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Famous Similitude Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...k of THEE. 
The curling waves, the passing breezes move, 
Changing and treach'rous as the breath of LOVE; 
The "sad similitude" awakes my smart, 
And thy dear image twines about my heart. 

When at the sober hour of sinking day,
Exhausted Nature steals to soft repose, 
When the hush'd linnet slumbers on the spray,
And scarce a ZEPHYR fans the drooping ROSE;
I glance o'er scenes of bliss to friendship dear, 
And at the fond remembrance drop a tear; 
Nor can the balmy i...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...hought from Heav'n,
One human tear shall drop and be forgiv'n.
And sure, if fate some future bard shall join
In sad similitude of griefs to mine,
Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore,
And image charms he must behold no more;
Such if there be, who loves so long, so well;
Let him our sad, our tender story tell;
The well-sung woes will soothe my pensive ghost;
He best can paint 'em, who shall feel 'em most....Read More

by Lindsay, Vachel
...t resolves to speak aright.


In which he is remembered in similitude, by reference to Yorick, the king's jester, who died when Hamlet and Ophelia were children.

Yorick is dead. Boy Hamlet walks forlorn
Beneath the battlements of Elsinore.
Where are those oddities and capers now
That used to "set the table on a roar"?

And do his bauble-bells beyond the clouds
Ring out, and shake with mirth the planets ...Read More

by Khayyam, Omar
...Many fine heads, like bowls, the Brazier made,
And thus his own similitude portrayed;
He set one upside down above our heads,
Which keeps us all continually afraid....Read More

by Whitman, Walt
As I watch the bright stars shining—I think a thought of the clef of the universes, and of
 the future. 

A VAST SIMILITUDE interlocks all, 
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets, comets, asteroids,
All the substances of the same, and all that is spiritual upon the same, 
All distances of place, however wide, 
All distances of time—all inanimate forms, 
All Souls—all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds, 
All...Read More

by Milton, John
...pproach not, but with both wings veil their eyes. 
Thee next they sang of all creation first, 
Begotten Son, Divine Similitude, 
In whose conspicuous countenance, without cloud 
Made visible, the Almighty Father shines, 
Whom else no creature can behold; on thee 
Impressed the effulgence of his glory abides, 
Transfused on thee his ample Spirit rests. 
He Heaven of Heavens and all the Powers therein 
By thee created; and by thee threw down 
The aspiring Dominations: T...Read More

by Milton, John
...ather (for where is not he 
Present?) thus to his Son audibly spake. 
Let us make now Man in our image, Man 
In our similitude, and let them rule 
Over the fish and fowl of sea and air, 
Beast of the field, and over all the Earth, 
And every creeping thing that creeps the ground. 
This said, he formed thee, Adam, thee, O Man, 
Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breathed 
The breath of life; in his own image he 
Created thee, in the image of God 
Express; and thou...Read More

by Milton, John
...aulty since, 
To such unsightly sufferings be debased 
Under inhuman pains? Why should not Man, 
Retaining still divine similitude 
In part, from such deformities be free, 
And, for his Maker's image sake, exempt? 
Their Maker's image, answered Michael, then 
Forsook them, when themselves they vilified 
To serve ungoverned Appetite; and took 
His image whom they served, a brutish vice, 
Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve. 
Therefore so abject is their punishment, 
Disfigu...Read More

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
From far, from prison;
And the guards by it keeping it we beheld asleep,
But thou wast risen.

And an angel's similitude by the unsealed grave,
And by the stone:
And the voice was angelical, to whose words God gave
Strength like his own.

"Lo, the graveclothes of Italy that are folded up
In the grave's gloom!
And the guards as men wrought upon with a charmed cup,
By the open tomb.

"And her body most beautiful, and her shining head,
These are not here;
For y...Read More

by Kilmer, Joyce
And another shall dance on a big white horse that canters round 
a ring,
By another's hand shall colours stand in similitude of life;
And the hearts of the three shall be moved by one mysterious high 
For the sculptor and the acrobat and the painter 
are the same.
They know one hope, one fear, one pride, one sorrow and one mirth,
And they take delight in the endless fight for the fickle world's 
For they worship art above the clouds and serve her...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
And deemed himself belike* a cuckold. *perhaps
He knew not Cato, for his wit was rude,
That bade a man wed his similitude.
Men shoulde wedden after their estate,
For youth and eld* are often at debate. *age
But since that he was fallen in the snare,
He must endure (as other folk) his care.
Fair was this younge wife, and therewithal
As any weasel her body gent* and small. *slim, neat
A seint* she weared, barred all of silk, *girdle
A barm-cloth* eke as...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...hen Freedom left those who upon the free
Had bound a yoke which soon they stooped to bear.
Nor wanted here the true similitude
Of a triumphal pageant, for where'er
The chariot rolled a captive multitude
Was driven; althose who had grown old in power
Or misery,--all who have their age subdued,
By action or by suffering, and whose hour
Was drained to its last sand in weal or woe,
So that the trunk survived both fruit & flower;
All those whose fame or infamy must grow
Till t...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...andale, Goth,
Malignant Poet and Historian both.
Go seek the novice Statesmen, and obtrude
On them some Romane cast similitude,
Tell them of Liberty, the Stories fine,
Until you all grow Consuls in your wine.
Or thou Dictator of the glass bestow
On him the Cato, this the Cicero.
Transferring old Rome hither in your talk,
As Bethlem's House did to Loretto walk.
Foul Architect that hadst not Eye to see
How ill the measures of these States agree.
And who by R...Read More

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