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Famous Heron Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
...savanna, upland, prairie, 
Through him flights, whirls, screams, answering those of the 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 forma...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
...weat on each stalk,
Each thorn; spiring from wet earth, a blue haze
Hung caught in dark-webbed branches like a fabulous heron.

Hauled sudden from solitude,
Hair prickling on his head,
Father Shawn perceived a ghost
Shaping itself from that mist.

'How now,' Father Shawn crisply addressed the ghost
Wavering there, gauze-edged, smelling of woodsmoke,
'What manner of business are you on?
From your blue pallor, I'd say you inhabited the frozen waste
Of hell, and not the ...Read more of this...

by Berry, Wendell
...ou out
and their questions are asked, say to them:
"I am not ashamed." A sure horizon
will come around you. The heron will begin
his evening flight from the hilltop....Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...on him, 
Sobbed and sank beneath the surface; 
And anon a thousand whistles, 
Answered over all the fen-lands, 
And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah, 
Far off on the reedy margin, 
Heralded the hero's coming.
Westward thus fared Hiawatha, 
Toward the realm of Megissogwon, 
Toward the land of the Pearl-Feather, 
Till the level moon stared at him 
In his face stared pale and haggard, 
Till the sun was hot behind him, 
Till it burned upon his shoulders, 
And before him on the up...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, now seemed flying,
Coming nearer, nearer, nearer.
Was it Shingebis the diver?
Or the pelican, the Shada?
Or the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah?
Or the white goose, Waw-be-wawa,
With the water dripping, flashing,
From its glossy neck and feathers?
It was neither goose nor diver,
Neither pelican nor heron,
O'er the water floating, flying,
Through the shining mist of morning,
But a birch canoe with paddles,
Rising, sinking on the water,
Dripping, flashing in the sunshine;
And ...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
And the more they strove and struggled, 
Stronger still grew Hiawatha; 
Till the darkness fell around them, 
And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah, 
From her nest among the pine-trees, 
Gave a cry of lamentation, 
Gave a scream of pain and famine.
"'T Is enough!" then said Mondamin, 
Smiling upon Hiawatha,
"But tomorrow, when the sun sets, 
I will come again to try you." 
And he vanished, and was seen not; 
Whether sinking as the rain sinks, 
Whether rising as the mists...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
From the land of the Ojibways,
From the land of the Dacotahs,
From the mountains, moors, and fen-lands
Where the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
Feeds among the reeds and rushes.
I repeat them as I heard them
From the lips of Nawadaha,
The musician, the sweet singer."
Should you ask where Nawadaha
Found these songs so wild and wayward,
Found these legends and traditions,
I should answer, I should tell you,
"In the bird's-nests of the forest,
In the lodges of the beav...Read more of this...

by Thoreau, Henry David
...ifting meadow of the air,
Where bloom the daisied banks and violets,
And in whose fenny labyrinth
The bittern booms and heron wades;
Spirit of lakes and seas and rivers,
Bear only perfumes and the scent
Of healing herbs to just men's fields!...Read more of this...

by Grennan, Eamon
...oystercatcher makes
came echoing through the rocky cove
where a cormorant was feeding and submarining in the bay
and a heron rose off a boulder where he'd been invisible,
drifted a little, stood again -- a hieroglyph
or just longevity reflecting on itself
between the sky clouding over and the lightly ruffled water.

This was the morning after your dream of dying, of being held
and told it didn't matter. A butterfly went jinking over
the wave-silky stones, and where I...Read more of this...

by Thomas, Dylan
...It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
 And the mussel pooled and the heron
 Priested shore
 The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
 Myself to set foot
 That second
 In the still sleeping town and set forth.

 My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
 Above the farms and the white horses
 And I ...Read more of this...

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...This celestial seascape, with white herons got up as angels,
flying high as they want and as far as they want sidewise 
in tiers and tiers of immaculate reflections; 
the whole region, from the highest heron 
down to the weightless mangrove island 
with bright green leaves edged neatly with bird-droppings 
like illumination in silver, 
and down to the suggestively Gothic arches of the mangrove...Read more of this...

by Jeffers, Robinson
...the pigeons of peace and security,
She has taken honesty and confidence from nations and men,
She is hunting the lonely heron of liberty.
She loads the arts with nonsense, she is very cunning
Science with dreams and the state with powers to catch them at last.
Nothing will escape her at last, flying nor running.
This is the hawk that picks out the star's eyes.
This is the only hunter that will ever catch the wild swan;
The prey she will take last is the wild w...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...arch’d gates of a cemetery;
Where winter wolves bark amid wastes of snow and icicled trees; 
Where the yellow-crown’d heron comes to the edge of the marsh at night and
 feeds upon small crabs; 
Where the splash of swimmers and divers cools the warm noon; 
Where the katy-did works her chromatic reed on the walnut-tree over the well; 
Through patches of citrons and cucumbers with silver-wired leaves;
Through the salt-lick or orange glade, or under conical firs; 
Through...Read more of this...

by Jeffers, Robinson
...wn courage,
The man who kills him is like a cloud hiding a star.

Then praise the jewel-eyed hawk and the tall blue heron;
The black cormorants that fatten their sea-rock
With shining slime; even that ruiner of anthills
The red-shafted woodpecker flying,
A white star between blood-color wing-clouds,
Across the glades of the wood and the green lakes of shade.

These live their felt natures; they know their norm
And live it to the brim; they understand life.
While m...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
And starts the moor-hen from the sedgy rill,
And the dim lengthening shadows flit like swallows up the hill.

The heron passes homeward to the mere,
The blue mist creeps among the shivering trees,
Gold world by world the silent stars appear,
And like a blossom blown before the breeze
A white moon drifts across the shimmering sky,
Mute arbitress of all thy sad, thy rapturous threnody.

She does not heed thee, wherefore should she heed,
She knows Endymion is not far a...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...rave me? 
Dares to stay in my dominions, 
When the Wawa has departed, 
When the wild-goose has gone southward, 
And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah, 
Long ago departed southward? 
I will go into his wigwam,
I will put his smouldering fire out!" 
And at night Kabibonokka,
To the lodge came wild and wailing, 
Heaped the snow in drifts about it, 
Shouted down into the smoke-flue, 
Shook the lodge-poles in his fury, 
Flapped the curtain of the door-way. 
Shingebis, the diver, fe...Read more of this...

by Lanier, Sidney
...And drilled precision.
Then said the fool:
"'Twas a brave flight, my lord, that last one! brave.
Didst note the heron once did turn about,
And show a certain anger with his wing,
And make as if he almost dared, not quite,
To strike the falcon, ere the falcon him?
A foolish damnable advised bird,
Yon heron! What? Shall herons grapple hawks?
God made the herons for the hawks to strike,
And hawk and heron made he for lords' sport."
"What then, my honey-tongued Fool, ...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...ncoln green,
     That tasselled horn so gayly gilt,
     That falchion's crooked blade and hilt,
     That cap with heron plumage trim,
     And yon two hounds so dark and grim.
     He bade that all should ready be
     To grace a guest of fair degree;
     But light I held his prophecy,
     And deemed it was my father's horn
     Whose echoes o'er the lake were borne.'

     The stranger smiled:—'Since to your home
     A destined errant-knight I c...Read more of this...

by Berry, Wendell
...and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free....Read more of this...

by Marvell, Andrew
...s on the Bed
Of gelid Straw-berryes do tread,
And through the Hazles thick espy
The hatching Thrastles shining Eye,
The Heron from the Ashes top,
The eldest of its young lets drop,
As if it Stork-like did pretend
That Tribute to its Lord to send.

But most the Hewel's wonders are,
Who here has the Holt-felsters care.
He walks still upright from the Root,
Meas'ring the Timber with his Foot;
And all the way, to keep it clean,
Doth from the Bark the Wood-moths glean....Read more of this...

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