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Famous Silenus Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...d friend! sit down and listen!
From the pitcher, placed between us,
How the waters laugh and glisten
In the head of old Silenus!

Old Silenus, bloated, drunken,
Led by his inebriate Satyrs;
On his breast his head is sunken,
Vacantly he leers and chatters.

Fauns with youthful Bacchus follow;
Ivy crowns that brow supernal
As the forehead of Apollo,
And possessing youth eternal.

Round about him, fair Bacchantes,
Bearing cymbals, flutes, and thyrses,
Wild from Naxian gr...Read More



by Keats, John
...ls of crimson wine imbrued
His plump white arms, and shoulders, enough white
 For Venus' pearly bite;
And near him rode Silenus on his ass,
Pelted with flowers as he on did pass
 Tipsily quaffing.

"Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye!
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your bowers desolate,
 Your lutes, and gentler fate?--
‘We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing?
 A conquering!
Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide,
We dance before him t...Read More

by Strode, William
...ralls, where an hollow cave
Without the workman's helpe beganne to have
The figure of a Tent: a pretty cell
Where grand Silenus might not scorne to dwell,
And owles might feare to harbour, though they brought
Minerva's warrant for to bear them out
In this their bold attempt. Looke down into
The twisted curles, the wreathing to and fro
Contrived by nature: where you may descry
How hall and parlour, how the chambers lie.
And wer't not strange to see men stand alone
On l...Read More

by Keats, John
...f crimson wine imbrued 
His plump white arms and shoulders, enough white 
For Venus' pearly bite; 
And near him rode Silenus on his ass, 70 
Pelted with flowers as he on did pass 
Tipsily quaffing. 

'Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye, 
So many, and so many, and such glee? 
Why have ye left your bowers desolate, 75 
Your lutes, and gentler fate?'¡ª 
'We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing, 
A-conquering! 
Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide...Read More

by Keats, John
...of crimson wine imbrued 
His plump white arms and shoulders, enough white 
 For Venus' pearly bite; 
And near him rode Silenus on his ass, 
Pelted with flowers as he on did pass 
 Tipsily quaffing. 

'Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye, 
So many, and so many, and such glee? 
Why have ye left your bowers desolate, 
 Your lutes, and gentler fate?'-- 
'We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing, 
 A-conquering! 
Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide, 
We dance b...Read More



by Keats, John
...of crimson wine imbrued 
His plump white arms and shoulders, enough white 
 For Venus' pearly bite; 
And near him rode Silenus on his ass, 
Pelted with flowers as he on did pass 
 Tipsily quaffing. 

'Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye, 
So many, and so many, and such glee? 
Why have ye left your bowers desolate, 
 Your lutes, and gentler fate?'-- 
'We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing, 
 A-conquering! 
Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide, 
We dance b...Read More

by Arnold, Matthew
...l in Thebes,
Seven-gated Thebes, or Troy;
Or where the echoing oars
Of Argo first
Startled the unknown sea.
The old Silenus
Came, lolling in the sunshine,
From the dewy forest-coverts,
This way at noon.
Sitting by me, while his Fauns
Down at the water-side
Sprinkled and smoothed
His drooping garland,
He told me these things.
But I, Ulysses,
Sitting on the warm steps,
Looking over the valley,
All day long, have seen,
Without pain, without labour,
Sometimes a wild-h...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...wont to steal
O'er the lyre in gentle mood.
From the sparkling waterfalls,
From the brook that purling calls,
Shall Silenus' loathsome beast
Be allow'd at will to feast?
Aganippe's * wave he sips
With profane and spreading lips,--
With ungainly feet stamps madly,
Till the waters flow on sadly.

Fain I'd think myself deluded

In the sadd'ning sounds I hear;
From the holy glades secluded

Hateful tones assail the ear.
Laughter wild (exchange how mournful!)

Takes th...Read More

by Lovelace, Richard
...lip in heaven,
Love's couch's coverlet,
Haste, haste to make her bed!

Dear offspring of pleased Venus
And jolly plump Silenus,
Haste, haste to deck the hair
Of the only sweetly fair!

See! rosy is her bower,
Her floor is all this flower;
Her bed a rosy nest
By a bed of roses pressed.

But early as she dresses,
Why fly you her bright tresses?
Ah! I have found, I fear,— 
Because her cheeks are near....Read More

by Arnold, Matthew
...-gated Thebes, or Troy;
258 Or where the echoing oars
259 Of Argo first
260 Startled the unknown sea. 

261 The old Silenus
262 Came, lolling in the sunshine,
263 From the dewy forest-coverts,
264 This way at noon.
265 Sitting by me, while his Fauns
266 Down at the water-side
267 Sprinkled and smoothed
268 His drooping garland,
269 He told me these things. 

270 But I, Ulysses,
271 Sitting on the warm steps,
272 Looking over the valley,
273 All day long, have seen...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...ght be as gentle as the doe.
The magic circle of her voice and eyes
All savage natures did imparadise.

And old Silenus, shaking a green stick
Of lilies, and the Wood-gods in a crew,
Came blithe as in the olive-copses thick
Cicade are, drunk with the noonday dew;
And Dryope and Faunus followed quick,
Teazing the God to sing them something new;
Till in this cave they found the Lady lone,
Sitting upon a seat of emerald stone.

And universal Pan, 'tis said, was there...Read More

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