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Famous Pastoral Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Jennings, Elizabeth
...Over the surging tides and the mountain kingdoms,
Over the pastoral valleys and the meadows,
Over the cities with their factory darkness,
Over the lands where peace is still a power,
Over all these and all this planet carries
A power broods, invisible monarch, a stranger
To some, but by many trusted. Man's a believer
Until corrupted. This huge trusted power
Is spirit. He moves in the muscle of the world,...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...A PROMISE to California, 
Also to the great Pastoral Plains, and for Oregon: 
Sojourning east a while longer, soon I travel toward you, to remain, to teach robust

For I know very well that I and robust love belong among you, inland, and along the
For These States tend inland, and toward the Western Sea—and I will also....Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...ty, any more than my lands are inevitably united, and made ONE
Nativities, climates, the grass of the great Pastoral Plains; 
Cities, labors, death, animals, products, war, good and evil—these me, 
These affording, in all their particulars, endless feuillage to me and to America, how can
 I do
 than pass the clew of the union of them, to afford the like to you?
Whoever you are! how can I but offer you divine leaves, that you also be eligible as I am?

How ca...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
..., if our eyes
Be barred that happiness, might we but hear
The folded flocks, penned in their wattled cotes,
Or sound of pastoral reed with oaten stops,
Or whistle from the lodge, or village cock
Count the night-watches to his feathery dames,
'T would be some solace yet, some little cheering,
In this close dungeon of innumerous boughs.
But, oh, that hapless virgin, our lost sister!
Where may she wander now, whither betake her
From the chill dew, amongst rude burs and thist...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...a wreck of Paradise,
And, for the harbours are not safe and good,
This land would have remain'd a solitude
But for some pastoral people native there,
Who from the Elysian, clear, and golden air
Draw the last spirit of the age of gold,
Simple and spirited; innocent and bold.
The blue Aegean girds this chosen home,
With ever-changing sound and light and foam,
Kissing the sifted sands, and caverns hoar;
And all the winds wandering along the shore
Undulate with the undulating...Read more of this...

by Campbell, Thomas
...l fire,
Shall love behold the spark of earth-born time expire.

Three little moons, how short! amidst the grove
And pastoral savannas they consume!
While she, beside her buskin'd youth to rove,
Delights, in fancifully wild costume,
Her lovely brow to shade with Indian plume;
And forth in hunter-seeming vest they fare;
But not to chase the deer in forest gloom,
'Tis but the breath of heaven--the blessed air--
And interchange of hearts unknown, unseen to share.

What th...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...ves and copses. Once again I see
These hedgerows, hardly hedgerows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone. 

                               These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not b...Read more of this...

by Dyke, Henry Van
...reads of quivering light shot through and through.
Green as the mantle that the summer flings
Around the world, the pastoral reeds in time
Embroider melodies of May and June.
Yellow as gold,
Yea, thrice-refined gold,
And purer than the treasures of the mine,
Floods of the human voice divine
Along the arch in choral song are rolled.
So bends the bow complete:
And radiant rapture flows
Across the bridge, so full, so strong, so sweet,
That the uplifted spirit hardly ...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
With forest branches and the trodden weed; 
Thou silent form! dost tease us out of thought 
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! 45 
When old age shall this generation waste  
Thou shalt remain in midst of other woe 
Than ours a friend to man to whom thou say'st  
'Beauty is truth truth beauty ¡ªthat is all 
Ye know on earth and all ye need to know.' 50 ...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
Wherewith the seasonable month endows 
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild; 45 
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; 
Fast-fading violets cover'd up in leaves; 
And mid-May's eldest child, 
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, 
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. 50 

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time 
I have been half in love with easeful Death, 
Call'd him soft names in many a mus¨¨d rhyme, 
To take into the air my quie...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...pangled with eyes more numerous than those 
Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drouse, 
Charmed with Arcadian pipe, the pastoral reed 
Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Mean while, 
To re-salute the world with sacred light, 
Leucothea waked; and with fresh dews imbalmed 
The earth; when Adam and first matron Eve 
Had ended now their orisons, and found 
Strength added from above; new hope to spring 
Out of despair; joy, but with fear yet linked; 
Which thus to Eve his welcome ...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...ugh sketches of the sun,
 stars, ships, ocean-waves; 
Served the paths of the irruptions of the Goths—served the pastoral tribes and nomads; 
Served the long, long distant Kelt—served the hardy pirates of the Baltic;
Served before any of those, the venerable and harmless men of Ethiopia; 
Served the making of helms for the galleys of pleasure, and the making of those for war; 
Served all great works on land, and all great works on the sea; 
For the mediæval ages, and ...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...ds of cotton, sugar, rice! 
Land of wheat, beef, pork! Land of wool and hemp! Land of the apple and grape! 
Land of the pastoral plains, the grass-fields of the world! Land of those
 sweet-air’d interminable plateaus! 
Land of the herd, the garden, the healthy house of adobie!
Lands where the northwest Columbia winds, and where the southwest Colorado
Land of the eastern Chesapeake! Land of the Delaware! 
Land of Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan! 
Land of the Old Thirte...Read more of this...

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...s breast
Love-spiritual's noble germ;
And that this germ of love so blest
Escaped the senses' abject load,
To the first pastoral song he owed.
Raised to the dignity of thought,
Passions more calm to flow were taught
From the bard's mouth with melody.
The cheeks with dewy softness burned;
The longing that, though quenched, still yearned,
Proclaimed the spirit-harmony.

The wisest's wisdom, and the strongest's vigor,--
The meekest's meekness, and the noblest's grace...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
To vex its sylvan quiet with such wild impassioned song!

Cease, cease, or if 't is anguish to be dumb
Take from the pastoral thrush her simpler air,
Whose jocund carelessness doth more become
This English woodland than thy keen despair,
Ah! cease and let the north wind bear thy lay
Back to the rocky hills of Thrace, the stormy Daulian bay.

A moment more, the startled leaves had stirred,
Endymion would have passed across the mead
Moonstruck with love, and this still T...Read more of this...

by Arnold, Matthew
...shing through,
By night, the silvered branches of the glade— 
Far on the forest-skirts, where none pursue,
On some mild pastoral slope
Emerge, and resting on the moonlit pales
Freshen thy flowers as in former years
With dew, or listen with enchanted ears,
From the dark dingles, to the nightingales!

But fly our paths, our feverish contact fly!
For strong the infection of out mental strife,
Which, though it gives no bliss, yet spoils for rest;
And we should win thee from thy o...Read more of this...

by Walcott, Derek
...There were still shards of an ancient pastoral 
in those shires of the island where the cattle drank 
their pools of shadow from an older sky, 
surviving from when the landscape copied such objects as 
"Herefords at Sunset in the valley of the Wye." 
The mountain water that fell white from the mill wheel 
sprinkling like petals from the star-apple trees, 
and all of the windmills and sugar m...Read more of this...

by Whittier, John Greenleaf floating 
Round a rosy ample face,--- 
Now a thousand Saxon craftsmen 
Stitch and hammer in his place. 

All the pastoral lanes so grassy 
Now are Traffic's dusty streets; 
From the village, grown a city, 
Fast the rural grace retreats. 

But, still green and tall and stately, 
On the river's winding shores, 
Stand the occidental plane-trees, 
Stand Hugh Tallant's sycamores....Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
Her love subdued their wonder and their mirth.

The herdsmen and the mountain-maidens came,
And the rude kings of pastoral Garamant--
Their spirits shook within them, as a flame
Stirred by the air under a cavern gaunt:
Pygmies and Polyphemes, by many a name,
Centaurs and Satyrs, and such shapes as haunt
Wet clefts,--and lumps neither alive nor dead,
Dog-headed, bosom-eyed, and bird-footed.

For she was beautiful. Her beauty made
The bright world dim, and everyth...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...urneying to live and sing there;
Of the Western Sea—of the spread inland between it and the spinal river, 
Of the great pastoral area, athletic and feminine, 
of all sloping down there where the fresh free giver, the mother, the Mississippi flows, 
Of future women there—of happiness in those high plateaus, ranging three thousand
 warm and cold; 
Of mighty inland cities yet unsurvey’d and unsuspected, (as I am also, and as it must
Of the new and good names—of the...Read more of this...

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