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Famous Cattle Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shakespeare, William
...aid, in top of rage the lines she rents,
Big discontent so breaking their contents.

A reverend man that grazed his cattle nigh--
Sometime a blusterer, that the ruffle knew
Of court, of city, and had let go by
The swiftest hours, observed as they flew--
Towards this afflicted fancy fastly drew,
And, privileged by age, desires to know
In brief the grounds and motives of her woe.

So slides he down upon his grained bat,
And comely-distant sits he by her side;
When he ag...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...marches to the grave. 

In the world's broad field of battle  
In the bivouac of Life  
Be not like dumb driven cattle! 
Be a hero in the strife! 20 

Trust no Future howe'er pleasant! 
Let the dead Past bury its dead! 
Act ¡ªact in the living Present! 
Heart within and God o'erhead! 

Lives of great men all remind us 25 
We can make our lives sublime  
And departing leave behind us 
Footprints on the sands of time; 

Footprints that perhaps another  
Sa...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...leep must take me unawares
while I am laughing or dancing
so that I do not know that brutal place
where I lie down with cattle prods,
the hole in my cheek open.
Further, I must not dream
for when I do I see the table set
and a faltering crone at my place,
her eyes burnt by cigarettes
as she eats betrayal like a slice of meat.

I must not sleep
for while I'm asleep I'm ninety
and think I'm dying.
Death rattles in my throat
like a marble.
I wear tubes like earri...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...r across the ripening oats,
And on the hill the yellow house-dog bayed
As through the crisp and rustling fern the heavy cattle strayed.

And when the light-foot mower went afield
Across the meadows laced with threaded dew,
And the sheep bleated on the misty weald,
And from its nest the waking corncrake flew,
Some woodmen saw him lying by the stream
And marvelled much that any lad so beautiful could seem,

Nor deemed him born of mortals, and one said,
'It is young Hylas, t...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...maid's hand; whilst loud and in regular cadence
Into the sounding pails the foaming streamlets descended.
Lowing of cattle and peals of laughter were heard in the farm-yard, 
Echoed back by the barns. Anon they sank into stillness;
Heavily closed, with a jarring sound, the valves of the barn-doors,
Rattled the wooden bars, and all for a season was silent.

In-doors, warm by the wide-mouthed fireplace, idly the farmer
Sat in his elbow-chair, and watched how the fla...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 Each monstrous horse a frontal horn doth bear, 
 If e'er the Prince of Darkness herdsman were, 
 These cattle black were his by surest right, 
 Like things but seen in horrid dreams of night. 
 The steeds are swathed in trappings manifold, 
 The armed knights are grave, and stern, and cold, 
 Terrific too; the clench'd fists seem to hold 
 Some frightful missive, which the phantom hands 
 Would show, if opened out at hell's commands. 
 The dusk exagger...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...It is full winter now: the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn's gaudy livery whose gold
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as though it blew

From Saturn's cave; a few thin wisps of hay
Lie on the sharp black hedges, where the wain
Dragged the sweet pillage of a summer's day
From the low meado...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...they recall to mind 
And to new edge their angry courage grind. 
First entered forward Temple, conqueror 
Of Irish cattle and Solicitor; 
Then daring Seymour, that with spear and shield 
Had stretched the Monster Patent on the field; 
Keen Whorwood next, in aid of damsel frail, 
That pierced the giant Mordaunt through his mail; 
And surly Williams, the accountants' bane; 
And Lovelace young, of chimney-men the cane. 
Old Waller, trumpet-general, swore he'd write 
Thi...Read More

by Milton, John
...then best: 
And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall. 
Because thou hast done this, thou art accursed 
Above all cattle, each beast of the field; 
Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go, 
And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life. 
Between thee and the woman I will put 
Enmity, and between thine and her seed; 
Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel. 
So spake this oracle, then verified 
When Jesus, Son of Mary, second Eve, 
Saw Satan fall, like ...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl now a morning star fixes a fire sign over the timber claims and cow pastures, the corn belt, the cotton belt, the cattle ranches.
Here the gray geese go five hundred miles and back with a wind under their wings honking the cry for a new home.
Here I know I will hanker after nothing so much as one more sunrise or a sky moon of fire doubled to a river moon of water.

The prairie sings to me in the forenoon and I know in the night I rest easy in the prairie arm...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...e plains—I see the incomparable rider of horses with his lasso
I see over the pampas the pursuit of wild cattle for their hides. 

I see little and large sea-dots, some inhabited, some uninhabited; 
I see two boats with nets, lying off the shore of Paumanok, quite still; 
I see ten fishermen waiting—they discover now a thick school of mossbonkers—they drop the
 join’d seine-ends in the water, 
The boats separate—they diverge and row off, each on its round...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn; 
And, sharply clashing horn on horn, 
Impatient down the stanchion rows 
The cattle shake their walnut bows; 
While, peering from his early perch 
Upon the scaffold's pole of birch, 
The cock his crested helmet bent 
And down his querulous challenge sent. 

Unwarmed by any sunset light 
The gray day darkened into night, 
A night made hoary with the swarm 
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm, 
As zigzag, wavering to and fro, 
Cr...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
They scorn the best I can do to relate them.

I am enamour’d of growing out-doors, 
Of men that live among cattle, or taste of the ocean or woods, 
Of the builders and steerers of ships, and the wielders of axes and mauls, and
 the drivers of horses; 
I can eat and sleep with them week in and week out. 

What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me;
Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns; 
Adorning myself to bestow myself on the ...Read More

by Chesterton, G K by
And jars of mead and stores of rye,
Where Eldred strode above his high
And thunder-throated hounds.

And grey cattle and silver lowed
Against the unlifted morn,
And straw clung to the spear-shafts tall.
And a boy went before them all
Blowing a ram's horn.

As mocking such rude revelry,
The dim clan of the Gael
Came like a bad king's burial-end,
With dismal robes that drop and rend
And demon pipes that wail--

In long, outlandish garments,
Torn, though of ant...Read More

by Masefield, John
...eauty, all the power 
Is cut down like a withered flower. 
In all the show from birth to rest 
I give the poor dumb cattle best." 

I wondered, then, why life should be, 
And what would be the end of me 
When youth and health and strength were gone 
And cold old age came creeping on? 
A keeper's gun? The Union ward? 
Or that new quod at Hereford? 
And looking round I felt disgust 
At all the nights of drink and lust, 
And all the looks of all the swine 
Who'd said tha...Read More

by Browning, Robert
For when you've passed the cornfield country,
Where vineyards leave off, flocks are packed,
And sheep-range leads to cattle-tract,
And cattle-tract to open-chase,
And open-chase to the very base
Of the mountain where, at a funeral pace,
Round about, solemn and slow,
One by one, row after row,
Up and up the pine-trees go,
So, like black priests up, and so
Down the other side again
To another greater, wilder country,
That's one vast red drear burnt-up plain,
Branched through...Read More

by Tagore, Rabindranath
...not be afraid."
The meadow is prickly with spiky grass, and through it runs
a narrow broken path.
There are no cattle to be seen in the wide field; they have
gone to their village stalls.
It grows dark and dim on the land and sky, and we cannot tell
where we are going.
Suddenly you call me and ask me in a whisper, "What light is
that near the bank?"
Just then there bursts out a fearful yell, and figures come
running towards us.
You sit crouched in your pa...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...sp;The doctor's self would hardly spare,  Unworthy things she talked and wild,  Even he, of cattle the most mild,  The pony had his share.   And now she's got into the town,  And to the doctor's door she hies;  'Tis silence all on every side;  The town so long, the town so wide,  Is silent as the skies.   And now she's at the doctor's doo...Read More

by Thomson, James those that love 
To take their Pastime in the troubled Air,
And, skimming, flutter round the dimply Flood.
The Cattle, from th'untasted Fields, return,
And ask, with Meaning low, their wonted Stalls;
Or ruminate in the contiguous Shade: 
Thither, the houshold, feathery, People croud,
The crested Cock, with all his female Train,
Pensive, and wet. Mean while, the Cottage-Swain
Hangs o'er th'enlivening Blaze, and, taleful, there,
Recounts his simple Frolic: Much he ...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
The lake doth glitter
 The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
 There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
 The plowboy is whooping—anon-anon:
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
 The rain is over and gone!...Read More

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