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Famous Once Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Dickinson, Emily
...
And opens further on—

He likes a Boggy Acre
A Floor too cool for Corn—
Yet when a Boy, and Barefoot—
I more than once at Noon
Have passed, I thought, a Whip lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled, and was gone—

Several of Nature's People
I know, and they know me—
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality—

But never met this Fellow
Attended, or alone
Without a tighter breathing
And Zero at the Bone—

1027

My Heart upon a l...Read More



by Wilde, Oscar
...the unjust
Swift daylight kills it, and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust
Which was Mazzini once! rich Niobe
For all her stony sorrows hath her sons; but Italy,

What Easter Day shall make her children rise,
Who were not Gods yet suffered? what sure feet
Shall find their grave-clothes folded? what clear eyes
Shall see them bodily? O it were meet
To roll the stone from off the sepulchre
And kiss the bleeding roses of their wounds, in love of her,

O...Read More

by Keats, John
...w command,
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands
Scorches and burns our once serene domain.
O aching time! O moments big as years!
All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth,
And press it so upon our weary griefs
That unbelief has not a space to breathe.
Saturn, sleep on:---O thoughtless, why did I
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude?
Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes?
Saturn, sleep on! while at thy feet I weep....Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...om warm earth, or they 
 The grave hath taken, in my mortal need 
 Have mercy thou!" 
 He answered, "Shade am I, 
 That once was man; beneath the Lombard sky, 
 In the late years of Julius born, and bred 
 In Mantua, till my youthful steps were led 
 To Rome, where yet the false gods lied to man; 
 And when the great Augustan age began, 
 I wrote the tale of Ilium burnt, and how 
 Anchises' son forth-pushed a venturous prow, 
 Seeking unknown seas. But in what mood art th...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ore prying such inquiry grew, 
His brow fell darker, and his words more few. 

VII. 

Not unrejoiced to see him once again, 
Warm was his welcome to the haunts of men; 
Born of high lineage, link'd in high command, 
He mingled with the magnates of his land; 
Join'd the carousals of the great and gay, 
And saw them smile or sigh their hours away; 
But still he only saw, and did not share 
The common pleasure or the general care; 
He did not follow what they all pursued...Read More



by Wordsworth, William
...from the savage Den,  And sometimes from the darksome Shade,  And sometimes starting up at once    In green and sunny Glade,   There came, and look'd him in the face,  An Angel beautiful and bright;  And that he knew, it was a Fiend,    This miserable Knight!   And that, unknowing what he did,  He leapt amid a murd'ro...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...and pacifying—the joy of concord and harmony. 

O to go back to the place where I was born! 
To hear the birds sing once more!
To ramble about the house and barn, and over the fields, once more, 
And through the orchard and along the old lanes once more. 

5
O male and female! 
O the presence of women! (I swear there is nothing more exquisite to me than the mere
 presence
 of women;) 
O for the girl, my mate! O for the happiness with my mate!
O the young man as I pass...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...nt—not custom or lecture, not even the
 best; 
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice. 

I mind how once we lay, such a transparent summer morning; 
How you settled your head athwart my hips, and gently turn’d over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my
 bare-stript heart, 
And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my feet.


Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge t...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...the Danes
Seems like the tales a whole tribe feigns
Too English to be true.

Of a good king on an island
That ruled once on a time;
And as he walked by an apple tree
There came green devils out of the sea
With sea-plants trailing heavily
And tracks of opal slime.

Yet Alfred is no fairy tale;
His days as our days ran,
He also looked forth for an hour
On peopled plains and skies that lower,
From those few windows in the tower
That is the head of a man.

But who sha...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...
My choice, my best, my loved, and only fair. 
Farewell, yet think not such farewell a change
From tenderness, tho' once to meet or part
But on short absence so could sense derange
That tears have graced the greeting of my heart;
They were proud drops and had my leave to fall,
Not on thy pity for my pain to call. 

14
When sometimes in an ancient house where state
From noble ancestry is handed on,
We see but desolation thro' the gate,
And richest heirlooms all to ruin...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...t happened. 

The Bellman, who was almost morbidly sensitive about appearances, used to have the bowsprit unshipped once or twice a week to be revarnished, and it more than once happened, when the time came for replacing it, that no one on board could remember which end of the ship it belonged to. They knew it was not of the slightest use to appeal to the Bellman about it--he would only refer to his Naval Code, and read out in pathetic tones Admiralty Instructions whi...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...nere,
How wonnen* was the regne of Feminie,  *won
By Theseus, and by his chivalry;
And of the greate battle for the nonce
Betwixt Athenes and the Amazons;
And how assieged was Hippolyta,
The faire hardy queen of Scythia;
And of the feast that was at her wedding
And of the tempest at her homecoming.
But all these things I must as now forbear.
I have, God wot, a large field to ear* *plough;
And weake be the oxen in my plough;
The remnant of my tale is long enow.Read More

by Blake, William
...The Argument.


Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep

Once meek, and in a perilous path,
The just man kept his course along 
The vale of death.
Roses are planted where thorns grow.
And on the barren heath
Sing the honey bees.

Then the perilous path was planted:
And a river, and a spring
On every cliff and tomb;
And on the bleached bones
Red clay brought forth.

Till the villain left the paths o...Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...ONCE upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, 
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,¡ª 
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, 
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 
"'T is some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door; 5 
Only this and nothing more." 

...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...ty:
"To others, yea: but not to thee." 

But when she saw him quail and quake,
And when he urged "For pity's sake!"
Once more in gentle tones she spake. 

"Thought in the mind doth still abide
That is by Intellect supplied,
And within that Idea doth hide: 

"And he, that yearns the truth to know,
Still further inwardly may go,
And find Idea from Notion flow: 

"And thus the chain, that sages sought,
Is to a glorious circle wrought,
For Notion hath its source in Though...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...ch Heaven lit my spirit
Earth had with purer nutriment supplied
"Corruption would not now thus much inherit
Of what was once Rousseau--nor this disguise
Stained that within which still disdains to wear it.--
"If I have been extinguished, yet there rise
A thousand beacons from the spark I bore."--
"And who are those chained to the car?" "The Wise,
"The great, the unforgotten: they who wore
Mitres & helms & crowns, or wreathes of light,
Signs of thought's empire over th...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...earth, yet ventured in my face to advance 
A claim to those of martyrs — like my own: 
If I had had my sword, as I had once 
When I cut ears off, I had cut him down; 
But having but my keys, and not my brand, 
I only knock'd his head from out his hand. 

XX 

'And then he set up such a headless howl, 
That all the saints came out and took him in; 
And there he sits by St. Paul, cheek by jowl; 
That fellow Paul— the parven?! The skin 
Of St. Bartholomew, which mak...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence; 
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit ....Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...of sleep 
And nodding by the fire, take down this book, 
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look 
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; 

How many loved your moments of glad grace, 
And loved your beauty with love false or true; 
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, 
And loved the sorrows of your changing face. 

And bending down beside the glowing bars, 
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled 
And paced upon the mountains overhead, 
And hi...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...e lay.

Let him not want my eyes fair
Prophetic and never-changing
All life long verse he'll be catching -
My conceited lips' empty prayer.



x x x

This way I prayed: "Slake the dumb thirst
Of singing with a sweet libation!"
But to the earthling of the earth
There can be no liberation.
Like smoke from sacrifice, that it could not
Fly Strength- and Glory-ward -- alas -
But only clouded at the feet
And, as if praying, kissed the grass.
Thu...Read More

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