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Famous Principle Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Frost, Robert
They seem afraid. He wouldn't have it so: 
Though a great scholar, he's a democrat, 
If not at heart, at least on principle. 
Lately when coming up to Lancaster 
His train being late he missed another train 
And had four hours to wait at Woodsville Junction 
After eleven o'clock at night. Too tired 
To think of sitting such an ordeal out, 
He turned to the hotel to find a bed. 
"No room," the night clerk said. "Unless----" 
Woodsville's a place of shriek...Read More

by Dryden, John
...ages curst.
For close designs, and crooked counsels fit;
Sagacious, bold and turbulent of wit:
Restless, unfixt in principles and place;
In pow'r unpleas'd, impatient of disgrace.
A fiery soul, which working out its way,
Fretted the pigmy-body to decay:
And o'er inform'd the tenement of clay.
A daring pilot in extremity;
Pleas'd with the danger, when the waves went high
He sought the storms; but for a calm unfit,
Would steer too nigh the sands, to boast his wit.<...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ther by paper and seal, or by compulsion, is no account; 
That only holds men together which aggregates all in a living principle, as the hold of
 limbs of the body, or the fibres of plants.

Of all races and eras, These States, with veins full of poetical stuff, most need poets,
 are to have the greatest, and use them the greatest; 
Their Presidents shall not be their common referee so much as their poets shall. 

(Soul of love, and tongue of fire! 
Eye to ...Read More

by Shakur, Tupac
...In the event of my Demise
when my heart can beat no more
I Hope I Die For A Principle
or A Belief that I had Lived 4
I will die Before My Time
Because I feel the shadow's Depth
so much I wanted 2 accomplish
before I reached my Death

I have come 2 grips with the possibility
and wiped the last tear from My eyes
I Loved All who were Positive
In the event of my Demise...Read More

by Seeger, Alan
...perfume in the laden flower, like aught 
Unseen which interfused throughout the whole 
Becomes its quickening pulse and principle and soul. 
Now when, the drift of old desire renewing, 
Warm tides flow northward over valley and field, 
When half-forgotten sound and scent are wooing 
From their deep-chambered recesses long sealed 
Such memories as breathe once more 
Of childhood and the happy hues it wore, 
Now, with a fervor that has never been 
In years gone by, it stirs...Read More

by Trumbull, John
Produced you demonstration ample,
From others' and their own example,
That self is still, in either faction,
The only principle of action;
The loadstone, whose attracting tether
Keeps the politic world together:
And spite of all your double dealing,
We all are sure 'tis so, from feeling.

"Who heeds your babbling of transmitting
Freedom to brats of your begetting,
Or will proceed, as tho' there were a tie,
And obligation to posterity?
We get them, bear them, breed and ...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...ent passion.

Only analysis with its symmetries and asymmetries

Exactness and paradox, scientific as Heisenberg's

Principle of Uncertainty, yet various as the shades of Monet,

Eases me.

I think of those I have known and know no longer,

Who have died needlessly, disappeared irrevocably

Or changed beyond recognition.

I think of the bridge, river and streets

Of my Montmartre, gone under and made over

Into the grey utilities of trade, the empty road,

Sad as ...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...e an idea of the minstrelsy of one so unrivalled, 
by as truthful an interpretation of it as lies in my power.

The principles which have guided me on the present occasion are 
the same as those followed in the translation of Schiller's complete 
Poems that was published by me in 1851, namely, as literal a rendering 
of the original as is consistent with good English, and also a very 
strict adherence to the metre of the original. Although translators 
usually allow t...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl another nickel’s worth.
Newsboys shooting craps in a back alley have a fugitive understanding of the scientific principle involved.
The jockey in a yellow satin shirt and scarlet boots, riding a sorrel pony at the county fair, has a grasp of the theory.
It is the same as why boys go running lickety-split
away from a school-room geography lesson
in April when the crawfishes come out
and the young frogs are calling
and the pussywillows and the cat-tails
know som...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...and the will,
Which torture where they cannot kill;
And the inexorable Heaven,
And the deaf tyranny of Fate,
The ruling principle of Hate,
Which for its pleasure doth create
The things it may annihilate,
Refus'd thee even the boon to die:
The wretched gift Eternity
Was thine--and thou hast borne it well.
All that the Thunderer wrung from thee
Was but the menace which flung back
On him the torments of thy rack;
The fate thou didst so well foresee,
But would not to appease ...Read More

by Dryden, John few, whose lamp shone brighter, have been led
From cause to cause, to Nature's secret head;
And found that one first principle must be:
But what, or who, that Universal He;
Whether some soul incompassing this ball
Unmade, unmov'd; yet making, moving all;
Or various atoms' interfering dance
Leapt into form (the noble work of chance;)
Or this great all was from eternity;
Not even the Stagirite himself could see;
And Epicurus guess'd as well as he:
As blindly grop'd they for ...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...are out of the game,
Which doesn't exist until they are out of it.
It seems like a very hostile universe
But as the principle of each individual thing is
Hostile to, exists at the expense of all the others
As philosophers have often pointed out, at least
This thing, the mute, undivided present,
Has the justification of logic, which
In this instance isn't a bad thing
Or wouldn't be, if the way of telling
Didn't somehow intrude, twisting the end result
Into a caricature of ...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...dn't have believed those ends enough 
To have given outright for them all she gave. 
Her giving somehow touched the principle 
That all men are created free and equal. 
And to hear her quaint phrases--so removed 
From the world's view to-day of all those things. 
That's a hard mystery of Jefferson's. 
What did he mean? Of course the easy way 
Is to decide it simply isn't true. 
It may not be. I heard a fellow say so. 
But never mind, the Welshman g...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...down upon the fragments, only beholds the reflection multiplied. 

(7) Carasman Oglou, or Kara Osman Oglou, is the principle landholder in Turkey; he governs Magnesia. Those who, by a kind of feudal tenure, possess land on condition of service, are called Timariots; they serve as Spahis, according to the extent of territory, and bring a certain number into the field, generally cavalry. 

(8) When a Pacha is sufficiently strong to resist, the single messenger, who...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
...bask within his images and words? 
322 If these rude instances impeach themselves 
323 By force of rudeness, let the principle 
324 Be plain. For application Crispin strove, 
325 Abhorring Turk as Esquimau, the lute 
326 As the marimba, the magnolia as rose. 

327 Upon these premises propounding, he 
328 Projected a colony that should extend 
329 To the dusk of a whistling south below the south. 
330 A comprehensive island hemisphere. 
331 The man ...Read More

by Turner Smith, Charlotte
...s harpy fangs
Pollute the immortal shrine of Liberty,
Dismay her votaries, and disgrace her name.
Respect is due to principle; and they,
Who suffer for their conscience, have a claim,
Whate'er that principle may be, to praise.
These ill-starr'd Exiles then, who, bound by ties,
To them the bonds of honour; who resign'd
Their country to preserve them, and now seek
In England an asylum--well deserve
To find that (every prejudice forgot,
Which pride and ignorance teaches)...Read More

by Kunitz, Stanley
...I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a trib...Read More

by Blake, William

All Bibles or sacred codes. have been the causes of the
following Errors.

That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a
That Energy. calld Evil. is alone from the Body. & that
Reason. calld Good. is alone from the Soul.
That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his

But the following Contraries to these are True

Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is
a portion of Soul ...Read More

by Dryden, John
Whoring to scandal gives too large a scope; 
Saints must not trade, but they may interlope. 
The ungodly principle was all the same; 
But a gross cheat betrays his partners' game. 
Besides, their pace was formal, grave, and slack; 
His nimble wit outran the heavy pack. 
Yet still he found hs fortune at a stay, 
Whole droves of blockheads choking up his way; 
They took, but not rewarded, his advice; 
Villain and wit exact a double price. 
Power was h...Read More

by Browning, Robert
Venture as warily, use the same skill, 
Do your best, whether winning or losing it, 

If you choose to play! -- is my principle. 
Let a man contend to the uttermost 
For his life's set prize, be it what it will! 

The counter our lovers staked was lost 
As surely as if it were lawful coin: 
And the sin I impute to each frustrate ghost 

Is -- the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin, 
Though the end in sight was a vice, I say. 
You of the virtue (we issue join) 
How striv...Read More

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