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Famous Slept Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Crowley, Aleister

It was the forest and the river that knew
The fact that one and one do not make two. 
We worked, we walked, we slept, we were at ease,
We cried, we quarrelled; all the rocks and trees
For twenty miles could tell how lovers played,
And we could count a kiss for every glade.
Worry, starvation, illness and distress?
Each moment was a mine of happiness.

Then we grew tired of being country mice,
Came up to Paris, lived our sacrifice
There, giving holy berries to ...Read More

by Rossetti, Christina

My garden-plot I have not kept;
  Faded and all-forsaken,
I weep as I have never wept:
Oh it was summer when I slept,
  It's winter now I waken.

Talk what you please of future spring
  And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow:—
Stripp'd bare of hope and everything,
No more to laugh, no more to sing,
  I sit alone with sorrow.
...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...leapt across the rill
And roused the ouzel, or the lizard crept
Athwart the sunny rock, beneath the grass their bodies slept.

And when day brake, within that silver shrine
Fed by the flames of cressets tremulous,
Queen Venus knelt and prayed to Proserpine
That she whose beauty made Death amorous
Should beg a guerdon from her pallid Lord,
And let Desire pass across dread Charon's icy ford.


In melancholy moonless Acheron,
Farm for the goodly earth and joyous d...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...y air, and superbly
Waving his bushy tail, and urging forward the stragglers;
Regent of flocks was he when the shepherd slept; their protector,
When from the forest at night, through the starry silence, the wolves howled.
Late, with the rising moon, returned the wains from the marshes,
Laden with briny hay, that filled the air with its odor.
Cheerily neighed the steeds, with dew on their manes and their fetlocks,
While aloft on their shoulders the wooden and ponderous...Read More

by Keats, John
...oser to her lips.

 Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went,
No further than to where his feet had stray'd,
And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed;
While his bow'd head seem'd list'ning to the Earth,
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.

 It seem'd no force could wake him from his place;
But there came one, who with a kindred hand
Touch'd his wide shoul...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...profane had gather'd from the dead, 
That still beside his open'd volume lay, 
As if to startle all save him away? 
Why slept he not when others were at rest? 
Why heard no music, and received no guest? 
All was not well, they deem'd — but where the wrong? 
Some knew perchance — but 'twere a tale too long; 
And such besides were too discreetly wise, 
To more than hint their knowledge in surmise; 
But if they would — they could" — around the board, 
Thus Lara's vassals prattle...Read More

by Frost, Robert
Or so he tried to think to avoid blame.
She would forget it. She all but forgot it.
What he sowed with her slept so long a sleep,
And came so near death in the dark of years,
That when it woke and came to life again
The flower was different from the parent seed.
It carne back vaguely at the glass one day,
As she stood saying her name over aloud,
Striking it gently across her lowered eyes
To make it go well with the way she looked.
What was it about her na...Read More

by Milton, John
...By living streams among the trees of life, 
Pavilions numberless, and sudden reared, 
Celestial tabernacles, where they slept 
Fanned with cool winds; save those, who, in their course, 
Melodious hymns about the sovran throne 
Alternate all night long: but not so waked 
Satan; so call him now, his former name 
Is heard no more in Heaven; he of the first, 
If not the first Arch-Angel, great in power, 
In favour and pre-eminence, yet fraught 
With envy against the Son of God, t...Read More

by Milton, John
...subtile wiles: 
Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den, 
Nor nocent yet; but, on the grassy herb, 
Fearless unfeared he slept: in at his mouth 
The Devil entered; and his brutal sense, 
In heart or head, possessing, soon inspired 
With act intelligential; but his sleep 
Disturbed not, waiting close the approach of morn. 
Now, when as sacred light began to dawn 
In Eden on the humid flowers, that breathed 
Their morning incense, when all things, that breathe, 
From the Ear...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
Now seaward-bound for health they gain'd a coast,
All sand and cliff and deep-inrunning cave,
At close of day; slept, woke, and went the next,
The Sabbath, pious variers from the church,
To chapel; where a heated pulpiteer,
Not preaching simple Christ to simple men,
Announced the coming doom, and fulminated
Against the scarlet woman and her creed:
For sideways up he swung his arms, and shriek'd
`Thus, thus with violence,' ev'n as if he held
The Apocalyptic millstone,...Read More

by Blake, William believe a lie 
When you see with, not thro’, the eye 
That was born in a night, to perish in a night, 
When the soul slept in the beams of light. 

Did Jesus teach doubt? or did He 
Give any lessons of philosophy, 
Charge Visionaries with deceiving, 
Or call men wise for not believing?… 

Was Jesus born of a Virgin pure 
With narrow soul and looks demure? 
If He intended to take on sin 
The Mother should an harlot been, 
Just such a one as Magdalen, 
With seven devils ...Read More

by Masefield, John
...ep on mat, 
Some snored it sodden where they sat. 
Dick Twot had lost a tooth and wept; 
But all the drunken others slept. 
Jane slept beside me in the chair, 
And I got up; I wanted air. 

I opened window wide and leaned 
Out of that pigstye of the fiend 
And felt a cool wind go like grace 
About the sleeping market-place. 
The clock struck three, and sweetly, slowly, 
The bells chimed Holy, Holy, Holy; 
And in a second's pause there fell 
The cold note of th...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...rcotise and opie* of Thebes fine, *narcotics and opium*
That all the night, though that men would him shake,
The gaoler slept, he mighte not awake:
And thus he fled as fast as ever he may.
The night was short, and *faste by the day *close at hand was
That needes cast he must himself to hide*. the day during which
And to a grove faste there beside he must cast about, or contrive,
With dreadful foot then stalked Palamon. to conceal himself.*
For shortly this was...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...antine, and broom
     Wasted around their rich perfume;
     The birch-trees wept in fragrant balm;
     The aspens slept beneath the calm;
     The silver light, with quivering glance,
     Played on the water's still expanse,—
     Wild were the heart whose passion's sway
     Could rage beneath the sober ray!
     He felt its calm, that warrior guest,
     While thus he communed with his breast:—
     'Why is it, at each turn I trace
     Some memory of that ex...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
Soothly the commander of that was he
That from the tempest aye this woman kept,
As well when she awoke as when she slept.

Where might this woman meat and drinke have?
Three year and more how lasted her vitaille*? *victuals
Who fed the Egyptian Mary in the cave
Or in desert? no wight but Christ *sans faille.* *without fail*
Five thousand folk it was as great marvaille
With loaves five and fishes two to feed
God sent his foison* at her greate need. *abundance
...Read More

by Bukowski, Charles
... Afterwards she dressed and I drove her back to the bar but
she was difficult to forget. I wasn't working and I slept until 2 p.m. then got up and
read the paper. I was in the bathtub when she came in with a large leaf- an elephant ear. 
"I knew you'd be in the bathtub," she said, "so I brought you something
to cover that thing with, nature boy." 
She threw the elephant leaf down on me in the bathtub. 
"How did you know I'd be in the tub?" 
"I ...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...Bacon's spirit [[blank]] had not leapt
Like lightning out of darkness; he compelled
The Proteus shape of Nature's as it slept
"To wake & to unbar the caves that held
The treasure of the secrets of its reign--
See the great bards of old who inly quelled
"The passions which they sung, as by their strain
May well be known: their living melody
Tempers its own contagion to the vein
"Of those who are infected with it--I
Have suffered what I wrote, or viler pain!--
"And so my words ...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...ride them*
While that the corpse lay on the floor upright:
And some have driven nails into their brain,
While that they slept, and thus they have them slain:
Some have them given poison in their drink:
He spake more harm than hearte may bethink.
And therewithal he knew of more proverbs,
Than in this world there groweth grass or herbs.
"Better (quoth he) thine habitation
Be with a lion, or a foul dragon,
Than with a woman using for to chide.
Better (quoth he) high ...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...r-blooming Eden-trees she kept,
Clipped in a floating net a love-sick Fairy
Had woven from dew-beams while the moon yet slept.
As bats at the wired window of a dairy,
They beat their vans; and each was an adept--
When loosed and missioned, making wings of winds--
To stir sweet thoughts or sad in destined minds.

And liquors clear and sweet, whose healthful might
Could medicine the sick soul to happy sleep,
And change eternal death into a night
Of glorious dreams--or, ...Read More

by Bronte, Charlotte
...w so late had left behind; 
But, spite of frozen shower and storm, 
So close to thee, my heart beat warm, 
And tranquil slept my mind. 

So now­nor foot-sore nor opprest
With walking all this August day,
I taste a heaven in this brief rest,
This gipsy-halt beside the way.
England's wild flowers are fair to view,
Like balm is England's summer dew,
Like gold her sunset ray. 

But the white violets, growing here,
Are sweeter than I yet have seen,
And ne'er did dew so...Read More

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