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Famous Sepulchral Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...wasting blaze of ev'ry baser fire. 
The fire of Vesta, an eternal fire, 
So falsely call'd and kept alive at Rome; 
Sepulchral lamp in burial place of kings, 
Burn'd unconsum'd for many ages down; 
But yet not Vesta's fire eternal call'd 
And kept alive at Rome, nor burning lamp 
Hid in sepulchral monument of kings, 
Shall bear an equal date with that true light, 
Which shone from earth to heav'n, and which shall shine 
Up through eternity, and be the light 
Of heav'n, th...Read More

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...And while the morning sky serene
Spread o'er the hill a yellow hue,
I heard thy sad and plaintive moan,
Beside the cold sepulchral stone.


And when the summer noontide hours
With scorching rays the landscape spread,
I mark'd thee, weaving fragrant flow'rs
To deck thy mother's silent bed!
Nor, at the church-yard's simple stone,
Wert, thou, poor Urchin, left alone.


I follow'd thee, along the dale
And up the woodland's shad'wy way:
I heard thee ...Read More

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...le's nail-pierced hands,
They hide the people's nail-pierced feet;
And what man or what angel known
Shall roll back the sepulchral stone?

But these have not the rich man's grave
To sleep in when their pain is done.
These were not fit for God to save.
As naked hell-fire is the sun
In their eyes living, and when dead
These have not where to lay their head.

They have no tomb to dig, and hide;
Earth is not theirs, that they should sleep.
On all these tombless cr...Read More

by Keats, John
...andering about in pine and cedar gloom
Damp awe assail'd me; for there 'gan to boom
A sound of moan, an agony of sound,
Sepulchral from the distance all around.
Then came a conquering earth-thunder, and rumbled
That fierce complain to silence: while I stumbled
Down a precipitous path, as if impell'd.
I came to a dark valley.--Groanings swell'd
Poisonous about my ears, and louder grew,
The nearer I approach'd a flame's gaunt blue,
That glar'd before me through a th...Read More

by Hugo, Victor hear. 
 But the great hall of generations dead 
 Has something more sepulchral and more dread 
 Than lurid glare from seven-branched chandelier 
 Or table lone with stately daïs near— 
 Two rows of arches o'er a colonnade 
 With knights on horseback all in mail arrayed, 
 Each one disposed with pillar at his back 
 And to another vis-à-vis. Nor lack 
 The fittings all complete; in each right hand 
 A lance is seen; t...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas
...though he no more survey
Thy ships at anchor on the quiet shore,
Thy pelloch's rolling from the mountain bay,
Thy lone sepulchral cairn upon the moor,
And distant isles that hear the loud Corbrechtan roar!

Alas! poor Caledonia's mountaineer,
That wants stern edict e'er, and feudal grief,
Had forced him from a home he loved so dear!
Yet found he here a home and glad relief,
And plied the beverage from his own fair sheaf,
That fired his Highland blood with mickle glee:
And En...Read More

by Parker, Dorothy
...aveyard panoply;
But, trembling, slip from cool Eternity-
A mild and most bewildered little shade.
I shall not make sepulchral midnight raid,
But softly come where I had longed to be
In April twilight's unsung melody,
And I, not you, shall be the one afraid.

Strange, that from lovely dreamings of the dead
I shall come back to you, who hurt me most.
You may not feel my hand upon your head,
I'll be so new and inexpert a ghost.
Perhaps you will not know that I a...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
Straight to the open rollway. Down we went,
Out of the fiery sunshine to the gloom, 
Grateful and half sepulchral, where we found 
The barrels, like eight potent sentinels, 
Close ranged along the wall. From one of them 
A bright pine spile stuck out alluringly,
And on the black flat stone, just under it, 
Glimmered a late-spilled proof that Archibald 
Had spoken from unfeigned experience. 
There was a fluted antique water-glass 
Close by, and in it, ...Read More

by Keats, John
...ulous shake,
As in a palsied Druid's harp unstrung;
And through it moan'd a ghostly under-song,
Like hoarse night-gusts sepulchral briars among.

Its eyes, though wild, were still all dewy bright
With love, and kept all phantom fear aloof
From the poor girl by magic of their light,
The while it did unthread the horrid woof
Of the late darken'd time,--the murderous spite
Of pride and avarice,--the dark pine roof
In the forest,--and the sodden turfed dell,
Where...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne
under the milkman's tramp; that morning light
so coldly would delineate the scraps
of last night's cheese and three sepulchral bottles;
that on the kitchen shelf amoong the saucers
a pair of beetle-eyes would fix her own--
envoy from some village in the moldings...
Meanwhile, he, with a yawn,
sounded a dozen notes upon the keyboard,
declared it out of tune, shrugged at the mirror,
rubbed at his beard, went out for cigarettes;
while she, jeered by the minor dem...Read More

by Cowper, William
...t song.

Who then but must conceive disdain,
Hearing the deed unblest,
Of wretches who have dared profane
His dread sepulchral rest?

Ill fare the hands that heaved the stones
Where Milton's ashes lay,
That trembled not to grasp his bones
And steal his dust away!

O ill-requited bard! neglect
Thy living worth repaid,
And blind idolatrous respect
As much affronts thee dead....Read More

by Southey, Robert
...o' Margaret's blood,
Her heart it paus'd with fear,
When Rudiger approach'd the cave
And cried, "lo I am here!"

A deep sepulchral sound the cave
Return'd "lo I am here!"
And black from out the cavern gloom
Two giant arms appear.

And Rudiger approach'd and held
The little infant nigh;
Then Margaret shriek'd, and gather'd then
New powers from agony.

And round the baby fast and firm
Her trembling arms she folds,
And with a strong convulsive grasp
The little infant hol...Read More

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
...I lift my heavy heart up solemnly,
As once Electra her sepulchral urn,
And, looking in thine eyes, I overturn
The ashes at thy feet. Behold and see
What a great heap of grief lay hid in me,
And how the red wild sparkles dimly burn
Through the ashen grayness. If thy foot in scorn
Could tread them out to darkness utterly,
It might be well perhaps. But if instead
Thou wait beside me for the wind to blow...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
...he psaltery, 
335 But on the banjo's categorical gut, 
336 Tuck tuck, while the flamingos flapped his bays. 
337 Sepulchral se?ors, bibbing pale mescal, 
338 Oblivious to the Aztec almanacs, 
339 Should make the intricate Sierra scan. 
340 And dark Brazilians in their caf¨¦s, 
341 Musing immaculate, pampean dits, 
342 Should scrawl a vigilant anthology, 
343 To be their latest, lucent paramour. 
344 These are the broadest instances. Crispin, 
345 Pr...Read More

by Donne, John
...advance their state 15 
Were gone out¡ªhung 'twixt her and me. 

And whilst our souls negotiate there  
We like sepulchral statues lay; 
All day the same our postures were  
And we said nothing all the day. 20 ...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...e southwind's breath,
While underneath these leafy tents they keep
The long, mysterious Exodus of Death.

And these sepulchral stones, so old and brown,
That pave with level flags their burial-place,
Seem like the tablets of the Law, thrown down
And broken by Moses at the mountain's base.

The very names recorded here are strange,
Of foreign accent, and of different climes;
Alvares and Rivera interchange
With Abraham and Jacob of old times.

"Blessed be God! for h...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter woke,
     While his anathema he spoke:—

     'Woe to the clansman who shall view
     This symbol of sepulchral yew,
     Forgetful that its branches grew
     Where weep the heavens their holiest dew
          On Alpine's dwelling low!
     Deserter of his Chieftain's trust,
     He ne'er shall mingle with their dust,
     But, from his sires and kindred thrust,
     Each clansman's execration just
          Shall doom him wrath and woe.'
     He ...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas
...grief that man shall taste-- 
Go, tell the night that hides thy face, 
Thou saw'st the last of Adam's race, 
On Earth's sepulchral clod, 
The darkening universe defy 
To quench his Immortality, 
Or shake his trust in God!"...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...fusion — 
Bought also; and the torches, cloaks, and banners, 
Heralds, and relics of old Gothic manners, 


Form'd a sepulchral melo-drame. Of all 
The fools who flack's to swell or see the show, 
Who cared about the corpse? The funeral 
Made the attraction, and the black the woe. 
There throbbed not there a thought which pierced the pall; 
And when the gorgeous coffin was laid low, 
It seamed the mockery of hell to fold 
The rottenness of eighty years in gold....Read More

by Southey, Robert
...mountain's height
Roll'st down thy clouds with all their weight
Of waters to old Niles majestic tide;
Or o'er the dark sepulchral plain
Recallest thy Palmyra's ancient pride,
Amid whose desolated domes
Secure the savage chacal roams,
Where from the fragments of the hallow'd fane
The Arabs rear their miserable homes!

Hear Genius hear thy children's cry!
Not always should'st thou love to brood
Stern o'er the desert solitude
Where seas of sand toss their hot surges high;
Nor G...Read More

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