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Famous Heroic Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...Some seem’d to muse, some seem’d to dare,
 With feature stern.

My heart did glowing transport feel,
To see a race heroic 3 wheel,
And brandish round the deep-dyed steel,
 In sturdy blows;
While, back-recoiling, seem’d to reel
 Their Suthron foes.

His Country’s Saviour, 4 mark him well!
Bold Richardton’s heroic swell,; 5
The chief, on Sark who glorious fell, 6
 In high command;
And he whom ruthless fates expel
His native land.

There, where a sceptr’d Pictish ...Read more of this...

by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
No envious sound forbidding peace is heard, 
Fierce song of battle kindling martial rage 
And desp'rate purpose in heroic minds: 
But sacred truth fair science and each grace 
Of virtue born; health, elegance and ease 
And temp'rate mirth in social intercourse 
Convey rich pleasure to the mind; and oft 
The sacred muse in heaven-breathing song 
Doth wrap the soul in extasy divine, 
Inspiring joy and sentiment which not 
The tale of war or song of Druids gave. 
The so...Read more of this...

by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...he mountain nymph sweet echo heard 
The uncouth musick of my rural lay, 
Shall yet remurmur to the magic sound 
Of song heroic, when in future days 
Some noble Hambden rises into fame. 

Or Roanoke's and James's limpid waves 
The sound of musick murmurs in the gale; 
Another Denham celebrates their flow, 
In gliding numbers and harmonious lays. 

Now in the bow'rs of Tuscororah hills, 
As once on Pindus all the muses stray, 
New Theban ...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Crying with a loud voice `a sail! a sail!
I am saved'; and so fell back and spoke no more. 

So past the strong heroic soul away.
And when they buried him the little port
Had seldom seen a costlier funeral....Read more of this...

by Keats, John
From the young day when first thy infant hand
Pluck'd witless the weak flowers, till thine arm
Could bend that bow heroic to all times.
Show thy heart's secret to an ancient Power
Who hath forsaken old and sacred thrones
For prophecies of thee, and for the sake
Of loveliness new born."---Apollo then,
With sudden scrutiny and gloomless eyes,
Thus answer'd, while his white melodious throat
Throbb'd with the syllables.---"Mnemosyne!
Thy name is on my tongue, I k...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...e living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou trav...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...hat frame cities where none be,
And hands that stablish what these see:
And, by the moral of his place,
Hint summits of heroic grace;
Man in these crags a fastness find
To fight pollution of the mind;
In the wide thaw and ooze of wrong,
Adhere like this foundation strong,
The insanity of towns to stem
With simpleness for stratagem.
But if the brave old mould is broke,
And end in clowns the mountain-folk,
In tavern cheer and tavern joke,—
Sink, O mountain! in the swamp,
Hi...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
Could merit more than that small infantry 
Warred on by cranes--though all the giant brood 
Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were joined 
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side 
Mixed with auxiliar gods; and what resounds 
In fable or romance of Uther's son, 
Begirt with British and Armoric knights; 
And all who since, baptized or infidel, 
Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban, 
Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond, 
Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore 
When Charle...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...Euboic sea. Others, more mild, 
Retreated in a silent valley, sing 
With notes angelical to many a harp 
Their own heroic deeds, and hapless fall 
By doom of battle, and complain that Fate 
Free Virtue should enthrall to Force or Chance. 
Their song was partial; but the harmony 
(What could it less when Spirits immortal sing?) 
Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment 
The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet 
(For Eloquence the Soul, Song charms the Sense...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...f given over;
In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
O're worn and soild;
Or do my eyes misrepresent? Can this be hee,
That Heroic, that Renown'd,
Irresistible Samson? whom unarm'd
No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast could withstand;
Who tore the Lion, as the Lion tears the Kid,
Ran on embattelld Armies clad in Iron,
And weaponless himself, 
Made Arms ridiculous, useless the forgery
Of brazen shield and spear, the hammer'd Cuirass,
Chalybean temper'd steel, and frock of ma...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...u—yet I love you;
You express me better than I can express myself; 
You shall be more to me than my poem. 

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all great poems also; 
I think I could stop here myself, and do miracles; 
(My judgments, thoughts, I henceforth try by the open air, the road;)
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like
I think whoever I see must be happy. 

From this hour, freed...Read more of this...

by Blake, William
He who loves his enemies betrays his friends. 
This surely is not what Jesus intends; 
But the sneaking pride of heroic schools, 
And the Scribes’ and Pharisees’ virtuous rules; 
For He acts with honest, triumphant pride, 
And this is the cause that Jesus dies. 
He did not die with Christian ease, 
Asking pardon of His enemies: 
If He had, Caiaphas would forgive; 
Sneaking submission can always live. 
He had only to say that God was the Devil, 
And the Devil wa...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...told the elf
Our rough North land was the Land of Lays,
The one good thing left in evil days;
Since the Mid-Age was the Heroic Time,
And only in wild nooks like ours
Could you taste of it yet as in its prime,
And see true castles, with proper towers,
Young-hearted women, old-minded men,
And manners now as manners were then.
So, all that the old Dukes had been, without knowing it,
This Duke would fain know he was, without being it;
'Twas not for the joy's self, but the joy...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...i's powers,
And Dante, gravest poet, her much-wrong'd son. 

Is all this glory, I said, another's praise?
Are these heroic triumphs things of old,
And do I dead upon the living gaze?
Or rather doth the mind, that can behold
The wondrous beauty of the works and days,
Create the image that her thoughts enfold? 

Rejoice, ye dead, where'er your spirits dwell,
Rejoice that yet on earth your fame is bright;
And that your names, remember'd day and night,
Live on the lips of ...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...ud she cried
     To the old minstrel by her side,—
     'Arouse thee from thy moody dream!
     I 'll give thy harp heroic theme,
     And warm thee with a noble name;
     Pour forth the glory of the Graeme!'
     Scarce from her lip the word had rushed,
     When deep the conscious maiden blushed;
     For of his clan, in hall and bower,
     Young Malcolm Graeme was held the flower.

     The minstrel waked his harp,—three times
     Arose the well-...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...t a summer's as a winter's tale? 
A tale for summer as befits the time, 
And something it should be to suit the place, 
Heroic, for a hero lies beneath, 
Grave, solemn!' 
Walter warped his mouth at this 
To something so mock-solemn, that I laughed 
And Lilia woke with sudden-thrilling mirth 
An echo like a ghostly woodpecker, 
Hid in the ruins; till the maiden Aunt 
(A little sense of wrong had touched her face 
With colour) turned to me with 'As you will; 
Heroic if you will...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco their fame,One singly march'd before, and, hand in hand,His two heroic partners trod the strand.The last was first in fame; but brighter beamsHis follower flung around in solar streams.Metaurus' champion, whom the moon beheld,When his resistless spears the current swell'dWith Libya's hated gor...Read more of this...

by Miller, Alice Duer
...nd my English friends the horrors I'd seen.

That year she died, my nearest, dearest friend; 
Lady Jean died, heroic to the end. 
The family stood about her grave, but none 
Mourned her as I did. After, one by one, 
They slipped away—Peter and Bill—my son 
Went back to school. I hardly was aware 
Of Percy's lovely widow, sitting there 
In the old room, in Lady Jean's own chair. 
An English beauty glacially fair 
Was Percy's widow Rosamund, her hair 
...Read more of this...

by Alcott, Louisa May, that knew no sin, no fall; 

The spartan spirit that made life so grand, 
Mating poor daily needs 
With high, heroic deeds, 
That wrested happiness from Fate's hard hand. 

We thought to weep, but sing for joy instead, 
Full of the grateful peace 
That follows her release; 
For nothing but the weary dust lies dead. 

Oh, noble woman! never more a queen 
Than in the laying down 
Of sceptre and of crown 
To win a greater kingdom, yet unseen; 

Teaching us how ...Read more of this...

by Swift, Jonathan
...igher post:
Suppose it but an inch at most.
If in battle you should find
One whom you love of all mankind,
Had some heroic action done,
A champion killed, or trophy won;
Rather than thus be overtopped,
Would you not wish his laurels cropped?
Dear honest Ned is in the gout,
Lies racked with pain, and you without:
How patiently you hear him groan!
How glad the case is not your own!

What poet would not grieve to see
His breth'ren write as well as he?
But rather than they sh...Read more of this...

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