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Famous Forgiveness Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Cummings, Edward Estlin (E E)
...a total stranger one black day
knocked living the hell out of me-- 

who found forgiveness hard because
my(as it happened)self he was 

-but now that fiend and i are such
a total stranger one black day...Read More

by Berry, Wendell
...have made
in your history will leave you.
They will no longer need to pursue you.
You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.
They will not forgive you.
There is no power against them.
It is only candor that is aloof from them,
only an inward clarity, unashamed,
that they cannot reach. Be ready.
When their light has picked you out
and their questions are asked, say to them:
"I am not ashamed." A sure horizon
will come around you. The heron w...Read More

by Keats, John
...ot help but kiss her: then he grew
Awhile forgetful of all beauty save
Young Phoebe's, golden hair'd; and so 'gan crave
Forgiveness: yet he turn'd once more to look
At the sweet sleeper,--all his soul was shook,--
She press'd his hand in slumber; so once more
He could not help but kiss her and adore.
At this the shadow wept, melting away.
The Latmian started up: "Bright goddess, stay!
Search my most hidden breast! By truth's own tongue,
I have no dædale heart: why is ...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...this the fruit of my toils, of my vigils and prayers and privations?
Have you so soon forgotten all lessons of love and forgiveness?
This is the house of the Prince of Peace, and would you profane
Thus with violent deeds and hearts overflowing with hatred?
Lo! where the crucified Christ from his cross is gazing upon you!
See! in those sorrowful eyes what meekness and holy compassion!
Hark! how those lips still repeat the prayer, 'O Father, forgive them!'
Let us repeat that...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
 locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucina- 
 tions holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the 
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! 
 bodies! suffering! magnanimity! 
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent 
 kindness of the soul! 

 Berkeley 1955...Read More

by Russell, George William
...My heart was heavy, for its trust had been 
Abused, its kindness answered with foul wrong; 
So, turning gloomily from my fellow-men, 
One summer Sabbath day I strolled among 
The green mounds of the village burial-place; 
Where, pondering how all human love and hate 
Find one sad level; and how, soon or late, 
Wronged and wrongdoer, each with meekened face...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...hension in his eyes, 
And shivered at his feet. All she had feared 
Was here; and only in the slow reproach 
Of his forgiveness lived his gratitude. 
Why had he asked if it was all for her
That he was here? And what had Martha meant? 
Why had the Master waited? What was coming 
To Lazarus, and to them, that had not come? 
What had the Master seen before he came, 
That he had come so late?

“Where is he, Mary?” 
Lazarus asked again. “Where did he go?” 
Once more he...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...from the unrighteous, or the living from the dead, 
Matches every thought or act by its correlative, 
Knows no possible forgiveness, or deputed atonement, 
Knows that the young man who composedly peril’d his life and lost it, has done
 for himself without doubt, 
That he who never peril’d his life, but retains it to old age in riches and ease, has
 achiev’d nothing for himself worth mentioning;
Knows that only that person has really learn’d, who h...Read More

by Bible, The
...Bless the Lord, O my soul
And all that is within me
Forgetting not His benefits
Nor forgiveness of iniquity
Bless Him, who brings healing
And redemption to our lives
Crowning us with loving kindness
And with blessings, satisfies.Scripture Poem © Copyright Of M.S.Lowndes...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth> Poor Peter, heart-sick,

still cannot guess
those cock-a-doodles yet might bless,
his dreadful rooster come to mean forgiveness,

a new weathervane
on basilica and barn,
and that outside the Lateran

there would always be
a bronze cock on a porphyry
pillar so the people and the Pope might see

that event the Prince
of the Apostles long since
had been forgiven, and to convince

all the assembly
that "Deny deny deny"
is not all the roosters cry.

In the morning
a low li...Read More

by Milton, John

Dal: I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken
In what I thought would have succeeded best.
Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson,
Afford me place to shew what recompence 
Towards thee I intend for what I have misdone,
Misguided: only what remains past cure
Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist
To afflict thy self in vain: though sight be lost,
Life yet hath many solaces, enjoy'd
Where other senses want not their delights
At home in leisure and domestic ea...Read More

by Lehman, David
...side, riddles to unravel, emptiness to possess,
a woman to wake up with a kiss (who is she?
no one knows) who begs your forgiveness (for what?
you cannot know) and then, in the authoritative tone
of one who has weathered the storm of his exile, orders you
to put up your hands and beg the rain to continue
as if it were in your power. And it is,
I feel it with each drop. I am standing
outside at the window, looking in on myself
writing these words, feeling what wretches...Read More

by Swift, Jonathan
...ous age
Might well excuse a Stoic's rage.

The goat advanc'd with decent pace;
And first excus'd his youthful face;
Forgiveness begg'd that he appear'd
('Twas nature's fault) without a beard.
'Tis true, he was not much inclin'd
To fondness for the female kind;
Not, as his enemies object,
From chance, or natural defect;
Not by his frigid constitution,
But through a pious resolution;
For he had made a holy vow
Of chastity as monks do now;
Which he resolv'd to keep for e...Read More

by Tessimond, A S J
...hip coatlike,
Not as a badge one fights for"?

How say "and you remembered
The sins of our outlived selves and
Your own forgiveness, buried
The hatchet to slow music;

Shared money but not your secrets;
Will leave as your final legacy
A box double-locked by the spider
Packed with your unsolved problems"?

How say all this without capitals,
Italics, anger or pathos,
To those who have seen from the womb come
Enemies? How not say it?...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney cheek, not one but winks
His ray, opaqued with intermittent mist
Of defect; yea, you masters all must ask
Some sweet forgiveness, which we leap to give,
We lovers of you, heavenly-glad to meet
Your largesse so with love, and interplight
Your geniuses with our mortalities.

Thus unto thee, O sweetest Shakespeare sole,
A hundred hurts a day I do forgive
('Tis little, but, enchantment! 'tis for thee):
Small curious quibble; Juliet's prurient pun
In the poor, pale face of ...Read More

by Blake, William
...s Love. 
Mary, fear not! Let me see 
The seven devils that torment thee. 
Hide not from My sight thy sin, 
That forgiveness thou may’st win. 
Has no man condemn?d thee?’ 
‘No man, Lord.’ ‘Then what is he 
Who shall accuse thee? Come ye forth, 
Fallen fiends of heavenly birth, 
That have forgot your ancient love, 
And driven away my trembling Dove. 
You shall bow before her feet; 
You shall lick the dust for meat; 
And tho’ you cannot love, but hate, 
Shall...Read More

by Fincke, Gary
...r toward renewal.
Let them have mercy on themselves.  Let my children,
Grown now, be repairing my faults with forgiveness.

© Gary Fincke...Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...thing more." 

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, 
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; 20 
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, 
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, 
That I scarce was sure I heard you"¡ªhere I opened wide the door:¡ª 
Darkness there and nothing more. 

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, 25 
Doubting, dreami...Read More

by Khayyam, Omar
...rth didst make,
And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken'd, Man's Forgiveness give -- and take! 

Listen again. One Evening at the Close
Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potter's Shop I stood alone
With the clay Population round in Rows. 

And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried --
"Who is th...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...And courage enough to drown himself he couldn't find,
So he resolved to go home again whatever did betide,
And he asked forgiveness of his Creator by the river side. 

And as he knelt, a few incoherent words escaped him,
And the thought of drowning himself he considered a great sin,
And the more he thought of it, he felt his flesh creep,
But in a few minutes he fell fast asleep. 

And he slept soundly, for the stillness wasn't broke,
And the day was beginning to dawn ...Read More

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