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Famous Sloth Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...h with us they walk the humble vale 
Of indigence severe, with want oppress'd? 
Riches belong not to their family, 
Nor sloth luxurious nor the pride of kings; 
But truth meek-ey'd and warm benevolence 
Wisdom's high breeding in her sons rever'd 
Bespeaks them each the children[2] of a king. 
The christian truth of origin divine, 
Grows not beneath the shade of civil pow'r, 
Riches or wealth accompanied with pride; 
Nor shall it bloom transplanted to that soil, 
Where per...Read more of this...

by Wilmot, John
When the good wives get drunk, and then fall out.
None of that sensual tribe, whose talents lie
In avarice, pride, sloth, and gluttony.
Who hunt good livings; but abhor good lives,
Whose lust exalted, to that height arrives,
They act adultery with their own wives.
And ere a score of years completed be,
Can from the loftiest pulpit proudly see,
Half a large parish their own progeny.
Nor doting bishop, who would be adored
For domineering at the Council board;

...Read more of this...

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...e them day by day; 
And unmolested, fools and knaves at length
Induce long wars which sap a country's strength.
The sloth of leaders, ruling but in name, 
Has dragged full many a nation down to shame.
A word unspoken by the rightful lips
Has dyed the land with blood, and blocked the sea with ships.

The word withheld, when Indians asked for aid, 
Came when the red man started on his raid.
What Justice with a gesture might have done
Was left for noi...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...eath, for the fair form had gone again.
Pleasure is oft a visitant; but pain
Clings cruelly to us, like the gnawing sloth
On the deer's tender haunches: late, and loth,
'Tis scar'd away by slow returning pleasure.
How sickening, how dark the dreadful leisure
Of weary days, made deeper exquisite,
By a fore-knowledge of unslumbrous night!
Like sorrow came upon me, heavier still,
Than when I wander'd from the poppy hill:
And a whole age of lingering moments crept
Sluggis...Read more of this...

by Marvell, Andrew
...ife give length, 
Leisure to time, and to my weaknes strength, 
Then shall I once with graver accents shake 
Your regal sloth, and your long slumbers wake: 
Like the shrill huntsman that prevents the east, 
Winding his horn to kings that chase the beast. 

Till then my muse shall hollo far behind 
Angelic Cromwell who outwings the wind, 
And in dark nights, and in cold days alone 
Pursues the monster through every throne: 
Which shrinking to her Roman den impure, 
Gnashes...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...y and rose, her sea and land display;
Read the celestial sign!
Lo! the South answers to the North;
Bookworm, break this sloth urbane;
A greater Spirit bids thee forth,
Than the gray dreams which thee detain.

Mark how the climbing Oreads
Beckon thee to their arcades;
Youth, for a moment free as they,
Teach thy feet to feel the ground,
Ere yet arrive the wintry day
When Time thy feet has bound.
Accept the bounty of thy birth;
Taste the lordship of the earth.

I hea...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...rplex and dash 
Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low-- 
 To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds 
Timorous and slothful. Yet he pleased the ear, 
And with persuasive accent thus began:-- 
 "I should be much for open war, O Peers, 
As not behind in hate, if what was urged 
Main reason to persuade immediate war 
Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast 
Ominous conjecture on the whole success; 
When he who most excels in fact of arms, 
In what he counsels and in ...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
At first I thought that Liberty and Heaven 
To heavenly souls had been all one; but now 
I see that most through sloth had rather serve, 
Ministring Spirits, trained up in feast and song! 
Such hast thou armed, the minstrelsy of Heaven, 
Servility with freedom to contend, 
As both their deeds compared this day shall prove. 
To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern replied. 
Apostate! still thou errest, nor end wilt find 
Of erring, from the path of truth remote: 
Unj...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...and achieved thereby 
Fame in the world, high titles, and rich prey; 
Shall change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth, 
Surfeit, and lust; till wantonness and pride 
Raise out of friendship hostile deeds in peace. 
The conquered also, and enslaved by war, 
Shall, with their freedom lost, all virtue lose 
And fear of God; from whom their piety feigned 
In sharp contest of battle found no aid 
Against invaders; therefore, cooled in zeal, 
Thenceforth shall practice ...Read more of this...

by Wilmot, John
...the good Wives, get drunk, and then fall out. 
None of that sensual Tribe, whose Tallents lye, 
In Avarice, Pride, Sloth, and Gluttony. 
Who hunt good Livings, but abhor good Lives, 
Whose Lust exalted, to that height arrives, 
They act Adultery with their own Wives. 
And e're a score of Years compleated be, 
Can from the lofty Pulpit proudly see, 
Half a large Parish, their own Progeny. 
Nor doating Bishop who wou'd be ador'd, 
For domineering at the Councel...Read more of this...

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...and white alike; 
Scatter before their swift advance 
The darkness and the ignorance, 
The pride, the lust, the squalid sloth, 
Which nurtured Treason's monstrous growth, 
Made murder pastime, and the hell 
Of prison-torture possible; 
The cruel lie of caste refute, 
Old forms remould, and substitute 
For Slavery's lash the freeman's will, 
For blind routine, wise-handed skill; 
A school-house plant on every hill, 
Stretching in radiate nerve-lines thence 
The quick wires of ...Read more of this...

by Lanier, Sidney
...tay: feed the worms.

"Oh! every clod
Is faint, and falters from the war of growth
And crumbles in a dreary dust of sloth,
Unploughed, untrod.

"What need, what need,
To hide with flowers the curse upon the hills,
Or sanctify the banks of sluggish rills
Where vapors breed?

"And -- if needs must --
Advance, O Summer-heats! upon the land,
And bake the bloody mould to shards and sand
And dust.

"Before your birth,
Burn up, O Roses! with your dainty flame.
Good V...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...nd and rude,
That I walk alone in grove and glen;
I go to the god of the wood
To fetch his word to men.

Tax not my sloth that I
Fold my arms beside the brook;
Each cloud that floated in the sky
Writes a letter in my book.

Chide me not, laborious band,
For the idle flowers I brought;
Every aster in my hand
Goes home loaded with a thought.

There was never mystery,
But 'tis figured in the flowers,
Was never secret history,
But birds tell it in the bowers.

One...Read more of this...

by Swift, Jonathan
...hrough all the parish round,
A better neighbour ne'er was found:
His vigilance might some displease;
'Tis true he hated sloth like peas.

The mimic ape began his chatter,
How evil tongues his life bespatter:
Much of the cens'ring world complain'd,
Who said, his gravity was feign'd:
Indeed, the strictness of his morals
Engag'd him in a hundred quarrels:
He saw, and he was griev'd to see't,
His zeal was sometimes indiscreet:
He found his virtues too severe
For our corrupted...Read more of this...

by Goldsmith, Oliver
...s lake, his park's extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth
Has robbed the neighbouring fields of half their growth;
His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green;
Around the world each needful product flies,
For all the luxuries the world supplies:
While thus the land adorned for pleasure, all
In barren splendour feebly waits the fall.

As some fair female unadorned ...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...ur-glass a shake when the thin sand doubts
Whether to run on or stop short, and guarantees
Age is not all made of stark sloth and arrant ease.
I have seen my little lady once more,
Jacynth, the Gipsy, Berold, and the rest of it,
For to me spoke the Duke, as I told you before;
I always wanted to make a clean breast of it:
And now it is made---why, my heart's blood, that went trickle,
Trickle, but anon, in such muddy driblets,
Is pumped up brisk now, through the main ventri...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...eart was small,
Nor dream'd what fearful searchings underlay
The flowers and leafy ecstasy of May,
The breathing summer sloth, the scented fall: 
Could I forget, then were the fight not hard,
Press'd in the mêlée of accursed things,
Having such help in love and such reward:
But that 'tis I who once--'tis this that stings--
Once dwelt within the gate that angels guard,
Where yet I'd be had I but heavenly wings. 

When I see childhood on the threshold seize
The prize of ...Read more of this...

by Dryden, John gouty hands? 
The wise and wealthy love the surest way 
And are content to thrive and to obey. 
But wisdom is to sloth too great a slave; 
None are so busy as the fool and knave. 
Those let me curse; what vengeance will they urge, 
Whose ordures neither plague nor fire can purge, 
Nor sharp experience can to duty bring 
Nor angry Heaven nor a forgiving king! 
In gospel-phrase their chapmen they betray; 
Their shops are dens, the buyer is their prey; 
The knack of t...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...o fair--
"And Life, where long that flower of Heaven grew not,
Conquered the heart by love which gold or pain
Or age or sloth or slavery could subdue not--
"And near [[blank]] walk the [[blank]] twain,
The tutor & his pupil, whom Dominion
Followed as tame as vulture in a chain.--
"The world was darkened beneath either pinion
Of him whom from the flock of conquerors
Fame singled as her thunderbearing minion;
"The other long outlived both woes & wars,
Throned in new thought...Read more of this...

by Johnson, Samuel to loose delight,
146 Nor Praise relax, nor Difficulty fright;
147 Should tempting Novelty thy cell refrain,
148 And Sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain;
149 Should Beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart,
150 Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart;
151 Should no disease thy torpid veins invade,
152 Nor Melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade;
153 Yet hope not life from grief or danger free,
154 Nor think the doom of man revers'd for thee:
155 Deign on the passing world to ...Read more of this...

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