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Famous Stories Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Gibran, Kahlil
...r> It is that which made people call criminals great mean; made writers respect their names; made historians relate the stories of their inhumanity in manner of praise. 

The only authority I obey is the knowledge of guarding and acquiescing in the Natural Law of Justice. 

What justice does authority display when it kills the killer? When it imprisons the robber? When it descends on a neighborhood country and slays its people? What does justice think of the authority...Read More

by Browning, Robert
My height, and not a height which pleases you: 
An unbelieving Pope won't do, you say. 
It's like those eerie stories nurses tell, 
Of how some actor on a stage played Death, 
With pasteboard crown, sham orb and tinselled dart, 
And called himself the monarch of the world; 

Then, going in the tire-room afterward, 
Because the play was done, to shift himself, 
Got touched upon the sleeve familiarly, 
The moment he had shut the closet door, 
By Death himself. T...Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...the air they bound, 
Then in a deathlike trance fall prostrate on the ground.

They wake to tell weird stories of the dead, 
While fresh performers to the ring are led.
The sacred nature of the dance is lost, 
War is their cry, red war, at any cost.
Insane for blood they wait for no command, 
But plunge marauding through the frightened land.
Their demon hearts on devils' pleasures bent, 
For each new foe surprised, new torturing deaths invent....Read More

by Keats, John
...thee to the shine
Of heaven ambrosial; and we will shade
Ourselves whole summers by a river glade;
And I will tell thee stories of the sky,
And breathe thee whispers of its minstrelsy.
My happy love will overwing all bounds!
O let me melt into thee; let the sounds
Of our close voices marry at their birth;
Let us entwine hoveringly--O dearth
Of human words! roughness of mortal speech!
Lispings empyrean will I sometime teach
Thine honied tongue--lute-breathings, which I gas...Read More

by Keats, John
...or lovers have been shed,
Too many sighs give we to them in fee,
Too much of pity after they are dead,
Too many doleful stories do we see,
Whose matter in bright gold were best be read;
Except in such a page where Theseus' spouse
Over the pathless waves towards him bows.

But, for the general award of love,
The little sweet doth kill much bitterness;
Though Dido silent is in under-grove,
And Isabella's was a great distress,
Though young Lorenzo in warm Indian cl...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...d thought was lovely, and what good.
This was her mother's childhood home;
The house one story high in front, three stories
On the end it presented to the road.
(The arrangement made a pleasant sunny cellar.)
Her mother's bedroom was her father's still,
Where she could watch her mother's picture fading.
Once she found for a bookmark in the Bible
A maple leaf she thought must have been laid
In wait for her there. She read every word
Of the two pages it was ...Read More

by Raine, Kathleen
...Earth no longer
hymns the Creator,
the seven days of wonder,
the Garden is over —
all the stories are told,
the seven seals broken
all that begins
must have its ending,
our striving, desiring,
our living and dying,
for Time, the bringer
of abundant days
is Time the destroyer —
In the Iron Age
the Kali Yuga
To whom can we pray
at the end of an era
but the Lord Shiva,
the Liberator, the purifier?

Our forests are felled,
our mountains eroded,
the w...Read More

by Whittier, John Greenleaf flesh and sense unknown, 
That Life is ever lord of Death, 
And Love can never lose its own! 

We sped the time with stories old, 
Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told, 
Or stammered from our school-book lore 
"The Chief of Gambia's golden shore." 
How often since, when all the land 
Was clay in Slavery's shaping hand, 
As if a far-blown trumpet stirred 
The languorous sin-sick air, I heard: 
"Does not the voice of reason cry, 
Claim the first right which Nature gave,...Read More

by Doty, Mark
...k-on porticoes 
and collonades downtown were narrative, 

somehow, but the buildings my father engineered 
were without stories. All I wanted 
was something larger than our ordinary sadness -- 
greater not in scale but in context, 
memorable, true to a proportioned, 
subtle form. Last year I knew a student, 
a half mad boy who finally opened his arms 

with a razor, not because he wanted to die 
but because he wanted to design something grand 
on his own body. Onc...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...though Adam did not know the word,
the love of Adam
obeying his sudden gift.

You, who sought me for nine years,
in stories made up in front of your naked mirror
or walking through rooms of fog women,
you trying to forget the mother
who built guilt with the lumber of a locked door
as she sobbed her soured mild and fed you loss
through the keyhole,
you who wrote out your own birth
and built it with your own poems,
your own lumber, your own keyhole,
into the trunk and leave...Read More

by Browning, Elizabeth Barrett tale) 70 
To 'gentle hermit of the dale,' 
And Angelina too. 

For oft I read within my nook 
Such minstrel stories; till the breeze 
Made sounds poetic in the trees, 75 
And then I shut the book. 

If I shut this wherein I write, 
I hear no more the wind athwart 
Those trees, nor feel that childish heart 
Delighting in delight. 80 

My childhood from my life is parted, 
My footstep from the moss which drew 
Its fairy circle round: anew 
The ga...Read More

by Masefield, John drily; 
"gimme another cup," said Riley. 
A dozen more were in their glories 
With laughs and smokes and smutty stories; 
And Jimmy joked and took his sup 
And sang his song of "Up, come up." 
Jane brought the bowl of stewing gin 
And poured the egg and lemon in, 
And whisked it up and served it out 
While bawdy questions went about. 
Jack chucked her chin, and Jim accost her 
With bits out of the "Maid of Gloster." 
And fifteen arms went round her waist.<...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
You have stolen the maiden from me, 
You have laid your hand upon her, 
You have wooed and won my maiden, 
With your stories of the North-land!"
Thus the wretched Shawondasee 
Breathed into the air his sorrow; 
And the South-Wind o'er the prairie 
Wandered warm with sighs of passion, 
With the sighs of Shawondasee, 
Till the air seemed full of snow-flakes, 
Full of thistle-down the prairie, 
And the maid with hair like sunshine 
Vanished from his sight forever; 
Never more...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...Smith, great writer of stories, drank; found it immortalized his pen;
Fused in his brain-pan, else a blank, heavens of glory now and then;
Gave him the magical genius touch; God-given power to gouge out, fling
Flat in your face a soul-thought -- Bing!
Twiddle your heart-strings in his clutch. "Bah!" said Smith, "let my body lie
 stripped to the buff in swinish shame,
If I can ...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...WHILOM*, as olde stories tellen us, *formerly
There was a duke that highte* Theseus. *was called 
Of Athens he was lord and governor,
And in his time such a conqueror
That greater was there none under the sun.
Full many a riche country had he won.
What with his wisdom and his chivalry,
He conquer'd all the regne of Feminie,
That whilom was y-cleped Scythia;...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...writeth he
Of *thilke wick'* example of Canace, *that wicked*
That loved her own brother sinfully;
(Of all such cursed stories I say, Fy),
Or else of Tyrius Apollonius,
How that the cursed king Antiochus
Bereft his daughter of her maidenhead;
That is so horrible a tale to read,
When he her threw upon the pavement.
And therefore he, *of full avisement*, *deliberately, advisedly*
Would never write in none of his sermons
Of such unkind* abominations; *unnatural
Nor I will n...Read More

by Khayyam, Omar too. 

The Revelations of Devout and Learn'd
Who rose before us, and as Prophets burn'd,
Are all but Stories, which, awoke from Sleep,
They told their fellows, and to Sleep return'd. 

Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
Is't not a shame -- Is't not a shame for him
So long in this Clay suburb to abide? 

But that is but a Tent wherein may rest
A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest;
The Sultan...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...or old charge; who scarce knew whither 
His guards had led him, though they gently dealt 
With royal manes (for by many stories, 
And true, we learn the angels all are Tories.) 


As things were in this posture, the gate flew 
Asunder, and the flashing of its hinges 
Flung over space an universal hue 
Of many-colour'd flame, until its tinges 
Reach'd even our speck of earth, and made a new 
Aurora borealis spread its fringes 
O'er the North Pole; the same seen, whe...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey he had it sworn:* *had sworn to
For which he oftentimes woulde preach prevent it
And me of olde Roman gestes* teach *stories
How that Sulpitius Gallus left his wife
And her forsook for term of all his
For nought but open-headed* he her say** *bare-headed **saw
Looking out at his door upon a day.
Another Roman 27 told he me by name,
That, for his wife was at a summer game
Without his knowing, he forsook her eke.
And then would he upon his Bible seek
That ilke* prove...Read More

by Swift, Jonathan
...recollects not what he says;
He cannot call his friends to mind;
Forgets the place where last he dined;
Plyes you with stories o'er and o'er,
He told them fifty times before.
How does he fancy we can sit
To hear his out-of-fashioned wit?
But he takes up with younger folks,
Who for his wine will bear his jokes.
Faith! he must make his stories shorter,
Or change his comrades once a quarter:
In half the time he talks them round,
There must another set be found.

"Fo...Read More

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