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Famous Slumbering Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
...body of books, by night or by day, and when they touch my body back

When a university course convinces, like a slumbering woman and child convince; 
When the minted gold in the vault smiles like the night-watchman’s daughter;
When warrantee deeds loafe in chairs opposite, and are my friendly companions; 
I intend to reach them my hand, and make as much of them as I do of men and women like

The sum of all known reverence I add up in you, whoever you are; 
...Read More

by Neruda, Pablo
Episcopal ceremony and your stone-carved moustache.
Take care of all our dreams
Control the obscurity
Of our slumbering prowess
With your relentless HEART
And the great ruff of your tail....Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler>
His nostrils quiver like a hungry beast
Who scents anear the bloody carnal feast.
He longs to leap down in that slumbering vale
And leave no foe alive to tell the awful tale.

Not so, calm Custer. Sick of gory strife, 
He hopes for rescue with no loss of life; 
And plans that bloodless battle of the plains 
Where reasoning mind outwits mere savage brains.
The sullen soldiers follow where he leads; 
No gun is emptied, and no foeman bleeds....Read More

by Keats, John
...t, and towards it went
Through winding alleys; and lo, wonderment!
Upon soft verdure saw, one here, one there,
Cupids a slumbering on their pinions fair.

 After a thousand mazes overgone,
At last, with sudden step, he came upon
A chamber, myrtle wall'd, embowered high,
Full of light, incense, tender minstrelsy,
And more of beautiful and strange beside:
For on a silken couch of rosy pride,
In midst of all, there lay a sleeping youth
Of fondest beauty; fonder, in fair soot...Read More

by Keats, John
...'s empyreal footstool win
An immortality, and how espouse
Jove's daughter, and be reckon'd of his house.
Now was he slumbering towards heaven's gate,
That he might at the threshold one hour wait
To hear the marriage melodies, and then
Sink downward to his dusky cave again.
His litter of smooth semilucent mist,
Diversely ting'd with rose and amethyst,
Puzzled those eyes that for the centre sought;
And scarcely for one moment could be caught
His sluggish form reposing m...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth,
All undisturbed by the dash of their oars, and unseen, were the sleepers,
Angel of God was there none to awaken the slumbering maiden.
Swiftly they glided away, like the shade of a cloud on the prairie.
After the sound of their oars on the tholes had died in the distance,
As from a magic trance the sleepers awoke, and the maiden
Said with a sigh to the friendly priest, "O Father Felician!
Something says in my heart that near me Gabriel wanders.
Is it a foolish...Read More

by Hugo, Victor the castle tower he wends his way, 
 And finds a supper laid with rich display. 
 He sups and sleeps: then to his slumbering eyes 
 The shades of kings from Bela all arise. 
 None dare the tower to enter on this night, 
 But when the morning dawns, crowds are in sight 
 The dreamer to deliver,—whom half dazed, 
 And with the visions of the night amazed, 
 They to the old church take, where rests the dust 
 Of Borivorus; then the bishop must, 
 With fervent bless...Read More

by Whitman, Walt, ready for eating; 
This face of a healthy honest boy is the programme of all good.

These faces bear testimony, slumbering or awake; 
They show their descent from the Master himself. 

Off the word I have spoken, I except not one—red, white, black, are all deific; 
In each house is the ovum—it comes forth after a thousand years. 

Spots or cracks at the windows do not disturb me;
Tall and sufficient stand behind, and make signs to me; 
I read the promise, and ...Read More

by Gibran, Kahlil

They separated, and the elegy to their union was smothered by the wails of my crying heart. 

I looked upon slumbering Nature, and with deep reflection discovered the reality of a vast and infinite thing -- something no power could demand, influence acquire, nor riches purchase. Nor could it be effaced by the tears of time or deadened by sorrow; a thing which cannot be discovered by the blue lakes of Switzerland or the beautiful edifices of Italy. 

It is ...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas
...nlimited control !
Adieu the silent look ! the streaming eye !
The murmured plaint ! the deep heart-heaving sigh !
Long-slumbering Vengeance wakes to better deeds ;
He shrieks, he falls, the perjured lover bleeds !
Now the last laugh of agony is o'er,
And pale in blood he sleeps, to wake no more !

'T is done ! the flame of hate no longer burns :
Nature relents, but, ah! too late returns!
Why does my soul this gush of fondness feel ?
Trembling and faint, I drop the guilty ste...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante king,
and makes the heart a palace where he’ll stay,
perhaps a shorter or a longer day,
breathing quietly, gently slumbering.

Then beauty in a virtuous woman’s face
makes the eyes yearn, and strikes the heart,
so that the eyes’ desire’s reborn again,
and often, rooting there with longing, stays,

Till love, at last, out of its dreaming starts.
Woman’s moved likewise by a virtuous man....Read More

by Kendall, Henry
...nies of night; 
And a low sad music cometh, borne along on windy wings, 
Like a strain familiar rising from a maze of slumbering springs. 

And the Spirit, by my window, speaketh to my restless soul, 
Telling of the clime she came from, where the silent moments roll; 

Telling of the bourne mysterious, where the sunny summers flee 
Cliffs and coasts, by man untrodden, ridging round a shipless sea. 

There the years of yore are blooming - there departed life-dreams...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
...grow fearful on their lonely way,
Fancying that ghosts may wake, and leave their graves by day.

Yet but awhile the slumbering weather flings
Its murky prison round— then winds wake loud;
With sudden stir the startled forest sings
Winter's returning song— cloud races cloud,
And the horizon throws away its shroud,
Sweeping a stretching circle from the eye;
Storms upon storms in quick succession crowd,
And o'er the sameness of the purple sky
Heaven paints, with hurried hand...Read More

by Milton, John
...d, or that sea-beast 
Leviathan, which God of all his works 
Created hugest that swim th' ocean-stream. 
Him, haply slumbering on the Norway foam, 
The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff, 
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell, 
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind, 
Moors by his side under the lee, while night 
Invests the sea, and wished morn delays. 
So stretched out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay, 
Chained on the burning lake; nor ever thence 
Had rise...Read More

by Milton, John
...rable style I can obtain 
Of my celestial patroness, who deigns 
Her nightly visitation unimplor'd, 
And dictates to me slumbering; or inspires 
Easy my unpremeditated verse: 
Since first this subject for heroick song 
Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late; 
Not sedulous by nature to indite 
Wars, hitherto the only argument 
Heroick deem'd chief mastery to dissect 
With long and tedious havock fabled knights 
In battles feign'd; the better fortitude 
Of patience and he...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
What waves and soils exuding? 
What climes? what persons and lands are here? 
Who are the infants? some playing, some slumbering? 
Who are the girls? who are the married women? 
Who are the groups of old men going slowly with their arms about each other’s necks?
What rivers are these? what forests and fruits are these? 
What are the mountains call’d that rise so high in the mists? 
What myriads of dwellings are they, fill’d with dwellers? 

Within me latitude widens, long...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
Still, nodding night! mad, naked, summer night. 

Smile, O voluptuous, cool-breath’d earth! 
Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees; 
Earth of departed sunset! earth of the mountains, misty-topt! 
Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon, just tinged with blue!
Earth of shine and dark, mottling the tide of the river! 
Earth of the limpid gray of clouds, brighter and clearer for my sake! 
Far-swooping elbow’d earth! rich, apple-blossom’d earth! 
Smile,...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dreamed
Perchance in sleep—for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.


I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
Green and of mild declivity, the last
As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such,
Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
But a most living landscape, and the wave
Of woods and corn-fields, a...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
     See, gliding slow through mist and bush,
     The hermit gains yon rock, and stands
     To gaze upon our slumbering bands.
     Seems he not, Malise, dike a ghost,
     That hovers o'er a slaughtered host?
     Or raven on the blasted oak,
     That, watching while the deer is broke,
     His morsel claims with sullen croak?'


     'Peace! peace! to other than to me
     Thy words were evil augury;
     But still I hold Sir Roderick's b...Read More

by Dryden, John
But he by art our native strength betrayed. 
So Samson to his foe his force confest, 
And to be shorn lay slumbering on her breast. 
But when this fatal counsel, found too late, 
Exposed its author to the public hate, 
When his just sovereign by no impious way 
Could be seduced to arbitrary sway, 
Forsaken of that hope, he shifts his sail, 
Drives down the current with the popular gale, 
And shows the fiend confessed without a veil. 
He preaches to the c...Read More

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