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Famous Shames Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wharton, Edith
...l not
All things be there forgot,
Save the sea's golden barrier and the black
Close-crouching promontories?
Dead to all shames, forgotten of all glories,
Shall I not wander there, a shadow's shade,
A spectre self-destroyed,
So purged of all remembrance and sucked back
Into the primal void,
That should we on that shore phantasmal meet
I should not know the coming of your feet?...Read More



by Service, Robert William
...Cinderella in the street
In a ragged gown,
Sloven slippers on her feet,
Shames our tidy town;
Harsh her locks of ashen grey,
Vapour vague her stare,
By the curb this bitter day
Selling papers there.

Cinderella once was sweet,
Fine and lily fair,
Silver slippers on her feet,
Ribands in her hair;
Solid men besought her hand,
Tart was she as quince,
Living in a fairy land,
Waiting for a Prince.

Days went by and years went...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...r the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulsions hurl'd,
Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world.
Who shames a scribbler? break one cobweb through,
He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew;
Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again;
Thron'd in the centre of his thin designs;
Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines!
Whom have I hurt? has poet yet, or peer,
Lost the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnassian sneer?
And has not Coll...Read More

by Lawson, Henry
...hey rave, 
Could a million paupers aid us now, or a tinpot squadron save? 
The "loyal" drivel, the blatant boast are as shames that used to be – 
Our fight shall be a fight for the coast, with the future for the sea! 

We must turn our face to the only track that will take us through the worst – 
Cable to charter that we lack, guns and cartridges first, 
New machines that will make machines till our factories are complete – 
Block the shoddy and Brummagem, pay them with wool ...Read More

by Thomas, Dylan
...and rotating, that the stylus of lightning
Dazzle this face of voices on the moon-turned table,
Let the wax disk babble
Shames and the damp dishonours, the relic scraping.
These are your years' recorders. The circular world stands still.)

III

They suffer the undead water where the turtle nibbles,
Come unto sea-stuck towers, at the fibre scaling,
The flight of the carnal skull
And the cell-stepped thimble;
Suffer, my topsy-turvies, that a double angel
Sprout from...Read More



by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...s, 
But mount to paradise 
By the stairway of surprise." 

Blameless master of the games, 
King of sport that never shames, 
He shall daily joy dispense 
Hid in song's sweet influence. 
Forms more cheerly live and go, 
What time the subtle mind 
Sings aloud the tune whereto 
Their pulses beat, 
And march their feet, 
And their members are combined. 

By Sybarites beguiled, 
He shall no task decline; 
Merlin's mighty line 
Extremes of nature reconciled, 
Bereaved a...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...floors,
But mount to Paradise
By the stairway of surprise.

Blameless master of the games,
King of sport that never shames;
He shall daily joy dispense
Hid in song's sweet influence.
Things more cheerly live and go,
What time the subtle mind
Plays aloud the tune whereto
Their pulses beat,
And march their feet,
And their members are combined.

By Sybarites beguiled
He shall no task decline;
Merlin's mighty line,
Extremes of nature reconciled,
Bereaved a tyrant of h...Read More

by Milton, John
...hic pride, 
By him called virtue, and his virtuous man,
Wise, perfect in himself, and all possessing,
Equal to God, oft shames not to prefer,
As fearing God nor man, contemning all
Wealth, pleasure, pain or torment, death and life—
Which, when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he can;
For all his tedious talk is but vain boast,
Or subtle shifts conviction to evade.
Alas! what can they teach, and not mislead,
Ignorant of themselves, of God much more, 
And how the World began,...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...else; 
And the jay in the woods never studied the gamut, yet trills pretty well to me; 
And the look of the bay mare shames silliness out of me.

14
The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night; 
Ya-honk! he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation; 
(The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listen close; 
I find its purpose and place up there toward the wintry sky.) 

The sharp-hoof’d moose of the north, the cat on the house-sill, the
...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...ho calls me well or ill,
So you o'ergreen my bad, my good allow?
You are my all the world, and I must strive
To know my shames and praises from your tongue;
None else to me, nor I to none alive,
That my steeled sense or changes, right or wrong.
In so profound abysm I throw all care
Of others' voices that my adder's sense
To critic and to flatterer stoppèd are.
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense.
You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
That all the world beside...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...thee do mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
So far from home into my deeds to pry,
To find out shames and idle hours in me,
The scope and tenure of thy jealousy?
O, no, thy love, though much, is not so great;
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake,
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
To play the watchman ever for thy sake.
For thee watch I whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
From me far off, with others all too near....Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...thee do mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
So far from home into my deeds to pry,
To find out shames and idle hours in me,
The scope and tenor of thy jealousy?
O, no! thy love, though much, is not so great:
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake;
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
To play the watchman ever for thy sake:
For thee watch I whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
From me far off, with others all too near....Read More

by Owen, Wilfred
...er hell,
And there out-fiending all its fiends and flames
With superhuman inhumanities,
Long-famous glories, immemorial shames --
And crawling slowly back, have by degrees
Regained cool peaceful air in wonder --
Why speak they not of comrades that went under?...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...u tossest girls to lions and boys to flames;
Thou hew'st Crusader down by Saracen;
Thou buildest closets full of secret shames;
Indifferent cruel, thou dost blow the blaze
Round Ridley or Servetus; all thy days
Smell scorched; I would

"-- Thou base-born Accident of time and place --
Bigot Pretender unto Judgment's throne --
Bastard, that claimest with a cunning face
Those rights the true, true Son of Man doth own
By Love's authority -- thou Rebel cold
At head of civil wars a...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...Were never told can form and sense bestow;
And man hath sped his instinct to outgo
The step of science; and against her shames
Imagination stakes out heavenly claims,
Building a tower above the head of woe. 
Nor is there fairer work for beauty found
Than that she win in nature her release
From all the woes that in the world abound:
Nay with his sorrow may his love increase,
If from man's greater need beauty redound,
And claim his tears for homage of his peace. 

9
Thu...Read More

by Brooks, Gwendolyn
...escape and chitterling
And swaggering seeking youth and the puzzled wreckage
Of the middle passage, and urine and stale shames
And, again, the porridges of the underslung
And children children children. Heavens! That
Was a rat, surely, off there, in the shadows? Long
And long-tailed? Gray? The Ladies from the Ladies'
Betterment League agree it will be better
To achieve the outer air that rights and steadies,
To hie to a house that does not holler, to ring
Bells elsetime, ...Read More

by Lindsay, Vachel
...e faces, his the only face 
Beautiful, tho' painted for the stage, 
Lit up with song, then torn with cold, small rage, 
Shames that are living, loves and hopes long dead, 
Consuming pride, and hunger, real, for bread. 

Here by the curb, ye Prophets thunder deep: 
"What Nations sow, they must expect to reap," 
Or haste to clothe the race with truth and power, 
With hymns and shouts increasing every hour. 
Useful are you. There stands the useless one 
Who builds th...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...upon pain;

Though teased by small mixt social claims,
To lose no large simplicity,
And midst of clear-seen crimes and shames
To move with manly purity;

To hold, with keen, yet loving eyes,
Art's realm from Cleverness apart,
To know the Clever good and wise,
Yet haunt the lonesome heights of Art;

O Psalmist of the weak, the strong,
O Troubadour of love and strife,
Co-Litanist of right and wrong,
Sole Hymner of the whole of life,

I know not how, I care not why,
Thy music b...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...wede;
And yet she stood ful lowe and stille alloon,
Bihinden othere folk, in litel brede,
And neigh the dore, ay under shames drede, 
Simple of a-tyr, and debonaire of chere,
With ful assured loking and manere.

This Troilus, as he was wont to gyde
His yonge knightes, ladde hem up and doun
In thilke large temple on every syde, 
Biholding ay the ladyes of the toun,
Now here, now there, for no devocioun
Hadde he to noon, to reven him his reste,
But gan to preyse and lakken...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...haunt
 A city restaurant!

For as I watch that pensive pair
 There stirs within my heart
From Arcady an April air
 That shames the sordid mart:
A sense of Spring and singing rills,
 --Love mid the daffodils....Read More

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