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Famous Sources Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
 Above the narrow, rural vale:
 Attentive still to Sorrow’s wail,
Or modest Merit’s silent claim;
 And never may their sources fail!
And never Envy blot their name!

Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,
 Gay as the gilded summer sky,
Sweet as the dewy, milk-white thorn,
 Dear as the raptur’d thrill of joy!
 Fair Burnet strikes th’ adoring eye,
Heaven’s beauties on my fancy shine;
 I see the Sire of Love on high,
And own His work indeed divine!

There, watching high the le...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...With the old streams of death.) 

Some threading Ohio’s farm-fields or the woods, 
Some down Colorado’s cañons from sources of perpetual snow, 
Some half-hid in Oregon, or away southward in Texas,
Some in the north finding their way to Erie, Niagara, Ottawa, 
Some to Atlantica’s bays, and so to the great salt brine. 

In you whoe’er you are my book perusing, 
In I myself, in all the world, these currents flowing, 
All, all toward the mystic ocean tending.

Current...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...n hillside farms.


I want a poetry

Like cobbles in rain

And molten like a river

Running; hold!

If the sources of Aire

Are veiled in mystery

She is hardly to blame

Barges brimful of coal

And iron-ore look

Just the same.


‘Leeds for dirt and vulgarity’ -

The canal banks wor like a carpet

O’breet colours - an th’river ran below

Shaded wi’ trees under which th’ground

Seemed covered wi’ a claad ov hyacinths -

May soa thick on thorn trees w...Read More

by Bidart, Frank

--his novel which recaptures the past, and
with a kind of joy, because
in the debris
of the past, he has found the sources of the necessities

which have led him to this room, writing

--in this strange harmony, does he will
for it to have been different?

 And I can't not think of the remorse of Oedipus,

who tries to escape, to expiate the past
by blinding himself, and
then, when he is dying, sees that he has become a Daimon

--does he, discovering, at last, this cruel...Read More

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...limbs of the tree, 
Or the flesh-colour'd fruit of my branches, I was, and thy soul was in 

 First life on my sources 
 First drifted and swam; 
 Out of me are the forces 
 That save it or damn; 
Out of me man and woman, and wild-beast and bird: before God was, I 

 Beside or above me 
 Naught is there to go; 
 Love or unlove me, 
 Unknow me or know, 
I am that which unloves me and loves; I am stricken, and I am the 

 I the mark that is miss'd 
...Read More

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...s afraid.
Will ye turn back times, and the courses of stars, and the season of souls?
Shall God's breath dry up the sources that feed time full as it rolls?
Nay, cry on him then till he show you a sign, till he lift up a rod;
Hath he made not the nations to know him of old if indeed he be God?
Is no heat of him left in the ashes of thousands burnt up for his sake?
Can prayer not rekindle the flashes that shone in his face from the stake?
Cry aloud; for your God is a God a...Read More

by Eluard, Paul
...sourires parfumés, 
Ailes couvrant le monde de lumière, 
Bateaux chargés du ciel et de la mer, 
Chasseurs des bruits et sources de couleurs, 
Parfums éclos d'une couvée d'aurores 
Qui gît toujours sur la paille des astres, 
Comme le jour dépend de l'innocence 
Le monde entier dépend de tes yeux purs 
Et tout mon sang coule dans leurs regards....Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...Reverse cannot befall
That fine Prosperity
Whose Sources are interior --
As soon -- Adversity

A Diamond -- overtake
In far -- Bolivian Ground --
Misfortune hath no implement
Could mar it -- if it found --...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...we go, but through the mightier cities; 
Something for us is pouring now, more than Niagara pouring;
Torrents of men, (sources and rills of the Northwest, are you indeed inexhaustible?) 
What, to pavements and homesteads here—what were those storms of the mountains and
What, to passions I witness around me to-day? Was the sea risen? 
Was the wind piping the pipe of death under the black clouds? 
Lo! from deeps more unfathomable, something more deadly and savage;
Manha...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
Had pillowed to his nightly rest!
Thou knowest not, thou canst not know
My agony. Oh! I could not weep.
The sources whence such blessings flow
Were not to be approached by me!
But I could smile, and I could sleep,
Though with a self-accusing heart.
In morning's light, in evening's gloom,
I watched--and would not thence depart-- 
My husband's unlamented tomb.
My children knew their sire was gone;
But when I told them, 'He is dead,'
They laughed aloud in fra...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...s is words. Words are like labels, 
or coins, or better, like swarming bees. 
I confess I am only broken by the sources of things; 
as if words were counted like dead bees in the attic, 
unbuckled from their yellow eyes and their dry wings. 
I must always forget who one words is able to pick 
out another, to manner another, until I have got 
somethhing I might have said... 
but did not. 
Your business is watching my words. But I 
admit nothing....Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...hrough the air the storm-wind on-speeds,--
One knows not from whence its wild roaring proceeds--
As the spring from hid sources up-leaping,
So the lay of the bard from the inner heart breaks
While the might of sensations unknown it awakes,
That within us were wondrously sleeping."

Then the bard swept the cords with a finger of might,
Evoking their magical sighing:
"To the chase once rode forth a valorous knight,
In pursuit of the antelope flying.
His hunting-spear be...Read More

by Arnold, Matthew
...nly the thoughts,
Raised by the objects he passes, are his.

Who can see the green earth any more
As she was by the sources of Time?
Who imagines her fields as they lay
In the sunshine, unworn by the plough?
Who thinks as they thought,
The tribes who then roamed on her breast,
Her vigorous, primitive sons?

What girl
Now reads in her bosom as clear
As Rebekah read, when she sate
At eve by the palm-shaded well?
Who guards in her breast
As deep, as pellucid a spring
Of feel...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
`Self and Pelf', my friend, remember, is the motto of the world. 

`Flowing founts of inspiration leave their sources parched and dry, 
Scalding tears of indignation sear the hearts that beat too high; 
Chilly waters thrown upon it drown the fire that's in the bard; 
And the banter of the critic hurts his heart till it grows hard. 
At the fame your muse may offer let your lip in scorn be curled, 
`Self and Pelf', my friend, remember, that's the motto of the worl...Read More

by Scott, Duncan Campbell
Now the Indian guides are dead asleep;
There is no sound unless the soul can hear
The gathering of the waters in their sources.
We have come up through the spreading lakes
From level to level, --
Pitching our tents sometimes over a revel
Of roses that nodded all night,
Dreaming within our dreams, 
To wake at dawn and find that they were captured
With no dew on their leaves;
Sometimes mid sheaves
Of bracken and dwarf-cornel, and again
On a wide blueberry plain 
Brushed wi...Read More

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
Ranged, for sculptures, round the room,---
Named as Fancy weeneth:
Some be Junos, without eyes;
Naiads, without sources
Some be birds of paradise,---
Some, Olympian horses.

Bring the dews the birds shake off,
Waking in the hedges,---
Those too, perfumed for a proof,
From the lilies' edges:
From our England's field and moor,
Bring them calm and white in;
Whence to form a mirror pure,
For Love's self-delighting.

Bring a grey cloud from the east,
Where the lark...Read More

by Blake, William
...s world into its sensual existence
and now seem to live in it in chains; are in truth. the causes
of its life & the sources of all activity, but the chains are,
the cunning of weak and tame minds. which have power to resist
energy. according to the proverb, the weak in courage is strong
in cunning.
Thus one portion of being, is the Prolific. the other, the
Devouring: to the devourer it seems as if the producer was in
his chains, but it is not so, he only t...Read More

by Brontë, Emily
...all, with sudden blaze,
The glad deep sparkled wide and bright -
White as the sun, far, far more fair
Than its divided sources were!" 

"And even for that spirit, seer,
I've watched and sought my life - time long;
Sought him in heaven, hell, earth and air -
An endless search, and always wrong!
Had I but seen his glorious eye
Once light the clouds that wilder me,
I ne'er had raised this coward cry
To cease to think and cease to be;
I ne'er had called oblivion blest,
Nor, stre...Read More

by Holmes, Oliver Wendell
...down its sloping sides 
Pours the swift rain-drops, blending, as they fall, 
In rushing river-tides! 
Yon stream, whose sources run 
Turned by a pebble's edge, 
Is Athabasca, rolling toward the sun 
Through the cleft mountain-ledge. 
The slender rill had strayed, 
But for the slanting stone, 
To evening's ocean, with the tangled braid 
Of foam-flecked Oregon. 

So from the heights of Will 
Life's parting stream descends, 
And, as a moment turns its slender rill, 
Each...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...nd toward encouragement

That fine Suspicion, Natures must
Permitted to revere
Departed Standards and the few
Criterion Sources here...Read More

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