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Famous Slay Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Dryden, John
...priests the more unkindly took,
Because the fleece accompanies the flock.
Some thought they God's anointed meant to slay
By guns, invented since full many a day:
Our author swears it not; but who can know
How far the Devil and Jebusites may go?
This plot, which fail'd for want of common sense,
Had yet a deep and dangerous consequence:
For, as when raging fevers boil the blood,
The standing lake soon floats into a flood;
And ev'ry hostile humour, which before
Slept quiet i...Read More

by Sidney, Sir Philip
Yet since my death-wound is already got,
Deere killer, spare not thy sweete-cruell shot:
A kinde of grace it is to slaye with speed. 

I on my horse, and Loue on me, doth trie
Our horsemanships, while by strange worke I proue
A horsman to my horse, a horse to Loue,
And now mans wrongs in me, poor beast! descrie.
The raines wherewith my rider doth me tie
Are humbled thoughts, which bit of reuerence moue,
Curb'd-in with feare, but with gilt bosse abo...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...som, and his breath came hot and fast,

And all his hoarded sweets were hers to kiss,
And all her maidenhood was his to slay,
And limb to limb in long and rapturous bliss
Their passion waxed and waned, - O why essay
To pipe again of love, too venturous reed!
Enough, enough that Eros laughed upon that flowerless mead.

Too venturous poesy, O why essay
To pipe again of passion! fold thy wings
O'er daring Icarus and bid thy lay
Sleep hidden in the lyre's silent strings
Till ...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...ied to creep under her wing.
Sickened I said: "Here's an end to my killing;
I swear, nevermore bird or beast will I slay;
Starving I may be, but no more blood-spilling . . ."
That oath I have kept, and I keep it to-day....Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler plains is there not room
For man and bison, that he seals its doom? 
What pleasure lies and what seductive charm
In slaying with no purpose but to harm? 
Alas, that man, unable to create, 
Should thirst forever to exterminate, 
And in destruction find his fiercest joy.
The gods alone create, gods only should destroy.

The flying hosts a straggling bull pursue; 
Unerring aim, the skillful Custer drew.
The wounded beast turns madly in despair
And man...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...ode a good knight forward, crying to him, 
'A boon, Sir King! I am her kinsman, I. 
Give me to right her wrong, and slay the man.' 

Then came Sir Kay, the seneschal, and cried, 
'A boon, Sir King! even that thou grant her none, 
This railer, that hath mocked thee in full hall-- 
None; or the wholesome boon of gyve and gag.' 

But Arthur, 'We sit King, to help the wronged 
Through all our realm. The woman loves her lord. 
Peace to thee, woman, with thy lov...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...a field of death; 
For now the Heathen of the Northern Sea, 
Lured by the crimes and frailties of the court, 
Begin to slay the folk, and spoil the land.' 

And when she came to Almesbury she spake 
There to the nuns, and said, `Mine enemies 
Pursue me, but, O peaceful Sisterhood, 
Receive, and yield me sanctuary, nor ask 
Her name to whom ye yield it, till her time 
To tell you:' and her beauty, grace and power, 
Wrought as a charm upon them, and they spared 
To ask it....Read More

by Wilde, Oscar single secret in a life's philosophy.

And Love! that noble madness, whose august
And inextinguishable might can slay
The soul with honeyed drugs, - alas! I must
From such sweet ruin play the runaway,
Although too constant memory never can
Forget the arched splendour of those brows Olympian

Which for a little season made my youth
So soft a swoon of exquisite indolence
That all the chiding of more prudent Truth
Seemed the thin voice of jealousy, - O hence
Thou huntress...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...defiance knit his gather'd brow; 
Though mix'd with terror, senseless as he lay, 
There lived upon his lip the wish to slay; 
Some half-form'd threat in utterance there had died, 
Some imprecation of despairing pride; 
His eye was almost seal'd, but not forsook 
Even in its trance the gladiator's look, 
That oft awake his aspect could disclose, 
And now was fix'd in horrible repose. 
They raise him — bear him: hush! he breathes, he speaks! 
The swarthy blush recolours in...Read More

by Browning, Robert>
You would prove a model? The Son of Priam
Has yet the advantage in arms' and knees' use.
You're wroth---can you slay your snake like Apollo?
You're grieved---still Niobe's the grander!
You live---there's the Racers' frieze to follow:
You die---there's the dying Alexander.


So, testing your weakness by their strength,
Your meagre charms by their rounded beauty,
Measured by Art in your breadth and length,
You learned---to submit is a mortal's duty.
---...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...t a black laughter died;
And Alfred flung his shield to earth
And smote his breast and cried--

"I wronged a man to his slaying,
And a woman to her shame,
And once I looked on a sworn maid
That was wed to the Holy Name.

"And once I took my neighbour's wife,
That was bound to an eastland man,
In the starkness of my evil youth,
Before my griefs began.

"People, if you have any prayers,
Say prayers for me:
And lay me under a Christian stone
In that lost land I thought m...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...n's hell," said he.
But well I wot, he lied right indeed:
Of cursing ought each guilty man to dread,
For curse will slay right as assoiling* saveth; *absolving
And also 'ware him of a significavit.
In danger had he at his owen guise
The younge girles of the diocese, 
And knew their counsel, and was of their rede*. *counsel
A garland had he set upon his head,
As great as it were for an alestake*: *The post of an alehouse sign
A buckler had he made him of a ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...arth thine evil eye,
As meteor-like thou glidest by,
Right well I view thee and deem thee one
Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun.

On - on he hastened, and he drew
My gaze of wonder as he flew:
Though like a demon of the night
He passed, and vanished from my sight,
His aspect and his air impressed
A troubled memory on my breast,
And long upon my startled ear
Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear.
He spurs his steed; he nears the steep,
That, jutting, shadows o'er...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...Trusting too much to her divine ally,
When she saw victory tarry, chid him--"Why
Dost thou not at one stroke this rebel slay?" 
Then generous Love, who holds my heart in fee,
Told of our ancient truce: so from the fight
We straight withdrew our forces, all the three.
Baffled but not dishearten'd she took flight
Scheming new tactics: Love came home with me,
And prompts my measured verses as I write. 

In autumn moonlight, when the white air wan
Is fragrant in the wa...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...And four great zones of sculpture, set betwixt 
With many a mystic symbol, gird the hall: 
And in the lowest beasts are slaying men, 
And in the second men are slaying beasts, 
And on the third are warriors, perfect men, 
And on the fourth are men with growing wings, 
And over all one statue in the mould 
Of Arthur, made by Merlin, with a crown, 
And peaked wings pointed to the Northern Star. 
And eastward fronts the statue, and the crown 
And both the wings are made of g...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...mon was wounded sore,
Arcite is hurt as much as he, or more.
And with a sigh he saide piteously:
"The freshe beauty slay'th me suddenly
Of her that roameth yonder in the place.
And but* I have her mercy and her grace, *unless
That I may see her at the leaste way,
I am but dead; there is no more to say."
This Palamon, when he these wordes heard,
Dispiteously* he looked, and answer'd: *angrily
"Whether say'st thou this in earnest or in play?"
"Nay," quoth Arcite, "i...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...he look upon thy dreadful face?
Well may men see it was but Godde's grace.

Who gave Judith courage or hardiness
To slay him, Holofernes, in his tent,
And to deliver out of wretchedness
The people of God? I say for this intent
That right as God spirit of vigour sent
To them, and saved them out of mischance,
So sent he might and vigour to Constance.

Forth went her ship throughout the narrow mouth
Of *Jubaltare and Septe,* driving alway, *Gibraltar and Ceuta*
Sometime ...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...Junius Brutus of my kind? 
Him you call great: he for the common weal, 
The fading politics of mortal Rome, 
As I might slay this child, if good need were, 
Slew both his sons: and I, shall I, on whom 
The secular emancipation turns 
Of half this world, be swerved from right to save 
A prince, a brother? a little will I yield. 
Best so, perchance, for us, and well for you. 
O hard, when love and duty clash! I fear 
My conscience will not count me fleckless; yet-- 
Hea...Read More

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...'em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!

Nor dim nor red like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord the dew. 

"And yet it was a graceful gift--- 
I felt a pang within 
As when I see the woodman lift 
His axe to slay my kin. 

"I shook him down because he was 
The finest on the tree. 
He lies beside thee on the grass. 
O kiss him once for me. 

"O kiss him twice and thrice for me, 
That have no lips to kiss, 
For never yet was oak on lea 
Shall grow so fair as this.' 

Step deeper yet in herb and fern, 
Look further thro' the chace, 
Spread upwar...Read More

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