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Famous Business Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Pope, Alexander

Argument of the Second Epistle:

Of the Nature and State of Man, with respect to Himself, as an Individual. The business of Man not to pry into God, but
to study himself.

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; 
The proper study of Mankind is Man. 
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,(28) 
A being darkly wise, and rudely great: 
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side, 
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride, 
He hangs between; in doubt to...Read More

by Hugo, Victor, Gasclin. 
 The horse had wanted drink, and lost a shoe; 
 And now, "Be quick!" he said, "with what you do, 
 For business calls me, I must not delay." 
 He strides the saddle and he rides away. 
 Eviradnus was growing old apace, 
 The weight of years had left its hoary trace, 
 But still of knights the most renowned was he, 
 Model of bravery and purity. 
 His blood he spared not; ready day or night 
 To punish crime, his dauntless ...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

 Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the eve...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...each other's tendons in knots, 
transplanting their lives into the bed. 
It doesn't matter if there are wars, 
the business of life continues 
unless you're the one that gets it. 
Mama, they say, as their intestines 
leak out. Even without wars 
life is dangerous. 
Boats spring leaks. 
Cigarettes explode. 
The snow could be radioactive. 
Cancer could ooze out of the radio. 
Who knows? 
Ms. Dog stands on the shore 
and the sea keeps rocking...Read More

by Frost, Robert
Mankind had not yet gone on the Sabbatical.
It became an explorer of the deep
Not to explore too deep in others' business.

Did you but know of him, New Hampshire has
One real reformer who would change the world
So it would be accepted by two classes,
Artists the minute they set up as artists,
Before, that is, they are themselves accepted,
And boys the minute they get out of college.
I can't help thinking those are tests to go by.

And she has one I don't k...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...New York
Where I am now, which is a logarithm
Of other cities. Our landscape
Is alive with filiations, shuttlings;
Business is carried on by look, gesture,
Hearsay. It is another life to the city,
The backing of the looking glass of the
Unidentified but precisely sketched studio. It wants
To siphon off the life of the studio, deflate
Its mapped space to enactments, island it.
That operation has been temporarily stalled
But something new is on the way, a new p...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...sorry evermore--
Unless there be a little door,
A little door in heaven."

And as he wept for the woman
He let her business be,
And like his royal oath and rash
The good food fell upon the ash
And blackened instantly.

Screaming, the woman caught a cake
Yet burning from the bar,
And struck him suddenly on the face,
Leaving a scarlet scar.

King Alfred stood up wordless,
A man dead with surprise,
And torture stood and the evil things
That are in the childish heart...Read More

by Goldsmith, Oliver
...ery part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread the ruin round.

Even now the devastation is begun,
And half the business of destruction done;
Even now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land:
Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail
That idly waiting flaps with every gale,
Downward they move, a melancholy band,
Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand.
Contented toil, and hospitable care,
And kind connubial tender...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) to that place and hour,
And her who was his destiny, came back
And thrust themselves between him and the light;
What business had they there at such a time?


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Lady of his love;—Oh! she was changed,
As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes,
They had not their own lustre, but the look
Which is not of the earth; she was become
The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
Were c...Read More

by Blake, William
...n 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 I say, 
And, angry, force Me to obey. 
Obedience is a duty then, 
And favour gains with God and men.’ 
John from the wilderness loud cried; 
Satan gloried in his pride. 
‘Come,’ said Satan, ‘come away, 
I’ll soon see if you’ll obey! 
John for disobedience bled, 
But you can turn the stones to bread. 
God’s hi...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...nd jack-boots subsided,
The Duke put this question, ``The Duke's part provided,
``Had not the Duchess some share in the business?''
For out of the mouth of two or three witnesses
Did he establish all fit-or-unfitnesses:
And, after much laying of heads together,
Somebody's cap got a notable feather
By the announcement with proper unction
That he had discovered the lady's function;
Since ancient authors gave this tenet,
``When horns wind a mort and the deer is at siege,
``Let t...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey the tas* of bodies dead, *heap
Them for to strip of *harness and of **weed, *armour **clothes
The pillers* did their business and cure, *pillagers 
After the battle and discomfiture.
And so befell, that in the tas they found,
Through girt with many a grievous bloody wound,
Two younge knightes *ligging by and by* *lying side by side*
Both in *one armes*, wrought full richely: *the same armour*
Of whiche two, Arcita hight that one,
And he that other highte Palamon.Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...oned one repining tear!
     For He who gave her knows how dear,
     How excellent!—but that is by,
     And now my business is—to die.—
     Ye towers! within whose circuit dread
     A Douglas by his sovereign bled;
     And thou, O sad and fatal mound!
     That oft hast heard the death-axe sound.
     As on the noblest of the land
     Fell the stern headsmen's bloody hand,—
     The dungeon, block, and nameless tomb
     Prepare—for Douglas seeks his doom!
 ...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...ave this blissful maiden seen,
Home to Syria then they went full fain,
And did their needes*, as they have done yore,* *business **formerly
And liv'd in weal*; I can you say no more. *prosperity

Now fell it, that these merchants stood in grace* *favour
Of him that was the Soudan* of Syrie: *Sultan
For when they came from any strange place
He would of his benigne courtesy
Make them good cheer, and busily espy* *inquire
Tidings of sundry regnes*, for to lear** *realms **le...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...all this array,
He sent his knave*, and eke his wench** also, *servant **maid
Upon his need* to London for to go. *business
And on the Monday, when it drew to night,
He shut his door withoute candle light,
And dressed* every thing as it should be. *prepared
And shortly up they climbed all the three.
They satte stille well *a furlong way*. *the time it would take
"Now, Pater noster, clum," said Nicholay, to walk a furlong*
And "clum," quoth John; and "clum...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...d —

'That fools rush in where angels fear to tread.' - Pope 

If Mr. Southey had not rushed in where he had no business, and where he never was before, and never will be again, the following poem would not have been written. It is not impossible that it may be as good as his own, seeing that it cannot, by any species of stupidity, natural or acquired, be worse. The gross flattery, the dull impudence, the renegado intolerance, and impious cant, of the poem by ...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis it was
   The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
   Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
   After the day was done—
"It's very rude of him," she said,
   "To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
   The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
   No cloud was in the sky;
No birds were flying overhead—
   There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
   We...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...sooth,* I will not lie; *came very near
A man shall win us best with flattery; the truth*
And with attendance, and with business
Be we y-limed,* bothe more and less. *caught with bird-lime
And some men said that we do love the best
For to be free, and do *right as us lest,* *whatever we please*
And that no man reprove us of our vice,
But say that we are wise, and nothing nice,* *foolish 7
For truly there is none among us all,
If any wight will *claw us on the gall,* *see ...Read More

by Arnold, Matthew
...hamed him. But be his

My special thanks, whose even-balanced soul,
 From first youth tested up to extreme old age,
Business could not make dull, nor passion wild;

Who saw life steadily, and saw it whole;
The mellow glory of the Attic stage,
Singer of sweet Colonus, and its child....Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...e you pleasure from looking at the sky? have you pleasure from poems? 
Do you enjoy yourself in the city? or engaged in business? or planning a nomination and
 election? or with your wife and family? 
Or with your mother and sisters? or in womanly housework? or the beautiful maternal cares?

—These also flow onward to others—you and I flow onward,
But in due time, you and I shall take less interest in them. 

Your farm, profits, crops,—to think how engross’d you are! 
To ...Read More

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