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Famous Sanctuary Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Du Bois, W. E. B.
...athed groves,
The Buddha walks with Christ!
And Al-Koran and Bible both be holy!
Almighty Word!
In this Thine awful sanctuary,
First and flame-haunted City of the Widened World,
Assoil us, Lord of Lands and Seas!
We are but weak and wayward men,
Distraught alike with hatred and vainglory;
Prone to despise the Soul that breathes within—
High visioned hordes that lie and steal and kill,
Sinning the sin each separate heart disclaims,
Clambering upon our riven, writhi...Read More

by Du Bois, W. E. B.
...ful days--
  _Hear us, good Lord!_

Listen to us, Thy children: our faces dark with doubt are made a mockery
in Thy sanctuary. With uplifted hands we front Thy heaven, O God, crying:
  _We beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord!_...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
Such magic as compels the charmèd night
To render up thy charge; and, though ne'er yet
Thou hast unveiled thy inmost sanctuary,
Enough from incommunicable dream,
And twilight phantasms, and deep noonday thought, 
Has shone within me, that serenely now
And moveless, as a long-forgotten lyre
Suspended in the solitary dome
Of some mysterious and deserted fane,
I wait thy breath, Great Parent, that my strain
May modulate with murmurs of the air,
And motions of the forests and ...Read More

by Keats, John, will see unpack'd
Fire-branded foxes to sear up and singe
Our gold and ripe-ear'd hopes. With not one tinge
Of sanctuary splendour, not a sight
Able to face an owl's, they still are dight
By the blear-eyed nations in empurpled vests,
And crowns, and turbans. With unladen breasts,
Save of blown self-applause, they proudly mount
To their spirit's perch, their being's high account,
Their tiptop nothings, their dull skies, their thrones--
Amid the fierce intoxicating...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
Water and fire deride
The sacrifice that we denied.
Water and fire shall rot
The marred foundations we forgot,
Of sanctuary and choir.
 This is the death of water and fire.

In the uncertain hour before the morning
 Near the ending of interminable night
 At the recurrent end of the unending
After the dark dove with the flickering tongue
 Had passed below the horizon of his homing
 While the dead leaves still rattled on like tin
Over the asphalt where no other so...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Mine is the shame, for I was wife, and thou 
Unwedded: yet rise now, and let us fly, 
For I will draw me into sanctuary, 
And bide my doom.' So Lancelot got her horse, 
Set her thereon, and mounted on his own, 
And then they rode to the divided way, 
There kissed, and parted weeping: for he past, 
Love-loyal to the least wish of the Queen, 
Back to his land; but she to Almesbury 
Fled all night long by glimmering waste and weald, 
And heard the Spirits of the wa...Read More

by Raine, Kathleen
...the purifier?

Our forests are felled,
our mountains eroded,
the wild places
where the beautiful animals
found food and sanctuary
we have desolated,
a third of our seas,
a third of our rivers
we have polluted
and the sea-creatures dying.
Our civilization’s
blind progress
in wrong courses
through wrong choices
has brought us to nightmare
where what seems,
is, to the dreamer,
the collective mind
of the twentieth century —
this world of wonders
not divine creation
but a big ...Read More

by Keats, John
...nd birds, and bees, 
The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull'd to sleep; 
And in the midst of this wide quietness 
A rosy sanctuary will I dress 
With the wreath'd trellis of a working brain, 60 
With buds, and bells, and stars without a name, 
With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign, 
Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same; 
And there shall be for thee all soft delight 
That shadowy thought can win, 65 
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night, 
To let...Read More

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
...y neither love nor know,
A goddess of gone days,
Departed long ago,
Abandoning the invaded shrines and fanes
Of her old sanctuary,
A deity obscure and legendary,
Of whom there now remains,
For sages to decipher and priests to garble,
Only and for a little while her letters wedged in marble,
Which even now, behold, the friendly mumbling rain erases,
And the inarticulate snow,
Leaving at last of her least signs and traces
None whatsoever, nor whither she is vanished from these ...Read More

by Gregory, Rg
...they say in the local sanctuary
owls are the stupidest creatures
all this wisdom business is
the mythological media at work
but the shortest nosing into books
tells you even the mythic world
is bamboozled by the creature - no
two cultures being able to agree

the bird was cherished by minerva
hebrews loathed it as unclean
buddhists treasure its seclusion
elsewhere night-hag evil ...Read More

by Milton, John
...ns round, and durst abide 
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned 
Between the Cherubim; yea, often placed 
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines, 
Abominations; and with cursed things 
His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned, 
And with their darkness durst affront his light. 
First, Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with blood 
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears; 
Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud, 
Their children's cries unheard that passed throug...Read More

by Milton, John
...rd draw 
With speed what force is left, and all employ 
In our defence; lest unawares we lose 
This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill. 
To whom the Son with calm aspect and clear, 
Lightning divine, ineffable, serene, 
Made answer. Mighty Father, thou thy foes 
Justly hast in derision, and, secure, 
Laughest at their vain designs and tumults vain, 
Matter to me of glory, whom their hate 
Illustrates, when they see all regal power 
Given me to quell their pride, ...Read More

by Milton, John
...nd now all Heaven 
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread; 
Had not the Almighty Father, where he sits 
Shrined in his sanctuary of Heaven secure, 
Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen 
This tumult, and permitted all, advised: 
That his great purpose he might so fulfil, 
To honour his anointed Son avenged 
Upon his enemies, and to declare 
All power on him transferred: Whence to his Son, 
The Assessour of his throne, he thus began. 
Effulgence of my glory, Son belov...Read More

by Milton, John
...l, that he vouchsafes 
Among them to set up his tabernacle; 
The Holy One with mortal Men to dwell: 
By his prescript a sanctuary is framed 
Of cedar, overlaid with gold; therein 
An ark, and in the ark his testimony, 
The records of his covenant; over these 
A mercy-seat of gold, between the wings 
Of two bright Cherubim; before him burn 
Seven lamps as in a zodiack representing 
The heavenly fires; over the tent a cloud 
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night; 
Save when...Read More

by Juana Inés de la Cruz, Sor
...the risk of your fire was plain!

    Forgive me if, thus emboldened,
I made bold with that sacred fire:
there's no sanctuary secure
when thought's transgressions conspire.

    Thus it was I kept indulging
these foolhardy hopes of mine,
enjoying within myself
a happiness sublime.

    But now, at your solemn bidding,
this silence I herewith suspend,
for your summons unlocks in me
a respect no time can end.

    And, although loving your beauty
is a crime be...Read More

by Eliot, George
...n of the world, 
Laboriously tracing what must be, 
And what may yet be better, -- saw within 
A worthier image for the sanctuary, 
And shaped it forth before the multitude, 
Divinely human, raising worship so 
To higher reverence more mixed with love, -- 
That better self shall live till human Time 
Shall fold its eyelids, and the human sky 
Be gathered like a scroll within the tomb 
Unread forever. This is life to come, -- 
Which martyred men have made more glorious 
Fo...Read More

by Jeffers, Robinson lie hidden; here they have 
 water for the awful thirst
And peace to die in; dense green laurel and grim cliff

Make sanctuary, and a sweet wind blows upward from the deep gorge.--I 
 wish my bones were with theirs.
But that's a foolish thing to confess, and a little cowardly. We know that life
Is on the whole quite equally good and bad, mostly gray neutral, and can 
 be endured
To the dim end, no matter what magic of grass, water and precipice, and 
 pain of w...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...shall strike from star to star, the fangs 
Shall move the stony bases of the world. 

'And now, O maids, behold our sanctuary 
Is violate, our laws broken: fear we not 
To break them more in their behoof, whose arms 
Championed our cause and won it with a day 
Blanched in our annals, and perpetual feast, 
When dames and heroines of the golden year 
Shall strip a hundred hollows bare of Spring, 
To rain an April of ovation round 
Their statues, borne aloft, the three: but ...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...So was their sanctuary violated, 
So their fair college turned to hospital; 
At first with all confusion: by and by 
Sweet order lived again with other laws: 
A kindlier influence reigned; and everywhere 
Low voices with the ministering hand 
Hung round the sick: the maidens came, they talked, 
They sang, they read: till she not fair began 
To gather light, and she that ...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
How Salmons trespassing are found;
And Pikes are taken in the Pound.

But I, retiring from the Flood,
Take Sanctuary in the Wood;
And, while it lasts, my self imbark
In this yet green, yet growing Ark;
Where the first Carpenter might best
Fit Timber for his Keel have Prest.
And where all Creatures might have shares,
Although in Armies, not in Paires.

The double Wood of ancient Stocks
Link'd in so thick, an Union locks,
It like two Pedigrees appears,
On o...Read More

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