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Famous Staff Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Smart, Christopher
...For ADORATION gilt. 

For ADORATION rip'ning canes 
And cocoa's purest milk detains 
 The western pilgrim's staff; 
Where rain in clasping boughs enclos'd, 
And vines with oranges dispos'd, 
 Embow'r the social laugh. 

Now labor his reward receives, 
For ADORATION counts his sheaves 
 To peace, her bounteous prince; 
The nect'rine his strong tint imbibes,
And apples of ten thousand tribes, 
 And quick peculiar quince. 

The wealthy crops of whi...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...h on
for lack of heart to make an end of his nothings.
Wherefor as when a runner who hath run his round
handeth his staff away, and is glad of his rest,
here break I off, knowing the goal was not for me
the while I ran on telling of what cannot be told.

For not the Muse herself can tell of Goddes love;
which cometh to the child from the Mother's embrace,
an Idea spacious as the starry firmament's
inescapable infinity of radiant gaze,
that fadeth only as it outpasseth...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...hrough the microscope take aim, 
Where, like the new Comptroller, all men laugh 
To see a tall louse brandish the white staff. 
Else shalt thou oft thy guiltless pencil curse, 
Stamp on thy palette, not perhaps the worse. 
The painter so, long having vexed his cloth-- 
Of his hound's mouth to feign the raging froth-- 
His desperate pencil at the work did dart: 
His anger reached that rage which passed his art; 
Chance finished that which art could but begin, 
And he s...Read More

by Milton, John
...mighty standard. That proud honour claimed 
Azazel as his right, a Cherub tall: 
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurled 
Th' imperial ensign; which, full high advanced, 
Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, 
With gems and golden lustre rich emblazed, 
Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while 
Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds: 
At which the universal host up-sent 
A shout that tore Hell's concave, and beyond 
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night...Read More

by Milton, John
...t-brass and Greves, and Gauntlet, add thy Spear
A Weavers beam, and seven-times-folded shield.
I only with an Oak'n staff will meet thee,
And raise such out-cries on thy clatter'd Iron,
Which long shall not with-hold mee from thy head,
That in a little time while breath remains thee,
Thou oft shalt wish thy self at Gath to boast
Again in safety what thou wouldst have done
To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more.

Har: Thou durst not thus disparage glorious arms 
Whic...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...had notes more high 
And shrill for social battle-cry. 

Since then what old cathedral town 
Has missed her pilgrim staff and gown, 
What convent-gate has held its lock 
Against the challenge of her knock! 
Through Smyrna's plague-hushed thoroughfares, 
Up sea-set Malta's rocky stair, 
Gray olive slopes of hills that hem 
Thy tombs and shrines, Jerusalem, 
Or startling on her desert throne 
The crazy Queen of Lebanon 
With claims fantastic as her own, 
Her tireless feet h...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...e away, or bring their returns to me. 

I go hunting polar furs and the seal—leaping chasms with a pike-pointed
 staff—clinging to topples of brittle and blue.

I ascend to the foretruck; 
I take my place late at night in the crow’s-nest; 
We sail the arctic sea—it is plenty light enough; 
Through the clear atmosphere I stretch around on the wonderful beauty; 
The enormous masses of ice pass me, and I pass them—the scenery is plain in
 all directions;
The w...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
..., library, 
Cornice, trellis, pilaster, balcony, window, shutter, turret, porch, 
Hoe, rake, pitch-fork, pencil, wagon, staff, saw, jack-plane, mallet, wedge, rounce, 
Chair, tub, hoop, table, wicket, vane, sash, floor,
Work-box, chest, string’d instrument, boat, frame, and what not, 
Capitols of States, and capitol of the nation of States, 
Long stately rows in avenues, hospitals for orphans, or for the poor or sick, 
Manhattan steamboats and clippers, taking the measure of ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...and freshly blooming, in folds of stainless silk; 
But I have seen thee, bunting, to tatters torn, upon thy splinter’d staff,
Or clutch’d to some young color-bearer’s breast, with desperate hands, 
Savagely struggled for, for life or death—fought over long, 
’Mid cannon’s thunder-crash, and many a curse, and groan and yell—and rifle-volleys
 cracking sharp, 
And moving masses, as wild demons surging—and lives as nothing risk’d, 
For thy mere remnant, grimed with dirt and smo...Read More

by Doty, Mark 

on the grass. In a casket are rhinestoned poles 
the hierophants carried in parades; 
here's a splendid golden staff some ranking officer waved, 
topped with a golden pyramid and a tiny, 
inquisitive sphinx. No one's worn this stuff 
for years, and it doesn't seem worth buying; 
where would we put it? Still, 

I want that staff. I used to love 
to go to the library -- the smalltown brick refuge 
of those with nothing to do, really, 
'Carnegie' chiseled on the...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
Life's blossoms faded from the cheek,
And from the limbs all vigor went,
And mournfully, with footstep weak,
Upon his staff the gray-beard leant.
Then gave ye to the languishing,
Life's waters from a new-born spring;
Twice was the youth of time renewed,
Twice, from the seeds that ye had strewed.

When chased by fierce barbarian hordes away,
The last remaining votive brand ye tore
From Orient's altars, now pollution's prey,
And to these western lands in safety bore.<...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
Out of his heart a white!
For who can say by what strange way,
Christ brings His will to light,
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore
Bloomed in the great Pope's sight?

But neither milk-white rose nor red
May bloom in prison-air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
A common man's despair.

So never will wine-red rose or white,
Petal by petal, fall
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies
By the ...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...overtoppling tree.

He shouldered his spear at morning
And laughed to lay it on,
But he leaned on his spear as on a staff,
With might and little mood to laugh,
Or ever he sighted chick or calf
Of Colan of Caerleon.

For the man dwelt in a lost land
Of boulders and broken men,
In a great grey cave far off to the south
Where a thick green forest stopped the mouth,
Giving darkness in his den.

And the man was come like a shadow,
From the shadow of Druid trees,
Where ...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...sought the water-side,  From far to meet me came, spreading their snowy pride.   The staff I yet remember which upbore  The bending body of my active sire;  His seat beneath the honeyed sycamore  When the bees hummed, and chair by winter fire;  When market-morning came, the neat attire  With which, though bent on haste, myself I deck'd;  My watchful dog, whos...Read More

by Bradstreet, Anne
...en rod in's purse, which was his charm.
1.41 And last of all, to act upon this Stage,
1.42 Leaning upon his staff, comes up old age.
1.43 Under his arm a Sheaf of wheat he bore,
1.44 A Harvest of the best: what needs he more?
1.45 In's other hand a glass, ev'n almost run,
1.46 This writ about: This out, then I am done.
1.47 His hoary hairs and grave aspect made way,
1.48 And all gave ear to what he had to say.
1.49 These bei...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
     But chief, beside the butts, there stand
     Bold Robin Hood and all his band,—
     Friar Tuck with quarterstaff and cowl,
     Old Scathelocke with his surly scowl,
     Maid Marian, fair as ivory bone,
     Scarlet, and Mutch, and Little John;
     Their bugles challenge all that will,
     In archery to prove their skill.
     The Douglas bent a bow of might,—
     His first shaft centred in the white,
     And when in turn he shot again,
     His sec...Read More

by Holmes, Oliver Wendell nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
In the snow;

But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
Like a staff,
And a crook is in his back,
And a melancholy crack
In his laugh.

I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
At him here;
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
Are so *****!

And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey very sorry for*
He shall be *rated of* his studying, *chidden for*
If that I may, by Jesus, heaven's king!
Get me a staff, that I may underspore* *lever up
While that thou, Robin, heavest off the door:
He shall out of his studying, as I guess."
And to the chamber door he gan him dress* *apply himself.
His knave was a strong carl for the nonce,
And by the hasp he heav'd it off at once;
Into the floor the door fell down anon.
This Nicholas sat aye as still as st...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...A ‘Sold’ board hammered firmly into place.


There was no solace in the parsonage, no solace there at all,

The staff found it odd, my wanting to park my heavy bag and trudge

From room to room. The couch Emily died on, so shabby and so faded,

Patrick’s hat and sticks like stage props, Mrs. Gaskell’s escritoire

So thoroughly bourgeois, Charlotte’s crinoline evoking ‘Ooh’ and ‘Aah’.

I sat outside the tourist shop, watching the families pass,

Still ree...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...ghtingale, *certainly
When I had drunk a draught of sweete wine.
Metellius, the foule churl, the swine,
That with a staff bereft his wife of life
For she drank wine, though I had been his wife,
Never should he have daunted me from drink:
And, after wine, of Venus most I think.
For all so sure as cold engenders hail,
A liquorish mouth must have a liquorish tail.
In woman vinolent* is no defence,** *full of wine *resistance
This knowe lechours by experience.
But...Read More

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