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Famous Sea Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
...e, obesity, allegiance, to them that like! 
I am he who tauntingly compels men, women, nations, 
Crying, Leap from your seats, and contend for your lives! 

I am he who walks the States with a barb’d tongue, questioning every one I meet;
Who are you, that wanted only to be told what you knew before? 
Who are you, that wanted only a book to join you in your nonsense? 

(With pangs and cries, as thine own, O bearer of many children! 
These clamors wild, to a race of pride I giv...Read More



by Dickinson, Emily
...ry!

Futile—the Winds—
To a heart in port—
Done with the Compass—
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden—
Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor—Tonight—
In Thee!

253

You see I cannot see—your lifetime—
I must guess—
How many times it ache for me—today—Confess—
How many times for my far sake
The brave eyes film—
But I guess guessing hurts—
Mine—get so dim!

Too vague—the face—
My own—so patient—covers—
Too far—the strength—
My timidness enfolds—
Haunting the ...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...s 
 here O victory forget your underwear we're 
 free 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea- 
 journey on the highway across America in tears 
 to the door of my cottage in the Western night 

 San Francisco 1955-56...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...back his neck,
And hoots to see the moon; across the meads
Limps the poor frightened hare, a little speck;
And a stray seamew with its fretful cry
Flits like a sudden drift of snow against the dull grey sky.

Full winter: and the lusty goodman brings
His load of faggots from the chilly byre,
And stamps his feet upon the hearth, and flings
The sappy billets on the waning fire,
And laughs to see the sudden lightening scare
His children at their play, and yet, - the spring ...Read More

by Keats, John
...air might be outspread
A soft and silken mat for Saturn's feet.
One moon, with alteration slow, had shed
Her silver seasons four upon the night,
And still these two were postured motionless,
Like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern;
The frozen God still couchant on the earth,
And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet:
Until at length old Saturn lifted up
His faded eyes, and saw his kingdom gone,
And all the gloom and sorrow ofthe place,
And that fair kneeling Goddess; and...Read More



by Alighieri, Dante
...I know not. This I know. 
 When gained my feet the upward, lighted way, 
 I backward gazed, as one the drowning sea, 
 The deep strong tides, has baffled, and panting lies, 
 On the shelved shore, and turns his eyes to see 
 The league-wide wastes that held him. So mine eyes 
 Surveyed that fear, the while my wearied frame 
 Rested, and ever my heart's tossed lake became 
 More quiet. 
 Then from that pass released, which yet 
 With living feet had no man left...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...bsp; Thou art thy mother's only joy;  And do not dread the waves below,  When o'er the sea-rock's edge we go;  The high crag cannot work me harm,  Nor leaping torrents when they howl;  The babe I carry on my arm,  He saves for me my precious soul;  Then happy lie, for blest am I;  Without me my sweet babe would die.   Then do not fear, my b...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...nd all through the forenoon. 

O the horseman’s and horsewoman’s joys! 
The saddle—the gallop—the pressure upon the seat—the cool gurgling by the
 ears
 and hair. 

3
O the fireman’s joys! 
I hear the alarm at dead of night,
I hear bells—shouts!—I pass the crowd—I run! 
The sight of the flames maddens me with pleasure. 

O the joy of the strong-brawn’d fighter, towering in the arena, in perfect condition,
 conscious of power, thirsting to meet his opponent. 

...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ng of blood
 and air through my lungs;
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore, and
 dark-color’d sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn; 
The sound of the belch’d words of my voice, words loos’d to the eddies
 of the wind; 
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms; 
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag; 
The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and
 hill-sides;
The feeling ...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...good king on an island
That ruled once on a time;
And as he walked by an apple tree
There came green devils out of the sea
With sea-plants trailing heavily
And tracks of opal slime.

Yet Alfred is no fairy tale;
His days as our days ran,
He also looked forth for an hour
On peopled plains and skies that lower,
From those few windows in the tower
That is the head of a man.

But who shall look from Alfred's hood
Or breathe his breath alive?
His century like a small dark...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...a gentle hill,
Green and of mild declivity, the last
As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such,
Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
But a most living landscape, and the wave
Of woods and corn-fields, and the abodes of men
Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke
Arising from such rustic roofs: the hill
Was crowned with a peculiar diadem
Of trees, in circular array, so fixed,
Not by the sport of nature, but of man:
These two, a maiden and a youth, were there
Gazin...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...f my kingly heart at ease,
My thought swims like a ship, that with the weight
Of her rich burden sleeps on the infinite seas
Becalm'd, and cannot stir her golden freight. 

6
While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry
And blackening east that so embitters March,
Well-housed must watch grey fields and meadows parch,
And driven dust and withering snowflake fly;
Already in glimpses of the tarnish'd sky
The sun is warm and beckons to the larch,
And where the covert hazels...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...Dedication

Inscribed to a dear Child:
in memory of golden summer hours
and whispers of a summer sea.


Girt with a boyish garb for boyish task,
 Eager she wields her spade; yet loves as well
Rest on a friendly knee, intent to ask
 The tale he loves to tell.

Rude spirits of the seething outer strife,
 Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright,
Deem, if you list, such hours a waste of life,
 Empty of all delight!

Chat on, sweet Maid, and rescu...Read More

by Blake, William
...s of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.

The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the
stormy sea, and the destructive sword. are portions of
eternity too great for the eye of man.

The fox condemns the trap, not himself.

Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth.

Let man wear the fell of the lion. woman the fleece of the sheep.

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.

The selfish smiling fool. & the sulle...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...The First Voice 


HE trilled a carol fresh and free,
He laughed aloud for very glee:
There came a breeze from off the sea: 

It passed athwart the glooming flat -
It fanned his forehead as he sat -
It lightly bore away his hat, 

All to the feet of one who stood
Like maid enchanted in a wood,
Frowning as darkly as she could. 

With huge umbrella, lank and brown,
Unerringly she pinned it down,
Right through the centre of the crown. 

Then, with an aspect cold and gri...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...
Raging around; such seemed the jubilee
As when to greet some conqueror's advance
Imperial Rome poured forth her living sea
From senatehouse & prison & theatre
When Freedom left those who upon the free
Had bound a yoke which soon they stooped to bear.
Nor wanted here the true similitude
Of a triumphal pageant, for where'er
The chariot rolled a captive multitude
Was driven; althose who had grown old in power
Or misery,--all who have their age subdued,
By action or by suffe...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...e the Gallic era 'eight-eight' 
The devils had ta'en a longer, stronger pull, 
And 'a pull altogether,' as they say 
At sea — which drew most souls another way. 

II 

The angels all were singing out of tune, 
And hoarse with having little else to do, 
Excepting to wind up the sun and moon, 
Or curb a runaway young star or two, 
Or wild colt of a comet, which too soon 
Broke out of bounds o'er th' ethereal blue, 
Splitting some planet with its playful tail, 
As boats are ...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...e prolonged candle-flames,
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
In which sad light a carved dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale 
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she ...Read More

by Walker, Alice
...ld
there is a chain, you know,
and if your chain
is gold
so much the worse
for you.


Feathers, shells
and sea-shaped stones
are all as rare.


This could be our revolution:
to love what is plentiful
as much as
what's scarce. ...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...dawn
And here triumphant lives the sun's last ray.
And frequently into my room's window
The winds from northern seas begin to blow
And pigeon from my palms eats wheat..
The pages that I did not complete
Divinely light she is and calm,
Will finish Muse's suntanned arm.



x x x

Just like a cold noreaster
At first she'll sting,
And then a single salty tear
The heart will wring.

The evil heart will pity
Something and then regret.
...Read More

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