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Famous Spartan Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...NO Spartan tube, no Attic shell,
 No lyre Æolian I awake;
’Tis liberty’s bold note I swell,
 Thy harp, Columbia, let me take!
See gathering thousands, while I sing,
A broken chain exulting bring,
 And dash it in a tyrant’s face,
And dare him to his very beard,
And tell him he no more is feared—
 No more the despot of Columbia’s race!
A tyrant’s proudest insults...Read More



by Masters, Edgar Lee
...ransgressed against me
With plain remonstrance, hiding nor nurturing
Nor secret griefs nor grudges.
That act of the Spartan boy is greatly praised,
Who hid the wolf under his cloak,
Letting it devour him, uncomplainingly.
It is braver, I think, to snatch the wolf forth
And fight him openly, even in the street,
Amid dust and howls of pain.
The tongue may be an unruly member --
But silence poisons the soul.
Berate me who will -- I am content....Read More

by Cavafy, Constantine P
...at they were utterly indifferent in Sparta
to this inscription. "Except the Lacedaemonians",
but naturally. The Spartans were not
to be led and ordered about
as precious servants. Besides
a panhellenic campaign without
a Spartan king as a leader
would not have appeared very important.
O, of course "except the Lacedaemonians."

This too is a stand. Understandable.

Thus, except the Lacedaemonians at Granicus;
and then at Issus; and in the final
batt...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...e dead --
One envies the Distinguished Dust --
Permitted -- such a Head --

The Stone -- that tells defending Whom
This Spartan put away
What little of Him we -- possessed
In Pawn for Liberty --

The price is great -- Sublimely paid --
Do we deserve -- a Thing --
That lives -- like Dollars -- must be piled
Before we may obtain?

Are we that wait -- sufficient worth --
That such Enormous Pearl
As life -- dissolved be -- for Us --
In Battle's -- horrid Bowl?

It may be -- a Ren...Read More

by Milton, John
...weeting hand
Whilome did slay his dearly-loved mate
Young Hyacinth born on Eurotas' strand,
Young Hyacinth the pride of Spartan land;
But then transform'd him to a purple flower
Alack that so to change thee winter had no power.

V

Yet can I not perswade me thou art dead
Or that thy coarse corrupts in earths dark wombe, 
Or that thy beauties lie in wormie bed,
Hid from the world in a low delved tombe;
Could Heav'n for pittie thee so strictly doom?
O no! for something in t...Read More



by Byron, George (Lord)
...cks the hero's bier,
Or binds his brow.

The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece, around me see!
The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
Was not more free.

Awake! (not Greece—she is awake!)
Awake, my spirit! Think through whom
Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home!

Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood!—unto thee
Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of beauty be.

If thou regret'st thy youth, why live?
The land of...Read More

by Milton, John
...Was bid turn reins from the equinoctial road 
Like distant breadth to Taurus with the seven 
Atlantick Sisters, and the Spartan Twins, 
Up to the Tropick Crab: thence down amain 
By Leo, and the Virgin, and the Scales, 
As deep as Capricorn; to bring in change 
Of seasons to each clime; else had the spring 
Perpetual smiled on earth with vernant flowers, 
Equal in days and nights, except to those 
Beyond the polar circles; to them day 
Had unbenighted shone, while the low sun...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...: never knight
Rode forth more nobly to wild scenes of fight!
None fell more bravely on ensanguined field,
Borne like a Spartan back upon his shield!
O Hellas! Hellas! in thine hour of pride,
Thy day of might, remember him who died
To wrest from off thy limbs the trammelling chain:
O Salamis! O lone Plataean plain!
O tossing waves of wild Euboean sea!
O wind-swept heights of lone Thermopylae!
He loved you well - ay, not alone in word,
Who freely gave to thee his lyre and swor...Read More

by Lowell, Robert
...(for Elizabeth Bishop)

Nautilus Island's hermit
heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage;
her sheep still graze above the sea.
Her son's a bishop. Her farmer
is first selectman in our village;
she's in her dotage.

Thirsting for
the hierarchic privacy
of Queen Victoria's century
she buys up all
the eyesores facing her shore
and lets them fall.

The season's ill--
we've lost our summer millionaire
wh...Read More

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
...fore as I love now;
At least, in lively chronicles of the past—
Of Irish waters by a Cornish prow
Or Trojan waters by a Spartan mast
Much to their cost invaded—here and there,
Hunting the amorous line, skimming the rest,
I find some woman bearing as I bear
Love like a burning city in the breast.
I think however that of all alive
I only in such utter, ancient way
Do suffer love; in me alone survive
The unregenerate passions of a day
When treacherous queens, with death upon...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...My mother loved her horses and
 Her hounds of pedigree;
She did not kiss the baby hand
 I held to her in glee.
Of course I had a sweet nou-nou
 Who tended me with care,
And mother reined her nag to view
 Me with a critic air.

So I went to a famous school,
 But holidays were short;
My mother thought me just a fool,
 Unfit for games and sport.
F...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...ind, to keep themselves alive
They masticate each other's tails, till just the Tough survive.
Yet on this stern and Spartan fare so-rapidly they grow,
That some attain six inches by the melting of the snow.
Then when the tundra glows to green and ****** heads appear,
They burrow down and are not seen until another year."

"A toughish yarn," laughed Major Brown, "as well you may admit.
I'd like to see this little beast before I swallow it."
"'Tis easy done,...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...the nation, who the name,
Of all who there together came?
From Theseus' town, from Aulis' strand
From Phocis, from the Spartan land,
From Asia's distant coast, they wend,
From every island of the sea,
And from the stage they hear ascend
The chorus's dread melody.

Who, sad and solemn, as of old,
With footsteps measured and controlled,
Advancing from the far background,
Circle the theatre's wide round.
Thus, mortal women never move!
No mortal home to them gave birth!
...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...is there left to say?

But there's another knowledge that my heart destroys,
As the fox in the old fable destroyed the Spartan boy's
Because it proves that things both can and cannot be;
That the swordsmen and the ladies can still keep company,
Can pay the poet for a verse and hear the fiddle sound,
That I am still their setvant though all are underground.
 O what of that, O what of that,
 What is there left to say?

I came on a great house in the middle of the night,
It...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...mportant post
There Agamemnon points his dreadful host,
That pass Tydides, Ajax, strive to gain,
And there the vengeful Spartan fires his train.
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have giv'n,
Or led by hopes, or dictated from heav'n.
Let others in the field their arms employ,
But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy."

The chief replied: "That post shall be my care,
Not that alone, but all the works of war.
How would the sons of Troy, in arms renown'd,
...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...t little maid, 
That ever crowed for kisses.' 
'Out upon it!' 
She answered, 'peace! and why should I not play 
The Spartan Mother with emotion, be 
The Lucius Junius Brutus of my kind? 
Him you call great: he for the common weal, 
The fading politics of mortal Rome, 
As I might slay this child, if good need were, 
Slew both his sons: and I, shall I, on whom 
The secular emancipation turns 
Of half this world, be swerved from right to save 
A prince, a brother? a little w...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...vain her voice, till better days 
Dawn in those yet remember'd rays, 
Which shone upon the Persian flying, 
And saw the Spartan smile in dying. 

XV. 

Not mindless of these mighty times 
Was Alp, despite his flight and crimes; 
And through this night, as on he wander'd, 
And o'er the past and present ponder'd, 
And thought upon the glorious dead 
Who there in better cause had bled, 
He felt how faint and feebly dim 
The fame that could accrue to him, 
Who cheer'd the...Read More

by Emanuel, James A
...To every man
His treehouse,
A green splice in the humping years,
Spartan with narrow cot
And prickly door.

To every man
His twilight flash
Of luminous recall
 of tiptoe years
 in leaf-stung flight;
 of days of squirm and bite
 that waved antennas through the grass;
 of nights
 when every moving thing
 was girlshaped,
 expectantly turning.

To every man
His house below
And his house above—
With perilous stairs
Bet...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...ecline,And hail'd as oft a new heroic line:Then Agamemnon, with the Spartan's shade,One by his spouse forsaken, one betray'd:And now another Spartan met my view,Who, cheerly, call'd his self-devoted crew[Pg 387]To banquet with the ghostly train below,Read More

by Alcott, Louisa May
...a home for all-- 
Just, eloquent, and strong 
In protest against wrong; 
Wide charity, that knew no sin, no fall; 

The spartan spirit that made life so grand, 
Mating poor daily needs 
With high, heroic deeds, 
That wrested happiness from Fate's hard hand. 

We thought to weep, but sing for joy instead, 
Full of the grateful peace 
That follows her release; 
For nothing but the weary dust lies dead. 

Oh, noble woman! never more a queen 
Than in the laying down 
Of s...Read More

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