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Famous Sport Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Pope, Alexander
...mploy their Pains to spurn some others down;
And while Self-Love each jealous Writer rules,
Contending Wits becomes the Sport of Fools:
But still the Worst with most Regret commend,
For each Ill Author is as bad a Friend.
To what base Ends, and by what abject Ways,
Are Mortals urg'd thro' Sacred Lust of praise!
Ah ne'er so dire a Thirst of Glory boast,
Nor in the Critick let the Man be lost!
Good-Nature and Good-Sense must ever join;
To err is Humane; to Forgive, Divine.<...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
And walk all day beneath the hyaline
Huge vault of Neptune's watery portico,
And watch the purple monsters of the deep
Sport in ungainly play, and from his lair keen Xiphias leap.

For if my mistress find me lying here
She will not ruth or gentle pity show,
But lay her boar-spear down, and with austere
Relentless fingers string the cornel bow,
And draw the feathered notch against her breast,
And loose the arched cord; aye, even now upon the quest

I hear her hurrying fee...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...Though he should dance from eve till peep of day--
 Nor any drooping flower
 Held sacred for thy bower,
Wherever he may sport himself and play.

 "To Sorrow
 I bade good-morrow,
And thought to leave her far away behind;
 But cheerly, cheerly,
 She loves me dearly;
She is so constant to me, and so kind:
 I would deceive her
 And so leave her,
But ah! she is so constant and so kind.

"Beneath my palm trees, by the river side,
I sat a weeping: in the whole world wide
The...Read more of this...

by Pope, Alexander
...ll Imperfection what thou fancy'st such, 
Say, here he gives too little, there too much; 
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust,(9) 
Yet cry, If Man's unhappy, God's unjust; 
If Man alone ingross not Heav'n's high care, 
Alone made perfect here, immortal there: 
Snatch from his hand the balance(10) and the rod, 
Re-judge his justice, be the GOD of GOD! 
In Pride, in reas'ning Pride, our error lies; 
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies. 
Pride still is aim...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...less of sorrow than of pride was there, 
Or, if 'twere grief, a grief that none should share: 
And pleased not him the sports that please his age, 
The tricks of youth, the frolics of the page; 
For hours on Lara he would fix his glance, 
As all-forgotten in that watchful trance; 
And from his chief withdrawn, he wander'd lone, 
Brief were his answers, and his questions none; 
His walk the wood, his sport some foreign book; 
His resting-place the bank that curbs the brook; 
...Read more of this...

by Marvell, Andrew
...e retires 
To forge new thunder and inspect their fires. 

The court as once of war, now fond of peace, 
All to new sports their wanton fears release. 
From Greenwich (where intelligence they hold) 
Comes news of pastime martial and old, 
A punishment invented first to awe 
Masculine wives transgressing Nature's law, 
Where, when the brawny female disobeys, 
And beats the husband till for peace he prays, 
No concerned jury for him damage finds, 
Nor partial justice he...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
Designing or exhorting glorious war, 
Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurled, 
Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and prey 
Or racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk 
Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains, 
There to converse with everlasting groans, 
Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved, 
Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse. 
War, therefore, open or concealed, alike 
My voice dissuades; for what can force or guile 
With him, or who deceive his mind, whose ...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...cret, in what part my strength
Lay stor'd in what part summ'd, that she might know:
Thrice I deluded her, and turn'd to sport
Her importunity, each time perceiving
How openly, and with what impudence
She purpos'd to betray me, and (which was worse
Then undissembl'd hate) with what contempt 
She sought to make me Traytor to my self;
Yet the fourth time, when mustring all her wiles,
With blandisht parlies, feminine assaults,
Tongue-batteries, she surceas'd not day nor night
To ...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...and great-grandsons around
In walls of adobie, in canvas tents, rest hunters and trappers after their
 day’s sport; 
The city sleeps, and the country sleeps; 
The living sleep for their time, the dead sleep for their time; 
The old husband sleeps by his wife, and the young husband sleeps by his wife; 
And these one and all tend inward to me, and I tend outward to them;
And such as it is to be of these, more or less, I am. 

I am of old and young, of ...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord) 
My life, oh! bid me be thy slave!" 


"My slave, Zuleika! — nay, I'm thine; 
But, gentle love, this transport calm, 
Thy lot shall yet be link'd with mine; 
I swear it by our Prophet's shrine, 
And be that thought thy sorrow's balm. 
So may the Koran verse display'd [29] 
Upon its steel direct my blade, 
In danger's hour to guard us both, 
As I preserve that awful oath! 
The name in which thy heart hath prided 
Must change; but, my Zuleika, know, 
That tie...Read more of this...

by von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
...opes wide,
And women and men stepping forth are descried,

In cerements snow-white and trailing.

In haste for the sport soon their ankles they twitch,

And whirl round in dances so gay;
The young and the old, and the poor, and the rich,

But the cerements stand in their way;
And as modesty cannot avail them aught here,
They shake themselves all, and the shrouds soon appear

Scatter'd over the tombs in confusion.

Now waggles the leg, and now wriggles the thigh,

As ...Read more of this...

by Goldsmith, Oliver
...And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed:
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, where every sport could please,
How often have I loitered o'er your green,
Where humble happiness endeared each scene;
How often have I paused on every charm,
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topped the neighbouring hill,
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whispering ...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...g from such rustic roofs: the hill
Was crowned with a peculiar diadem
Of trees, in circular array, so fixed,
Not by the sport of nature, but of man:
These two, a maiden and a youth, were there
Gazing—the one on all that was beneath
Fair as herself—but the boy gazed on her;
And both were young, and one was beautiful:
And both were young—yet not alike in youth.
As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge,
The maid was on the eve of womanhood;
The boy had fewer summers, but his...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...keen and angry tooth
And bravelier the triumphant blood of youth
Mantling thy cheek its happy home possest,
And sterner sport by day put strength to test,
And custom's feast at night gave tongue to truth 
Or say hath flaunting summer a device
To match our midnight revelry, that rang
With steel and flame along the snow-girt ice?
Or when we hark't to nightingales that sang
On dewy eves in spring, did they entice
To gentler love than winter's icy fang? 

There's many a would-...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...lovelier face!
     What though the sun, with ardent frown,
     Had slightly tinged her cheek with brown,—
     The sportive toil, which, short and light
     Had dyed her glowing hue so bright,
     Served too in hastier swell to show
     Short glimpses of a breast of snow:
     What though no rule of courtly grace
     To measured mood had trained her pace,—
     A foot more light, a step more true,
     Ne'er from the heath-flower dashed the dew;
     E'en the...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...e play on a gitern.* *guitar
In all the town was brewhouse nor tavern,
That he not visited with his solas*, *mirth, sport
There as that any *garnard tapstere* was. *licentious barmaid*
But sooth to say he was somedeal squaimous* *squeamish
Of farting, and of speeche dangerous.
This Absolon, that jolly was and gay,
Went with a censer on the holy day,
Censing* the wives of the parish fast; *burning incense for
And many a lovely look he on them cast,
And namely* on t...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...d there through twenty posts of telegraph 
They flashed a saucy message to and fro 
Between the mimic stations; so that sport 
Went hand in hand with Science; otherwhere 
Pure sport; a herd of boys with clamour bowled 
And stumped the wicket; babies rolled about 
Like tumbled fruit in grass; and men and maids 
Arranged a country dance, and flew through light 
And shadow, while the twangling violin 
Struck up with Soldier-laddie, and overhead 
The broad ambrosial aisles of lof...Read more of this...

by Thomson, James
...whom headlong Passions fire,
Rouse the wild Game, and stain the guiltless Grove, 
With Violence, and Death; yet call it Sport,
To scatter Ruin thro' the Realms of Love,
And Peace, that thinks no Ill: But These, the Muse,
Whose Charity, unlimited, extends
As wide as Nature works, disdains to sing, 
Returning to her nobler Theme in view --

FOR, see! where Winter comes, himself, confest,
Striding the gloomy Blast. First Rains obscure
Drive thro' the mingling Skies, with Tem...Read more of this...

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...u dost revere the old law!
Ever the same, for the man in thy faithful hands thou preservest
That which the child in its sport, that which the youth lent to thee;
At the same breast thou dost suckle the ceaselessly-varying ages;
Under the same azure vault, over the same verdant earth,
Races, near and remote, in harmony wander together,
See, even Homer's own sun looks on us, too, with a smile!...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...s sound
Wandered upon the earth where'er she passed,
And happy thoughts of hope, too sweet to last.

But her choice sport was, in the hours of sleep,
To glide adown old Nilus, where he threads
Egypt and Ethiopia from the steep
Of utmost Axume until he spreads,
Like a calm flock of silver-fleeced sheep,
His waters on the plain,--and crested heads
Of cities and proud temples gleam amid,
And many a vapour-belted pyramid:--

By MÏris and the Mareotid lakes,
Strewn with faint ...Read more of this...

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