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Famous On The House Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Horace,
          Was seen among the foes,
     A yell that rent the firmament
          From all the town arose.
     On the house-tops was no woman
          But spat towards him and hissed,
     No child but screamed out curses,
          And shook its little fist.


     But the Consul's brow was sad,
          And the Consul's speech was low,
     And darkly looked he at the wall,
          And darkly at the foe.
     "Their van will be up...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...the evil of awhile;
But oh the folks I dare not tell,
And so I sit and knit and smile."

The Father:

"The mortgage on the house is due,
My bank account is overdrawn;
I'm at my wits end what to do -
I've plunged, but now my hope is gone.
For coverage my brokers call,
But I'm so deeply in the red . . .
If ever I should lose my all,
I'll put a bullet in my head."

The Daughter:

"To smile I do the best I can,
But it's so hard to act up gay.
My lover ...Read more of this...

by Kinnell, Galway
...behind me while I was 
fishing and
stood awhile before I knew he was there, he's the one who
put the
cedar shingles on the house, some have curled or split, a 
few have
blown off, he's gone,
where Gus Newland logged in the cold snap of '58, the only
man will-
ing to go into those woods that never got warmer than ten
he's gone,
pond where two wards of the state wandered on Halloween, 
the Na-
tional Guard searched for them in November, in vain, the 
next ...Read more of this...

by Edgar, Marriott
.... And " Not you," Joe replied, 
For this treatment had fair raised his gorge
"I see George and t' Dragon's the name on the house, 
"And I'd just like a word now with George."...Read more of this...

by Smart, Christopher
...heathen. Lord have mercy upon the Quakers. 

For the ceiling of the house is an obstacle and therefore we pray on the house-top. 

For the head will be liable to less disorders on the recovery of its horn. 

For the horn on the forehead is a tower upon an arch. 

For it is a strong munition against the adversary, who is sickness and death. 

For it is instrumental in subjecting the woman. 

For the insolence of the woman has increased ever since M...Read more of this...

by Sandburg, Carl
...ghth Avenue
a frame house wobbles.

If houses went on crutches
this house would be
one of the cripples.

A sign on the house:
Church of the Living God
And Rescue Home for Orphan Children.

From a Greek coffee house
Across the street
A cabalistic jargon
Jabbers back.
 And men at tables
 Spill Peloponnesian syllables
 And speak of shovels for street work.
 And the new embankments of the Erie Railroad
 At Painted Post, Horse’s Head, Salamanca....Read more of this...

by Kizer, Carolyn
...white curve
Below her curled hair.
Her husband seems not to watch,
But she shimmers in his poem.


A hush is on the house,
The only noise, a fern,
Rustling in a vase.
On the porch, the fierce poet
Is chanting words to himself....Read more of this...

by Watts, Isaac
...d fair,
They have no root beneath;
Their growth shall perish in despair,
And lie despised in death.]

[So corn that on the house-top stands
No hope of harvest gives;
The reaper ne'er shall fill his hands,
Nor binder fold the sheaves.

It springs and withers on the place;
No traveller bestows
A word of blessing on the grass,
Nor minds it as he goes.]...Read more of this...

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.

She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house 
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only known to a grandmoth...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
I find its purpose and place up there toward the wintry sky.) 

The sharp-hoof’d moose of the north, the cat on the house-sill, the
 chickadee, the prairie-dog,
The litter of the grunting sow as they tug at her teats, 
The brood of the turkey-hen, and she with her half-spread wings; 
I see in them and myself the same old law. 

The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections; 
They scorn the best I can do to relate them.

I am enamou...Read more of this...

by Kipling, Rudyard
...Far to Southward they wheel and glance,
 The million molten spears of morn --
The spears of our deliverance
 That shine on the house where we were born.

Flying-fish about our bows,
 Flying sea-fires in our wake:
This is the road to our Father's House,
 Whither we go for our souls' sake!

We have forfeited our birthright,
 We have forsaken all things meet;
We have forgotten the look of light,
 We have forgotten the scent of heart.

They that walk with shaded brows,
 Y...Read more of this...

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...eople put forward a champion known as Sir Patrick the Portly. 

As in the midnight the tom-cat who seeketh his love on the house top, 
Lifteth his voice up and is struck by the fast whizzing brickbat, 
Drops to the ground in a swoon and glides to the silent hereafter, 
So fell Sir Patrick the Portly at the stroke of the Deficit Demon. 

Then were the people amazed and they called for the champion of champions 
Known as Sir 'Enry the Fishfag unequalled in vilification....Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
And give me the comfort of a living thing.

Eleven O'Clock
The front door was hard and heavy,
It shut behind me on the house of ghosts.
I flattened my feet on the pavement
To feel it solid under me;
I ran my hand along the railings
And shook them,
And pressed their pointed bars
Into my palms.
The hurt of it reassured me,
And I did it again and again
Until they were bruised.
When I woke in the night
I laughed to find them aching,
For only living flesh can s...Read more of this...

by Levine, Philip
...then a boy rides by on a bicycle
and still the house is not done
and in the morning the men
will be back
walking around on the house
with their hammers,
and it seems people should not build houses
it seems people should not get married
it seems people should stop working
and sit in small rooms
on 2nd floors
under electric lights without shades;
it seems there is a lot to forget
and a lot not to do,
and in drugstores, markets, bars,
the people are tired, they...Read more of this...

by Wylie, Elinor
...hunder through the stillnesses, 
And then lie down--the coldest fear of all-- 
To nothing, and deliberate silence fall 
On the house deep in the silence, and no one come 
To door or window, staring blind and dumb?...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...ld do have I left undone,
And you see my harvest, what I reap
This very day, now a year is run.


There's nobody on the house-tops now— 
Just a palsied few at the windows set— 
For the best of the sight is, all allow,
At the Shambles' Gate—or, better yet,
By the very scaffold's foot, I trow.


I go in the rain, and, more than needs,
A rope cuts both my wrists behind,
And I think, by the feel, my forehead bleeds,
For they fling, whoever has a mind,
Stones at me fo...Read more of this...

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...did cheer;
As they heard the loyal hymning on the morning air,
The scene was most beautiful and surpassing fair. 

On the house tops thousands of people were to be seen,
All in eager expectation of seeing the queen;
And all of them seemed to be happy and gay,
Which enhanced the scene during the day. 

And when Field Marshal Roberts in the procession passed by,
The cheers from thousands of people arose very high;
And to see him on his war horse was inspiring to see,
B...Read more of this...

by Frost, Robert
...find himself in one. Well, all we said was
He took a strange thing to be roguish over.
Some sympathy was wasted on the house,
A good old-timer dating back along;
But a house isn't sentient; the house
Didn't feel anything. And if it did,
Why not regard it as a sacrifice,
And an old-fashioned sacrifice by fire,
Instead of a new-fashioned one at auction?

Out of a house and so out of a farm
At one stroke (of a match), Brad had to turn
To earn a living on the Concord ...Read more of this...

by Gordon, Adam Lindsay
...e, glad because of the light, saith, "Shall not
The righteous judges of all the earth do right,
For behold the sparrows on the house-tops fall not
Save as seemeth to Him good in His sight?"
And this man's joy shall have no abiding
Through lights departing and lives dividing,
He is soon as one in the darkness hiding,
One loving darkness rather than light.

A little season of love and laughter,
Of light and life, and pleasure and pain,
And a horror of outer darkness after,
...Read more of this...

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Book: Reflection on the Important Things