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Famous Fear Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
...freer than all that has ever been before?
If you would be freer than all that has been before, come listen to me. 

Fear grace—Fear elegance, civilization, delicatesse, 
Fear the mellow sweet, the sucking of honey-juice; 
Beware the advancing mortal ripening of nature, 
Beware what precedes the decay of the ruggedness of states and men.

Ages, precedents, have long been accumulating undirected materials, 
America brings builders, and brings its own styles. 

The i...Read More



by Wilde, Oscar
...died to show that Milton's England still could bear a son!

And yet I cannot tread the Portico
And live without desire, fear and pain,
Or nurture that wise calm which long ago
The grave Athenian master taught to men,
Self-poised, self-centred, and self-comforted,
To watch the world's vain phantasies go by with unbowed head.

Alas! that serene brow, those eloquent lips,
Those eyes that mirrored all eternity,
Rest in their own Colonos, an eclipse
Hath come on Wisdom, and Mn...Read More

by Keats, John
...as that face:
How beautiful, if sorrow had not made
Sorrow more beautiful than 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 t...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...; 
 Above that dark was no relieving star. 
 If yet that terrored night I think or say, 
 As death's cold hands its fears resuming are. 

 Gladly the dreads I felt, too dire to tell, 
 The hopeless, pathless, lightless hours forgot, 
 I turn my tale to that which next befell, 
 When the dawn opened, and the night was not. 
 The hollowed blackness of that waste, God wot, 
 Shrank, thinned, and ceased. A blinding splendour hot 
 Flushed the great height toward w...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ss'd the bounding main? 
Left by his sire, too young such loss to know, 
Lord of himself; — that heritage of woe, 
That fearful empire which the human breast 
But holds to rob the heart within of rest! — 
With none to check, and few to point in time 
The thousand paths that slope the way to crime; 
Then, when he most required commandment, then 
Had Lara's daring boyhood govern'd men. 
It skills not, boots not, step by step to trace 
His youth through all the mazes of its ...Read More



by Wordsworth, William
...e Music, and the doleful Tale,    The rich and balmy Eve;   And Hopes, and Fears that kindle Hope,  An undistinguishable Throng!  And gentle Wishes long subdued,    Subdued and cherish'd long!   She wept with pity and delight,  She blush'd with love and maiden shame;  And, like the murmur of a dream,    I hea...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...l, my mate! O for the happiness with my mate!
O the young man as I pass! O I am sick after the friendship of him who, I fear, is
 indifferent
 to me. 

O the streets of cities! 
The flitting faces—the expressions, eyes, feet, costumes! O I cannot tell how welcome
 they
 are to me. 

6
O to have been brought up on bays, lagoons, creeks, or along the coast! 
O to continue and be employ’d there all my life!
O the briny and damp smell—the shore—the salt weeds exposed at l...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...fferent;
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 a balance;
Soft doctrine as steady help as stable doctrine; 
Thoughts and deeds of the present, our rouse and early start. 

This minute that comes to me over the past de...Read More

by Angelou, Maya
...I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise....Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...nd the sea to a great green stone.

And a Shape that moveth murkily
In mirrors of ice and night,
Hath blanched with fear all beasts and birds,
As death and a shock of evil words
Blast a man's hair with white.

And the cry of the palms and the purple moons,
Or the cry of the frost and foam,
Swept ever around an inmost place,
And the din of distant race on race
Cried and replied round Rome.

And there was death on the Emperor
And night upon the Pope:
And Alfred, hid...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...I serve.


2
For thou art mine: and now I am ashamed
To have uséd means to win so pure acquist,
And of my trembling fear that might have misst
Thro' very care the gold at which I aim'd;
And am as happy but to hear thee named,
As are those gentle souls by angels kisst
In pictures seen leaving their marble cist
To go before the throne of grace unblamed. 
Nor surer am I water hath the skill
To quench my thirst, or that my strength is freed
In delicate ordination as I wil...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...plans he had made for the trip:

Navigation was always a difficult art,
 Though with only one ship and one bell:
And he feared he must really decline, for his part,
 Undertaking another as well.

The Beaver's best course was, no doubt, to procure
 A second-hand dagger-proof coat--
So the Baker advised it-- and next, to insure
 Its life in some Office of note:

This the Banker suggested, and offered for hire
 (On moderate terms), or for sale,
Two excellent Policies, one Ag...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...horse nor man abroad,  And Betty's still at Susan's side.   And Susan she begins to fear  Of sad mischances not a few,  That Johnny may perhaps be drown'd,  Or lost perhaps, and never found;  Which they must both for ever rue.   She prefaced half a hint of this  With, "God forbid it should be true!"  At the first word that Susan said...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...oyed all the blood
Of Thebes, with his waste walles wide.
And Venus slay'th me on that other side
For jealousy, and fear of him, Arcite."

Now will I stent* of Palamon a lite**, *pause **little
And let him in his prison stille dwell,
And of Arcita forth I will you tell.
The summer passeth, and the nightes long
Increase double-wise the paines strong
Both of the lover and the prisonere.
I n'ot* which hath the wofuller mistere**. *know not **condition
For, sh...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...d its place:
Within a little moment's space
Quick tears were raining down his face 

His heart stood still, aghast with fear;
A wordless voice, nor far nor near,
He seemed to hear and not to hear. 

"Tears kindle not the doubtful spark.
If so, why not? Of this remark
The bearings are profoundly dark." 

"Her speech," he said, "hath caused this pain.
Easier I count it to explain
The jargon of the howling main, 

"Or, stretched beside some babbling brook,
To con...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...bier.--
Old age & youth, manhood & infancy,
Mixed in one mighty torrent did appear,
Some flying from the thing they feared & some
Seeking the object of another's fear,
And others as with steps towards the tomb
Pored on the trodden worms that crawled beneath,
And others mournfully within the gloom
Of their own shadow walked, and called it death ...
And some fled from it as it were a ghost,
Half fainting in the affliction of vain breath.
But more with motion...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...been wisely said, that 'One fool makes many;' and it hath been poetically observed —

'That fools rush in where angels fear to tread.' - Pope 

If Mr. Southey had not rushed in where he had no business, and where he never was before, and never will be again, the following poem would not have been written. It is not impossible that it may be as good as his own, seeing that it cannot, by any species of stupidity, natural or acquired, be worse. The gross flatter...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...nt from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust. 
 Frisch weht der Wind
 Der Heimat zu
 Mein Irisch Kind,
 Wo weilest du?
"You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
"They called me the hyacinth girl."
––Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew no...Read More

by Angelou, Maya
...stasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free....Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...l your tenderness and loving light.



Song about Song

So many stones have been thrown at me
That I don't fear them any longer
Like elegant tower the westerner stands free
Among tall towers, the taller.
I'm grateful to their builders -- so be gone
Their sadness and their worry, go away,
Early from here I can see the dawn
And here triumphant lives the sun's last ray.
And frequently into my room's window
The winds from northern seas begin to blow
...Read More

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