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Famous Success Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert one another, the course and issue of the courtship will be.—R. B. [back]
Note 9. Whoever would, with success, try this spell, must strictly observe these directions: Steal out, all alone, to the kiln, and darkling, throw into the “pot” a clue of blue yarn; wind it in a new clue off the old one; and, toward the latter end, something will hold the thread: demand, “Wha hauds?” i. e., who holds? and answer will be returned from the kiln-pot, by naming t...Read more of this...

by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...r these, 
Or human sacrifice when hecatomb 
Consum'd in vain with ceremony dire, 
And rites abhorr'd, denied the wish'd success. 
Reason is dark, else why heroic deem'd 
Fell suicide, as if 'twere fortitude 
And higher merit to recede from life, 
Shunning the ills of poverty, or pain, 
Or wasting sickness, or the victor's sword, 
Than to support with patience fully tried 
As Job, thence equall'd with him in renown. 

Shut from the light of revelation clear 
The world...Read more of this...

by Smart, Christopher
...rom Old Adam to the New; 
By hope futurity pursue; 
 Look upwards to the past. 

Control thine eye, salute success, 
Honor the wiser, happier bless, 
 And for thy neighbor feel; 
Grutch not of Mammon and his leav'n,
Work emulation up to heav'n 
 By knowledge and by zeal. 

O DAVID, highest in the list 
Of worthies, on God's ways insist, 
 The genuine word repeat: 
Vain are the documents of men, 
And vain the flourish of the pen 
 That keeps the fool's ...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...down, bend close to me your face! 
I know not what these plots and wars, and deferments are for;
I know not fruition’s success—but I know that through war and peace your work
 on, and must yet go on.) 

.... Thus, by blue Ontario’s shore, 
While the winds fann’d me, and the waves came trooping toward me, 
I thrill’d with the Power’s pulsations—and the charm of my theme was upon
Till the tissues that held me, parted their ties upon me.

...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...are little or he may care much 
For riches, honour, pleasure, work, repose, 
Since various theories of life and life's 
Success are extant which might easily 
Comport with either estimate of these; 
And whoso chooses wealth or poverty, 
Labour or quiet, is not judged a fool 
Because his fellow would choose otherwise: 
We let him choose upon his own account 
So long as he's consistent with his choice. 
But certain points, left wholly to himself, 
When once a man has arbitr...Read more of this...

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...years have rolled upon their way-
The ruthless demon rules the red man to this day.


If, in the morning of success, that grand
Invincible discoverer of our land
Had made no lodge or wigwam desolate
To carry trophies to the proud and great; 
If on our history's page there were no blot
Left by the cruel rapine of Cabot, 
Of Verrazin, and Hudson, dare we claim
The Indian of the plains, to-day had been same? 


For in this brief existence, not alone
Do our l...Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
...t the dew—
But took the morn—
I chose this single star
From out the wide night's numbers—


Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of Victory

As he defeated—dying—
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!


Her breast is fit for pear...Read more of this...

by Hugo, Victor
...aid Joss; "while Mahaud dreams in innocence, 
 We grasp all here—and hold the foolish thing— 
 Our Friend below to us success will bring. 
 He keeps his word; 'tis thanks to him I say, 
 No awkward chance has marred our plans to-day. 
 All has succeeded—now no human power 
 Can take from us this woman and her dower. 
 Let us conclude. To wrangle and to fight 
 For just a yes or no, or to prove right 
 The Arian doctrines, all the time the Pope 
 Laughs in his sleeve...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...once was a Star of the highest degree--
He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree.
And he likes to relate his success on the Halls,
Where the Gallery once gave him seven cat-calls.
But his grandest creation, as he loves to tell,
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell.

"I have played," so he says, "every possible part,
And I used to know seventy speeches by heart.
I'd extemporize back-chat, I knew how to gag,
And I knew how to let the cat out of the ...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ut the deep working of a soul unmix'd 
With aught of pity where its wrath had fix'd; 
Such as long power and overgorged success 
Concentrates into all that's merciless: 
These, link'd with that desire which ever sways 
Mankind, the rather to condemn than praise, 
'Gainst Lara gathering raised at length a storm, 
Such as himself might fear, and foes would form, 
And he must answer for the absent head 
Of one that haunts him still, alive or dead. 


Within that l...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires 
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue 
Vain war with Heaven; and, by success untaught, 
His proud imaginations thus displayed:-- 
 "Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven!-- 
For, since no deep within her gulf can hold 
Immortal vigour, though oppressed and fallen, 
I give not Heaven for lost: from this descent 
Celestial Virtues rising will appear 
More glorious and more dread than from no fall, 
And trust themselves to fea...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...from his secret cloud, 
Amidst in thunder uttered thus his voice. 
Assembled Angels, and ye Powers returned 
From unsuccessful charge; be not dismayed, 
Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth, 
Which your sincerest care could not prevent; 
Foretold so lately what would come to pass, 
When first this tempter crossed the gulf from Hell. 
I told ye then he should prevail, and speed 
On his bad errand; Man should be seduced, 
And flattered out of all, believing lies...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...urself? your nation? nature?
Now understand me well—It is provided in the essence of things, that from any fruition of
 no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary. 

My call is the call of battle—I nourish active rebellion; 
He going with me must go well arm’d; 
He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions. 

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have t...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
Flung him, and drove him flying
Like a pirate to the shore.

Wise he had been before defeat,
And wise before success;
Wise in both hours and ignorant,
Knowing neither more nor less.

As he went down to the river-hut
He knew a night-shade scent,
Owls did as evil cherubs rise,
With little wings and lantern eyes,
As though he sank through the under-skies;
But down and down he went.

As he went down to the river-hut
He went as one that fell;
Seeing the high for...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...der mountain high,
     I marked thee send delighted eye
     Far to the south and east, where lay,
     Extended in succession gay,
     Deep waving fields and pastures green,
     With gentle slopes and groves between:—
     These fertile plains, that softened vale,
     Were once the birthright of the Gael;
     The stranger came with iron hand,
     And from our fathers reft the land.
     Where dwell we now?  See, rudely swell
     Crag over crag, and fell o'e...Read more of this...

by Pope, Alexander
...h'd, and to the Prize aspir'd: 
Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way,
By Force to ravish, or by Fraud betray;
For when Success a Lover's Toil attends,
Few ask, if Fraud or Force attain'd his Ends.

For this, e're Phoebus rose, he had implor'd
Propitious Heav'n, and ev'ry Pow'r ador'd,
But chiefly Love--to Love an Altar built,
Of twelve vast French Romances, neatly gilt.
There lay three Garters, half a Pair of Gloves;
And all the Trophies of his former Loves. 
Wit...Read more of this...

by Tebb, Barry
...we returned to Honley

Where the hamlet snagged on the hillside, fattened now and hollow

And grown grey with money and success: one cottage joined on

To the next, the common land fenced off, the nearby chapel

Turned to a desirable residence, the tombstones garden ornaments,

The heart of Hall Ings Mill crumpled under mechanical hammers

And reeled before our eyes, dust rising to powder the wings

Of passing butterflies. We watched the white-glazed inner walls

Sink in ...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...through parturitions; 
How America illustrates birth, muscular youth, the promise, the sure fulfillment, the
 Success, despite of people—Illustrates evil as well as good; 
How many hold despairingly yet to the models departed, caste, myths, obedience,
 compulsion, and
 to infidelity; 
How few see the arrived models, the Athletes, the Western States—or see freedom or
 spirituality—or hold any faith in results,
(But I see the Athletes—and I see the results of the war ...Read more of this...

by Swift, Jonathan
...chose the wise and good;
No flatterers; no allies in blood;
But succoured virtue in distress,
And seldom failed of good success;
As numbers in their hearts must own,
Who, but for him, had been unknown.
With princes kept a due decorum,
But never stood in awe before 'em.
He followed David's lesson just:
In princes never put thy trust.
And would you make him truly sour,
Provoke him with a slave in power.
The Irish senate, if you named,
With what impatience he dec...Read more of this...

by Akhmatova, Anna
...haired, luminous, short.

He looked at me, insolent bastard,
And muttered at once, "Christ's bride!
Do not envy success of the happy,
A place for you there does hide.

Do forget your parents' abode,
Get accustomed to open heaven
You will sleep on the straw and dirty,
And will meet a blissful end."

Truly, the priest must have heard
On the way back my singing voice
As I of untold happiness
Marveled and rejoiced.

x x x

The other cranes...Read more of this...

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