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Famous Silent Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
..., he has the most faith, 
His thoughts are the hymns of the praise of things, 
In the dispute on God and eternity he is silent,
He sees eternity less like a play with a prologue and denouement, 
He sees eternity in men and women—he does not see men and women as dreams or dots. 

For the great Idea, the idea of perfect and free individuals, 
For that idea the bard walks in advance, leader of leaders, 
The attitude of him cheers up slaves and horrifies foreign despots.
...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...for its answering brother waits in vain
Sobbing for incompleted melody,
Dies a swan's death; but I the heir of pain,
A silent Memnon with blank lidless eyes,
Wait for the light and music of those suns which never rise.

The quenched-out torch, the lonely cypress-gloom,
The little dust stored in the narrow urn,
The gentle XAIPE of the Attic tomb, -
Were not these better far than to return
To my old fitful restless malady,
Or spend my days within the voiceless cave of mise...Read More

by Keats, John
...r string:
And then another, then another strain,
Each like a dove leaving its olive perch,
With music wing'd instead of silent plumes,
To hover round my head, and make me sick
Of joy and grief at once. Grief overcame,
And I was stopping up my frantic ears,
When, past all hindrance of my trembling hands,
A voice came sweeter, sweeter than all tune,
And still it cried, 'Apollo! young Apollo!
The morning-bright Apollo! young Apollo!'
I fled, it follow'd me, and cried 'Apollo...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...children there 
 Countless. No pain was theirs of cold or flame, 
 But sadness only. And my Master said, 
 "Art silent here? Before ye further go 
 Among them wondering, it is meet ye know 
 They are not sinful, nor the depths below 
 Shall claim them. But their lives of righteousness 
 Sufficed not to redeem. The gate decreed, 
 Being born too soon, we did not pass ( for I, 
 Dying unbaptized, am of them). More nor less 
 Our doom is weighed, - to feel of...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...on sudden sunk; 
The words of many, and the eyes of all 
That there were gather'd, seem'd on him to fall; 
But his were silent, his appear'd to stray 
In far forgetfulness away — away — 
Alas! that heedlessness of all around 
Bespoke remembrance only too profound. 


"To-morrow! — ay, to-morrow!" — further word 
Than those repeated none from Lara heard; 
Upon his brow no outward passion spoke, 
From his large eye no flashing anger broke; 
Yet there was somethin...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 with excitement, 
I leap in the lower’d boat—We row toward our prey, where he lies,
We approach, stealthy and silent—I see the mountainous mass, lethargic, basking, 
I see the harpooneer standing up—I see the weapon dart from his vigorous arm: 
O swift, again, now, far out in the ocean, the wounded whale, settling, running to
 tows me; 
—Again I see him rise to breathe—We row close again, 
I see a lance driven through his side, press’d deep, turn’d in the...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
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 troublous fear,
Watching the tide of seasons as they flow
From amorous Spring to Winter's rain and snow,
And have no thought of sorrow; - here, indeed,
Are Lethe's waters, and that fatal weed
Which makes a man forget his fatherland.

Ay! amid lotus-meadows dost thou stand,
Like Proserpine, with poppy-laden...Read More

by Whitman, Walt it from the worst, age vexes age; 
Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they discuss I am
 silent, and go bathe and admire myself. 

Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean; 
Not an inch, nor a particle of an inch, is vile, and none shall be less familiar
 than the rest.

I am satisfied—I see, dance, laugh, sing: 
As the hugging and loving Bed-fellow sleeps at my side through the night, and
 with...Read More

by Whitman, Walt, come travel with me!
Traveling with me, you find what never tires. 

The earth never tires; 
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first—Nature is rude and incomprehensible

Be not discouraged—keep on—there are divine things, well envelop’d; 
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

Allons! we must not stop here! 
However sweet these laid-up stores—however convenient this dwelling, we cannot remain
Ho...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
God's winged pavilion free to roam,
Your face, that is a wandering home,
A flying home for me.

Ride through the silent earthquake lands,
Wide as a waste is wide,
Across these days like deserts, when
Pride and a little scratching pen
Have dried and split the hearts of men,
Heart of the heroes, ride.

Up through an empty house of stars,
Being what heart you are,
Up the inhuman steeps of space
As on a staircase go in grace,
Carrying the firelight on your face
Beyond ...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...sp; Some tale will be related.   O reader! had you in your mind  Such stores as silent thought can bring,  O gentle reader! you would find  A tale in every thing.  What more I have to say is short,  I hope you'll kindly take it;  It is no tale; but should you think,  Perhaps a tale you'll make it.   One summer-day I chanced to seeRead More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
And 'neath the mock sun searching everywhere
Rattles the crispèd leaves with shivering din:
So that the birds are silent with despair
Within the thickets; nor their armour thin
Will gaudy flies adventure in the air,
Nor any lizard sun his spotted skin. 

Nothing is joy without thee: I can find
No rapture in the first relays of spring,
In songs of birds, in young buds opening,
Nothing inspiriting and nothing kind;
For lack of thee, who once wert throned behind
All...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...owess done 
In tournament or tilt, Sir Percivale, 
Whom Arthur and his knighthood called The Pure, 
Had passed into the silent life of prayer, 
Praise, fast, and alms; and leaving for the cowl 
The helmet in an abbey far away 
From Camelot, there, and not long after, died. 

And one, a fellow-monk among the rest, 
Ambrosius, loved him much beyond the rest, 
And honoured him, and wrought into his heart 
A way by love that wakened love within, 
To answer that which came: an...Read More

by Wordsworth, William;  'Tis silence all on every side;  The town so long, the town so wide,  Is silent as the skies.   And now she's at the doctor's door,  She lifts the knocker, rap, rap, rap,  The doctor at the casement shews,  His glimmering eyes that peep and doze;  And one hand rubs his old night-cap.   "Oh Doctor! Doctor! where's my Johnny?" ...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
     Yet if one heart throb higher at its sway,
        The wizard note has not been touched in vain.
     Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again!

     The stag at eve had drunk his fill,
     Where danced the moon on Monan's rill,
     And deep his midnight lair had made
     In lone Glenartney's hazel shade;
     But when the sun his beacon red
     Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head,
     The deep-mouthed bloodhound's heavy bay
     Resou...Read More

by Blake, William

A Song of Liberty

The Eternal Female groand! it was heard over all the Earth:
Albions coast is sick silent; the American meadows faint!
Shadows of Prophecy shiver along by the lakes and the rivers
and mutter across the ocean! France rend down thy dungeon; 
Golden Spain burst the barriers of old Rome;
Cast thy keys O Rome into the deep down falling, even to
eternity down falling, 
And weep! 
In her trembling hands she took the new, born terror howling;
On t...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis fact, with skill uncouth
And savage rapture, like a tooth
She wrenched some slow reluctant truth. 

Till, like a silent water-mill,
When summer suns have dried the rill,
She reached a full stop, and was still. 

Dead calm succeeded to the fuss,
As when the loaded omnibus
Has reached the railway terminus: 

When, for the tumult of the street,
Is heard the engine's stifled beat,
The velvet tread of porters' feet. 

With glance that ever sought the ground,
She mov...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
The ghost of her dead Mother, whose dim form
Bends in dark ether from her infant's chair,
So came a chariot on the silent storm
Of its own rushing splendour, and a Shape
So sate within as one whom years deform
Beneath a dusky hood & double cape
Crouching within the shadow of a tomb,
And o'er what seemed the head, a cloud like crape,
Was bent a dun & faint etherial gloom
Tempering the light; upon the chariot's beam
A Janus-visaged Shadow did assume
The guidance of that wo...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
..., durst 
Intrude, however glorified and high; 
He knew him but the viceroy of the sky. 


He and the sombre, silent Spirit met — 
They knew each other both for good and ill; 
Such was their power, that neither could forget 
His former friend and future foe; but still 
There was a high, immortal, proud regret 
In either's eye, as if 'twere less their will 
Than destiny to make the eternal years 
Their date of war, and their 'champ clos' the spheres. 


B...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...That is whiter than all the rest
But the bird herself flew above
After my graceful guest.

Looking at her I was silent,
I loved her alone
And like gates into her country
In the sky stood the dawn.

x x x

I have ceased and desisted from smiling
The frosty wind chills lips - say so long
To one hope of which will be lesser,
Instead there will be one more song.
And this song, without my volition,
I will give out for laughter and parable,
For th...Read More

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