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Famous Esprit Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Baudelaire, Charles
...La sottise, l'erreur, le péché, la lésine,
Occupent nos esprits et travaillent nos corps,
Et nous alimentons nos aimables remords,
Comme les mendiants nourrissent leur vermine. 
Nos péchés sont têtus, nos repentirs sont lâches;
Nous nous faisons payer grassement nos aveux,
Et nous rentrons gaiement dans le chemin bourbeux,
Croyant par de vils pleurs laver toutes nos taches.
Sur l'oreiller du mal c'est Sat...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Souvent quand mon esprit riche.") 
 {VII., May 18, 1828.} 

 When my mind, on the ocean of poesy hurled, 
 Floats on in repose round this wonderful world, 
 Oft the sacred fire from heaven— 
 Mysterious sun, that gives light to the soul— 
 Strikes mine with its ray, and above the pole 
 Its upward course is driven, 
 Like a wandering cloud, then, my eager...Read More

by Owen, Wilfred
...e thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.

Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul.
Now, he will spend a few sick years in Institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
...Morne esprit, autrefois amoureux de la lutte,
L'Espoir, dont l'éperon attisait ton ardeur,
Ne veut plus t'enfourcher! Couche-toi sans pudeur,
Vieux cheval dont le pied à chaque obstacle bute. 
Résigne-toi, mon coeur; dors ton sommeil de brute.

Esprit vaincu, fourbu! Pour toi, vieux maraudeur,
L'amour n'a plus de gout, non plus que la dispute;
Adieu donc, ...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
Aimer à loisir,
Aimer et mourir,
Au pays qui te ressemble!
Les soleils mouillés,
De ces ciels brouillés,
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes,
Si mystérieux,
De tes traîtres yeux,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes. 
Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.
Des meubles luisants,
Polis par les ans,
Décoreraient notre chambre;
Les plus rares fleurs
Mêlant leurs odeurs
Aux vagues senteurs de l'ambre,
Les riches plafonds,
Les miroirs profonds,
La splendeur...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Un jour, le morne esprit.") 
 {Bk. VI. vii., Jersey, September, 1855.} 

 One day, the sombre soul, the Prophet most sublime 
 At Patmos who aye dreamed, 
 And tremblingly perused, without the vast of Time, 
 Words that with hell-fire gleamed, 
 Said to his eagle: "Bird, spread wings for loftiest flight— 
 Needs must I see His Face!" 
 The eagle soared. A...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...n unison,
Two lives harmonious melt in one!
When--sudden (O the villain!)--came
Upon the scene a mind profound!--
A bel esprit, who whispered "Fame,"
And shook my card-house to the ground.

What have I now instead of all
The Eden lost of hearth and hall?
What comforts for the heaven bereft?
What of the younger angel's left?
A sort of intellectual mule,
Man's stubborn mind in woman's shape,
Too hard to love, too frail to rule--
A sage engrafted on an ape!
To what she calls...Read More

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