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Famous Monument Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...air book of life, 
Shall live unsullied when each strain shall die: 
Shall undefac'd remain when sculptur'd stone, 
And monument, and bust, and storied urn 
Perpetuates its sage and king no more. 

The pow'r of torture and reproach was vain, 
But what not torture or reproach could do, 
Dark superstition did in part effect. 
That superstition, which saint John beheld, 
Rise in thick darkness from th' infernal lake. 
Locust and scorpion in the smoke ascend, 
False ...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...ic mantles rent;
The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame
Over his living head like Heaven is bent,
An early but enduring monument,
Came, veiling all the lightnings of his song
In sorrow; from her wilds Irene sent
The sweetest lyrist of her saddest wrong,
And Love taught Grief to fall like music from his tongue.

Midst others of less note, came one frail Form,
A phantom among men; companionless
As the last cloud of an expiring storm
Whose thunder is its knell; he, ...Read More

by Mayakovsky, Vladimir
beneath the walls they mandoline:
“Tara-tina, tara-tine,
It’s no great honor, then,
 for my monuments
to rise from such roses
above the public squares,
 where consumption coughs,
where whores, hooligans and syphilis

 in my teeth too,
and I’d rather
 romances for you - 
more profit in it
 and more charm.

But I
 setting my heel
on the throat
 of my own song.
 comrades of posteri...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...and brave,
With unremitting breath
Inhaling life from death,
Thine epitaph writ fair in fruitage eloquent,
Thyself thy monument.

As poets should,
Thou hast built up thy hardihood
With universal food,
Drawn in select proportion fair
From honest mould and vagabond air;
From darkness of the dreadful night,
And joyful light;
From antique ashes, whose departed flame
In thee has finer life and longer fame;
From wounds and balms,
From storms and calms,
From potsherds and dry b...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 'Twas he, indignant at the honor paid 
 To crime, who with his heel an onslaught made 
 Upon Duke Lupus' shameful monument, 
 Tore down, the statue he to fragments rent; 
 Then column of the Strasburg monster bore 
 To bridge of Wasselonne, and threw it o'er 
 Into the waters deep. The people round 
 Blazon the noble deeds that so abound 
 From Altorf unto Chaux-de-Fonds, and say, 
 When he rests musing in a dreamy way, 
 "Behold, 'tis Charlemagne!" Tawny to see...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
And the ragged rock in the restless waters,
Waves wash over it, fogs conceal it;
On a halcyon day it is merely a monument,
In navigable weather it is always a seamark
To lay a course by: but in the sombre season
Or the sudden fury, is what it always was.


I sometimes wonder if that is what Krishna meant—
Among other things—or one way of putting the same thing:
That the future is a faded song, a Royal Rose or a lavender spray
Of wistful regret for those who ar...Read More

by Nemerov, Howard
...g that could stand
On its own flat feet to keep out windy time
And the worm, something that might simply be,
Not as the monument in the smoky rain
Grimly endures, but that would be
Only a moment's inviolable presence,
The moment before disaster, before the storm,
In its peculiar silence, an integer
Fixed in the middle of the fall of things,
Perfected and casual as to a child's eye
Soap bubbles are, and skipping stones....Read More

by Dryden, John treads in buskins here,
Nor greater Jonson dares in socks appear;
But gentle Simkin just reception finds
Amidst this monument of vanish'd minds:
Pure clinches, the suburbian muse affords;
And Panton waging harmless war with words.
Here Flecknoe, as a place to fame well known,
Ambitiously design'd his Shadwell's throne.
For ancient Decker prophesi'd long since,
That in this pile should reign a mighty prince,
Born for a scourge of wit, and flail of sense:
To whom tru...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...the house
And decked and altered it for a girl's love,
And know whatever flourish and decline
These stones remain their monument and mine.

 V. The Road at My Door

An affable Irregular,
A heavily-built Falstaffian man,
Comes cracking jokes of civil war
As though to die by gunshot were
The finest play under the sun.

A brown Lieutenant and his men,
Half dressed in national uniform,
Stand at my door, and I complain
Of the foul weather, hail and rain,
A pear-tree b...Read More

by Milton, John and mine 
Not unagreeable, to found a path 
Over this main from Hell to that new world, 
Where Satan now prevails; a monument 
Of merit high to all the infernal host, 
Easing their passage hence, for intercourse, 
Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead. 
Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn 
By this new-felt attraction and instinct. 
Whom thus the meager Shadow answered soon. 
Go, whither Fate, and inclination strong, 
Leads thee; I shall not lag behin...Read More

by Milton, John
...So many grateful altars I would rear 
Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone 
Of lustre from the brook, in memory, 
Or monument to ages; and theron 
Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers: 
In yonder nether world where shall I seek 
His bright appearances, or foot-step trace? 
For though I fled him angry, yet recalled 
To life prolonged and promised race, I now 
Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts 
Of glory; and far off his steps adore. 
To whom thus M...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...Mack Sennett time.

 The minnows were an Idaho tourist attraction. They

should have been made into a National Monument. Swimming

close to shore, like children they believed in their own im-

mortality .

 A third-year student in engineering at the University of

Montana attempted to catch some of the minnows but he went

about it all wrong. So did the children who came on the

Fourth of July weekend.

 The children waded out into the lake and tried ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt, or towering immediately above me, the great mountains—I see
 Wind River and the Wahsatch mountains; 
I see the Monument mountain and the Eagle’s Nest—I pass the Promontory—I
 the Nevadas; 
I scan the noble Elk mountain, and wind around its base; 
I see the Humboldt range—I thread the valley and cross the river, 
I see the clear waters of Lake Tahoe—I see forests of majestic pines,
Or, crossing the great desert, the alkaline plains, I behold enchanting mirages...Read More

by Spenser, Edmund
And what else in the world is of like worth, 
Some greater learnèd wit will magnify. 
But I will sing above all monuments 
Seven Roman Hills, the world's seven wonderments. 


Thou stranger, which for Rome in Rome here seekest, 
And nought of Rome in Rome perceiv'st at all, 
These same old walls, old arches, which thou seest, 
Old Palaces, is that which Rome men call. 
Behold what wreak, what ruin, and what waste, 
And how that she, which with her mighty p...Read More

by Milton, John
...enous drone; to visitants a gaze,
Or pitied object, these redundant locks
Robustious to no purpose clustring down,
Vain monument of strength; till length of years 
And sedentary numness craze my limbs
To a contemptible old age obscure.
Here rather let me drudge and earn my bread,
Till vermin or the draff of servil food
Consume me, and oft-invocated death
Hast'n the welcom end of all my pains.

Man. Wilt thou then serve the Philistines with that gift
Which was expr...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
Have left a namesless pyramid,
Thy Heroes, though the general doom
Hath swept the column from their tomb,
A mightier monument command,
The mountains of thy native land!
There points thy Muse to stranger's eye
The graves of those that cannot die!
'T were long to tell, and sad to trace,
Each step from Spledour to Disgrace;
Enough--no foreign foe could quell
Thy soul, till from itself it fell;
Yet! Self-abasement paved the way
To villain-bonds and despot sway.

What can h...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...upraised, and look intent,
     And eye and ear attentive bent,
     And locks flung back, and lips apart,
     Like monument of Grecian art,
     In listening mood, she seemed to stand,
     The guardian Naiad of the strand.

     And ne'er did Grecian chisel trace
     A Nymph, a Naiad, or a Grace,
     Of finer form or lovelier face!
     What though the sun, with ardent frown,
     Had slightly tinged her cheek with brown,—
     The sportive toil,...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington mechanic eyes 
A world without a meaning, and had room, 
Alone amid magnificence and doom, 
To build himself an airy monument 
That should, 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 entere...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
The flat and turfless earth above
The being we so much did love;
His empty chain above it leant,
Such murder's fitting monument! 

But he, the favorite and the flower,
Most cherish'd since his natal hour,
His mother's image in fair face,
The infant love of all his race,
His martyr'd father's dearest thought,
My latest care, for whom I sought
To hoard my life, that his might be
Less wretched now, and one day free;
He, too, who yet had held untired
A spirit natural or ins...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...want anyone else to touch me. He

was a good guy. He built me with loving care. Leave me

alone. I'm a monument now to a good ass gone under. There's

no mystery here. That's why the door's open. If you have to

crap, go in the bushes like the deer. "

 "**** you, " I said to the outhouse. "All I want is a ride

down the river. "

 When I was a child I had a friend who became a Kool-Aid

wino as the result o...Read More

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