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Famous Pass Away Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Gibran, Kahlil
...t give, I shall refuse to receive. 

Humanity rages like a tempest, but I sigh in silence for I know the storm must pass away while a sigh goes to God. 

Human kinds cling to earthly things, but I seek ever to embrace the torch of love so it will purify me by its fire and sear inhumanity from my heart. 

Substantial things deaden a man without suffering; love awakens him with enlivening pains. 

Humans are divided into different clans and tribes, and belong to...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe gathered to the kings of thought
Who waged contention with their time's decay,
And of the past are all that cannot pass away.

Go thou to Rome, -at once the Paradise,
The grave, the city, and the wilderness;
And where its wrecks like shattered mountains rise,
And flowering weeds, and fragrant copses dress
The bones of Desolation's nakedness
Pass, till the spirit of the spot shall lead
Thy footsteps to a slope of green access
Where, like an infant's smile, ov...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...surmount them all, 
Whatever they are to-day, and whatever through time they may be,
They each and all shall lift, and pass away, and cease from thee; 
While thou, Time’s spirals rounding—out of thyself, thyself still extricating,
Equable, natural, mystical Union thou—(the mortal with immortal blent,) 
Shalt soar toward the fulfilment of the future—the spirit of the body and the mind, 
The Soul—its destinies.

The Soul, its destinies—the real real, 
(Purport of...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
The track strew’d with the dust of skeletons; 
By the roadside others disdainfully toss’d. 

Rhymes and rhymers pass away—poems distill’d from foreign poems pass away, 
The swarms of reflectors and the polite pass, and leave ashes; 
Admirers, importers, obedient persons, make but the soul of literature;
America justifies itself, give it time—no disguise can deceive it, or conceal from
 it—it is impassive enough, 
Only toward the likes of itself will it advance to meet...Read More

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor the midnight hour,
The clock was echoing in the tower;
But though my slumber was gone by,
This dream it would not pass away-
It seems to live upon my eye!
And thence I vowed this self-same day
With music strong and saintly song
To wander through the forest bare,
Lest aught unholy loiter there.'

Thus Bracy said: the Baron, the while,
Half-listening heard him with a smile;
Then turned to Lady Geraldine,
His eyes made up of wonder and love;
And said in cour...Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...nwieldy proof of Nature's cruder state, 
Rough remnant of a prehistoric day, 
Thou, with the red man, too, must shortly pass away.

Upon those spreading plains is there not room
For man and bison, that he seals its doom? 
What pleasure lies and what seductive charm
In slaying with no purpose but to harm? 
Alas, that man, unable to create, 
Should thirst forever to exterminate, 
And in destruction find his fiercest joy.
The gods alone create, gods only shoul...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...flames too pure and light and unimbu'd
To nourish their bright lives with baser prey,
Which point to Heaven and cannot pass away:
One hope within two wills, one will beneath
Two overshadowing minds, one life, one death,
One Heaven, one Hell, one immortality,
And one annihilation. Woe is me!
The winged words on which my soul would pierce
Into the height of Love's rare Universe,
Are chains of lead around its flight of fire--
I pant, I sink, I tremble, I expire!...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...ey saw the weird and mystic halt was made 
 Of them who at the coming dawn of day 
 Would fade, and from their vision pass away. 
 A stranger looking in, these masks to see, 
 Might deem from Death some mandate there might be 
 At times to burst the tombs—the dead to wear 
 A human shape, and mustering ranks appear 
 Of phantoms, each confronting other shade. 
 Grave-clothes are not more grim and sombre made 
 Than are these helms; the deaf and sealed-up graves 
...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...y air of dumb despair,
From marble won, to marble turning!
"Leave us not thus!" we fondly pray.
"We cannot let thee pass away!"
Ah, well-a-day! 


My First is singular at best:
More plural is my Second:
My Third is far the pluralest -
So plural-plural, I protest
It scarcely can be reckoned! 

My First is followed by a bird:
My Second by believers
In magic art: my simple Third
Follows, too often, hopes absurd
And plausible deceivers. 

My First to get at wisd...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas
For had I lost my Gertrude and my sire
I meant but o'er your tombs to weep a day,
Unknown I meant to weep, unknown to pass away.

But here ye life, ye bloom,--in each dear face,
The changing hand of time I may not blame;
For there, it hath but shed more reverend grace,
And here, of beauty perfected the frame:
And well I know your hearts are still the same--
They could not change--ye look the very way,
As when an orphan first to you I came.
And have ye heard of my po...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ew, or chose to know — with dubious look 
He deign'd no answer, but his head he shook, 
And half contemptuous turn'd to pass away; 
But the stern stranger motion'd him to stay. 
"A word! — I charge thee stay, and answer here 
To one, who, wert thou noble, were thy peer, 
But as thou wast and art — nay, frown not, lord, 
If false, 'tis easy to disprove the word — 
But as thou wast and art, on thee looks down, 
Distrusts thy smiles, but shakes not at thy frown. 
Art tho...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
Love only knows no winter; never dies:
Nor cares for frowning storms or leaden skies
And mine for thee shall never pass away,
Though my weak lips may falter in my lay.

Adieu! Adieu! yon silent evening star,
The night's ambassador, doth gleam afar,
And bid the shepherd bring his flocks to fold.
Perchance before our inland seas of gold
Are garnered by the reapers into sheaves,
Perchance before I see the Autumn leaves,
I may behold thy city; and lay down
Low at thy...Read More

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett! when erst I lay 
In that child's-nest so greenly wrought, 90 
I laugh'd unto myself and thought, 
'The time will pass away.' 

And still I laugh'd, and did not fear 
But that, whene'er was pass'd away 
The childish time, some happier play 95 
My womanhood would cheer. 

I knew the time would pass away; 
And yet, beside the rose-tree wall, 
Dear God, how seldom, if at all, 
Did I look up to pray! 100 

The time is past: and now that grows 
The cypre...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...o his eye
There was but one beloved face on earth,
And that was shining on him; he had looked
Upon it till it could not pass away;
He had no breath, no being, but in hers:
She was his voice; he did not speak to her,
But trembled on her words; she was his sight,
For his eye followed hers, and saw with hers,
Which coloured all his objects;—he had ceased
To live within himself: she was his life,
The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
Which terminated all; upon a tone,
A touch o...Read More

by Fitzgerald, Edward
...her tomorrow's dawn shall break the spell,
Or the last trumpet of the Eternal Day,
When dreaming, with the night, shall pass away....Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...ght of old to Glastonbury?" 

`So when I told him all thyself hast heard, 
Ambrosius, and my fresh but fixt resolve 
To pass away into the quiet life, 
He answered not, but, sharply turning, asked 
Of Gawain, "Gawain, was this Quest for thee?" 

`"Nay, lord," said Gawain, "not for such as I. 
Therefore I communed with a saintly man, 
Who made me sure the Quest was not for me; 
For I was much awearied of the Quest: 
But found a silk pavilion in a field, 
And merry maidens ...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...t you would bring,
If time were suppler in the joint,
Neither the spring nor the south wind
But the hour when you shall pass away
And leave no smoking wick behind,
For all life longs for the Last Day
And there's no man but cocks his ear
To know when Michael's trumpet cries
'That flesh and bone may disappear,
And souls as if they were but sighs,
And there be nothing but God left;
But, I aone being blessed keep
Like some old rabbit to my cleft
And wait Him in a drunken sleep.Read More

by Carroll, Lewis of his speech,
She said "Each gives to more than each." 

He could not answer yea or nay:
He faltered "Gifts may pass away."
Yet knew not what he meant to say. 

"If that be so," she straight replied,
"Each heart with each doth coincide.
What boots it? For the world is wide." 

"The world is but a Thought," said he:
"The vast unfathomable sea
Is but a Notion - unto me." 

And darkly fell her answer dread
Upon his unresisting head,
Like half a hundre...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...ting ills to come,In some dread moment, by the fates assign'd,Shall pass away, nor leave a rack behind;And Time's revolving wheels shall lose at lastThe speed that spins the future and the past;And, sovereign of an undisputed throne,Awful eternity shall reign alone.Then every darksome veil shall f...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
From which a thousand climbers have before
"Fall'n as Napoleon fell."--I felt my cheek
Alter to see the great form pass away
Whose grasp had left the giant world so weak
That every pigmy kicked it as it lay--
And much I grieved to think how power & will
In opposition rule our mortal day--
And why God made irreconcilable
Good & the means of good; and for despair
I half disdained mine eye's desire to fill
With the spent vision of the times that were
And scarce have ceased ...Read More

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