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Famous Spoils Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert Winter’s biting, frosty breath;
The bees, rejoicing o’er their summer toils,
Unnumber’d buds an’ flow’rs’ delicious spoils,
Seal’d up with frugal care in massive waxen piles,
Are doom’d by Man, that tyrant o’er the weak,
The death o’ devils, smoor’d wi’ brimstone reek:
The thundering guns are heard on ev’ry side,
The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter wide;
The feather’d field-mates, bound by Nature’s tie,
Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage lie:
(What warm, poetic hea...Read more of this...

by Bradstreet, Anne
268 There let thy name, thy fame, and valour shine,
269 As did thine Ancestors' in Palestine,
270 And let her spoils full pay with int'rest be
271 Of what unjustly once she poll'd from thee.
272 Of all the woes thou canst let her be sped,
273 Execute to th' full the vengeance threatened.
274 Bring forth the beast that rul'd the world with's beck,
275 And tear his flesh, and set your feet on's neck,
276 And make his filthy den so desolate
277 To th' 'stonishm...Read more of this...

by Dryden, John
...alous cry,
Pursu'd their old belov'd Theocracy.
Where Sanhedrin and Priest enslav'd the nation,
And justifi'd their spoils by inspiration:
For who so fit for reign as Aaron's race,
If once dominion they could found in Grace?
These led the pack; though not of surest scent,
Yet deepest mouth'd against the government.
A numerous host of dreaming saints succeed;
Of the true old enthusiastic breed:
'Gainst form and order they their pow'r employ;
Nothing to build, and all t...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo consents
Of man and earth, of world beloved and lover,
The nectar and ambrosia, are withheld;
And in the midst of spoils and slaves, we thieves
And pirates of the universe, shut out
Daily to a more thin and outward rind,
Turn pale and starve. Therefore, to our sick eyes,
The stunted trees look sick, the summer short,
Clouds shade the sun, which will not tan our hay,
And nothing thrives to reach its natural term;
And life, shorn of its venerable length,
Even ...Read more of this...

by Bradstreet, Anne
...h ease
213 As if he had command of wind and tide
214 And now becomes great Master of the seas,
215 But suddenly a storm spoils all the sport
216 And makes him long for a more quiet port,
217 Which 'gainst all adverse winds may serve for fort. 


218 So he that faileth in this world of pleasure,
219 Feeding on sweets that never bit of th' sour,
220 That's full of friends, of honour, and of treasure,
221 Fond fool, he takes this earth ev'n for heav'ns bower,
222 But sad...Read more of this...

by Gray, Thomas
...pire might have swayed,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre;

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of Time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repressed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
But now it seems some unseen monster lays
His vast and filthy hands upon my will,
Wrenching it backward into his, and spoils
My bliss in being; and it was not great,
For save when shutting reasons up in rhythm,
Or Heliconian honey in living words,
To make a truth less harsh, I often grew
Tired of so much within our little life
Or of so little in our little life -- 
Poor little life that toddles half an hour
Crown'd with a flower or two, and there an end -- 
And since the no...Read more of this...

by Moore, Marianne firegilt steel
alive with goldenness;
how bright it shows --
"of circular traditions and impostures,
committing many spoils,"
requiring all one's criminal ingenuity
to avoid!
Psychology which explains everything
explains nothing
and we are still in doubt.
Eve: beautiful woman --
I have seen her
when she was so handsome
she gave me a start,
able to write simultaneously
in three languages --
English, German and French
and talk in the meantime;
equally positive in demandi...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...stering wing
Vanish and end their murmuring,
Vanish beside these dedicated blocks,
Which, who can tell what mason laid?
Spoils of a front none need restore,
Replacing frieze and architrave;
Yet flowers each stone rosette and metope brave,
Still is the haughty pile erect
Of the old building Intellect.
Complement of human kind,
Having us at vantage still,
Our sumptuous indigence,
O barren mound! thy plenties fill.
We fool and prate,—
Thou art silent and sedate.
To m...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...w gentle gales, 
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense 
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole 
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who fail 
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past 
Mozambick, off at sea north-east winds blow 
Sabean odours from the spicy shore 
Of Araby the blest; with such delay 
Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league 
Cheered with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles: 
So entertained those odorous sweets the Fiend, 
Who c...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...ned to advance into our room 
A creature formed of earth, and him endow, 
Exalted from so base original, 
With heavenly spoils, our spoils: What he decreed, 
He effected; Man he made, and for him built 
Magnificent this world, and earth his seat, 
Him lord pronounced; and, O indignity! 
Subjected to his service angel-wings, 
And flaming ministers to watch and tend 
Their earthly charge: Of these the vigilance 
I dread; and, to elude, thus wrapt in mist 
Of midnight vapour gli...Read more of this...

by Milton, John shall be admired, 
And valour and heroick virtue called; 
To overcome in battle, and subdue 
Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite 
Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch 
Of human glory; and for glory done 
Of triumph, to be styled great conquerours 
Patrons of mankind, Gods, and sons of Gods; 
Destroyers rightlier called, and plagues of men. 
Thus fame shall be achieved, renown on earth; 
And what most merits fame, in silence hid. 
But he, the seve...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
..."The city which thou seest no other deem
Than great and glorious Rome, Queen of the Earth
So far renowned, and with the spoils enriched
Of nations. There the Capitol thou seest,
Above the rest lifting his stately head
On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel
Impregnable; and there Mount Palatine, 
The imperial palace, compass huge, and high
The structure, skill of noblest architects,
With gilded battlements, conspicuous far,
Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires.
Many...Read more of this...

by Shakespeare, William
...Muse, my love's sweet face survey,
If Time have any wrinkle graven there;
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make Time's spoils despised every where.
Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life;
So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife....Read more of this...

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles dream;

O many-minded mother and visionary,
Asia, that sawest their westering waters sweep
With all the ships and spoils of time to carry
And all the fears and hopes of life to keep,
Thy vesture wrought of ages legendary
Hides usward thine impenetrable sleep,
And thy veiled head, night's oldest tributary,
We know not if it speak or smile or weep.
But where for us began
The first live light of man
And first-born fire of deeds to burn and leap,
The first war fair as p...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour pass'd away;
No fading of thy beauty's rich array,
No detriment of age on thee I trace,
But time's defeat written in spoils of grace,
From rivals robb'd, whom thou didst pity and slay. 
So hath thy growth been, thus thy faith is true,
Unchanged in change, still to my growing sense,
To life's desire the same, and nothing new:
But as thou wert in dream and prescience
At love's arising, now thou stand'st to view
In the broad noon of his magnificence. 

'Twas on the...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter wild she waved a plume
     Of feathers, which the eagles fling
     To crag and cliff from dusky wing;
     Such spoils her desperate step had sought,
     Where scarce was footing for the goat.
     The tartan plaid she first descried,
     And shrieked till all the rocks replied;
     As loud she laughed when near they drew,
     For then the Lowland garb she knew;
     And then her hands she wildly wrung,
     And then she wept, and then she sung—
     She s...Read more of this...

by Dryden, John
...for help from this devouring crane. 
The cut-throat sword and clamorous gown shall jar 
In sharing their ill-gotten spoils of war; 
Chiefs shall be grudged the part which they pretend; 
Lords envy lords, and friends with every friend 
About their impious merit shall contend. 
The surly Commons shall respect deny 
And justle peerage out with property. 
Their General either shall his trust betray 
And force the crowd to arbitrary sway, 
Or they, suspecting his ambit...Read more of this...

by Warton, Thomas
...prostrate columns, torn
From their firm base, increase the mouldering mass.
Far as the sight can pierce, appear the spoils
Of sunk magnificence! A blended scene
Of moles, fanes, arches, domes, and palaces,
Where, with his brother Horror, Ruin sits.

O come then, Melancholy, queen of thought!
O come with saintly look, and steadfast step,
From forth thy cave embower'd with mournful yew,
Where ever to the curfew's solemn sound
Listening thou sitt'st, and with thy cypress...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...SPAN>The woes of Thetis, and Ulysses' toils,His mighty mind recover'd from the spoilsOf envious time, and placed in lasting lightThe trophies ransom'd from oblivion's nightThe Mantuan bard, responsive to his song,Co-rival of his glory, walk'd along.[Pg 392]Read more of this...

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