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Famous Stumbled Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Thomas, Dylan
...ving
of a moon to light the flying streets. At the end of a long road was a drive that led to a large house, and we
stumbled up the darkness of the drive that night, each one of us afraid, each one holding a stone in his hand
in case, and all of us too brave to say a word. The wind through the trees made noises as of old and unpleasant
and maybe webfooted men wheezing in caves. We reached the black bulk of the house. "What shall we give them?
Hark the Herald?"...Read More



by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...the boughs, and race through many a mile 
Of dense and open, till his goodly horse, 
Arising wearily at a fallen oak, 
Stumbled headlong, and cast him face to ground. 

Half-wroth he had not ended, but all glad, 
Knightlike, to find his charger yet unlamed, 
Sir Balin drew the shield from off his neck, 
Stared at the priceless cognizance, and thought 
'I have shamed thee so that now thou shamest me, 
Thee will I bear no more,' high on a branch 
Hung it, and turned aside ...Read More

by Aldington, Richard
...a match-box, 
"To see," they told me, "what sort of moth would come." 
But when it broke its shell 
It slipped and stumbled and fell about its prison 
And tried to climb to the light 
For space to dry its wings. 

That's how I was. 
Somebody found my chrysalis 
And shut it in a match-box. 
My shrivelled wings were beaten, 
Shed their colours in dusty scales 
Before the box was opened 
For the moth to fly. 

III 

I hate that town; 
I hate the town I lived...Read More

by Keats, John
...the distance all around.
Then came a conquering earth-thunder, and rumbled
That fierce complain to silence: while I stumbled
Down a precipitous path, as if impell'd.
I came to a dark valley.--Groanings swell'd
Poisonous about my ears, and louder grew,
The nearer I approach'd a flame's gaunt blue,
That glar'd before me through a thorny brake.
This fire, like the eye of gordian snake,
Bewitch'd me towards; and I soon was near
A sight too fearful for the feel of ...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...in?' 
'Nay, not a point: nor art thou victor here. 
There lies a ridge of slate across the ford; 
His horse thereon stumbled--ay, for I saw it. 

'"O Sun" (not this strong fool whom thou, Sir Knave, 
Hast overthrown through mere unhappiness), 
"O Sun, that wakenest all to bliss or pain, 
O moon, that layest all to sleep again, 
Shine sweetly: twice my love hath smiled on me." 

What knowest thou of lovesong or of love? 
Nay, nay, God wot, so thou wert nobly born, ...Read More



by Ginsberg, Allen
...nd 
 picked themselves up out of basements hung 
 over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third 
 Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemploy- 
 ment offices, 
who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on 
 the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the 
 East River to open to a room full of steamheat 
 and opium, 
who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment 
 cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime 
 blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall 
 be crow...Read More

by Ashbery, John
...tead I'd sort of let things be what they are
while injecting them with the serum of the new moral climate
I thought I'd stumbled into, as a stranger
accidentally presses against a panel and a bookcase slides back,
revealing a winding staircase with greenish light
somewhere down below, and he automatically steps inside
and the bookcase slides shut, as is customary on such occasions.
At once a fragrance overwhelms him--not saffron, not lavender,
but something in between.Read More

by Frost, Robert
...idea to sell.

It never could have happened in New Hampshire.

The only person really soiled with trade
I ever stumbled on in old New Hampshire
Was someone who had just come back ashamed
From selling things in California.
He'd built a noble mansard roof with balls
On turrets, like Constantinople, deep
In woods some ten miles from a railroad station,
As if to put forever out of mind
The hope of being, as we say, received.
I found him standing at the close of d...Read More

by Milton, John
...were terms of weight, 
Of hard contents, and full of force urged home; 
Such as we might perceive amused them all, 
And stumbled many: Who receives them right, 
Had need from head to foot well understand; 
Not understood, this gift they have besides, 
They show us when our foes walk not upright. 
So they among themselves in pleasant vein 
Stood scoffing, hightened in their thoughts beyond 
All doubt of victory: Eternal Might 
To match with their inventions they presumed 
...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
..., do not talk,"
He urged me, "you have a long walk
Before you. Good-by and Good-day!"
And gently sped upon my way
I stumbled out in the morning hush,
As down the empty street a flush
Ran level from the rising sun.
Another day was just begun....Read More

by Service, Robert William
...ed homeward it was in the early morning,
But Shamus followed faithfully, a yard behind his back;
Then Casey slipped and stumbled, and without the slightest warning
like a lump of lead he tumbled - right across the railroad track.

And there he lay, serenely, and defied the powers to budge him,
Reposing like a baby, with his head upon the rail;
But Shamus seemed unhappy, and from time to time would nudge him,
Though his prods to protestation were without the least avail.Read More

by Chesterton, G K
...lood began to run.

Colan stood bare and weaponless,
Earl Harold, as in pain,
Strove for a smile, put hand to head,
Stumbled and suddenly fell dead;
And the small white daisies all waxed red
With blood out of his brain.

And all at that marvel of the sword,
Cast like a stone to slay,
Cried out. Said Alfred: "Who would see
Signs, must give all things. Verily
Man shall not taste of victory
Till he throws his sword away."

Then Alfred, prince of England,
And ...Read More

by Morris, William
...ghout the castle passed
Till by the ruined fane he stood at last.


Then weighing still the gem within his hand,
He stumbled backward through the cypress wood,
Thinking the while of some strange lovely land
Where all his life should be most fair and good;
Till on the valley's wall of hills he stood,
And slowly thence passed down unto the bay
Red with the death of that bewildering day.


The next day came, and he, who all the night
Had ceaselessly been turning in his b...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...A cursing rogue with a merry face,
A bundle of rags upon a crutch,
Stumbled upon that windy place
Called Cruachan, and it was as much
As the one sturdy leg could do
To keep him upright while he cursed.
He had counted, where long years ago
Queen Maeve's nine Maines had been nursed,
A pair of lapwings, one old sheep,
And not a house to the plain's edge,
When close to his right hand a heap
Of grey stones and a rocky ledge
...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...high the crosslet bore,
     His left the pole-axe grasped, to guide
     And stay his footing in the tide.
     He stumbled twice,—the foam splashed high,
     With hoarser swell the stream raced by;
     And had he fallen,—forever there,
     Farewell Duncraggan's orphan heir!
     But still, as if in parting life,
     Firmer he grasped the Cross of strife,
     Until the opposing bank he gained,
     And up the chapel pathway strained.
     A blithesome rout t...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...a lighted highway to the tomb. 

Or, mounting with infirm unsearching tread, 
His hopes to chaos led, 
He may have stumbled up there from the past, 
And with an aching strangeness viewed the last 
Abysmal conflagration of his dreams,— 
A flame where nothing seems 
To burn but flame itself, by nothing fed; 
And while it all went out,
Not even the faint anodyne of doubt 
May then have eased a painful going down 
From pictured heights of power and lost renown, 
Revealed at ...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...Now, scarce three paces measured from the mound, 
We stumbled on a stationary voice, 
And 'Stand, who goes?' 'Two from the palace' I. 
'The second two: they wait,' he said, 'pass on; 
His Highness wakes:' and one, that clashed in arms, 
By glimmering lanes and walls of canvas led 
Threading the soldier-city, till we heard 
The drowsy folds of our great ensign shake 
From blazoned lions o'er the imperial te...Read More

by Benet, Stephen Vincent
...n another Hell . . . 
Loose stones that ice made terrible, 
That rolled and gashed men as they fell. 
I stumbled, slipped . . . and all was gone 
That I had gained. Once more I lay 
Before the long bright Hell of ice. 
And still the light was far away. 
There was red mist before my eyes 
Or I could tell you how I went 
Across the swaying firmament, 
A glittering torture of cold stars, 
And how I fought in Titan wars . . . 
A...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...y wallow, as do two pigs in a poke.
And up they go, and down again anon,
Till that the miller spurned* on a stone, *stumbled
And down he backward fell upon his wife,
That wiste nothing of this nice strife:
For she was fall'n asleep a little wight* *while
With John the clerk, that waked had all night:
And with the fall out of her sleep she braid*. *woke
"Help, holy cross of Bromeholm,"  she said;
"In manus tuas!  Lord, to thee I call.
Awake, Simon, the fien...Read More

by Doty, Mark
...self a dim,
salt suspension in which I've moved,
blind thing, day by day,

through the wreckage, barely aware
of what I stumbled toward, even I
couldn't help but look

at the way this immense figure
graces the dark medium,
and shines so: heaviness

which is no burden to itself. 
What did you think, that joy
was some slight thing?...Read More

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