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Famous Slayer Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Nash, Ogden
And round and round there dragged and wound
A loathsome conga chain,
The square and the hep in slow lock step,
The slayer and the slain.
(For the souls of the victims ascend on high,
But their bodies below remain.)

The clean souls fly to their home in the sky,
But their bodies remain below
To pursue the Cain who each has slain
And harry him to and fro.
When life is extinct each corpse is linked
To its gibbering murderer,
As a chicken is bound with wire aroun...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...IF the red slayer think he slays  
Or if the slain think he is slain  
They know not well the subtle ways 
I keep and pass and turn again. 

Far or forgot to me is near; 5 
Shadow and sunlight are the same; 
The vanished gods to me appear; 
And one to me are shame and fame. 

They reckon ill who leave me out; 
When me they fly I am the wings; 10 
I ...Read More

by Coleridge, Mary Elizabeth
...TURN in, my lord, she said ;
As it were the Father of Sin
I have hated the Father of the Dead,
The slayer of my kin ;
By the Father of the Living led,
Turn in, my lord, turn in.

We were foes of old ; thy touch was cold,
But mine is warm as life ;
I have struggled and made thee loose thy hold,
I have turned aside the knife.
Despair itself in me was bold,
I have striven, and won the strife.

But that which conquered thee and rose
Again to earth...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...ok on it now—here, plain, upborne! 
 And further be no rover. 
 "Tis I—as sure as you're abhorred 
 Rodrigo—cruel slayer, 
 'Tis I am Vengeance, and your lord, 
 Who bids you crouch in prayer! 
 "I shall not grant the least delay— 
 Use what you have, defending, 
 I'll send you on that darksome way 
 Your victims late were wending. 
 "And if I wore this, with its crest— 
 Our seal with gems enwreathing— 
 In open air—'twas in your breast 
 To seek its fa...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...iance thousandfold exhaled
From the mighty Father's blissful cup.

Dark and silent bearers draw, then, nigh!
To the slayer serve the feast the while!
Cease, ye mourners, cease your wailing cry!
Dust on dust upon the body pile!
Where's the man who God to tempt presumes?
Where the eye that through the gulf can see?
Holy, holy, holy art thou, God of tombs!
We, with awful trembling, worship Thee!
Dust may back to native dust be ground,
From its crumbling house the spirit fly,...Read More

by Homer,
...eyes her own fair-faced daughter.

[Line 334] Now when all-seeing Zeus the loud-thunderer heard this, he sent the Slayer of Argus whose wand is of gold to Erebus, so that having won over Hades with soft words, he might lead forth chaste Persephone to the light from the misty gloom to join the gods, and that her mother might see her with her eyes and cease from her anger. And Hermes obeyed, and leaving the house of Olympus, straightway sprang down with speed to the h...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord her barge: but rosier luck will go
With these rich jewels, seeing that they came
Not from the skeleton of a brother-slayer,
But the sweet body of a maiden babe.
Perchance--who knows?--the purest of thy knights
May win them for the purest of my maids."

She ended, and the cry of a great jousts
With trumpet-blowings ran on all the ways
From Camelot in among the faded fields
To furthest towers; and everywhere the knights
Arm'd for a day of glory before the King.
...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
...oud for Sutna,
Wringing his fevered hands.
In the tents of Akbar
The tears of sorrow run,
But the corpse of Sutna's slayer,
Lies rotting in the sun.
...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...part us. Love to one death led us. The mode 
 Afflicts me, shrinking, still. The place of Cain 
 Awaits our slayer." 
 They ceased, and I my head 
 Bowed down, and made no answer, till my guide 
 Questioned, "What wouldst thou more?" and replied, 
 "Alas my thought I what sweet keen longings led 
 These spirits, woeful, to their dark abode!" 
 And then to them, - "Francesca, all thy pain 
 Is mine. With pity and grief I weep. But say 
 How, in the time...Read More

by Morris, William
...Slayer of the winter, art thou here again?
O welcome, thou that's bring'st the summer nigh!
The bitter wind makes not thy victory vain,
Nor will we mock thee for thy faint blue sky.
Welcome, O March! whose kindly days and dry
Make April ready for the throstle's song,
Thou first redresser of the winter's wrong!

Yea, welcome March! and though I die ere Ju...Read More

by Morris, William
...w my arms above my head,
For close by my side, in the lovely weather,
I saw him reel and fall back dead.

I and the slayer met together,
He waited the death-stroke there in his place,
With thoughts of death, in the lovely weather,
Gapingly mazed at my madden'd face.

Madly I fought as we fought together;
In vain: the little Christian band
The pagans drown'd, as in stormy weather
The river drowns low-lying land.

They bound my blood-stain'd hands together,
They bou...Read More

by Morris, William
...him? what white fear 

"Curdled his blood, and how his teeth did dance,
His side sink in? as my knight cried and said:
'Slayer of unarm'd men, here is a chance! 

" `Setter of traps, I pray you guard your head,
By God I am so glad to fight with you,
Stripper of ladies, that my hand feels lead 

" `For driving weight; hurrah now! draw and do,
For all my wounds are moving in my breast,
And I am getting mad with waiting so.' 

"He struck his hands together o'er the beast,
Wh...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...treaked with ash and sleeked with oil,
 The lukewarm whirlpools close!

A shadow down the sickened wave
 Long since her slayer fled:
But hear their chattering quick-fires rave
 Astern, abeam, ahead!
Panic that shells the drifting spar --
 Loud waste with none to check --
Mad fear that rakes a scornful star
 Or sweeps a consort's deck.

Now, while their silly smoke hangs thick,
 Now ere their wits they find,
Lay in and lance them to the quick --
 Our gallied whales are bli...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...and sharp menace. *contention, discord
All full of chirking* was that sorry place. *creaking, jarring noise
The slayer of himself eke saw I there,
His hearte-blood had bathed all his hair:
The nail y-driven in the shode* at night, *hair of the head 
The colde death, with mouth gaping upright.
Amiddes of the temple sat Mischance,
With discomfort and sorry countenance;
Eke saw I Woodness* laughing in his rage, *Madness
Armed Complaint, Outhees*, and fierce Outra...Read More

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...n gives light for light and takes. 
As they knew thy name of old time could we know it, 
Healer called of sickness, slayer invoked of wrong, 
Light of eyes that saw thy light, God, king, priest, poet, 
Song should bring thee back to heal us with thy song. 
For thy kingdom is past not away, 
Nor thy power from the place thereof hurled; 
Out of heaven they shall cast not the day, 
They shall cast not out song from the world. 
By the song and the light they give 
We ...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...n her barge: but rosier luck will go 
With these rich jewels, seeing that they came 
Not from the skeleton of a brother-slayer, 
But the sweet body of a maiden babe. 
Perchance--who knows?--the purest of thy knights 
May win them for the purest of my maids.' 

She ended, and the cry of a great jousts 
With trumpet-blowings ran on all the ways 
From Camelot in among the faded fields 
To furthest towers; and everywhere the knights 
Armed for a day of glory before the Ki...Read More

by Hardy, Thomas
...ough the stolid stare, 
That everything had happened ere 
The prophets to its happening sware; 
That David was no giant-slayer, 
Nor one to call a God-obeyer 
In certain details we could spare, 
But rather was a debonair 
Shrewd bandit, skilled as banjo-player: 
That Solomon sang the fleshly Fair, 
And gave the Church no thought whate'er; 
That Esther with her royal wear, 
And Mordecai, the son of Jair, 
And Joshua's triumphs, Job's despair, 
And Balaam's ass's bitter blare; ...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...of kings, and her outermost pits than the streets where men gather
Inland, among dust, under trees -- inland where the slayer may slay him --
Inland, out of reach of her arms, and the bosom whereon he must lay him
His Sea from the first that betrayed -- at the last that shall never betray him:
 His Sea that his being fulfils?
So and no otherwise -- so and no otherwise -- hillmen desire their Hills....Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
The grove with mournful numbers;
The thunders rest beneath his feet,
And lulled by Leda's kisses sweet,
The Giant-Slayer slumbers.

Through the boundless realms of light
Phoebus' golden reins, so bright,
Guide his horses white as snow,
While his darts lay nations low.
But when love and harmony
Fill his breast, how willingly
Ceases Phoebus then to heed
Rattling dart and snow-white steed!

See! Before Kronion's spouse
Every great immortal bows;
Proudly soar the pe...Read More

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