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Famous Common Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Pope, Alexander
...bewilder'd in the Maze of Schools,
And some made Coxcombs Nature meant but Fools.
In search of Wit these lose their common Sense,
And then turn Criticks in their own Defence.
Each burns alike, who can, or cannot write,
Or with a Rival's or an Eunuch's spite.
All Fools have still an Itching to deride,
And fain wou'd be upon the Laughing Side;
If Maevius Scribble in Apollo's spight,
There are, who judge still worse than he can write

Some have at first for Wits, the...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...enance bequeath’d, both mother’s and father’s, 
His first parts substances, earth, water, animals, trees, 
Built of the common stock, having room for far and near, 
Used to dispense with other lands, incarnating this land,
Attracting it Body and Soul to himself, hanging on its neck with incomparable love, 
Plunging his seminal muscle into its merits and demerits, 
Making its cities, beginnings, events, diversities, wars, vocal in him, 
Making its rivers, lakes, bays, embouchu...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...e all were welcomed and feasted;
For with this simple people, who lived like brothers together,
All things were held in common, and what one had was another's.
Yet under Benedict's roof hospitality seemed more abundant:
For Evangeline stood among the guests of her father;
Bright was her face with smiles, and words of welcome and gladness
Fell from her beautiful lips, and blessed the cup as she gave it.

Under the open sky, in the odorous air of the orchard,
Stript of ...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar is that old nepenthe which of yore
Man got from poppy root and glossy-berried mandragore!

There was a time when any common bird
Could make me sing in unison, a time
When all the strings of boyish life were stirred
To quick response or more melodious rhyme
By every forest idyll; - do I change?
Or rather doth some evil thing through thy fair pleasaunce range?

Nay, nay, thou art the same: 'tis I who seek
To vex with sighs thy simple solitude,
And because fruitless tears bed...Read more of this...

by Kipling, Rudyard
...hich says to them: "Hold on!" 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, 
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
If all men count with you, but none too much: 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, 
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son! ...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...em'd his, and something more beneath 
Than glance could well reveal, or accent breathe. 
Ambition, glory, love, the common aim 
That some can conquer, and that all would claim, 
Within his breast appear'd no more to strive, 
Yet seem'd as lately they had been alive; 
And some deep feeling it were vain to trace 
At moments lighten'd o'er his livid face. 


Not much he loved long question of the past, 
Nor told of wondrous wilds, and deserts vast, 
In those far...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
Think not I shall be nice. So down they sat, 
And to their viands fell; nor seemingly 
The Angel, nor in mist, the common gloss 
Of Theologians; but with keen dispatch 
Of real hunger, and concoctive heat 
To transubstantiate: What redounds, transpires 
Through Spirits with ease; nor wonder;if by fire 
Of sooty coal the empirick alchemist 
Can turn, or holds it possible to turn, 
Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold, 
As from the mine. Mean while at table Eve 
Min...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...not die, perhaps the fact 
Is not so heinous now, foretasted fruit, 
Profaned first by the serpent, by him first 
Made common, and unhallowed, ere our taste; 
Nor yet on him found deadly; yet he lives; 
Lives, as thou saidst, and gains to live, as Man, 
Higher degree of life; inducement strong 
To us, as likely tasting to attain 
Proportional ascent; which cannot be 
But to be Gods, or Angels, demi-Gods. 
Nor can I think that God, Creator wise, 
Though threatening, will ...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...f these, and merge with these, the carols of Death. 
O full of music! full of manhood, womanhood, infancy! 
Full of common employments! full of grain and trees. 

O for the voices of animals! O for the swiftness and balance of fishes!
O for the dropping of rain-drops in a poem! 
O for the sunshine, and motion of waves in a poem. 

O the joy of my spirit! it is uncaged! it darts like lightning! 
It is not enough to have this globe, or a certain time—I will have tho...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...s 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 first that will take me; 
Not asking the sky to come down to my good will; 
Scattering it freely forever. 

The pure contralto sings in the organ loft;
The carpenter dresses his plank—the tongue of his f...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
...en came from hall and school and street
And found it where it lay.

"Mother of God," the wanderer said,
"I am but a common king,
Nor will I ask what saints may ask,
To see a secret thing.

"The gates of heaven are fearful gates
Worse than the gates of hell;
Not I would break the splendours barred
Or seek to know the thing they guard,
Which is too good to tell.

"But for this earth most pitiful,
This little land I know,
If that which is for ever is,
Or if our heart...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...  His wife, an aged woman,  Lives with him, near the waterfall,  Upon the village common.   And he is lean and he is sick,  His dwindled body's half awry,  His ancles they are swoln and thick;  His legs are thin and dry.  When he was young he little knew  'Of husbandry or tillage;  And now he's forced to work, though weak, &nb...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...entranced and worshippeth. 
I have no care for what was most my care,
But all around me see fresh beauty born,
And common sights grown lovelier than they were:
I dream of love, and in the light of morn
Tremble, beholding all things very fair
And strong with strength that puts my strength to scorn. 

O my goddess divine sometimes I say
Now let this word for ever and all suffice;
Thou art insatiable, and yet not twice
Can even thy lover give his soul away:
And for m...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite,
 From those that have whiskers, and scratch.

"For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
 Yet, I feel it my duty to say,
Some are Boojums--" The Bellman broke off in alarm,
 For the Baker had fainted away.


Fit the Third.


They roused him with muffins--they roused him with ice--
 They roused him with mustard and cress--
They roused him with ...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
     And smiles and nods upon the crowd,
     Who rend the heavens with their acclaims,—
     'Long live the Commons' King, King James!'
     Behind the King thronged peer and knight,
     And noble dame and damsel bright,
     Whose fiery steeds ill brooked the stay
     Of the steep street and crowded way.
     But in the train you might discern
     Dark lowering brow and visage stern;
     There nobles mourned their pride restrained,
     And the mean b...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...had squeezed himself betwixt the bars, 
And he had breathed the Proctor's dogs; and one 
Discussed his tutor, rough to common men, 
But honeying at the whisper of a lord; 
And one the Master, as a rogue in grain 
Veneered with sanctimonious theory. 
But while they talked, above their heads I saw 
The feudal warrior lady-clad; which brought 
My book to mind: and opening this I read 
Of old Sir Ralph a page or two that rang 
With tilt and tourney; then the tale of her 
Tha...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
...There are," she said, "a kind of folk
Who have no horror of a joke. 

"Such wretches live: they take their share
Of common earth and common air:
We come across them here and there: 

"We grant them - there is no escape -
A sort of semi-human shape
Suggestive of the man-like Ape." 

"In all such theories," said he,
"One fixed exception there must be.
That is, the Present Company." 

Baffled, she gave a wolfish bark:
He, aiming blindly in the dark,
With random s...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
The scene of woods & waters seemed to keep,
"Though it was now broad day, a gentle trace
Of light diviner than the common Sun
Sheds on the common Earth, but all the place
"Was filled with many sounds woven into one
Oblivious melody, confusing sense
Amid the gliding waves & shadows dun;
"And as I looked the bright omnipresence
Of morning through the orient cavern flowed,
And the Sun's image radiantly intense
"Burned on the waters of the well that glowed
Like gold, and thr...Read more of this...

by Miller, Alice Duer
...l in love and find their love returned, 
And the lights brighten, and their eyes are clear 
To see God's image in their common clay. 
Is it the music of the spheres they hear? 
Is it the prelude to that noble play, 
The drama of Joined Lives? Ah, they forget 
They cannot write their parts; the bell has rung, 
The curtain rises and the stage is set 
For tragedy-they were in love and young. 

We went to the Tower,
We went to the Zoo, 
We saw every flower 
In the garde...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
...s the exception that climbs the sorrowful hill
Or sits in the desert and hurts his mother's heart.
I will him to be common,
To love me as I love him,
And to marry what he wants and where he will.

Hot noon in the meadows. The buttercups
Swelter and melt, and the lovers
Pass by, pass by.
They are black and flat as shadows.
It is so beautiful to have no attachments!
I am solitary as grass. What is it I miss?
Shall I ever find it, whatever it...Read more of this...

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