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Famous Shroud Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor for the hour;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Sixteen short howls, not over loud;
Some say, she sees my lady's shroud.

Is the night chilly and dark?
The night is chilly, but not dark.
The thin gray cloud is spread on high,
It covers but not hides the sky.
The moon is behind, and at the full;
And yet she looks both small and dull.
The night is chill, the cloud is gray:
'T is a month before the month of May,
And the Spring comes slowly up thi...Read More

by Milton, John

 Break off, break off! I feel the different pace
Of some chaste footing near about this ground.
Run to your shrouds within these brakes and trees;
Our number may affright. Some virgin sure
(For so I can distinguish by mine art)
Benighted in these woods! Now to my charms,
And to my wily trains: I shall ere long
Be well stocked with as fair a herd as grazed
About my mother Circe. Thus I hurl
My dazzling spells into the spongy air,
Of power to cheat the eye w...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...are the joinings of these legs; the long 
 Scaled gauntlet fingers look like worms that shine, 
 And battle robes to shroud-like folds incline. 
 The heads are skull-like, and the stony feet 
 Seem for the charnel house but only meet. 
 The pikes have death's-heads carved, and seem to be 
 Too heavy; but the shapes defiantly 
 Sit proudly in the saddle—and perforce 
 The rider looks united to the horse! 
 The network of their mail doth clearly cross. 
 The Marquis'...Read More

by Keats, John
...ut of eve,
In dull November, and their chancel vault,
The Heaven itself, is blinded throughout night.
Each one kept shroud, nor to his neighbour gave
Or word, or look, or action of despair.
Creus was one; his ponderous iron mace
Lay by him, and a shatter'd rib of rock
Told of his rage, ere he thus sank and pined.
Iapetus another; in his grasp,
A serpent's plashy neck; its barbed tongue
Squeez'd from the gorge, and all its uncurl'd length
Dead: and because the crea...Read More

by Keats, John
...n them, like a smoke from Hinnom's vale;
And every night in dreams they groan'd aloud,
To see their sister in her snowy shroud.

And she had died in drowsy ignorance,
But for a thing more deadly dark than all;
It came like a fierce potion, drunk by chance,
Which saves a sick man from the feather'd pall
For some few gasping moments; like a lance,
Waking an Indian from his cloudy hall
With cruel pierce, and bringing him again
Sense of the gnawing fire at heart an...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...s court the air, 
While the red flags breathe on their topmasts high 
Terror and war, but want an enemy. 
Among the shrouds the seamen sit and sing, 
And wanton boys on every rope do cling. 
Old Neptune springs the tides and water lent 
(The gods themselves do help the provident), 
And where the deep keel on the shallow cleaves, 
With trident's lever, and great shoulder heaves. 
&Aelig;olus their sails inspires with eastern wind, 
Puffs them along, and breathes up...Read More

by Bronte, Charlotte, 
For then no cloud of grief or crime 
Had cursed it with a settled gloom; 

I had not seen death's image laid 
In shroud and sheet, on yonder bed. 
Before she married, she was blest­ 
Blest in her youth, blest in her worth; 
Her mind was calm, its sunny rest 
Shone in her eyes more clear than mirth. 

And when attired in rich array, 
Light, lustrous hair about her brow, 
She yonder sat­a kind of day 
Lit up­what seems so gloomy now. 
These grim oak walls, ev...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
With sudden stir the startled forest sings
Winter's returning song— cloud races cloud,
And the horizon throws away its shroud,
Sweeping a stretching circle from the eye;
Storms upon storms in quick succession crowd,
And o'er the sameness of the purple sky
Heaven paints, with hurried hand, wild hues of every dye.

At length it comes along the forest oaks,
With sobbing ebbs, and uproar gathering high;
The scared, hoarse raven on its cradle croaks,
And stockdove-flocks in h...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...ll men are musicians. Tell me that, 
I hear you saying, and I’ll tell you the name 
Of Samson’s mother. But why shroud yourself 
Before the coffin comes? For all you know,
The tree that is to fall for your last house 
Is now a sapling. You may have to wait 
So long as to be sorry; though I doubt it, 
For you are not at home in your new Eden 
Where chilly whispers of a likely frost
Accumulate already in the air. 
I think a touch of ermine, Hamilton, 
Would be f...Read More

by Milton, John
Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks 
Of these fair spreading trees; which bids us seek 
Some better shroud, some better warmth to cherish 
Our limbs benummed, ere this diurnal star 
Leave cold the night, how we his gathered beams 
Reflected may with matter sere foment; 
Or, by collision of two bodies, grind 
The air attrite to fire; as late the clouds 
Justling, or pushed with winds, rude in their shock, 
Tine the slant lightning; whose thwart flame, drive...Read More

by Thomas, Dylan
...pastures of otters. He
 In his slant, racking house
And the hewn coils of his trade perceives
 Herons walk in their shroud,

 The livelong river's robe
Of minnows wreathing around their prayer;
 And far at sea he knows,
Who slaves to his crouched, eternal end
 Under a serpent cloud,
Dolphins dive in their turnturtle dust,
 The rippled seals streak down
To kill and their own tide daubing blood
 Slides good in the sleek mouth.

 In a cavernous, swung
Wave's silence, wep...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna you all by name, but the list
Has been removed and there is nowhere else to look.
I have woven you this wide shroud out of the humble
I overheard you use. Everywhere, forever and always,
I will never forget one single thing. Even in new
Even if they clamp shut my tormented mouth
Through which one hundred million people scream;
That's how I wish them to remember me when I am dead
On the eve of my remembrance day.
If someone someday in th...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...shapes arise! 
The shape measur’d, saw’d, jack’d, join’d, stain’d, 
The coffin-shape for the dead to lie within in his shroud; 
The shape got out in posts, in the bedstead posts, in the posts of the bride’s bed;
The shape of the little trough, the shape of the rockers beneath, the shape of the babe’s

The shape of the floor-planks, the floor-planks for dancers’ feet; 
The shape of the planks of the family home, the home of the friendly parents and children,

The sha...Read More

by Chesterton, G K

Of great limbs gone to chaos,
A great face turned to night--
Why bend above a shapeless shroud
Seeking in such archaic cloud
Sight of strong lords and light?

Where seven sunken Englands
Lie buried one by one,
Why should one idle spade, I wonder,
Shake up the dust of thanes like thunder
To smoke and choke the sun?

In cloud of clay so cast to heaven
What shape shall man discern?
These lords may light the mystery
Of mastery or victory,
And these...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang

But the cerements stand in their way;
And as modesty cannot avail them aught here,
They shake themselves all, and the shrouds soon appear

Scatter'd over the tombs in confusion.

Now waggles the leg, and now wriggles the thigh,

As the troop with strange gestures advance,
And a rattle and clatter anon rises high,

As of one beating time to the dance.
The sight to the warder seems wondrously *****,
When the villainous Tempter speaks thus in his ear:

"Seize one of th...Read More

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
...t Lady proud, 
A child would watch her fair white rose, 
When buried lay her whiter brows, 
And silk was changed for shroud!¡ª 40 

Nor thought that gardener (full of scorns 
For men unlearn'd and simple phrase) 
A child would bring it all its praise, 
By creeping through the thorns! 

To me upon my low moss seat, 45 
Though never a dream the roses sent 
Of science or love's compliment, 
I ween they smelt as sweet. 

It did not move my grief to see 
The tr...Read More

by Masefield, John
...If I'd a drowned 'em all like kittens. 
And he the sot, so strong and proud, 
Who'd make white shirts of a mother's shroud, 
He laughs now, it's a joke to him, 
Though it's the gates of hell for Jim.

"I've had my heart burnt out like coal, 
And drops of blood wrung from my soul 
Day in, day out, in pain and tears, 
For five and twenty wretched years; 
And he, he's ate the fat and sweet, 
And loafed and spat at top of street, 
And drunk and leched from day till morrow...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
     She sorrowed o'er her sister's child;
     To her brave chieftain son, from ire
     Of Scotland's king who shrouds my sire,
     A deeper, holier debt is owed;
     And, could I pay it with my blood, Allan!
     Sir Roderick should command
     My blood, my life,—but not my hand.
     Rather will Ellen Douglas dwell
     A votaress in Maronnan's cell;
     Rather through realms beyond the sea,
     Seeking the world's cold charity
     Where ne'er was sp...Read More

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...e Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariners' hollo!

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white Moon-shine.'

'God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!--
Why look'st thou so?'--'With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross.'


THE Sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...or Tweed), and 'midst them an old man 
With an old soul, and both extremely blind, 
Halted before the gate, and in his shroud 
Seated their fellow traveller on a cloud. 


But bringing up the rear of this bright host 
A Spirit of a different aspect waves 
His wings, like thunder-clouds above some coast 
Whose barren beach with frequent wrecks is paved; 
His brow was like the deep when tempest-toss'd; 
Fierce and unfathomable thoughts engraved 
Eternal wrath on his ...Read More

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