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Famous Sins Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Wilmot, John
...God relies
Whose life, his faith and doctrine justifies
Not one blown up, with vain prelatic pride,
Who for reproofs of sins does man deride;
Whose envious heart makes preaching a pretence
With his obstreperous, saucy eloquence,
To chide at kings, and rail at men of sense;
Who from his pulpit vents more peevlsh lies,
More bitter railings, scandals, calumnies,
Than at a gossiping are thrown about
When the good wives get drunk, and then fall out.
None of that sensual tribe,...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...invidious juggling of the stars, 
Or some accrued arrears of ancestors
Who throve on debts that I was here to pay, 
Or sins within me that I knew not of, 
Or just a foretaste of what waits in hell 
For those of us who cannot love a worm,— 
Whatever it was, or whence or why it was,
One day there came a stranger to the school. 
And having had one mordacious glimpse of him 
That filled my eyes and was to fill my life, 
I have known Peace only as one more word 
Among the man...Read More

by Aldington, Richard
Of King Francobello 
Of Italy. 


I don't believe in God. 
I do believe in avenging gods 
Who plague us for sins we never sinned 
But who avenge us. 

That's why I'll never have a child, 
Never shut up a chrysalis in a match-box 
For the moth to spoil and crush its brght colours, 
Beating its wings against the dingy prison-wall....Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler brained upon a tree, 
The swooning mother saved from death, to be 
The slave and plaything of a filthy knave, 
Whose sins would startle hell, whose clay defile a grave.

Their cause was right, their methods all were wrong.
Pity and censure both to them belong.
Their woes were many, but their crimes were more.
The soulless Satan holds not in his store
Such awful tortures as the Indians' wrath
Keeps for the hapless victim in his path.
And if th...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...piring to be Gods, if Angels fell, 
Aspiring to be Angels, Men rebel; 
And who but wishes to invert the laws 
Of ORDER, sins against th' Eternal Cause.

V. Ask for what end the heav'nly bodies shine, 
Earth for whose use? Pride answers, "Tis for mine: 
For me kind Nature wakes her genial pow'r, 
Suckles each herb, and spreads out ev'ry flow'r; 
Annual for me, the grape, the rose renew 
The juice nectareous, and the balmy dew; 
For me, the mine a thousand treasures bri...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...Before his seat each ill-born spirit appear, 
 And tells its tale of evil, loath or no, 
 While he, their judge, of all sins cognizant, 
 Hears, and around himself his circling tail 
 Twists to the number of the depths below 
 To which they doom themselves in telling. 

 The crowding sinners: their turn they wait: they show 
 Their guilt: the circles of his tail convey 
 Their doom: and downward they are whirled away. 

 "O thou who callest at this doleful inn...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...or ill of late were known, his name 
Might yet uphold his patrimonial fame. 
His soul in youth was haughty, but his sins 
No more than pleasure from the stripling wins; 
And such, if not yet harden'd in their course, 
Might be redeem'd, nor ask a long remorse. 


And they indeed were changed — 'tis quickly seen, 
Whate'er he be, 'twas not what he had been: 
That brow in furrow'd lines had fix'd at last, 
And spake of passions, but of passion past; 
The pride, ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...west—the bride
 was a red girl; 
Her father and his friends sat near, cross-legged and dumbly smoking—they
 had moccasins to their feet, and large thick blankets hanging from their
On a bank lounged the trapper—he was drest mostly in skins—his
 luxuriant beard and curls protected his neck—he held his bride by the hand;

She had long eyelashes—her head was bare—her coarse straight locks
 descended upon her voluptuous limbs and reach’d to her feet.

...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...d I may stretch our necks
And burn our beards in hell.

"But though I lie on the floor of the world,
With the seven sins for rods,
I would rather fall with Adam
Than rise with all your gods.

"What have the strong gods given?
Where have the glad gods led?
When Guthrum sits on a hero's throne
And asks if he is dead?

"Sirs, I am but a nameless man,
A rhymester without home,
Yet since I come of the Wessex clay
And carry the cross of Rome,

"I will even answer the mighty...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles your moving corpse on with a spur? 

Or do you hope, when sing the violins, 
And the pale candle-flame lights up our sins, 
To drive some mocking nightmare far apart, 
And cool the flame hell lighted in your heart? 

Fathomless well of fault and foolishness! 
Eternal alembic of antique distress! 
Still o'er the curved, white trellis of your sides 
The sateless, wandering serpent curls and glides. 

And truth to tell, I fear lest you should find, 
Among us here, no love...Read More

by Blake, William
...and He unlock’d 
The evil spirits from their shrines, 
And turn’d fishermen to divines; 
O’erturn’d the tent of secret sins, 
And its golden cords and pins, 
In the bloody shrine of war 
Pour’d around from star to star,— 
Halls of justice, hating vice, 
Where the Devil combs his lice. 
He turn’d the devils into swine 
That He might tempt the Jews to dine; 
Since which, a pig has got a look 
That for a Jew may be mistook. 
“Obey your parents.”—What says He? 
“Woma...Read More

by Donne, John of jet.
  Though use make you apt to kill me,
  Let not to that, self-murder added be,
  And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Curel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
Find'st not thy self nor me the weaker now;
  'Tis true; then learn how false, fears be;
  Just so much honor, when thou yie...Read More

by Bradstreet, Anne
...2.56 As he can tell, that next comes on the stage.
2.57 But yet me let me relate, before I go,
2.58 The sins and dangers I am subject to:
2.59 From birth stained, with Adam's sinful fact,
2.60 From thence I 'gan to sin, as soon as act;
2.61 A perverse will, a love to what's forbid;
2.62 A serpent's sting in pleasing face lay hid;
2.63 A lying tongue as soon as it could speak
2.64 And fifth Commandment do daily break;
2.65 Oft stubbo...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Across the iron grating of her cell 
Beat, and she prayed and fasted all the more. 

`And he to whom she told her sins, or what 
Her all but utter whiteness held for sin, 
A man wellnigh a hundred winters old, 
Spake often with her of the Holy Grail, 
A legend handed down through five or six, 
And each of these a hundred winters old, 
From our Lord's time. And when King Arthur made 
His Table Round, and all men's hearts became 
Clean for a season, surely he had thou...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...urse on the bonny brown bowl,
     That there 's wrath and despair in the jolly black-jack,
     And the seven deadly sins in a flagon of sack;
     Yet whoop, Barnaby! off with thy liquor,
     Drink upsees out, and a fig for the vicar!

     Our vicar he calls it damnation to sip
     The ripe ruddy dew of a woman's dear lip,
     Says that Beelzebub lurks in her kerchief so sly,
     And Apollyon shoots darts from her merry black eye;
     Yet whoop, Jack! kiss G...Read More

by Dryden, John
...juggler's eyes, 
His open lewdness he could ne'er disguise. 
There split the saint; for hypocritic zeal 
Allows no sins but those it can conceal. 
Whoring to scandal gives too large a scope; 
Saints must not trade, but they may interlope. 
The ungodly principle was all the same; 
But a gross cheat betrays his partners' game. 
Besides, their pace was formal, grave, and slack; 
His nimble wit outran the heavy pack. 
Yet still he found hs fortune at a stay, ...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...your freedom. Girls, 
Knowledge is now no more a fountain sealed: 
Drink deep, until the habits of the slave, 
The sins of emptiness, gossip and spite 
And slander, die. Better not be at all 
Than not be noble. Leave us: you may go: 
Today the Lady Psyche will harangue 
The fresh arrivals of the week before; 
For they press in from all the provinces, 
And fill the hive.' 
She spoke, and bowing waved 
Dismissal: back again we crost the court 
To Lady Psyche's:...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...t, careless of his Charge,
His Post neglects, or leaves the Fair at large,
Shall feel sharp Vengeance soon o'ertake his Sins,
Be stopt in Vials, or transfixt with Pins.
Or plung'd in Lakes of bitter Washes lie,
Or wedg'd whole Ages in a Bodkin's Eye:
Gums and Pomatums shall his Flight restrain,
While clog'd he beats his silken Wings in vain; 
Or Alom-Stypticks with contracting Power
Shrink his thin Essence like a rivell'd Flower.
Or as Ixion fix'd, the Wretch shall fe...Read More

by Herbert, George
...the day: 
Was ever grief like mine? 

Yet still they shout, and cry, and stop their ears, 
Putting my life among their sins and fears, 
And therefore wish my blood on them and theirs: 
Was ever grief like mine? 

See how spite cankers things. These words aright
Used, and wished, are the whole world's light: 
But honey is their gall, brightness their night: 
Was ever grief like mine? 

They choose a murderer, and all agree
In him to do themselves a courtesy: 
For it was t...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...trumpet made of dirt,
There's no reason for her to complain.
Why does she forgive me,
And whoever told her of my sins?
Or is that this voice that now repeats
The last poems that you wrote for me?

x x x

Instead of wisdom -- experience, bare,
That does not slake thirst, is not wet.
Youth's gone -- like a Sunday prayer..
Is it mine to forget?

On how many desert roads have searched I
With him who wasn't dear for me,
How many bows gave in c...Read More

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