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Famous Sorrows Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Blake, William
...SLEEP sleep beauty bright  
Dreaming in the joys of night; 
Sleep sleep; in thy sleep 
Little sorrows sit and weep

Sweet babe in thy face
Soft desires I can trace  
Secret joys and secret smiles  
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel 
Smiles as of the morning steal 
O'er thy cheek and o'er thy breast 
Where thy little heart doth rest.

O the cunning wiles that creep 
In thy little heart asleep! 
When thy little hear...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Raising his tearful eyes to the silent stars that above them
Moved on their way, unperturbed by the wrongs and sorrows of mortals.
Then sat he down at her side, and they wept together in silence.

Suddenly rose from the south a light, as in autumn the blood-red
Moon climbs the crystal walls of heaven, and o'er the horizon
Titan-like stretches its hundred hands upon mountain and meadow,
Seizing the rocks and the rivers, and piling huge shadows together.
Br...Read More

by Sassoon, Siegfried
The end of sunset burning thro¡¯ the boughs 10 
Died in a smear of red; exhausted hours 
Cumber¡¯d, and ugly sorrows hemmed him in. 

He thought: ¡®Somewhere there¡¯s thunder,¡¯ as he strove 
To shake off dread; he dared not look behind him, 
But stood, the sweat of horror on his face. 15 

He blunder¡¯d down a path, trampling on thistles, 
In sudden race to leave the ghostly trees. 
And: ¡®Soon I¡¯ll be in open fields,¡¯ he thought, 
And half ...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
 judger of men! 
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the 
 crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of 
 sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! 
 Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stun- 
 ned governments! 
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose 
 blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers 
 are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a canni- 
 bal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking 
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind window...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
..., and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust
Which was Mazzini once! rich Niobe
For all her stony sorrows hath her sons; but Italy,

What Easter Day shall make her children rise,
Who were not Gods yet suffered? what sure feet
Shall find their grave-clothes folded? what clear eyes
Shall see them bodily? O it were meet
To roll the stone from off the sepulchre
And kiss the bleeding roses of their wounds, in love of her,

Our Italy! our mother visible!
Most ...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...thinking those things? 
Ms. Dog! She's out fighting the dollars. 
Milk is the American drink. 
Oh queens of sorrows, 
oh water lady, 
place me in your cup 
and pull over the clouds 
so no one can see. 
She don't want no dollars. 
She done want a mama. 
The white of the white. 

Anne says: 
This is the rainy season. 
I am sorrowful in November. 
The kettle is whistling. 
I must butter the toast. 
And give it jam too. 
My kitchen ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) is not far, 
And thence they may escape from native war; 
And bear within them to the neighbouring state 
An exile's sorrows, or an outlaw's hate: 
Hard is the task their fatherland to quit, 
But harder still to perish or submit. 


It is resolved — they march — consenting Night 
Guides with her star their dim and torchless flight; 
Already they perceive its tranquil beam 
Sleep on the surface of the barrier stream; 
Already they descry — Is yon the bank? 
Aw...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
... She stood and listen'd to my Harp    Amid the ling'ring Light.   Few Sorrows hath she of her own,  My Hope, my Joy, my Genevieve!  She loves me best, whene'er I sing    The Songs, that make her grieve.   I play'd a soft and doleful Air,  I sang an old and moving Story—  An old rude Song that fitted well   &n...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
Thy lily-sprinkled meadows, - rest thee there,
To mock all human greatness: who would dare
To vent the paltry sorrows of his life
Before thy ruins, or to praise the strife
Of kings' ambition, and the barren pride
Of warring nations! wert not thou the Bride
Of the wild Lord of Adria's stormy sea!
The Queen of double Empires! and to thee
Were not the nations given as thy prey!
And now - thy gates lie open night and day,
The grass grows green on every tower and hall,
T...Read More

by Goldsmith, Oliver
...ted green,
The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
That only sheltered thefts of harmless love.

Good Heaven! what sorrows gloomed that parting day
That called them from their native walks away;
When the poor exiles, every pleasure passed,
Hung round their bowers, and fondly looked their last,
And took a long farewell, and wished in vain
For seats like these beyond the western main;
And, shuddering still to face the distant deep,
Returned and wept, and still returned to ...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...! fill'd all things with himself  And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale  Of his own sorrows) he and such as he  First named these notes a melancholy strain:  And many a poet echoes the conceit;  Poet, who hath been building up the rhyme [Footnote 4: "Most musical, most melancholy." This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superior to that of mere description: it is sp...Read More

by Bradstreet, Anne
...As neither sow, nor reap, nor plant, nor build.
4.51 If to Agriculture I was ordain'd,
4.52 Great labours, sorrows, crosses I sustain'd.
4.53 The early Cock did summon, but in vain,
4.54 My wakeful thoughts up to my painful gain.
4.55 For restless day and night, I'm robb'd of sleep
4.56 By cankered care, who sentinel doth keep.
4.57 My weary breast rest from his toil can find,
4.58 But if I rest, the more distrest my mind.
...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...ry purpose primes,
But fear lest with my fears my hope should end:
Nay, I would truth deny and burn my rhymes,
Renew my sorrows rather than offend,
A thousand times, and yet a thousand times. 

I travel to thee with the sun's first rays,
That lift the dark west and unwrap the night;
I dwell beside thee when he walks the height,
And fondly toward thee at his setting gaze.
I wait upon thy coming, but always--
Dancing to meet my thoughts if they invite--
Thou hast out...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
And every man hated her company.

Woe was this king when he this letter had seen,
But to no wight he told his sorrows sore,
But with his owen hand he wrote again,
"Welcome the sond* of Christ for evermore *will, sending
To me, that am now learned in this lore:
Lord, welcome be thy lust* and thy pleasance, *will, pleasure
My lust I put all in thine ordinance.

"Keepe* this child, albeit foul or fair, *preserve
And eke my wife, unto mine homecoming:
Christ when hi...Read More

by Blake, William
...rtions of
eternity too great for the eye of man.

The fox condemns the trap, not himself.

Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth.

Let man wear the fell of the lion. woman the fleece of the sheep.

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.

The selfish smiling fool. & the sullen frowning fool. shall be
both thought wise. that they may be a rod.

What is now proved was once, only imagin'd.
The rat, the mouse, the fox, the...Read More

by Warton, Thomas
...pturous the joy, to melt
To Melody's assuasive voice; to bend
Th' uncertain step along the midnight mead,
And pour your sorrows to the pitying moon,
By many a slow trill from the bird of woe
Oft interrupted; in embowering woods
By darksome brook to muse, and there forget
The solemn dulness of the tedious world,
While Fancy grasps the visionary fair:
And now no more th' abstracted ear attends
The water's murmuring lapse, th' entranced eye
Pierces no longer through th' extended...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...of Female Lungs,
Sighs, Sobs, and Passions, and the War of Tongues.
A Vial next she fills with fainting Fears,
Soft Sorrows, melting Griefs, and flowing Tears.
The Gnome rejoicing bears her Gift away,
Spreads his black Wings, and slowly mounts to Day.

Sunk in Thalestris' Arms the Nymph he found,
Her Eyes dejected and her Hair unbound. 
Full o'er their Heads the swelling Bag he rent,
And all the Furies issued at the Vent.
Belinda burns with more than morta...Read More

by Plath, Sylvia
The visitations, the manifestations, the startled faces.
I am the center of an atrocity.
What pains, what sorrows must I be mothering?

Can such innocence kill and kill? It milks my life.
The trees wither in the street. The rain is corrosive.
I taste it on my tongue, and the workable horrors,
The horrors that stand and idle, the slighted godmothers
With their hearts that tick and tick, with their satchels of instruments.
I shall be a wall and a r...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler grace, 
And loved your beauty with love false or true; 
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, 
And loved the sorrows of your changing face. 

And bending down beside the glowing bars, 
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled 
And paced upon the mountains overhead, 
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars. ...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...nd Moon.

But the enemy won't get to divide
Our lands for his fun:
Holy Mary will spread on her own
Over great sorrows a white gown"


From the burning forests is flying
Sweet smell of the evergreens.
Over children soldiers' wives are moaning
Cry of widows through village rings.

Not in vain were the prayers rendered,
The earth was thirsty for rain:
The stomped-over fields with red dampness
Were covered and covered remain.

Low, low is th...Read More

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