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Famous Guile Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...on Sir Leoline.

The maid, alas! her thoughts are gone,
She nothing sees- no sight but one!
The maid, devoid of guile and sin,
I know not how, in fearful wise,
So deeply had she drunken in
That look, those shrunken serpent eyes,
That all her features were resigned
To this sole image in her mind:
And passively did imitate
That look of dull and treacherous hate!
And thus she stood, in dizzy trance,
Still picturing that look askance
With forced unconscious symp...Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
With wily words, as false as they were sweet, 
He spread his snares for unsuspecting feet; 
Paid truth with guile, and trampled in the dust
Their gentle childlike faith and unaffected trust.


And for the sport of idle kings and knaves
Of Nature's greater noblemen, made slaves.
Alas, the hour, when the wronged Indian knows
His seeming benefactors are but foes.
His kinsmen kidnapped and his lands possessed, 
The demon woke in that untutored breas...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...a captive,
Suffering much in an old French fort as the friend of the English.
Now, though warier grown, without all guile or suspicion,
Ripe in wisdom was he, but patient, and simple, and childlike.
He was beloved by all, and most of all by the children;
For he told them tales of the Loup-garou in the forest,
And of the goblin that came in the night to water the horses,
And of the white Letiche, the ghost of a child who unchristened
Died, and was doomed to haunt unsee...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...dnus the brave, that now is here. 
 The men who spoke he recognized the while 
 He rested in the thicket; words of guile 
 Most horrible were theirs as they passed on, 
 And to the ears of Eviradnus one— 
 One word had come which roused him. Well he knew 
 The land which lately he had journeyed through. 
 He down the valley went into the inn 
 Where he had left his horse and page, Gasclin. 
 The horse had wanted drink, and lost a shoe; 
 And now, "Be quick!" h...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
...cked, but for thee,
Had been too strong for the good; the great of earth
Had crushed the weak for ever. Schooled in guile
For ages, while each passing year had brought
Its baneful lesson, they had filled the world
With their abominations; while its tribes,
Trodden to earth, imbruted, and despoiled,
Had knelt to them in worship; sacrifice
Had smoked on many an altar, temple roofs
Had echoed with the blasphemous prayer and hymn:
But thou, the great reformer of the world,
Ta...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) his being's strife, 
Shrinks to that sweet forgetfulness of life: 
There lie love's feverish hope. and cunning's guile, 
Hate's working brain and lull'd ambition's wile; 
O'er each vain eye oblivion's pinions wave, 
And quench'd existence crouches in a grave. 
What better name may slumber's bed become? 
Night's sepulchre, the universal home, 
Where weakness, strength, vice, virtue, sunk supine, 
Alike in naked helplessness recline; 
Glad for awhile to heave unconsc...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis oysters
Haunting shady cloisters -
That is what I am.

Little Birds are teaching
Tigresses to smile,
Innocent of guile:
Smile, I say, not smirkle -
Mouth a semicircle,
That's the proper style!

Little Birds are sleeping
All among the pins,
Where the loser wins:
Where, I say, he sneezes
When and how he pleases -
So the Tale begins.

Little Birds are writing
Interesting books,
To be read by cooks:
Read, I say, not roasted -
Letterpress, when toasted,
Loses its good l...Read More

by Milton, John
...t, lords of the World besides. 
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? 
 Th' infernal Serpent; he it was whose guile, 
Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived 
The mother of mankind, what time his pride 
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host 
Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring 
To set himself in glory above his peers, 
He trusted to have equalled the Most High, 
If he opposed, and with ambitious aim 
Against the throne and monarchy of God, 
Raised i...Read More

by Milton, John
...of old, 
Surer to prosper than prosperity 
Could have assured us; and by what best way, 
Whether of open war or covert guile, 
We now debate. Who can advise may speak." 
 He ceased; and next him Moloch, sceptred king, 
Stood up--the strongest and the fiercest Spirit 
That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair. 
His trust was with th' Eternal to be deemed 
Equal in strength, and rather than be less 
Cared not to be at all; with that care lost 
Went all his fear...Read More

by Milton, John
His?kithetmroboscis; close the serpent sly, 
Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine 
His braided train, and of his fatal guile 
Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass 
Couched, and now filled with pasture gazing sat, 
Or bedward ruminating; for the sun, 
Declined, was hasting now with prone career 
To the ocean isles, and in the ascending scale 
Of Heaven the stars that usher evening rose: 
When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood, 
Scarce thus at length failed speech rec...Read More

by Milton, John
...emy, though bold, will hardly dare; 
Or daring, first on me the assault shall light. 
Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn; 
Subtle he needs must be, who could seduce 
Angels; nor think superfluous other's aid. 
I, from the influence of thy looks, receive 
Access in every virtue; in thy sight 
More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were 
Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on, 
Shame to be overcome or over-reached, 
Would utmost vigour raise, an...Read More

by Milton, John
Or to each other; but apparent guilt, 
And shame, and perturbation, and despair, 
Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile. 
Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answered brief. 
I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice 
Afraid, being naked, hid myself. To whom 
The gracious Judge without revile replied. 
My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not feared, 
But still rejoiced; how is it now become 
So dreadful to thee? That thou art naked, who 
Hath told th...Read More

by Milton, John tomb
With odours visited and annual flowers.
Not less renown'd then in Mount Ephraim,
Jael who with inhospitable guile
Smote Sisera sleeping through the Temples nail'd. 
Nor shall I count it hainous to enjoy
The public marks of honour and reward
Conferr'd upon me, for the piety
Which to my countrey I was judg'd to have shewn.
At this who ever envies or repines
I leave him to his lot, and like my own.

Chor: She's gone, a manifest Serpent by her sting
Discov...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...ods below, the flesh without, the mind
Within, the bread, the tear, the smile.
Opinion, damned Intriguer, gray with guile,
Let me alone."

Baltimore, 1878-9.

II. The Ship of Earth.

"Thou Ship of Earth, with Death, and Birth, and Life, and Sex aboard,
And fires of Desires burning hotly in the hold,
I fear thee, O! I fear thee, for I hear the tongue and sword
At battle on the deck, and the wild mutineers are bold!

"The dewdrop morn may fall from o...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...half-affrighted friar
When met alone would fain retire,
As if that eye and bitter smile
Transferred to others fear and guile:
Not oft to smile descendeth he,
And when he doth 'tis sad to see
That he but mocks at misery.
How that pale lip will curl and quiver!
Then fix once more as if for ever;
As if his sorrow or disdain
Forbade him e'er to smile again.
Well were it so - such ghastly mirth
From joyaunce ne'er derived its birth.
But sadder still it were to trace
W...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...e in her mirror blue
     Gives back the shaggy banks more true,
     Than every free-born glance confessed
     The guileless movements of her breast;
     Whether joy danced in her dark eye,
     Or woe or pity claimed a sigh,
     Or filial love was glowing there,
     Or meek devotion poured a prayer,
     Or tale of injury called forth
     The indignant spirit of the North.
     One only passion unrevealed
     With maiden pride the maid concealed,
     Yet ...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...ould, or fail him in his vague intent,
Outlast an accidental universe— 
To call it nothing worse— 
Or, by the burrowing guile 
Of Time disintegrated and effaced, 
Like once-remembered mighty trees go down
To ruin, of which by man may now be traced 
No part sufficient even to be rotten, 
And in the book of things that are forgotten 
Is entered as a thing not quite worth while. 
He may have been so great
That satraps would have shivered at his frown, 
And all he prized aliv...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...o clear.
His lids are like the lilac-flower
And soft as a moth, his breath.
I shall not let go.
There is no guile or warp in him. May he keep so.

There is the moon in the high window. It is over.
How winter fills my soul! And that chalk light
Laying its scales on the windows, the windows of empty offices,
Empty schoolrooms, empty churches. O so much emptiness!
There is this cessation. This terrible cessation of everything.Read More

by Brontë, Emily
...hou canst speak with such a tone! 

So hopeless is the world without;
The world within I doubly prize;
Thy world, where guile, and hate, and doubt,
And cold suspicion never rise;
Where thou, and I, and Liberty,
Have undisputed sovereignty. 

What matters it, that, all around,
Danger, and guilt, and darkness lie,
If but within our bosom's bound
We hold a bright, untroubled sky,
Warm with ten thousand mingled rays
Of suns that know no winter days? 

Reason, indeed, may oft ...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
...We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
          We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our...Read More

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