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Famous Raven Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...fuse the light in this late dreary land, 
In whose lone wastes and solitudes forlorn, 
Death long sat brooding with his raven wing. 
Who many 'a structure of great fame have rais'd, 
College, and school, upon th' Atlantic coast, 
Or inland town, through ev'ry province wide, 
Which rising up like pyramids of fire, 
Give light and glory to the western world. 

These men we honour, and their names shall last 
Sweet in the mouths and memory of men; 
Or if vain man uncons...Read More

by Smart, Christopher
...e spring, 
 That live in peace or prey; 
They that make music, or that mock, 
The quail, the brave domestic cock, 
 The raven, swan, and jay. 

Of fishes—ev'ry size and shape, 
Which nature frames of light escape, 
 Devouring man to shun: 
The shells are in the wealthy deep, 
The shoals upon the surface leap, 
 And love the glancing sun. 

Of beasts—the beaver plods his task, 
While the sleek tigers roll and bask, 
 Nor yet the shades arouse: 
Her cave th...Read More

by Milton, John
How sweetly did they float upon the wings
Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night,
At every fall smoothing the raven down
Of darkness till it smiled! I have oft heard
My mother Circe with the Sirens three,
Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades,
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs,
Who, as they sung, would take the prisoned soul,
And lap it in Elysium: Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause.
Yet they...Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...of a dirge-like song.
In one great circle dizzily they swing, 
A squaw and chief alternate in the ring.
Coarse raven locks stream over robes of white, 
Their deep set orbs emit a lurid light, 
And as through pine trees moan the winds refrains, 
So swells and dies away, the ghostly graveyard strains.

Like worded wine is music to the ear, 
And long indulged makes mad the hearts that hear. 
The dancers, drunken with the monotone
Of oft repeated notes...Read More

by Keats, John
...ead in a mantle pale,
With an eye-guess towards some pleasant vale
Descry a favourite hamlet faint and far.

 These raven horses, though they foster'd are
Of earth's splenetic fire, dully drop
Their full-veined ears, nostrils blood wide, and stop;
Upon the spiritless mist have they outspread
Their ample feathers, are in slumber dead,--
And on those pinions, level in mid air,
Endymion sleepeth and the lady fair.
Slowly they sail, slowly as icy isle
Upon a calm sea drif...Read More

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...storm the sea.

As men's cheeks faded
On shores invaded,
When shorewards waded
The lords of fight;
When churl and craven
Saw hard on haven
The wide-winged raven
At mainmast height;
When monks affrighted
To windward sighted
The birds full-flighted
Of swift sea-kings;
So earth turns paler
When Storm the sailor
Steers in with a roar in the race of his wings.

O strong sea-sailor,
Whose cheek turns paler
For wind or hail or
For fear of thee?
O far sea-farer,
O thunder-be...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
And in herself she moaned `Too late, too late!' 
Till in the cold wind that foreruns the morn, 
A blot in heaven, the Raven, flying high, 
Croaked, and she thought, `He spies a field of death; 
For now the Heathen of the Northern Sea, 
Lured by the crimes and frailties of the court, 
Begin to slay the folk, and spoil the land.' 

And when she came to Almesbury she spake 
There to the nuns, and said, `Mine enemies 
Pursue me, but, O peaceful Sisterhood, 
Receive, and yie...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
Roll down like earth to earth upon the plain; 
He did not dash himself thereby, nor tear 
The glossy tendrils of his raven hair, 
But strove to stand and gaze, but reel'd and fell, 
Scarce breathing more than that he loved so well. 
Than that /he/ lov'd! Oh! never yet beneath 
The breast of man such trusty love may breathe! 
That trying moment hath at once reveal'd 
The secret long and yet but half conceal'd; 
In baring to revive that lifeless breast, 
Its grief seem'd...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
...ry dye.

At length it comes along the forest oaks,
With sobbing ebbs, and uproar gathering high;
The scared, hoarse raven on its cradle croaks,
And stockdove-flocks in hurried terrors fly,
While the blue hawk hangs o'er them in the sky.—
The hedger hastens from the storm begun,
To seek a shelter that may keep him dry;
And foresters low bent, the wind to shun,
Scarce hear amid the strife the poacher's muttering gun.

The ploughman hears its humming rage begin,
And ...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas
...faded form:- 
Till light's returning lord assume 
The shaft the drives him to his polar field, 
Of power to pierce his raven plume 
And crystal-covered shield. 
Oh, sire of storms! whose savage ear 
The Lapland drum delights to hear, 
When frenzy with her blood-shot eye 
Implores thy dreadful deity, 
Archangel! power of desolation! 
Fast descending as thou art, 
Say, hath mortal invocation 
Spells to touch thy stony heart? 
Then, sullen Winter, hear my prayer, 
And gentl...Read More

by Milton, John
Into fit moulds prepared; from which he formed 
First his own tools; then, what might else be wrought 
Fusil or graven in metal. After these, 
But on the hither side, a different sort 
From the high neighbouring hills, which was their seat, 
Down to the plain descended; by their guise 
Just men they seemed, and all their study bent 
To worship God aright, and know his works 
Not hid; nor those things last, which might preserve 
Freedom and peace to Men; they on the...Read More

by Spenser, Edmund
The earth out of her massy womb forth sent 
That antique horror, which made heaven adread. 
Then was the German raven in disguise 
That Roman eagle seen to cleave asunder, 
And towards heaven freshly to arise 
Out of these mountains, not consum'd to powder. 
In which the fowl that serves to bear the lightning, 
Is now no more seen flying, nor alighting. 


These heaps of stones, these old walls which ye see, 
Were first enclosures but of savage soil; 
And...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) denies. 

One shade the more, one ray the less, 
Had half impaired the nameless grace 
Which waves in every raven tress, 
Or softly lightens o'er her face; 
Where thoughts serenely sweet express, 
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. 

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, 
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, 
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 
But tell of days in goodness spent, 
A mind at peace with all below, 
A heart whose love is innoce...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...on the left: `Brother, -- with you?'
-- `Nay, not with me, save thou subscribe and swear
`Religion hath black eyes and raven hair:'
Nought else is true.'

"Debarred of banquets that my heart could make
With every man on every day of life,
I homeward turn, my fires of pain to slake
In deep endearments of a worshipped wife.
`I love thee well, dear Love,' quoth she, `and yet
Would that thy creed with mine completely met,
As one, not two.'

"Assassin! Thief! Opinion,...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...with shrill halloo and pricking spear.

Lie still, lie still, O passionate heart, lie still!
O Melancholy, fold thy raven wing!
O sobbing Dryad, from thy hollow hill
Come not with such despondent answering!
No more thou winged Marsyas complain,
Apollo loveth not to hear such troubled songs of pain!

It was a dream, the glade is tenantless,
No soft Ionian laughter moves the air,
The Thames creeps on in sluggish leadenness,
And from the copse left desolate and bare
Fled is ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...Was Freedom;s home or Glory's grave!
Shrine of the mighty! can it be,
That this is all remains of thee?
Approach, thou craven crouching slave:
Say, is this not Thermopyl??
These waters blue that round you lave,--
Of servile offspring of the free--
Pronounce what sea, what shore is this?
The gulf, the rock of Salamis!
These scenes, their story yet unknown;
Arise, and make again your own;
Snatch from the ashes of your Sires
The embers of their former fires;
And he who in the st...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...ood amid
     Such wild luxuriant ringlets hid,
     Whose glossy black to shame might bring
     The plumage of the raven's wing;
     And seldom o'er a breast so fair
     Mantled a plaid with modest care,
     And never brooch the folds combined
     Above a heart more good and kind.
     Her kindness and her worth to spy,
     You need but gaze on Ellen's eye;
      Not Katrine in her mirror blue
     Gives back the shaggy banks more true,
     Than every free...Read More

by Blake, William
...the dens of night,

Empire is no more! and now the lion & wolf shall cease.


Let the Priests of the Raven of dawn, no longer in deadly
black, with hoarse note curse the sons of joy. Nor his accepted
brethren whom, tyrant, he calls free; lay the bound or build the
roof. Nor pale religious letchery call that virginity, that
wishes but acts not!

For every thing that lives is Holy...Read More

by Warton, Thomas
...r ample arch
As on I pace, religious horror wraps
My soul in dread repose. But when the world
Is clad in Midnight's raven-colour'd robe,
'Mid hollow charnel let me watch the flame
Of taper dim, shedding a livid glare
O'er the wan heaps; while airy voices talk
Along the glimm'ring walls; or ghostly shape
At distance seen, invites with beck'ning hand
My lonesome steps, thro' the far-winding vaults.
Nor undelightful is the solemn noon
Of night, when haply wakeful from my...Read More

by Poe, Edgar Allan
...nothing more." 

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, 
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. 
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; 
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door, 40 
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door: 
Perched, and sat, and nothing more. 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling 
By the grave and s...Read More

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