Famous Complain Poems by Famous Poets
These are examples of famous Complain poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous complain poems. These examples illustrate what a famous complain poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).
by Aiken, Conrad
...ars downward. Boulders fall
Splitting the echoes from the mountain wall.
No voice, save when the nameless birds complain,
in stunted trees, female echoing male;
or, in the moonlight, the lost cuckoo's cry,
piercing the traveller's heart. Wayfarer from afar,
why are you here? what brings you here? why here?'
Why here. Nor can we say why here. The peachtree bough
scrapes on the wall at midnight, the west wind
sculptures the wall of fog that slides
by Cummings, Edward Estlin (E E)
...i shall imagine life
is not worth dying if
(and when)roses complain
their beauties are in vain
but though mankind persuades
itself that every weed's
a rose roses(you feel
certain)will only smile...Read More
by Marvell, Andrew
...aunt, new obliged, would sure be just.)
Not such a fatal stupefaction reigned
At London's flame, nor so the court complained.
The Bloodworth_Chancellor gives, then does recall
Orders; amazed, at last gives none at all.
St Alban's writ to, that he may bewail
To Master Louis, and tell coward tale
How yet the Hollanders do make a noise,
Threaten to beat us, and are naughty boys.
Now Dolman's dosobedient, and they still
Uncivil; his unkindness would us ...Read More
by Dyke, Henry Van
...th the 'cellos' pleading, passionate strain
The yearning theme, and let the flute reply
In placid melody, while violins complain,
And sob, and sigh,
With muted string;
Then let the oboe half-reluctant sing
Of bliss that trembles on the verge of pain,
While 'cellos plead and plead again,
With throbbing notes delayed, that would impart
To every urgent tone the beating of the heart.
So runs the andante, making plain
The hopes and fears of love without a word.
Then comes...Read More
by Frost, Robert
Kit Marlowe taught me how to say my prayers:
"Why, this is Hell, nor am I out of it."
Samoa, Russia, Ireland I complain of,
No less than England, France, and Italy.
Because I wrote my novels in New Hampshire
Is no proof that I aimed them at New Hampshire.
When I left Massachusetts years ago
Between two days, the reason why I sought
New Hampshire, not Connecticut,
Rhode Island, New York, or Vermont was this:
Where I was living then, New Hampshire offered
The ...Read More
by Milton, John
...ent valley, sing
With notes angelical to many a harp
Their own heroic deeds, and hapless fall
By doom of battle, and complain that Fate
Free Virtue should enthrall to Force or Chance.
Their song was partial; but the harmony
(What could it less when Spirits immortal sing?)
Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment
The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet
(For Eloquence the Soul, Song charms the Sense)
Others apart sat on a hill retired,
In thoughts mor...Read More
by Whitman, Walt
...of artillery! to see the glittering of the bayonets and musket-barrels
To see men fall and die, and not complain!
To taste the savage taste of blood! to be so devilish!
To gloat so over the wounds and deaths of the enemy.
O the whaleman’s joys! O I cruise my old cruise again!
I feel the ship’s motion under me—I feel the Atlantic breezes fanning me,
I hear the cry again sent down from the mast-head—There—she blows!
—Again I spring up the rigging, to...Read More
by Milton, John
...ly call in doubt
Divine Prediction; what if all foretold
Had been fulfilld but through mine own default,
Whom have I to complain of but my self?
Who this high gift of strength committed to me,
In what part lodg'd, how easily bereft me,
Under the Seal of silence could not keep,
But weakly to a woman must reveal it
O'recome with importunity and tears.
O impotence of mind, in body strong!
But what is strength without a double share
Of wisdom, vast, unwieldy, burdensom,
by Byron, George (Lord)
(41) The death-song of the Turkish women. The "silent slaves" are the men, whose notions of decorum forbid complain in public.
(42) "I came to the place of my birth, and cried, 'The friends of my youth, where are they?' and an Echo answered, 'Where are they?'" — From an Arabic MS.
The above quotation (from which the idea in the text is taken) must be already familiar to every reader — it is given in the first annotation, p. 67, of "The Pleasures o...Read More
by Wilde, Oscar
O sobbing Dryad, from thy hollow hill
Come not with such despondent answering!
No more thou winged Marsyas complain,
Apollo loveth not to hear such troubled songs of pain!
It was a dream, the glade is tenantless,
No soft Ionian laughter moves the air,
The Thames creeps on in sluggish leadenness,
And from the copse left desolate and bare
Fled is young Bacchus with his revelry,
Yet still from Nuneham wood there comes that thrilling melody
So sad, that one might t...Read More
by Wordsworth, William
...ill, my brain Was weak, nor of the past had memory. I heard my neighbours, in their beds, complain Of many things which never troubled me; Of feet still bustling round with busy glee, Of looks where common kindness had no part. Of service done with careless cruelty, Fretting the fever round the languid heart, And groans, which, as they said, would make a dea...Read More
by Byron, George (Lord)
Of ladye-love, and beauty's chain:
If changing cheek, and searching vein,
Lips taught to writhe, but not complain,
If bursting heart, and maddening brain,
And daring deed, and vengeful steel,
And all that I have felt, and feel,
Betoken love - that love was mine,
And shown by many a bitter sign.
'Tis true, I could not whine nor sigh,
I knew but to obtain or die.
I die - but first I have possessed,
And come what may, I have been blessed.
Shall I the d...Read More
by Aiken, Conrad
Like a shadow of shifting silver it crosses the city;
The lamps in the streets are streamed with rain;
And sparrows complain beneath deep eaves,
And among whirled leaves
The sea-gulls, blowing from tower to lower tower,
From wall to remoter wall,
Skim with the driven rain to the rising sea-sound
And close grey wings and fall . . .
. . . Hearing great rain above me, I now remember
A girl who stood by the door and shut her eyes:
Her pale cheeks glis...Read More
by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...at mine homecoming
Perturben so my feaste with crying?"
Quoth Theseus; "Have ye so great envy
Of mine honour, that thus complain and cry?
Or who hath you misboden*, or offended? *wronged
Do telle me, if it may be amended;
And why that ye be clad thus all in black?"
The oldest lady of them all then spake,
When she had swooned, with a deadly cheer*, *countenance
That it was ruthe* for to see or hear. *pity
She saide; "Lord, to whom fortune hath given
Vict'ry, and as a conq...Read More
by Tebb, Barry
West Indian, English and Asian built temples together. Our sandalled
Bearded neighbour was the first to complain, his teacher wife beside him,
The next-door French widow supporting, “So numerous the children, n’est ce pas?”
Meaning “Don’t encourage the Pakis, there are too many already.”
Like thunder the row erupted, a streetful of shouting, my voice the loudest,
The yesses had it, the children remained, our last real garden.
in memory of E...Read More
by Miller, Alice Duer
Of John more cold and wretched
In a trench out there.
All that long winter I wanted so much to complain,
But my mother-in-Iaw, as far as I could see,
Felt no such impulse, though she was always in pain,
An, as the winter fogs grew thick,
Took to walking with a stick,
Those bubble-like eyes grew black
Whenever she rose from a chair—
Rose and fell back,
Unable to bear
The sure agonizing
Torture of rising.
Her hands, those competent b...Read More
by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...at his lantern;
He shall have never the less light, pardie.
Have thou enough, thee thar* not plaine** thee *need **complain
Thou say'st also, if that we make us gay
With clothing and with precious array,
That it is peril of our chastity.
And yet, -- with sorrow! -- thou enforcest thee,
And say'st these words in the apostle's name:
'In habit made with chastity and shame* *modesty
Ye women shall apparel you,' quoth he,15
'And not in tressed hair and gay perrie,* *jewel...Read More
by Brontë, Emily
...bright, untroubled sky,
Warm with ten thousand mingled rays
Of suns that know no winter days?
Reason, indeed, may oft complain
For Nature's sad reality,
And tell the suffering heart, how vain
Its cherished dreams must always be;
And Truth may rudely trample down
The flowers of Fancy, newly-blown:
But, thou art ever there, to bring
The hovering vision back, and breathe
New glories o'er the blighted spring,
And call a lovelier Life from Death,
And whisper, with a voice divi...Read More
by Swift, Jonathan
...s I shall recover,
But all agree to give me over.
Yet, should some neighbour feel a pain
Just in the parts where I complain,
How many a message would he send?
What hearty prayers that I should mend?
Inquire what regimen I kept,
What gave me ease, and how I slept?
And more lament when I was dead,
Than all the sniv'llers round my bed.
My good companions, never fear,
For though you may mistake a year,
Though your prognostics run too fast,
They must be verified at last....Read More
by Akhmatova, Anna
...dims of heaven,
And the song is better heard.
It's the little trumpet made of dirt,
There's no reason for her to complain.
Why does she forgive me,
And whoever told her of my sins?
Or is that this voice that now repeats
The last poems that you wrote for me?
x x x
Instead of wisdom -- experience, bare,
That does not slake thirst, is not wet.
Youth's gone -- like a Sunday prayer..
Is it mine to forget?
On how many desert roads have s...Read More
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