from his chain,
For the man made a freeman grows safe in his gain.

And virtue is more than a shade or a sound,
And man may her voice, in this being, obe...Read More

by Clare, John
...aves that brawl for better laws
And cant of tyranny in stronger powers
Who glut their vile unsatiated maws
And freedoms birthright from the weak devours...Read More

by Lawrence, D. H.
...g gaiety.

Does he look for a companion?

No, no, don't think it.
He doesn't know he is alone;
Isolation is his birthright,
This atom.

To row forward, and reach himself tall on spiny toes,
To travel, to burrow into a little loose earth, afraid of the night,
To crop a little substance,
To move, and to be quite sure that he is moving:
To be a tortoise!
Think of it, in a garden of inert clods
A brisk, brindled little tortoise, all to himself --

In a ga...Read More

by Holmes, Oliver Wendell
Bearing the standard of Liberty's van?
Think not the God of thy fathers shall fail thee,
Striving with men for the birthright of man! 

Up with our banner bright,
Sprinkled with starry light,
Spread its fair emblems from mountain to shore,
While through the sounding sky
Loud rings the Nation's cry,

Yet if, by madness and treachery blighted,
Dawns the dark hour when the sword thou must draw,
Then with the arms of thy millions united,
Smit...Read More

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