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Famous Conflict Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt

When late I sang, sad was my voice; 
Sad were the shows around me, with deafening noises of hatred, and smoke of conflict; 
In the midst of the armies, the Heroes, I stood, 
Or pass’d with slow step through the wounded and dying. 

But now I sing not War,
Nor the measur’d march of soldiers, nor the tents of camps, 
Nor the regiments hastily coming up, deploying in line of battle. 

No more the dead and wounded; 
No more the sad, unnatural shows of War. 

As...Read More

by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...ust'ring all her rage, 
To other climes and other seas withdraws, 
To rouse the Russian on the desp'rate Turk 
There to conflict by Danube and the straits 
Which join the Euxine to th' Egean Sea. 
Britannia holds the empire of the waves, 
And welcomes ev'ry bold adventurer 
To view the wonders of old Ocean's reign. 
Far to the east our fleets on traffic sail, 
And to the west thro' boundless seas which not 
Old Rome nor Tyre nor mightier Carthage knew. 
Daughter o...Read More

by Lawrence, D. H.
...vivid motes
Of living darkness, bursts fretfully, and is bright: 

Runs like a fretted arc-lamp into light, 
Stirred by conflict to shining, which else
Were dark and whole with the night. 

Runs to a fret of speed like a racing wheel, 
Which else were aslumber along with the whole 
Of the dark, swinging rhythmic instead of a-reel. 

Is chafed to anger, bursts into rage like thunder;
Which else were a silent grasp that held the heavens
Arrested, beating thick with wond...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...y and made a bold stand;
And Maynard with twelve men, and Black Beard with fourteen,
Made the most desperate and bloody conflict that ever was seen. 

At last with shots and wounds the pirate fell down dead,
Then from his body Maynard severed the pirate's head,
And suspended it upon his bowsprit-end,
And thanked God Who so mercifully did him defend. 

Black Beard derived his name from his long black beard,
Which terrified America more than any comet that had ever appe...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...using there with anxious listening mien, 
 While came no sound, nor any help was seen, 
 He muttered, "Yet we must this conflict win, 
 For else - But whom her aid has pledged herein - 
 How long before he cometh!" And plain I knew 
 His words turned sideward from the ending due 
 They first portended. Faster beat my fear, 
 Methinks, than had he framed in words more clear 
 The meaning that his care withheld. 

 I said, 
 "Do others of the hopeless, sinless, dead, 
 ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...from his lip those words of insult fell — 
His sword is good who can maintain them well. 


Short was the conflict; furious, blindly rash, 
Vain Otho gave his bosom to the gash: 
He bled, and fell; but not with deadly wound, 
Stretch'd by a dextrous sleight along the ground. 
"Demand thy life!" He answer'd not: and then 
From that red floor he ne'er had risen again, 
For Lara's brow upon the moment grew 
Almost to blackness in its demon hue; 
And fiercer sho...Read More

by Naidu, Sarojini
That burn your brows with blood-red sufferings. 

Till ye have battled with great grief and fears, 
And borne the conflict of dream-shattering years, 
Wounded with fierce desire and worn with strife, 
Children, ye have not lived: for this is life....Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...e the laws—I will make no account of the laws; 
Let others praise eminent men and hold up peace—I hold up agitation and conflict; 
I praise no eminent man—I rebuke to his face the one that was thought most worthy. 

(Who are you? you mean devil! And what are you secretly guilty of, all your life? 
Will you turn aside all your life? Will you grub and chatter all your life?)

(And who are you—blabbing by rote, years, pages, languages, reminiscences, 
Unwitting to-day that y...Read More

by Milton, John
...rry cope 
Of Heaven perhaps, or all the elements 
At least had gone to wrack, disturbed and torn 
With violence of this conflict, had not soon 
The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray, 
Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet seen 
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign, 
Wherein all things created first he weighed, 
The pendulous round earth with balanced air 
In counterpoise, now ponders all events, 
Battles and realms: In these he put two weights, 
The sequel each of pa...Read More

by Milton, John
...s on armour clashing brayed 
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels 
Of brazen chariots raged; dire was the noise 
Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss 
Of fiery darts in flaming vollies flew, 
And flying vaulted either host with fire. 
So under fiery cope together rushed 
Both battles main, with ruinous assault 
And inextinguishable rage. All Heaven 
Resounded; and had Earth been then, all Earth 
Had to her center shook. What wonder? when 
Millions of fierce ...Read More

by Turner Smith, Charlotte
...n the ranks, "1 Famine, and Sword, and Fire,
"Crouch for employment."--Lo! the suffering world,
Torn by the fearful conflict, shrinks, amaz'd,
From Freedom's name, usurp'd and misapplied,
And, cow'ring to the purple Tyrant's rod,
Deems that the lesser ill--Deluded Men!
Ere ye prophane her ever-glorious name,
Or catalogue the thousands that have bled
Resisting her; or those, who greatly died
Martyrs to Liberty --revert awhile
To the black scroll, that tells of regal crimes...Read More

by Gray, Thomas
Hauberk crash, and helmet ring. 

(Weave the crimson web of war!)
Let us go, and let us fly
Where our friends the conflict share,
Where they triumph, where they die. 

As the paths of fate we tread,
Wading through the ensanguined field,
Gondula and Geira, spread
O'er the youthful king your shield. 

We the reins to slaughter give;
Ours to kill, and ours to spare;
Spite the dangers he shall live.
(Weave the crimson web of war!) 

They whom once the desert bea...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
Obedience best of all can show."

"My son," the master answering spoke,
"Thy daring act this duty broke.
The conflict that the law forbade
Thou hast with impious mind essayed."--
"Lord, judge when all to thee is known,"
The other spake, in steadfast tone,--
"For I the law's commands and will
Purposed with honor to fulfil.
I went not out with heedless thought.
Hoping the monster dread to find;
To conquer in the fight I sought
By cunning, and a prudent mi...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...thee, and from Allan learn
     If thou mayst trust yon wily kern.'
     With hand upon his forehead laid,
     The conflict of his mind to shade,
     A parting step or two he made;
     Then, as some thought had crossed his brain
     He paused, and turned, and came again.

     'Hear, lady, yet a parting word!—
     It chanced in fight that my poor sword
     Preserved the life of Scotland's lord.
     This ring the grateful Monarch gave,
     And b...Read More

by Bronte, Charlotte
Too fond of ease­I plunge in toil; 
Lover of calm­I seek turmoil: 
Nature and hostile Destiny 
Stir in my heart a conflict wild; 
And long and fierce the war will be 
Ere duty both has reconciled. 

What other tie yet holds me fast
To the divorced, abandoned past?
Smouldering, on my heart's altar lies
The fire of some great sacrifice,
Not yet half quenched. The sacred steel
But lately struck my carnal will, 
My life-long hope, first joy and last, 
What I loved w...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...n: at which the storm 
Of galloping hoofs bare on the ridge of spears 
And riders front to front, until they closed 
In conflict with the crash of shivering points, 
And thunder. Yet it seemed a dream, I dreamed 
Of fighting. On his haunches rose the steed, 
And into fiery splinters leapt the lance, 
And out of stricken helmets sprang the fire. 
Part sat like rocks: part reeled but kept their seats: 
Part rolled on the earth and rose again and drew: 
Part stumbled...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)


Fearfully the yell arose 
Of his followers, and his foes; 
These in joy, in fury those: 
Then again in conflict mixing, 
Clashing swords, and spears transfixing, 
Interchanged the blow and thrust, 
Hurling warriors in the dust. 
Street by street, and foot by foot, 
Still Minotti dares dispute 
The latest portion of the land 
Left beneath his high command; 
With him, aiding heart and hand, 
The remnant of his gallant band. 
Still the church is tenable,...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...h man, and around him
Closer, more actively wakes, swifter moves in him the world.
See! the emulous forces in fiery conflict are kindled,
Much, they effect when they strive, more they effect when they join.
Thousands of hands by one spirit are moved, yet in thousands of bosoms
Beats one heart all alone, by but one feeling inspired--
Beats for their native land, and glows for their ancestors' precepts;
Here on the well-beloved spot, rest now time-honored bones.

Do...Read More

by Bronte, Charlotte
...guard thy heart from fear, 
And Love give mine divinest peace: 
To-morrow brings more dangerous toil, 
And through its conflict and turmoil 
We'll pass, as God shall please....Read More

by Bronte, Charlotte
...guard thy heart from fear, 
And Love give mine divinest peace: 
To-morrow brings more dangerous toil, 
And through its conflict and turmoil 
We'll pass, as God shall please.

[The preceding composition refers, doubtless, to the scenes acted in France during
the last year of the Consulate.]...Read More

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