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Famous Liberal Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...*refuse he who*
Asketh thy help, thy heart is ay so free!
Thou art largess* of plein** felicity,          *liberal bestower **full
Haven and refuge of quiet and rest!
Lo! how that thieves seven  chase me!
Help, Lady bright, ere that my ship to-brest!*      *be broken to pieces


Comfort is none, but in you, Lady dear!
For lo! my sin and my confusion,
Which ought not in thy presence to appear,
Have ta'en on me a g...Read More

by Dryden, John
...'n, what praise we offer to his name, 
Hath render'd too authentic by its choice; 


Though in his praise no arts can liberal be, 
Since they whose Muses have the highest flown 
Add not to his immortal memory, 
But do an act of friendship to their own; 


Yet 'tis our duty and our interest too 
Such monuments as we can build to raise, 
Lest all the world prevent what we should do 
And claim a title in him by their praise. 


How shall I then begin, or where conclude...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...a-hold on the greatness of God:
Oh, like to the greatness of God is the greatness within
The range of the marshes, the liberal marshes of Glynn.

And the sea lends large, as the marsh: lo, out of his plenty the sea
Pours fast: full soon the time of the flood-tide must be:
Look how the grace of the sea doth go
About and about through the intricate channels that flow
Here and there,
Till his waters have flooded the uttermost creeks and the low-lying lanes,
And ...Read More

by Trumbull, John
...r, of arts in peace.
Unharrass'd by maternal care,
Each rising province flourish'd fair;
Whose various wealth, with liberal hand,
By far o'erpaid the parent land.
But though so bright her sun might shine,
'Twas quickly hasting to decline,
With feeble ray, too weak t' assuage
The damps, that chill the eve of age.

"For states, like men, are doom'd as well
Th' infirmities of age to feel,
And from their different forms of empire,
Are seiz'd with every deep distemper...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...the great sun in light and shade,
And, sweet varieties of chance,
And the mystic seasons' dance,
And thief-like step of liberal hours
Which thawed the snow-drift into flowers.
O wondrous craft of plant and stone
By eldest science done and shown!
Happy, I said, whose home is here,
Fair fortunes to the mountaineer!
Boon nature to his poorest shed
Has royal pleasure-grounds outspread.
Intent I searched the region round,
And in low hut my monarch found.
He was no eagl...Read More

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...f the brave; 
While proud AMBITION weeps thy rancour to assuage. 
The laurels round the POET's bust, 
Twin'd by the liberal hand of Taste, 
By thy malignant grasp defac'd, 
Fade to their native dust: 
Thy ever-watchful eye no labour tires, 
Beneath thy venom'd touch the angel TRUTH expires. 

When in thy petrifying car
Thy scaly dragons waft thy form, 
Then, swifter, deadlier far 
Than the keen lightning's lance, 
That wings its way across the yelling storm, 
Thy barb...Read More

by Milton, John
...elf than all; needs must the Power 
That made us, and for us this ample world, 
Be infinitely good, and of his good 
As liberal and free as infinite; 
That raised us from the dust, and placed us here 
In all this happiness, who at his hand 
Have nothing merited, nor can perform 
Aught whereof he hath need; he who requires 
From us no other service than to keep 
This one, this easy charge, of all the trees 
In Paradise that bear delicious fruit 
So various, not to taste that o...Read More

by Milton, John
...ay I 
Adore thee, Author of this universe, 
And all this good to man? for whose well being 
So amply, and with hands so liberal, 
Thou hast provided all things: But with me 
I see not who partakes. In solitude 
What happiness, who can enjoy alone, 
Or, all enjoying, what contentment find? 
Thus I presumptuous; and the Vision bright, 
As with a smile more brightened, thus replied. 
What callest thou solitude? Is not the Earth 
With various living creatures, and the air...Read More

by Milton, John
...nce for such compliance bad 
Such recompence best merits from the bough 
She gave him of that fair enticing fruit 
With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat, 
Against his better knowledge; not deceived, 
But fondly overcome with female charm. 
Earth trembled from her entrails, as again 
In pangs; and Nature gave a second groan; 
Sky loured; and, muttering thunder, some sad drops 
Wept at completing of the mortal sin 
Original: while Adam took no thought, 
Eating his fill;...Read More

by Frost, Robert
Why, I might wake her up and startle her. 
It was the words 'descended into Hades' 
That seemed too pagan to our liberal youth. 
You know they suffered from a general onslaught. 
And well, if they weren't true why keep right on 
Saying them like the heathen? We could drop them. 
Only--there was the bonnet in the pew. 
Such a phrase couldn't have meant much to her. 
But suppose she had missed it from the Creed 
As a child misses the unsaid Good-night...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...e jokes he had kept for a season of woe--
 But the crew would do nothing but groan.

He served out some grog with a liberal hand,
 And bade them sit down on the beach:
And they could not but own that their Captain looked grand,
 As he stood and delivered his speech.

"Friends, Romans, and countrymen, lend me your ears!"
 (They were all of them fond of quotations:
So they drank to his health, and they gave him three cheers,
 While he served out additional rations)....Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...claymore is to his hand;
     But O! that very blade of steel
     More mercy for a foe would feel:
     I grant him liberal, to fling
     Among his clan the wealth they bring,
     When back by lake and glen they wind,
     And in the Lowland leave behind,
     Where once some pleasant hamlet stood,
     A mass of ashes slaked with blood.
     The hand that for my father fought
     I honor, as his daughter ought;
     But can I clasp it reeking red
     From pe...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...uture; 'everywhere 
Who heads in council, two beside the hearth, 
Two in the tangled business of the world, 
Two in the liberal offices of life, 
Two plummets dropt for one to sound the abyss 
Of science, and the secrets of the mind: 
Musician, painter, sculptor, critic, more: 
And everywhere the broad and bounteous Earth 
Should bear a double growth of those rare souls, 
Poets, whose thoughts enrich the blood of the world.' 

She ended here, and beckoned us: the rest 
Pa...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...ollows bare of Spring, 
To rain an April of ovation round 
Their statues, borne aloft, the three: but come, 
We will be liberal, since our rights are won. 
Let them not lie in the tents with coarse mankind, 
Ill nurses; but descend, and proffer these 
The brethren of our blood and cause, that there 
Lie bruised and maimed, the tender ministries 
Of female hands and hospitality.' 

She spoke, and with the babe yet in her arms, 
Descending, burst the great bronze valves...Read More

by Lindsay, Vachel
...nger wondering 
To find such knighthood in the sprawling land, 
To see a democrat well-nigh a king. 

He lived with liberal hand, with guests from far, 
With talk and joke and fellowship to spare, — 
Watching the wide world's life from sun to sun, 
Lining his walls with books from everywhere. 
He read by night, he built his world by day. 
The farm and house of God to him were one. 
For forty years he preached and plowed and wrought — 
A statesman in the fields...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...its force is probably to suggest that the
second friar, with an ostentatious stealthiness, noted down the
names of the liberal, to make them believe that they would be
remembered in the holy beggars' orisons.

6. A Godde's kichel/halfpenny: a little cake/halfpenny, given for
God's sake.

7. Harlot: hired servant; from Anglo-Saxon, "hyran," to hire;
the word was commonly applied to males.

8. Potent: staff; French, "potence," crutch, gibbet.

9.Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...atire on Southey's poem A Vision of Judgement was under the nom de plume of Quevedo Redivivus in volume number 1 of The Liberal, a periodical edited by Leigh Hunt and largely financed by Byron. In the copy of the first volume of The Liberal that I have (which appears to be a first edition), there is no preamble but it does appear in later collections and so I have included it for completeness.

Also for the sake of completeness, I have included several footnotes that ...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
Like Cyclopses in Vulcan's sooty abysm,
Beating their swords to ploughshares:--in a band
The jailors sent those of the liberal schism
Free through the streets of Memphis--much, I wis,
To the annoyance of king Amasis.

And timid lovers, who had been so coy
They hardly knew whether they loved or not,
Would rise out of their rest, and take sweet joy,
To the fulfilment of their inmost thought;
And, when next day the maiden and the boy
Met one another, both, like sinners caug...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...his lips could well pronounce 
Words that were persuasions. 
Gentlest guardians marked serene 
His early hope, his liberal mien; 
Took counsel from his guiding eyes 
To make this wisdom earthly wise. 
Ah, vainly do these eyes recall 
The school-march, each day's festival, 
When every morn my bosom glowed 
To watch the convoy on the road; 
The babe in willow wagon closed, 
With rolling eyes and face composed; 
With children forward and behind, 
Like Cupids studiously ...Read More

by Harrison, Tony
...r caps,
with stumps chalked on the coal-grate for our wicket,
and every one bought now by 'coloured chaps',

dad's most liberal label as he felt
squeezed by the unfamiliar, and fear
of foreign food and faces, when he smelt
curry in the shop where he'd bought beer.

And growing frailer, 'wobbly on his pins',
the shops he felt familiar with withdrew
which meant much longer tiring treks for tins
that had a label on them that he knew.

And as the shops that stocked his fa...Read More

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