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Famous Subtile Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
...ards his cell;
Thy minions kings defend, control, devour,
In all th’ omnipotence of rule and power;
Foxes and statesmen subtile wiles ensure;
The cit and polecat stink, and are secure;
Toads with their poison, doctors with their drug,
The priest and hedgehog in their robes, are snug;
Ev’n silly woman has her warlike arts,
Her tongue and eyes—her dreaded spear and darts.

 But Oh! thou bitter step-mother and hard,
To thy poor, fenceless, naked child—the Bard!
A thing unte...Read More

by Donne, John nothing I did see.
But since my soul, whose child love is,
Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
More subtile than the parent is,
Love must not be, but take a body too,
And therefore what thou wert, and who,
I bid Love ask, and now
That it assume thy body, I allow,
And fix itself in thy lip, eye, and brow.

Whilst thus to ballast love, I thought,
And so more steadily to have gone,
With wares which would sink admiration,
I saw, I had love's pinnace overfr...Read More

by Jonson, Ben
...       They are base, and idle fears Whereof the loyal conscience so complains,                  Thus, by these subtile trains, Do several passions invade the mind,                 The first ; as prone to move Most frequent tumults, horrors, and unrests,                  In our enflamed breasts : But this doth from the cloud of error grow,                  Which thus we over-blow. The thing they here call Love, is blind desire,         ...Read More

by Strode, William
Beyond a lock and key, for Venus' sake
Hath cut a watch soe small that sence will ake
In searching every wire, and subtile sphere
Which his industrious skill hath order'd theire:
It scarce outswells a nut, and is soe light
A Ladies eare might well indure the weight.
Twas for a Mistrisse: pitty not his owne,
And yet not pitty when her worth is knowne,
Or els his love that ownes her: Either's name
Is carv'd within the plates: the witty frame
Hath made their letters kis...Read More

by Killigrew, Anne
...ev'ry Humane Grief: 
Through thee (what Man had forfeited before) 
He now enjoys, and ne'r can loose it more. 

No subtile Serpents in the Grave betray, 
Worms on the Body there, not Soul do prey; 
No Vice there Tempts, no Terrors there afright, 
No Coz'ning Sin affords a false delight: 
No vain Contentions do that Peace annoy, 
No feirce Alarms break the lasting Joy. 

 Ah since from thee so many Blessings flow, 
Such real Good as Life can never know; 
Come when tho...Read More

by Milton, John
...rpent; him fast-sleeping soon he found 
In labyrinth of many a round self-rolled, 
His head the midst, well stored with subtile wiles: 
Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den, 
Nor nocent yet; but, on the grassy herb, 
Fearless unfeared he slept: in at his mouth 
The Devil entered; and his brutal sense, 
In heart or head, possessing, soon inspired 
With act intelligential; but his sleep 
Disturbed not, waiting close the approach of morn. 
Now, when as sacred light began to...Read More

by Spenser, Edmund
...Web her wooers to deceaue:
in which the worke that she all day did make
the same at night she did againe vnreaue,
Such subtile craft my Damzell doth conceaue,
th'importune suit of my desire to shonne:
for all that I in many dayes doo weaue,
in one short houre I find by her vndonne.
So when I thinke to end that I begonne,
I must begin and neuer bring to end:
for with one looke she spils that long I sponne,
& with one word my whole years work doth rend.
Such labour lik...Read More

by Killigrew, Anne
...ound of Publick Wars,
 Of babling Fame the Idle Stories,
 The short-liv'd Triumphs Noysy-Glories,
 The Curious Nets the subtile weave,
 The Word, the Look that may deceive.
No Mundan Care shall more affect my Breast,
 My profound Peace shake or molest:
But Stupor, like to Death, my Senses bind,
 That so I may anticipate that Rest,
Which only in my Grave I hope to find....Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...ed Soul it self might save,
Breaking the curled trammels of her hair.
But how should I avoid to be her Slave,
Whose subtile Art invisibly can wreath
My Fetters of the very Air I breath?

It had been easie fighting in some plain,
Where Victory might hang in equal choice.
But all resistance against her is vain,
Who has th' advantage both of Eyes and Voice.
And all my Forces needs must be undone,
She having gained both the Wind and Sun....Read More

by Service, Robert William
Cropped and bobbed it behind the ears;
Aimed at a wan and willowy-necked
Sort of a Holman Hunt effect;
Robed in subtile and sage-green tones,
Like the dames of Rossetti and E. Burne-Jones;
Girdled her garments billowing wide,
Moved with an undulating glide;
All her frivolous friends forsook,
Cultivated a soulful look;
Gushed in a voice with a creamy throb
Over some weirdly Futurist daub --
Did all, in short, that a woman can
To be a consummate Bohemian.

A yea...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...t me dream, glide on the tranquil stream.
Oh, what joyous days I've had, full, fervid, gay, glad!
Yet there comes a subtile change, let the stripling rove, range.
From sweet roving comes sweet rest, after all, home's best.
And if there's a little bit of woman-love with it,
I will count my life content, God-blest and well spent. . . .

Oh but it is good to be
Foot-loose and heart-free!
Yet how good it is to come
Home at last, home, home!...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...-selven so konninge,
And scorned hem that loves peynes dryen,
Was ful unwar that love hadde his dwellinge
With-inne the subtile stremes of hir yen; 
That sodeynly him thoughte he felte dyen,
Right with hir look, the spirit in his herte;
Blissed be love, that thus can folk converte!

She, this in blak, likinge to Troylus,
Over alle thyng, he stood for to biholde; 
Ne his desir, ne wherfor he stood thus,
He neither chere made, ne worde tolde;
But from a-fer, his maner for to ho...Read More

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