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Famous Evil Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
...he fish-hawk, mocking-bird,
 night-heron, and eagle; 
His spirit surrounding his country’s spirit, unclosed to good and evil, 
Surrounding the essences of real things, old times and present times, 
Surrounding just found shores, islands, tribes of red aborigines,
Weather-beaten vessels, landings, settlements, embryo stature and muscle, 
The haughty defiance of the Year 1—war, peace, the formation of the Constitution, 
The separate States, the simple, elastic scheme, the immig...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, where his Majesty's mandate
Will be proclaimed as law in the land. Alas! in the mean time
Many surmises of evil alarm the hearts of the people."
Then made answer the farmer:--"Perhaps some friendlier purpose
Brings these ships to our shores. Perhaps the harvests in England
By untimely rains or untimelier heat have been blighted,
And from our bursting barns they would feed their cattle and children."
"Not so thinketh the folk in the village," said, war...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...h 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 bedew my cheek
Would have thee weep with me in brotherhood;
Fool! shall each wronged and restless spirit dare
To taint such wine with the salt poison of own despair!

Thou art the same: 'tis I whose wr...Read More

by Keats, John
...Beauty's self.
There was a listening fear in her regard,
As if calamity had but begun;
As if the vanward clouds of evil days
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear
Was with its stored thunder labouring up.
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot
Where beats the human heart, as if just there,
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain:
The other upon Saturn's bended neck
She laid, and to the level of his ear
Leaning with parted lips, some words she spake
In solem...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
 Bare all the desirable lands in which she feeds; 
 Nor shall lewd feasts and lewder matings tire 
 Until she woos, in evil hour for her, 
 The wolfhound that shall rend her. His desire 
 Is not for rapine, as the promptings stir 
 Of her base heart; but wisdoms, and devoirs 
 Of manhood, and love's rule, his thoughts prefer. 
 The Italian lowlands he shall reach and save, 
 For which Camilla of old, the virgin brave, 
 Turnus and Nisus died in strife. His chase ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)> 
All was so still, so soft in earth and air, 
You scarce would start to meet a spirit there; 
Secure that nought of evil could delight 
To walk in such a scene, on such a night! 
It was a moment only for the good: 
So Lara deem'd, nor longer there he stood, 
But turn'd in silence to his castle-gate; 
Such scene his soul no more could contemplate. 
Such scene reminded him of other days, 
Of skies more cloudless, moons of purer blaze, 
Of nights more soft and frequent, ...Read More

by Milton, John
...arer half, 
The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep 
Affects me equally; nor can I like 
This uncouth dream, of evil sprung, I fear; 
Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none, 
Created pure. But know that in the soul 
Are many lesser faculties, that serve 
Reason as chief; among these Fancy next 
Her office holds; of all external things 
Which the five watchful senses represent, 
She forms imaginations, aery shapes, 
Which Reason, joining or disjoining, frames 
A...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...and razors for foofoos—for me freckles and a bristling beard. 

What blurt is this about virtue and about vice? 
Evil propels me, and reform of evil propels me—I stand indifferent;
My gait is no fault-finder’s or rejecter’s gait; 
I moisten the roots of all that has grown. 

Did you fear some scrofula out of the unflagging pregnancy? 
Did you guess the celestial laws are yet to be work’d over and rectified? 

I find one side a balance, and the antipodal side...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...e true.

Of a good king on an island
That ruled once on a time;
And as he walked by an apple tree
There came green devils out of the sea
With sea-plants trailing heavily
And tracks of opal slime.

Yet Alfred is no fairy tale;
His days as our days ran,
He also looked forth for an hour
On peopled plains and skies that lower,
From those few windows in the tower
That is the head of a man.

But who shall look from Alfred's hood
Or breathe his breath alive?
His century ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...What could her grief be?—she had all she loved,
And he who had so loved her was not there
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
Or ill-repressed affliction, her pure thoughts.
What could her grief be?—she had loved him not,
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
Nor could he be a part of that which preyed
Upon her mind—a spectre of the past.


A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Wanderer was returned.—I saw him stand
Before an altar—with...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...steams and vapour of his dungeon,  By the lamp's dismal twilight! So he lies  Circled with evil, till his very soul  Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed  By sights of ever more deformity!   With other ministrations thou, O nature!'  Healest thy wandering and distempered child:  Thou pourest on him thy soft influences.  Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and b...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...f a man 
Could touch or see it, he was healed at once, 
By faith, of all his ills. But then the times 
Grew to such evil that the holy cup 
Was caught away to Heaven, and disappeared.' 

To whom the monk: `From our old books I know 
That Joseph came of old to Glastonbury, 
And there the heathen Prince, Arviragus, 
Gave him an isle of marsh whereon to build; 
And there he built with wattles from the marsh 
A little lonely church in days of yore, 
For so they say, these...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
... You know him—him you often see;"   "He's not so wise as some folks be,"  "The devil take his wisdom!" said  The Doctor, looking somewhat grim,  "What, woman! should I know of him?"  And, grumbling, he went back to bed.   "O woe is me! O woe is me!  Here will I die; here will I die;  I thought to find my Johnny here,  But he is neith...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...t high noon a courier light
     Held secret parley with the knight,
     Whose moody aspect soon declared
     That evil were the news he heard.
     Deep thought seemed toiling in his head;
     Yet was the evening banquet made
     Ere he assembled round the flame
     His mother, Douglas, and the Graeme,
     And Ellen too; then cast around
     His eyes, then fixed them on the ground,
     As studying phrase that might avail
     Best to convey unpleasant tale...Read More

by Blake, William
...nergy, Love and Hate, are necessary to
Human existence.
From these contraries spring what the religious call Good &
Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason[.] Evil is the active
springing from Energy.
Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.

The voice of the Devil

All Bibles or sacred codes. have been the causes of the
following Errors.

That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a
That Energy. calld Evil. is ...Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...s kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore." 
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil! 85 
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, 
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted¡ª 
On this home by Horror haunted¡ªtell me truly, I implore: 
Is there¡ªis there balm in Gilead?¡ªtell me¡ªtell me, I implore!" 
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 90 

"Prophet!" said I...Read More

by Wordsworth, William health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.
...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...rouble had been given of late; 
Not that the place by any means was full, 
But since the Gallic era 'eight-eight' 
The devils had ta'en a longer, stronger pull, 
And 'a pull altogether,' as they say 
At sea — which drew most souls another way. 


The angels all were singing out of tune, 
And hoarse with having little else to do, 
Excepting to wind up the sun and moon, 
Or curb a runaway young star or two, 
Or wild colt of a comet, which too soon 
Broke out of bounds o...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer sinners not unknown; 
 In harlot, nun, philanthropist, and rake, 
It shines for those who love; none else discern 
 Evil from good; Men's fall did not bestow 
That threatened wisdom; blindly still we yearn 
 After a virtue that we do not know, 
Until our thirst and longing rise above 
The barriers of reason—and we love. 

And still I did not see my life was changed, 
Utterly different—by this love estranged 
For ever and ever from my native land; 
That I was now...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna

Just like a cold noreaster
At first she'll sting,
And then a single salty tear
The heart will wring.

The evil heart will pity
Something and then regret.
But this light-headed sadness
It will not forget.

I only sow. To harvest.
Others will come. And yes!
The lovely group of harvesters
May true God bless.

And that more perfectly I could
Give to you gratitude,
Allow me to give the world
Love incorruptible.

x x x
...Read More

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