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Famous Setting Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Yeats, William Butler
...n thoughts rise up unbid
On generous things that he did
And I grow half contented to be blind!

He had much industry at setting out,
Much boisterous courage, before loneliness
Had driven him crazed;
For meditations upon unknown thought
Make human intercourse grow less and less;
They are neither paid nor praised.
but he d object to the host,
The glass because my glass;
A ghost-lover he was
And may have grown more arrogant being a ghost.

But names are nothing. What...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...d the School, where Children strove 
At Recess--in the Ring-- 
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-- 
We passed the Setting Sun-- 

Or rather--He passed us-- 
The Dews drew quivering and chill-- 
For only Gossamer, my Gown-- 
My Tippet--only Tulle-- 

We paused before a House that seemed 
A Swelling of the Ground-- 
The Roof was scarcely visible-- 
The Cornice--in the Ground-- 

Since then--'tis Centuries--and yet 
Feels shorter than the Day 
I first surmise...Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...s (but left their tell-tale mounds) , 
So has the white man with the Indians done.
Now with their backs against the setting sun
The remnants of a dying nation stand
And view the lost domain, once their beloved land.

Upon the vast Atlantic's leagues of shore
The happy red man's tent is seen no more; 
And from the deep blue lakes which mirror heaven
His bounding bark canoe was long since driven.
The mighty woods, those temples where his God
Spoke to his s...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...For perjury of that—

Not Either—noticed Death—
Of Paradise—aware—
Each other's Face—was all the Disc
Each other's setting—saw—


She dealt her pretty words like Blades—
How glittering they shone—
And every One unbared a Nerve
Or wantoned with a Bone—

She never deemed—she hurt—
That—is not Steel's Affair—
A vulgar grimace in the Flesh—
How ill the Creatures bear—

To Ache is human—not polite—
The Film upon the eye
Mortality's old Custom—
Just lockin...Read More

by Keats, John
...her of them all
Bows down his summer head below the west.
Now am I of breath, speech, and speed possest,
But at the setting I must bid adieu
To her for the last time. Night will strew
On the damp grass myriads of lingering leaves,
And with them shall I die; nor much it grieves
To die, when summer dies on the cold sward.
Why, I have been a butterfly, a lord
Of flowers, garlands, love-knots, silly posies,
Groves, meadows, melodies, and arbour roses;
My kingdom's at ...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth;
All day long the wains came laboring down from the village.
Late in the afternoon, when the sun was near to his setting,
Echoed far o'er the fields came the roll of drums from the churchyard.
Thither the women and children thronged. On a sudden the church-doors
Opened, and forth came the guard, and marching in gloomy procession
Followed the long-imprisoned, but patient, Acadian farmers.
Even as pilgrims, who journey afar from their homes and their country,...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...he joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air, 
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels 
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mi...Read More

by Milton, John waste, o'er hill, o'er dale, his roam 
Mean while in utmost longitude, where Heaven 
With earth and ocean meets, the setting sun 
Slowly descended, and with right aspect 
Against the eastern gate of Paradise 
Levelled his evening rays: It was a rock 
Of alabaster, piled up to the clouds, 
Conspicuous far, winding with one ascent 
Accessible from earth, one entrance high; 
The rest was craggy cliff, that overhung 
Still as it rose, impossible to climb. 
Betwixt these ro...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...e and mere
I saw that Holy City rising clear,
Crowned with her crown of towers! - On and on
I galloped, racing with the setting sun,
And ere the crimson after-glow was passed,
I stood within Ravenna's walls at last!


How strangely still! no sound of life or joy
Startles the air; no laughing shepherd-boy
Pipes on his reed, nor ever through the day
Comes the glad sound of children at their play:
O sad, and sweet, and silent! surely here
A man might dwell apart from t...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...hords—I intersperse them, and cheerfully pass them forward. 

I too carol the sun, usher’d, or at noon, or, as now, setting, 
I too throb to the brain and beauty of the earth, and of all the growths of the earth, 
I too have felt the resistless call of myself. 

As I sail’d down the Mississippi,
As I wander’d over the prairies, 
As I have lived—As I have look’d through my windows, my eyes, 
As I went forth in the morning—As I beheld the light breaking in the east; 
As...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...jointing, squaring, sawing, mortising, 
The hoist-up of beams, the push of them in their places, laying them regular, 
Setting the studs by their tenons in the mortises, according as they were prepared, 
The blows of mallets and hammers, the attitudes of the men, their curv’d limbs, 
Bending, standing, astride the beams, driving in pins, holding on by posts and braces,
The hook’d arm over the plate, the other arm wielding the axe, 
The floor-men forcing the planks close, to ...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
To art ennobled shall have grown,--
Soon as with you he scales a mountain-height,
And there, illumined by the setting sun,
The smiling valley bursts upon his sight.
The richer ye reward the eager gaze
The higher, fairer orders that the mind
May traverse with its magic rays,
Or compass with enjoyment unconfined--
The wider thoughts and feelings open lie
To more luxuriant floods of harmony.
To beauty's richer, more majestic stream,--
The fair members of the wo...Read More

by Masefield, John
...t to gaol 

Now, friends, observe and look upon me, 
Mark how the Lord took pity on me. 
By Dead Man's Thorn, while setting wires, 
Who should come up but Billy Myers, 
A friend of mine, who used to be 
As black a sprig of hell as me, 
With whom I'd planned, to save encroachin', 
Which fields and coverts each should poach in. 
Now when he saw me set my snare, 
He tells me "Get to hell from there. 
This field is mine," he says, "by right; 
If you poach here, there'...Read More

by Browning, Robert to pay proper duty where owing it,
Was reduced to that pitiful method of showing it:
For though the moment I began setting
His saddle on my own nag of Berold's begetting,
(Not that I meant to be obtrusive)
She stopped me, while his rug was shifting,
By a single rapid finger's lifting,
And, with a gesture kind but conclusive,
And a little shake of the head, refused me,---
I say, although she never used me,
Yet when she was mounted, the Gipsy behind her,
And I ventured to ...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour lift the dark west and unwrap the night;
I dwell beside thee when he walks the height,
And fondly toward thee at his setting gaze.
I wait upon thy coming, but always--
Dancing to meet my thoughts if they invite--
Thou hast outrun their longing with delight,
And in my solitude dost mock my praise. 
Now doth my drop of time transcend the whole:
I see no fame in Khufu's pyramid,
No history where loveless Nile doth roll.
--This is eternal life, which doth forbid
Mo...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...; From the loud water-fall.   By this the stars were almost gone,  The moon was setting on the hill,  So pale you scarcely looked at her:  The little birds began to stir,  Though yet their tongues were still.   The pony, Betty, and her boy,  Wind slowly through the woody dale;  And who is she, be-times abroad,  That hobbles up the st...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...their level way;
     Each purple peak, each flinty spire,
     Was bathed in floods of living fire.
     But not a setting beam could glow
     Within the dark ravines below,
     Where twined the path in shadow hid,
     Round many a rocky pyramid,
     Shooting abruptly from the dell
     Its thunder-splintered pinnacle;
     Round many an insulated mass,
     The native bulwarks of the pass,
     Huge as the tower which builders vain
     Presumptuous piled o...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...moment since.
Its echo, only half apprehended,
Lingered about the room. He ended
Screwing the little rubies in,
Setting the wheels to lock and spin,
Curling the infinitesimal springs,
Fixing the filigree hands. Chippings
Of precious stones lay strewn about.
The table before him was a rout
Of splashes and sparks of coloured light.
There was yellow gold in sheets, and quite
A heap of emeralds, and steel.
Here was a gem, there was a wheel.
And glasses...Read More

by Hikmet, Nazim
...oth heavy wet steady snow and the dry whirling kind 
I didn't know I liked snow

I never knew I loved the sun
even when setting cherry-red as now
in Istanbul too it sometimes sets in postcard colors 
but you aren't about to paint it that way
I didn't know I loved the sea
 except the Sea of Azov
or how much

I didn't know I loved clouds
whether I'm under or up above them
whether they look like giants or shaggy white beasts

moonlight the falsest the most languid the most petit...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
...A Poem for Three Voices

Setting: A Maternity Ward and round about

I am slow as the world. I am very patient,
Turning through my time, the suns and stars
Regarding me with attention.
The moon's concern is more personal:
She passes and repasses, luminous as a nurse.
Is she sorry for what will happen? I do not think so.
She is simply astonished at fertili...Read More

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