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Famous Boat Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wilde, Oscar
...its rim great creamy lilies float
Through their flat leaves in verdant anchorage,
Each cup a white-sailed golden-laden boat
Steered by a dragon-fly, - be not afraid
To leave this wan and wave-kissed shore, surely the place was made

For lovers such as we; the Cyprian Queen,
One arm around her boyish paramour,
Strays often there at eve, and I have seen
The moon strip off her misty vestiture
For young Endymion's eyes; be not afraid,
The panther feet of Dian never tread that se...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Piled in confusion lay the household goods of the peasants.
All day long between the shore and the ships did the boats ply;
All day long the wains came laboring down from the village.
Late in the afternoon, when the sun was near to his setting,
Echoed far o'er the fields came the roll of drums from the churchyard.
Thither the women and children thronged. On a sudden the church-doors
Opened, and forth came the guard, and marching in gloomy procession
Followe...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
...the ax into many hands
That hewed and shaped the rooftops of America.
Splash into the rivers and the seas went the boat-hulls
That moved and transported America.
Crack went the whips that drove the horses
Across the plains of America.
Free hands and slave hands,
Indentured hands, adventurous hands,
White hands and black hands
Held the plow handles,
Ax handles, hammer handles,
Launched the boats and whipped the horses
That fed and housed and moved America.
Thu...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...e muddied drench. For thee 
 Be weeping ever, accursed spirit." 

 At that, 
 He reached his hands to grasp the boat, whereat 
 My watchful Master thrust him down, and cried, 
 "Away, among the dogs, thy fellows!" and then 
 To me with approbation, "Blest art thou, 
 Who wouldst not pity in thy heart allow 
 For these, in arrogance of empty pride 
 Who lived so vainly. In the minds of men 
 Is no good thing of this one left to tell, 
 And hence his rage. How m...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...happy board, 
And thence the British Admiral became, 
Crowned, for that merit, with their master's name; 
That pleasure-boat of war, in whose dear side 
Secure so oft he had this foe defied, 
Now a cheap spoil, and the mean victor's slave, 
Taught the Dutch colours from its top to wave; 
Of former glories the reproachful thought 
With present shame compared, his mind destraught. 
Such from Euphrates' bank, a tigress fell 
After the robber for her whelps doth yell; 
But se...Read More

by Moore, Marianne
unlike flesh, gold, or stately buildings,
the choicest piece of my life:
the heart rising
in its estate of peace
as a boat rises
with the rising of the water;"
constrained in speaking of the serpent --
that shed snakeskin in the history of politeness
not to be returned to again --
that invaluable accident
exonerating Adam.
And he has beauty also;
it's distressing -- the O thou
to whom, from whom,
without whom nothing -- Adam;
"something feline,
something colubrine" -- h...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
...flow soft as in a dream,
While horns and mild bassoons are heard
In tender tune, that seems to float
Like an enchanted boat
Upon the downward-gliding stream,
Toward the allegro's wide, bright sea
Of dancing, glittering, blending tone,
Where every instrument is sounding free,
And harps like wedding-chimes are rung, and trumpets blown
Around the barque of love
That sweeps, with smiling skies above,
A royal galley, many-oared,
Into the happy harbour of the perfect chord.

...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 be with me, 
By day to work with me, and by night to sleep with me.

Or, another time, in warm weather, out in a boat, to lift the lobster-pots, where they are
 with heavy stones, (I know the buoys;) 
O the sweetness of the Fifth-month morning upon the water, as I row, just before sunrise,
 toward the buoys; 
I pull the wicker pots up slantingly—the dark-green lobsters are desperate with their
 claws, as I take them out—I insert wooden pegs in the joints of their...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ebeck and guitar;

I hear continual echoes from the Thames; 
I hear fierce French liberty songs; 
I hear of the Italian boat-sculler the musical recitative of old poems;
I hear the Virginia plantation-chorus of *******, of a harvest night, in the glare of
I hear the strong baritone of the ’long-shore-men of Mannahatta; 
I hear the stevedores unlading the cargoes, and singing; 
I hear the screams of the water-fowl of solitary north-west lakes; 
I hear the rustlin...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...cuts the sparkle and scud; 
My eyes settle the land—I bend at her prow, or shout joyously from the

The boatmen and clam-diggers arose early and stopt for me; 
I tuck’d my trowser-ends in my boots, and went and had a good time:
(You should have been with us that day round the chowder-kettle.) 

I saw the marriage of the trapper in the open air in the far west—the bride
 was a red girl; 
Her father and his friends sat near, cross-legged and dumbly smo...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...lane, mallet, wedge, rounce, 
Chair, tub, hoop, table, wicket, vane, sash, floor,
Work-box, chest, string’d instrument, boat, frame, and what not, 
Capitols of States, and capitol of the nation of States, 
Long stately rows in avenues, hospitals for orphans, or for the poor or sick, 
Manhattan steamboats and clippers, taking the measure of all seas. 

The shapes arise!
Shapes of the using of axes anyhow, and the users, and all that neighbors them, 
Cutters down of wood, a...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ried stone; 
But Thou — thy very dust is gone! 


Late, late to-night will Dian cheer 
The swain, and chase the boatman's fear; 
Till then — no beacon on the cliff 
May shape the course of struggling skiff; 
The scatter'd lights that skirt the bay, 
All, one by one, have died away; 
The only lamp of this lone hour 
Is glimmering in Zuleika's tower. 
Yes! there is light in that lone chamber, 
And o'er her silken Ottoman 
Are thrown the fragrant beads of amber, 
O'e...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...; Sweet Nightingale! once more, my friends! farewell. LINES  Written when sailing in a Boat At EVENING.   How rich the wave, in front, imprest  With evening twilights summer hues,  While, facing thus the crimson west,  The boat her silent path pursues!  And see how dark the backward stream!  A little moment past, so smiling!  And st...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
..., or from the mountain fold  Saw on the distant lake his twinkling oar  Or watch'd his lazy boat still less'ning more and more   My father was a good and pious man,  An honest man by honest parents bred,  And I believe that, soon as I began  To lisp, he made me kneel beside my bed,  And in his hearing there my prayers I said:  And afterwards, by my good fathe...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...r his head the Holy Vessel hung 
Clothed in white samite or a luminous cloud. 
And with exceeding swiftness ran the boat, 
If boat it were--I saw not whence it came. 
And when the heavens opened and blazed again 
Roaring, I saw him like a silver star-- 
And had he set the sail, or had the boat 
Become a living creature clad with wings? 
And o'er his head the Holy Vessel hung 
Redder than any rose, a joy to me, 
For now I knew the veil had been withdrawn. 
Then in ...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...low twig to rave,
     And kiss, with whispering sound and slow,
     The beach of pebbles bright as snow.
      The boat had touched this silver strand
     Just as the Hunter left his stand,
     And stood concealed amid the brake,
     To view this Lady of the Lake.
      The maiden paused, as if again
     She thought to catch the distant strain.
     With head upraised, and look intent,
     And eye and ear attentive bent,
     And locks flung back, and lips a...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...ey, each confirms a prison
Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
Damyata: The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar 
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
To controlling hands

I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down
Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affi...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
The other answered, 'It really might.' 

Dear John: I'm going home. I write to say 
Goodbye. My boat-train leaves at break of day; 
It will be gone when this is in your hands. 
I've had enough of lovely foreign lands, 
Sightseeing, strangers, holiday and play; 
I'm going home to those who think the way
I think, and speak as I do. Will you try 
To understand that this must be good-bye? 
We both rooted deeply in the soil 
Of our own countries.Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...descended thicker
Than autumn-leaves, she watched it as it came
Melt on the surface of the level flame.

She had a boat which some say Vulcan wrought
For Venus, as the chariot of her star;
But it was found too feeble to be fraught
With all the ardours in that sphere which are,
And so she sold it, and Apollo bought
And gave it to this daughter: from a car,
Changed to the fairest and the lightest boat
Which ever upon mortal stream did float.

And others say that, when ...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
Became second country,
And the first I cannot dare
Recollect even in prayer.

x x x

In boat or in horsecart
This way you cannot go
Deep water stands and lingers
In the decrepit snow
Surrounding the mansion
From every side by now..
Ah! Closely wails it over
The same Robinson Crusoe.
The sled, the skies, the horse
He will come by to see,
And later on the couch
He sits and waits for me
And with a short spore
He tears the ...Read More

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