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Famous Sicilian Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Poe, Edgar Allan
...eaven!
Leave tenantless thy crystal home, and fly,
With all thy train, athwart the moony sky-
Apart- like fire-flies in Sicilian night,
And wing to other worlds another light!
Divulge the secrets of thy embassy
To the proud orbs that twinkle- and so be
To ev'ry heart a barrier and a ban
Lest the stars totter in the guilt of man!"

Up rose the maiden in the yellow night,
The single-mooned eve!- on Earth we plight
Our faith to one love- and one moon adore-
The birth-place of yo...Read more of this...



by Jeffers, Robinson
...n will learn to hope for a Caesar.
Or rather--for we are not aquiline Romans but soft mixed colonists--
Some kindly Sicilian tyrant who'll keep
Poverty and Carthage off until the Romans arrive,
We are easy to manage, a gregarious people,
Full of sentiment, clever at mechanics, and we love our luxuries....Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...still youthful Maia! 
 May I sing to thee 
As thou wast hymned on the shores of Baiae? 
 Or may I woo thee 
In earlier Sicilian? or thy smiles 
Seek as they once were sought, in Grecian isles, 
By bards who died content on pleasant sward, 
 Leaving great verse unto a little clan? 
O give me their old vigour! and unheard 
 Save of the quiet primrose, and the span 
 Of heaven, and few ears, 
Rounded by thee, my song should die away 
 Content as theirs, 
Rich in the simple wors...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...ready to smite once, and smite no more. 
 Return Alpheus, the dread voice is past, 
That shrunk thy streams; Return Sicilian Muse, 
And call the Vales, and bid them hither cast 
Their Bels, and Flourets of a thousand hues. 
Ye valleys low where the milde whispers use, 
Of shades and wanton winds, and gushing brooks, 
On whose fresh lap the swart Star sparely looks, 
Throw hither all your quaint enameld eyes, 
That on the green terf suck the honied showres, 
And purple...Read more of this...

by Pinsky, Robert
...should go eat. The two of them loved to bicker

In a way that on his side went back to Yiddish,
On Sandra's to some Sicilian dialect.
He used to scold her endlessly for smoking.

When she got back from dinner with their children
The doctors had to tell them about the mistake.
Oh swirling petals, falling leaves! The movement

Of linking renga coursing from moment to moment
Is meaning, Bob says in his Haiku book.
Oh swirling petals, all living things are con...Read more of this...



by Wilde, Oscar
...Italia! thou art fallen, though with sheen
Of battle-spears thy clamorous armies stride
From the north Alps to the Sicilian tide!
Ay! fallen, though the nations hail thee Queen
Because rich gold in every town is seen,
And on thy sapphire-lake in tossing pride
Of wind-filled vans thy myriad galleys ride
Beneath one flag of red and white and green.
O Fair and Strong! O Strong and Fair in vain!
Look southward where Rome's desecrated town
Lies mourning for her God-anoint...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...an-amorous tears; 
Nor whom her beardless apple-arbiter
Decided fairest. Rather, O ye Gods,
Poet-like, as the great Sicilian called
Calliope to grace his golden verse -- 
Ay, and this Kypris also -- did I take
That popular name of thine to shadow forth
The all-generating powers and genial heat
Of Nature, when she strikes thro' the thick blood
Of cattle, and light is large, and lambs are glad
Nosing the mother's udder, and the bird
Makes his heart voice amid the blaze of f...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...eady to smite once, and smite no more."
 Return, Alpheus; the dread voice is past
That shrunk thy streams; return Sicilian Muse,
And call the vales, and bid them hither cast
Their bells and flowerets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use
Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks,
On whose fresh lap the swart star sparely looks,
Throw hither all your quaint enamelled eyes,
That on the green turf suck the honeyed showers,
And pu...Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
...d low.
That woman, the Great Mother imaging,
Cut out his heart. Some master of design
Stamped boy and tree upon Sicilian coin.

An age is the reversal of an age:
When strangers murdered Emmet, Fitzgerald, Tone,
We lived like men that watch a painted stage.
What matter for the scene, the scene once gone:
It had not touched our lives. But popular rage,
Hysterica passio dragged this quarry down.
None shared our guilt; nor did we play a part
Upon a painted...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...e and Liberty,
Is heard in lordly Genoa, and where
The marble spires of Milan wound the air,
Rings from the Alps to the Sicilian shore,
And Dante's dream is now a dream no more.

But thou, Ravenna, better loved than all,
Thy ruined palaces are but a pall
That hides thy fallen greatness! and thy name
Burns like a grey and flickering candle-flame
Beneath the noonday splendour of the sun
Of new Italia! for the night is done,
The night of dark oppression, and the day
Hath daw...Read more of this...

by Field, Eugene
...Hush, little one, and fold your hands;
The sun hath set, the moon is high;
The sea is singing to the sands,
And wakeful posies are beguiled
By many a fairy lullaby:
Hush, little child, my little child!

Dream, little one, and in your dreams
Float upward from this lowly place,--
Float out on mellow, misty streams
To lands where bideth Mary mild,
And let her...Read more of this...

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...YE black and roguish eyes,

If ye command.
Each house in ruins lies,

No town can stand.
And shall my bosom's chain,--

This plaster wall,?
To think one moment, deign,--

Shall ii not fall?

1811....Read more of this...

by Herbert, George
...take fire from my inflamed thoughts. 

My words take fire fro m my inflamed thoughts, 
Which spit it forth like the Sicilian hill. 
They vent their wares, and pass them with their faults, 
And by their breathing ventilate the ill. 
But words suffice not, where are lewd intentions: 
My hands do join to finish the inventions. 

My hands do join to finish the inventions: 
And so my sins ascend three stories high, 
As Babel grew, before there were dissentions....Read more of this...

by Lawrence, D. H.
...And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...Blest as the Gods! Sicilian Maid is he,
The youth whose soul thy yielding graces charm;
Who bound, O! thraldom sweet! by beauty's arm,
In idle dalliance fondly sports with thee!
Blest as the Gods! that iv'ry throne to see,
Throbbing with transports, tender, timid, warm!
While round thy fragrant lips zephyrs swarm!
As op'ning buds attract the wand'ring Bee!
Yet, short is youthf...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...vision! Now, the star of day
Peers, like a gem on Aetna's burning crest!
Wellcome, ye Hills, with golden vintage drest;
Sicilian forests brown, and vallies gay!
A mournful stranger, from the Lesbian Isle,
Not strange, in loftiest eulogy of Song!
She, who could teach the Stoic's cheek to smile,
Thaw the cold heart, and chain the wond'ring throng,
Can find no balm, love's arrows to beguile;
Ah! Sorrows known too soon! and felt too long!...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...es rare,At the spent forge his stout and sinewy armsPlieth that old Sicilian smith in vain,For from the hands of Jove his bolts are takenTemper'd in Ætna to extremest proof;And his cold sister by degrees grows calmAnd genial in Apollo's kindling beams.Moves from the rosy west a summer breath,<...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...ds the tired brows of Proserpine,
And sheds such wondrous dews at eve that she
Dreams of the fields of Enna, by the far Sicilian sea,

Where oft the golden-girdled bee she chased
From lily to lily on the level mead,
Ere yet her sombre Lord had bid her taste
The deadly fruit of that pomegranate seed,
Ere the black steeds had harried her away
Down to the faint and flowerless land, the sick and sunless day.

O for one midnight and as paramour
The Venus of the little Melian f...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...thy forsaken son,
Nor thy divine sisters will weep for thee. 
None will weep for thee : thou return, O Muse,
To thy Sicilian fields I once have been
On thy loved hills, and where thou first didst use
Thy sweetly balanced rhyme, O thankless queen,
Have pluck'd and wreath'd thy flowers; but do thou choose
Some happier brow to wear thy garlands green. 

69
Eternal Father, who didst all create,
In whom we live, and to whose bosom move,
To all men be Thy name known, which ...Read more of this...

by Arnold, Matthew
...the world at last shall heed--
For Time, not Corydon, hath conquer'd thee!

Alack, for Corydon no rival now!--
But when Sicilian shepherds lost a mate,
Some good survivor with his flute would go,
Piping a ditty sad for Bion's fate;
And cross the unpermitted ferry's flow,
And relax Pluto's brow,
And make leap up with joy the beauteous head
Of Proserpine, among whose crowned hair
Are flowers first open'd on Sicilian air,
And flute his friend, like Orpheus, from the dead.

O...Read more of this...

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Book: Shattered Sighs