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Famous Stony Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...s flow away,
The smooth brow gathers, and the hair grows thin
And white, and where irradiate dewy eyes
Had shone, gleam stony orbs:--so from his steps
Bright flowers departed, and the beautiful shade
Of the green groves, with all their odorous winds
And musical motions. Calm he still pursued
The stream, that with a larger volume now 
Rolled through the labyrinthine dell; and there
Fretted a path through its descending curves
With its wintry speed. On every side now ro...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...tle! the gaunt Griffin glared
From the huge helm, and the long lance of wreck and ruin flared

Like a red rod of flame, stony and steeled
The Gorgon's head its leaden eyeballs rolled,
And writhed its snaky horrors through the shield,
And gaped aghast with bloodless lips and cold
In passion impotent, while with blind gaze
The blinking owl between the feet hooted in shrill amaze.

The lonely fisher as he trimmed his lamp
Far out at sea off Sunium, or cast
The net for tunnie...Read More

by Milton, John
...ast. Without his rod reversed,
And backward mutters of dissevering power,
We cannot free the Lady that sits here
In stony fetters fixed and motionless.
Yet stay: be not disturbed; now I bethink me,
Some other means I have which may be used,
Which once of Meliboeus old I learnt,
The soothest shepherd that e'er piped on plains.
 There is a gentle Nymph not far from hence,
That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream:
Sabrina is her name: a virgin pure;
Whilom...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth a home, that is better perchance than the old one!
Here no hungry winter congeals our blood like the rivers;
Here no stony ground provokes the wrath of the farmer.
Smoothly the ploughshare runs through the soil, as a keel through the water.
All the year round the orange-groves are in blossom; and grass grows
More in a single night than a whole Canadian summer.
Here, too, numberless herds run wild and unclaimed in the prairies;
Here, too, lands may be had for th...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
...owing torrents, river-like and vast. 
 From their eight pinnacles the gorgons bay, 
 And scattered monsters, in their stony way, 
 Are growling heard; the rampart lions gnaw 
 The misty air and slush with granite maw, 
 The sleet upon the griffins spits, and all 
 The Saurian monsters, answering to the squall, 
 Flap wings; while through the broken ceiling fall 
 Torrents of rain upon the forms beneath, 
 Dragons and snak'd Medusas gnashing teeth 
 In the dismantled...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...lls it, and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust
Which was Mazzini once! rich Niobe
For all her stony sorrows hath her sons; but Italy,

What Easter Day shall make her children rise,
Who were not Gods yet suffered? what sure feet
Shall find their grave-clothes folded? what clear eyes
Shall see them bodily? O it were meet
To roll the stone from off the sepulchre
And kiss the bleeding roses of their wounds, in love of her,

Our Italy! our mother visible!...Read More

by Campbell, Thomas
Archangel! power of desolation! 
Fast descending as thou art, 
Say, hath mortal invocation 
Spells to touch thy stony heart? 
Then, sullen Winter, hear my prayer, 
And gently rule the ruined year; 
Nor chill the wanders bosom bare, 
Nor freeze the wretch's falling tear;- 
To shuddering Want's unmantled bed 
Thy horror-breathing agues cease to lead, 
And gently on the orphan head 
Of innocence descend.- 
But chiefly spare, O king of clouds! 
The sailor on his airy ...Read More

by Milton, John
...lowliest plight, repentant stood 
Praying; for from the mercy-seat above 
Prevenient grace descending had removed 
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh 
Regenerate grow instead; that sighs now breathed 
Unutterable; which the Spirit of prayer 
Inspired, and winged for Heaven with speedier flight 
Than loudest oratory: Yet their port 
Not of mean suitors; nor important less 
Seemed their petition, than when the ancient pair 
In fables old, less ancient yet than the...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
And, upon your cross, the talk
Is again of death.
[1939. Spring]


The word landed with a stony thud
Onto my still-beating breast.
Nevermind, I was prepared,
I will manage with the rest.

I have a lot of work to do today;
I need to slaughter memory,
Turn my living soul to stone
Then teach myself to live again. . .

But how. The hot summer rustles
Like a carnival outside my window;
I have long had this premonition
Of a brig...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne
...ow, if you are asking still.
We are a small and lonely human race
Showing no sign of mastering solitude
Out on this stony planet that we farm.
The most that we can do for one another
Is let our blunders and our blind mischances
Argue a certain brusque abrupt compassion.
We might as well be truthful. I should say
They're luckiest who know they're not unique;
But only art or common interchange
Can teach that kindest truth. And even art
Can only hint at what ...Read More

by Masefield, John
"Saul is a wonder and a fly 'un, 
What'll you have, Saul, at the Lion?" 
With merry oaths they helped me down 
The stony wood path to the town. 

The moonlight shone on Cabbage Walk, 
It made the limestone look like chalk. 
It was too late for any people, 
Twelve struck as we went by the steeple. 
A dog barked, and an owl was calling, 
The squire's brook was still a-falling, 
The carved heads on the church looked down 
On "Russell, Blacksmith of this Town," 
...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
     Whose shroud of sentient clay can still
     Feel feverish pang and fainting chill,
     Whose eye can stare in stony trance
     Whose hair can rouse like warrior's lance,
     'Tis hard for such to view, unfurled,
     The curtain of the future world.
     Yet, witness every quaking limb,
     My sunken pulse, mine eyeballs dim,
     My soul with harrowing anguish torn,
     This for my Chieftain have I borne!—
     The shapes that sought my fearful couch
 ...Read More

by Blake, William
...e in his eastern cloud, while the
morning plumes her golden breast,
Spurning the clouds written with curses, stamps the stony
law to dust, loosing the eternal horses from the dens of night,

Empire is no more! and now the lion & wolf shall cease.


Let the Priests of the Raven of dawn, no longer in deadly
black, with hoarse note curse the sons of joy. Nor his accepted
brethren whom, tyrant, he calls free; lay the bound or build the
roof. Nor pale re...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
As gay as any. Lilia, wild with sport, 
Half child half woman as she was, had wound 
A scarf of orange round the stony helm, 
And robed the shoulders in a rosy silk, 
That made the old warrior from his ivied nook 
Glow like a sunbeam: near his tomb a feast 
Shone, silver-set; about it lay the guests, 
And there we joined them: then the maiden Aunt 
Took this fair day for text, and from it preached 
An universal culture for the crowd, 
And all things great; but we, unwo...Read More

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...e dead men stood together.

All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.

The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.

And now this spell was snapt: once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen--

Like one, that on a lonesome roa...Read More

by Herbert, George, 
Pick quarrels with their only happiness: 
Was ever grief like mine? 

I answer nothing, but with patience prove
If stony hearts will melt with gentle love.
But who does hawk at eagles with a dove? 
Was ever grief like mine? 

My silence rather doth augment their cry; 
My dove doth back into my bosom fly; 
Because the raging waters still are high: 
Was ever grief like mine? 

Hark how they cry aloud still, 'Crucify: 
It is not fit he live a day, ' they cry, 
Who canno...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis was somewhat hushed,
She looked at him, and he was crushed. 

It needed not her calm reply:
She fixed him with a stony eye,
And he could neither fight nor fly. 

While she dissected, word by word,
His speech, half guessed at and half heard,
As might a cat a little bird. 

Then, having wholly overthrown
His views, and stripped them to the bone,
Proceeded to unfold her own. 

"Shall Man be Man? And shall he miss
Of other thoughts no thought but this,
Harmonio...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...ead, much of the night, and go south in the winter.
 What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, 
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
You...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...d, whilst the outer lake beneath the lash
Of the wind's scourge foamed like a wounded thing
And the incessant hail with stony clash
Ploughed up the waters, and the flagging wing
Of the roused cormorant in the lightningflash
Looked like the wreck of some wind-wandering
Fragment of inky thunder-smoke--this haven
Was as a gem to copy heaven engraven.

On which that Lady played her many pranks,
Circling the image of a shooting star
(Even as a tiger on Hydaspes' banks
Outspeed...Read More

by Swift, Jonathan
...I'm sorry -but we all must die."

Indifference, clad in Wisdom's guise,
All fortitude of mind supplies:
For how can stony bowels melt
In those who never pity felt?
When we are lashed, they kiss the rod,
Resigning to the will of God.

The fools, my juniors by a year,
Are tortured with suspense and fear:
Who wisely thought my age a screen
When death approached, to stand between: - 
The screen removed, their hearts are trembling;
They mourn for me without dissembling.Read More

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