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Famous Sports Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...t night.

Wi’ merry sangs, an’ friendly cracks,
 I wat they did na weary;
And unco tales, an’ funnie jokes—
 Their sports were cheap an’ cheery:
Till butter’d sowens, 16 wi’ fragrant lunt,
 Set a’ their gabs a-steerin;
Syne, wi’ a social glass o’ strunt,
 They parted aff careerin
 Fu’ blythe that night.

 Note 1. Is thought to be a night when witches, devils, and other mischief-making beings are abroad on their baneful midnight errands; particularly those aerial...Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...o leave
The thing we have not, mastering what not strives,
Playing the place which did no form receive,
Playing patient sports in unconstrained gyves?
She that her fame so to herself contrives,
The scars of battle 'scapeth by the flight,
And makes her absence valiant, not her might.

''O, pardon me, in that my boast is true:
The accident which brought me to her eye
Upon the moment did her force subdue,
And now she would the caged cloister fly:
Religious love put out Relig...Read More

by Smart, Christopher
...roar and toss. 

While Israel sits beneath his fig, 
With coral root and amber sprig 
 The wean'd advent'rer sports; 
Where to the palm the jasmine cleaves, 
For ADORATION 'mongst the leaves 
 The gale his peace reports. 

Increasing days their reign exalt, 
Nor in the pink and mottled vault 
 The opposing spirits tilt; 
And, by the coasting reader spi'd, 
The silverlings and crusions glide
 For ADORATION gilt. 

For ADORATION rip'ning canes ...Read More

by Sidney, Sir Philip
Let Vertue haue that Stellaes selfe, yet thus,
That Vertue but that body graunt to vs. 

In martiall sports I had my cunning tride,
And yet to breake more staues did mee addresse,
While, with the peoples shouts, I must confesse,
Youth, lucke, and praise euen fil'd my veines with pride;
When Cupid, hauing me, his slaue, descride
In Marses livery prauncing in the presse,
What now, Sir Foole! said he, (I would no lesse:)
Looke here, I say! I look'd, and...Read More

by Keats, John up, and fast
She scuds with summer breezes, to pant through
The first long kiss, warm firstling, to renew
Embower'd sports in Cytherea's isle.
Look! how those winged listeners all this while
Stand anxious: see! behold!"--This clamant word
Broke through the careful silence; for they heard
A rustling noise of leaves, and out there flutter'd
Pigeons and doves: Adonis something mutter'd,
The while one hand, that erst upon his thigh
Lay dormant, mov'd convuls'd and gradual...Read More

by Keats, John
...uthful pleasures.

 "I touch'd no lute, I sang not, trod no measures:
I was a lonely youth on desert shores.
My sports were lonely, 'mid continuous roars,
And craggy isles, and sea-mew's plaintive cry
Plaining discrepant between sea and sky.
Dolphins were still my playmates; shapes unseen
Would let me feel their scales of gold and green,
Nor be my desolation; and, full oft,
When a dread waterspout had rear'd aloft
Its hungry hugeness, seeming ready ripe
To burst w...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas
...rought to me, who loved him as my own.

Young Henry Waldegrave! three delightful years
These very walls his infants sports did see,
But most I loved him when his parting tears
Alternately bedew'd my child and me:
His sorest parting, Gertrude, was from thee;
Nor half its grief his little heart could hold;
By kindred he was sent for o'er the sea,
They tore him from us when but twelve years old,
And scarcely for his loss have I been yet consoled!"

His face the wanderer hid-...Read More

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

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

by Blake, William
There is love, I hear his tongue.

There his charming nest doth lay,
There he sleeps the night away;
There he sports along the day,
And doth among our branches play....Read More

by Milton, John
...vinces, exhausted all
By lust and rapine; first ambitious grown
Of triumph, that insulting vanity;
Then cruel, by their sports to blood inured
Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts exposed; 
Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier still,
And from the daily Scene effeminate.
What wise and valiant man would seek to free
These, thus degenerate, by themselves enslaved,
Or could of inward slaves make outward free?
Know, therefore, when my season comes to sit
On David's throne,...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...ouldn't find Duck Lake.

 I carried the baby up the mountain. The sign said 1 1/2

miles. There was a green sports car parked on the road.

We walked up the trail until we met a man with a green

sports car hat on and a girl in a light summer dress.

 She had her dress rolled above her knees and when she

saw us coming, she rolled her dress down. The man had a

bottle of wine in his back pocket. The wine was in a long

green bottle. It looked f...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...smell of Lysol.

 The Lysol sits like another guest on the stuffed furniture

reading a copy of the Chronicle, the Sports Section. It is the

only furniture I have ever seen in my life that looks like baby


 And the Lysol sits asleep next to an old Italian pensioner

who listens to the heavy ticking of the clock and dreams of

eternity's golden pasta, sweet basil and Jesus Christ.

 The Chinese are always doing something to the hotel. One

week the...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ds pass silently overhead! 
How the earth darts on and on! and how the sun, moon, stars, dart on and on! 
How the water sports and sings! (Surely it is alive!)
How the trees rise and stand up—with strong trunks—with branches and leaves! 
(Surely there is something more in each of the tree—some living Soul.) 

O amazement of things! even the least particle! 
O spirituality of things! 
O strain musical, flowing through ages and continents—now reaching me and America!
I take...Read More

by Goldsmith, Oliver
...ed the coming day,
When toil remitting lent its turn to play,
And all the village train, from labour free,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree:
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old surveyed;
And many a gambol frolicked o'er the ground,
And sleights of art and feats of strength went round;
And still as each repeated pleasure tired,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired;
The dancing pair that simply sought renown
By holdin...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey

21. Lovedays: meetings appointed for friendly settlement of
differences; the business was often followed by sports and

22. He would the sea were kept for any thing: he would for
anything that the sea were guarded. "The old subsidy of
tonnage and poundage," says Tyrwhitt, "was given to the king
'pour la saufgarde et custodie del mer.' -- for the safeguard and
keeping of the sea" (12 E. IV. C.3).

23. Middleburg, at the...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...ance, soon blown to fire,
     Of hasty love or headlong ire.
     His limbs were cast in manly could
     For hardy sports or contest bold;
     And though in peaceful garb arrayed,
     And weaponless except his blade,
     His stately mien as well implied
     A high-born heart, a martial pride,
     As if a baron's crest he wore,
     And sheathed in armor bode the shore.
     Slighting the petty need he showed,
     He told of his benighted road;
     His rea...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...h so loud 
Beyond all use, that, half-amazed, the Queen, 
And wroth at Tristram and the lawless jousts, 
Brake up their sports, then slowly to her bower 
Parted, and in her bosom pain was lord. 

And little Dagonet on the morrow morn, 
High over all the yellowing Autumn-tide, 
Danced like a withered leaf before the hall. 
Then Tristram saying, `Why skip ye so, Sir Fool?' 
Wheeled round on either heel, Dagonet replied, 
`Belike for lack of wiser company; 
Or being fool...Read More

by Ondaatje, Michael
Threats of being traded
cuts and wounds
--all this pleases you.
O my god! you say at breakfast
reading the sports page over the Alpen
as another player breaks his ankle
or assaults the coach.

When I thought of daughters
I wasn't expecting this
but I like this more.
I like all your faults
even your purple moods
when you retreat from everyone
to sit in bed under a quilt.
And when I say 'like'
I mean of course 'love'
but that embarrasses you.
You wh...Read More

by Piercy, Marge
...n is not made of flesh 
of bone and sinew 
belly and breasts, elbows and liver and toe. 
She is manufactured like a sports sedan. 
She is retooled, refitted and redesigned 
every decade. 
Cecile had been seduction itself in college. 
She wriggled through bars like a satin eel, 
her hips and ass promising, her mouth pursed 
in the dark red lipstick of desire. 

She visited in '68 still wearing skirts 
tight to the knees, dark red lipstick, 
while I danced t...Read More

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