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Famous Slough Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...ies
Decoy the wight that late an’ drunk is:
The bleezin, curst, mischievous monkies
 Delude his eyes,
Till in some miry slough he sunk is,
 Ne’er mair to rise.


When masons’ mystic word an’ grip
In storms an’ tempests raise you up,
Some cock or cat your rage maun stop,
 Or, strange to tell!
The youngest brither ye wad whip
 Aff straught to hell.


Lang syne in Eden’s bonie yard,
When youthfu’ lovers first were pair’d,
An’ all the soul of love they shar’d,
 The raptur...Read More



by Kipling, Rudyard
...s that -- have no doubts;

That checks him foolish-hot and fond,
 That chuckles through his deepest ire,
That gilds the slough of his despond
 But dims the goal of his desire;

Inopportune, shrill-accented,
 The acrid Asiatic mirth
That leaves him, careless 'mid his dead,
 The scandal of the elder earth.

How shall he clear himself, how reach
 Your bar or weighed defence prefer --
A brother hedged with alien speech
 And lacking all interpreter?

Which knowledge vexes him ...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...ss, to his glory,
And whichever one the guilt's with, to my story!

II.

Why, you would not bid men, sunk in such a slough,
Strike no arm out further, stick and stink as now,
Leaving right and wrong to settle the embroilment,
Heaven with snaky hell, in torture and entoilment?

III.

Who's the culprit of them? How must he conceive
God---the queen he caps to, laughing in his sleeve,
`` 'Tis but decent to profess oneself beneath her:
``Still, one must not be too much in ...Read More

by Levine, Philip
...Earth and water without form, 
change, or pause: as if the third 
day had not come, this calm norm 
of chaos denies the Word. 

One sees only a surface 
pocked with rushes, the starved clumps 
pressed between water and space -- 
rootless, perennial stumps 

fixed in position, entombed 
in nothing; it is too late 
to bring forth branches, to bloom 
or d...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...anfully
Made for the wild-duck's nest, from bough to bough
Hopped the shy finch, and the huge tortoise crept across the
slough.

On the faint wind floated the silky seeds
As the bright scythe swept through the waving grass,
The ouzel-cock splashed circles in the reeds
And flecked with silver whorls the forest's glass,
Which scarce had caught again its imagery
Ere from its bed the dusky tench leapt at the dragon-fly.

But little care had he for any thing
Though up and ...Read More



by Walcott, Derek
...two styles,
one a hack's hired prose, I earn
me exile. I trudge this sickle, moonlit beach for miles,

tan, burn
to slough off
this live of ocean that's self-love.

To change your language you must change your life.

I cannot right old wrongs.
Waves tire of horizon and return.
Gulls screech with rusty tongues

Above the beached, rotting pirogues,
they were a venomous beaked cloud at Charlotteville.

One I thought love of country was enough,
now, even i...Read More

by Hope, Alec Derwent (A D)
...s human grows to be 
A flaccid mass of phototropic cells; 

Let the dog love his vomit still, the swine 
Squelch in the slough; and let their only speech 
Be Babel; let the specious lies they bred 
Taste on their tongues like intellectual wine 
Let sung commercials surfeit them, till each 
Goggles with nausea in his nauseous bed. 

And, lest with them I learn to gibber and gloat, 
Lead me, for Sodom is my city still, 
To seek those hills in which the heart finds ease; 
Gi...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...eath!
In mercy come quickly.) 

From the stump of the arm, the amputated hand, 
I undo the clotted lint, remove the slough, wash off the matter and blood; 
Back on his pillow the soldier bends, with curv’d neck, and side-falling head; 
His eyes are closed, his face is pale, (he dares not look on the bloody stump,
And has not yet look’d on it.) 

I dress a wound in the side, deep, deep; 
But a day or two more—for see, the frame all wasted already, and sinking, 
And the...Read More

by Keats, John
...urblind amid foggy, midnight wolds.
But he revives at once: for who beholds
New sudden things, nor casts his mental slough?
Forth from a rugged arch, in the dusk below,
Came mother Cybele! alone--alone--
In sombre chariot; dark foldings thrown
About her majesty, and front death-pale,
With turrets crown'd. Four maned lions hale
The sluggish wheels; solemn their toothed maws,
Their surly eyes brow-hidden, heavy paws
Uplifted drowsily, and nervy tails
Cowering their tawn...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...e clouds doth rest
An oak-wreath, verdant and sublime,
Placed on his brow in after-time;
While they are banish'd to the slough,
Who their great master disavow.

 1776....Read More

by Stevenson, Robert Louis
...ithstood,
And still to battle and perish for a dream of good:
God, if that were enough! 

If to feel, in the ink of the slough,
And the sink of the mire,
Veins of glory and fire
Run through and transpierce and transpire,
And a secret purpose of glory in every part,
And the answering glory of battle fill my heart;
To thrill with the joy of girded men
To go on for ever and fail and go on again,
And be mauled to the earth and arise,
And contend for the shade of a word and a thin...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...e 
Balmier and nobler from her bath of storm, 
At random ravage? and how easily 
The mountain there has cast his cloudy slough, 
Now towering o'er him in serenest air, 
A mountain o'er a mountain, -- ay, and within 
All hollow as the hopes and fears of men?

"But who was he that in the garden snared
Picus and Faunus, rustic Gods? a tale
To laugh at -- more to laugh at in myself -- 
For look! what is it? there? yon arbutus
Totters; a noiseless riot underneath
Strikes through t...Read More

by Betjeman, John
...Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now, 
There isn't grass to graze a cow. 
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens, 
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans, 
Tinned minds, tinned breath. 

Mess up the mess they call a town—
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...down the trail.

IV

A wedge-faced man there was who ran along the river bank,
Who stumbled through each drift and slough, and ever slipped and sank,
And ever cursed his Maker's name, and ever "hooch" he drank.

He travelled like a hunted thing, hard harried, sore distrest;
The old grandmother moon crept out from her cloud-quilted nest;
The aged mountains mocked at him in their primeval rest.

Grim shadows diapered the snow; the air was strangely mild;
The valley...Read More

by Hope, Alec Derwent (A D)
...s human grows to be 
A flaccid mass of phototropic cells; 

Let the dog love his vomit still, the swine 
Squelch in the slough; and let their only speech 
Be Babel; let the specious lies they bred 
Taste on their tongues like intellectual wine 
Let sung commercials surfeit them, till each 
Goggles with nausea in his nauseous bed. 

And, lest with them I learn to gibber and gloat, 
Lead me, for Sodom is my city still, 
To seek those hills in which the heart finds ease; 
Gi...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...twight,* mine owen liart,** boy, *pulled **grey
I pray God save thy body, and Saint Loy!
Now is my cart out of the slough, pardie."
"Lo, brother," quoth the fiend, "what told I thee?
Here may ye see, mine owen deare brother,
The churl spake one thing, but he thought another.
Let us go forth abouten our voyage;
Here win I nothing upon this carriage."

When that they came somewhat out of the town,
This Sompnour to his brother gan to rown;
"Brother," quoth he, "...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...
From ferule and the trespass-chiding eye, 
Away we stole, and transient in a trice 
From what was left of faded woman-slough 
To sheathing splendours and the golden scale 
Of harness, issued in the sun, that now 
Leapt from the dewy shoulders of the Earth, 
And hit the Northern hills. Here Cyril met us. 
A little shy at first, but by and by 
We twain, with mutual pardon asked and given 
For stroke and song, resoldered peace, whereon 
Followed his tale. Amazed he...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...Some say that Guy of Warwick 
The man that killed the Cow, 
And brake the mighty Boar alive 
Beyond the bridge at Slough; 
Went up against a Loathly Worm 
That wasted all the Downs, 
And so the roads they twist and squirm 
(If a may be allowed the term) 
From the writhing of the stricken Worm 
That died in seven towns. 
I see no scientific proof 
That this idea is sound, 
And I should say they wound about 
To find the town of Roundabout, 
The merry town of Roundabou...Read More

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...r wicked end;

Who trusts in Me shall never die.

"In endless chains here lie ye now,
Nothing can save you from the slough.

Not boldness, not regret for crime.
Lie, then, and writhe in brimstone fire!
'Twas ye yourselves drew down Mine ire,

Lie and lament throughout all time!
And also ye, whom I selected,

E'en ye forever I disown,
For ye My saving grace rejected

Ye murmur? blame yourselves alone!

"Ye might have lived with Me in bliss,
For I of yore had promis...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...bes held the strengthe; 
This tolde she by proces, al by lengthe.

She tolde eek how Hemonides asterte,
Whan Tydeus slough fifty knightes stoute.
She tolde eek al the prophesyes by herte,
And how that sevene kinges, with hir route, 
Bisegeden the citee al aboute;
And of the holy serpent, and the welle,
And of the furies, al she gan him telle.

Of Archimoris buryinge and the pleyes,
And how Amphiorax fil through the grounde, 
How Tydeus was slayn, lord of Argeyes,
...Read More

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