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Famous Sheep Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wilde, Oscar
...eavy cattle strayed.

And when the light-foot mower went afield
Across the meadows laced with threaded dew,
And the sheep bleated on the misty weald,
And from its nest the waking corncrake flew,
Some woodmen saw him lying by the stream
And marvelled much that any lad so beautiful could seem,

Nor deemed him born of mortals, and one said,
'It is young Hylas, that false runaway
Who with a Naiad now would make his bed
Forgetting Herakles,' but others, 'Nay,
It is Narcissus, ...Read more of this...



by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...he farm-yard,
There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the antique ploughs and the harrows;
There were the folds for the sheep; and there, in his feathered seraglio,
Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the selfsame
Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter.
Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a village. In each one
Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch; and a staircase,
Under the sheltering eaves, led up to the odorous...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...ged the sweet pillage of a summer's day
From the low meadows up the narrow lane;
Upon the half-thawed snow the bleating sheep
Press close against the hurdles, and the shivering house-dogs creep

From the shut stable to the frozen stream
And back again disconsolate, and miss
The bawling shepherds and the noisy team;
And overhead in circling listlessness
The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack,
Or crowd the dripping boughs; and in the fen the ice-pools crack

Where the g...Read more of this...

by Marvell, Andrew
...when, by shame constrained to go on board, 
He heard how the wild cannon nearer roared, 
And saw himself confined like sheep in pen, 
Daniel then thought he was in lion's den. 
And when the frightful fireships he saw, 
Pregnant with sulphur, to him nearer draw, 
Captain, lieutenant, ensign, all make haste 
Ere in the fiery furnace they be cast-- 
Three children tall, unsinged, away they row, 
Like Shadrack, Meschack, and Abednego. 

Not so brave Douglas, on whose lov...Read more of this...

by Dyke, Henry Van
...e singing angels, reaping
The golden harvest of thy sorrow, sheaf by sheaf;
Or count thy joys like flocks of snow-white sheep
That one by one come creeping
Into the quiet fold, until thou sleep,
And so forget, forget!

Forget, forget,--
Thou art a child and knowest
So little of thy life! But music tells
One secret of the world thro' which thou goest
To work with morning song, to rest with evening bells:
Life is in tune with harmony so deep
That when the notes are lowest
Thou ...Read more of this...



by Wilde, Oscar
...ys ride!
For where the brass-beaked ships were wont to float,
The weary shepherd pipes his mournful note;
And the white sheep are free to come and go
Where Adria's purple waters used to flow.

O fair! O sad! O Queen uncomforted!
In ruined loveliness thou liest dead,
Alone of all thy sisters; for at last
Italia's royal warrior hath passed
Rome's lordliest entrance, and hath worn his crown
In the high temples of the Eternal Town!
The Palatine hath welcomed back her king,
An...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...lands notch’d with ravines—I see the jungles and deserts; 
I see the camel, the wild steed, the bustard, the fat-tail’d sheep, the antelope, and the
 burrowing wolf. 

I see the high-lands of Abyssinia;
I see flocks of goats feeding, and see the fig-tree, tamarind, date, 
And see fields of teff-wheat, and see the places of verdure and gold. 

I see the Brazilian vaquero; 
I see the Bolivian ascending Mount Sorata; 
I see the Wacho crossing the plains—I see the incompa...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
...
But while he moved like a massacre
He murmured as in sleep,
And his words were all of low hedges
And little fields and sheep.

Even as he strode like a pestilence,
That strides from Rhine to Rome,
He thought how tall his beans might be
If ever he went home.

Spoke some stiff piece of childish prayer,
Dull as the distant chimes,
That thanked our God for good eating
And corn and quiet times--

Till on the helm of a high chief
Fell shatteringly his brand,
And the helm b...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...s believed that the last also poisoned a friend, named Festus, for the sake of new Patroclan games. I have seen the sheep feeding on the tombs of ?sietes and Antilochos: the first is in the center of the plain. 

(25) When rubbed, the amber is susceptible of a perfume, which is slight but not disagreeable. 

(26) The belief in amulets engraved on gems, or enclosed in gold boxes, containing scraps from the Koran, worn round the neck, wrist, or arm, is still univers...Read more of this...

by Masefield, John
...> 
An otter' out of stream and played, 
Two hares come loping up and stayed; 
Wide-eyed and tender-eared but bold. 
Sheep bleated up from Penny's fold. 
I heard a partridge covey call, 
The morning sun was bright on all. 
Down the long slope the plough team drove 
The tossing rooks arose and hove. 
A stone struck on the share. A word 
Came to the team. The red earth stirred.

I crossed the hedge by shooter's gap, 
I hitched my boxer's belt a strap,...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...here your eye can stop;
For when you've passed the cornfield country,
Where vineyards leave off, flocks are packed,
And sheep-range leads to cattle-tract,
And cattle-tract to open-chase,
And open-chase to the very base
Of the mountain where, at a funeral pace,
Round about, solemn and slow,
One by one, row after row,
Up and up the pine-trees go,
So, like black priests up, and so
Down the other side again
To another greater, wilder country,
That's one vast red drear burnt-up pl...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...woe begin,
Even as our anger soon is past and dead
Be Thy remembrance mortal of our sin:
By Thee in paths of peace Thy sheep be led,
And in the vale of terror comforted....Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...these old walls--and mingle with our folk; 
And knowing every honest face of theirs 
As well as ever shepherd knew his sheep, 
And every homely secret in their hearts, 
Delight myself with gossip and old wives, 
And ills and aches, and teethings, lyings-in, 
And mirthful sayings, children of the place, 
That have no meaning half a league away: 
Or lulling random squabbles when they rise, 
Chafferings and chatterings at the market-cross, 
Rejoice, small man, in this small wor...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...ent horse-man ghost,  He travels on along the vale.   And now, perhaps, he's hunting sheep,  A fierce and dreadful hunter he!  Yon valley, that's so trim and green,  In five months' time, should he be seen,  A desart wilderness will be.   Perhaps, with head and heels on fire,  And like the very soul of evil,  He's galloping away, away,Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...ur parlement* and your eternal grant, *consultation
What is mankind more *unto you y-hold* *by you esteemed
Than is the sheep, that rouketh* in the fold! *lie huddled together
For slain is man, right as another beast;
And dwelleth eke in prison and arrest,
And hath sickness, and great adversity,
And oftentimes guilteless, pardie* *by God
What governance is in your prescience,
That guilteless tormenteth innocence?
And yet increaseth this all my penance,
That man is bounden to ...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...ttrick glide,
     And from the silver Teviot's side;
     The dales, where martial clans did ride,
     Are now one sheep-walk, waste and wide.
     This tyrant of the Scottish throne,
     So faithless and so ruthless known,
     Now hither comes; his end the same,
     The same pretext of sylvan game.
     What grace for Highland Chiefs, judge ye
     By fate of Border chivalry.
     Yet more; amid Glenfinlas' green,
     Douglas, thy stately form was seen.
   ...Read more of this...

by Blake, William
...elf.

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 sullen frowning fool. shall be
both thought wise. that they may be a rod.

What is now proved was once, only imagin'd.
The rat, the mouse, the fox, the rabbet; watch the roots, the
lion, the tyger, the horse, the elephant, watch the fruits....Read more of this...

by Tebb, Barry
...he homes we had left, but still somehow

We made a nook in the crooked corner of Hall Ings,

A Wordsworthian dream with sheep nibbling by every crumbling

Dry-stone wall, smoke inching from the chimney pot beside the

Turning lane, the packhorse road with every stone intact that bound

The corner tight then up and off to Thurstonland, past the weathered

Walls of the abandoned quarry, beyond Ings Farm where Rover ran

His furious challenge to our call.



We had little, s...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...fail of his conclusion.
Then would I say, "Now, goode lefe* tak keep** *dear **heed
How meekly looketh Wilken oure sheep!
Come near, my spouse, and let me ba* thy cheek *kiss 18
Ye shoulde be all patient and meek,
And have a *sweet y-spiced* conscience, *tender, nice*
Since ye so preach of Jobe's patience.
Suffer alway, since ye so well can preach,
And but* ye do, certain we shall you teach* *unless
That it is fair to have a wife in peace.
One of us two must bowe...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...here he threads
Egypt and Ethiopia from the steep
Of utmost Axume until he spreads,
Like a calm flock of silver-fleeced sheep,
His waters on the plain,--and crested heads
Of cities and proud temples gleam amid,
And many a vapour-belted pyramid:--

By MÏris and the Mareotid lakes,
Strewn with faint blooms like bridal-chamber floors,
Where naked boys bridling tame water-snakes,
Or charioteering ghastly alligators,
Had left on the sweet waters mighty wakes
Of those huge forms;--...Read more of this...

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