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Famous Surprises Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Kipling, Rudyard
...when your front is clear,
 And you feel you are bound to win.
Look out for your flank and your rear--
 That's where surprises begin.
For the rustle that isn't a rat,
 For the splash that isn't a trout,
For the boulder that may be a hat
(Chorus) All Patrols look out!

For the innocent knee-high grass,
 For the ditch that never tells,
Look out! Look out ere you pass--
 And look out for everything else
A sign mis-read as you run
 May turn retreat to a rout--
For all thi...Read More

by Jackson, Helen Hunt
...longest, darkest nights take rest and ease, 
And every shortening day, as shadows creep 
O'er the brief noontide, fresh surprises find....Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
...not slaves.
Come up where the dust never rises –
But only the perfume of flowers –
And your life shall be glad with surprises
Of beautiful hours.
Come up where the rare golden wine is
Apollo distills in my sight,
And your life shall be happy as mine is,
And as full of delight....Read More

by Browning, Robert
...e, yield each his place to the rest:
For higher still and higher (as a runner tips with fire,
When a great illumination surprises a festal night--
Outlining round and round Rome's dome from space to spire)
Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and the pride of my soul was in sight.

In sight? Not half! for it seemed, it was certain, to match man's birth,
Nature in turn conceived, obeying an impulse as I;
And the emulous heaven yearned down, made effort to reach the earth,
As t...Read More

by Pope, Alexander
...eauty ev'rywhere be spied,
Where half the skill is decently to hide.
He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds,
Surprises, varies, and conceals the bounds.

Consult the genius of the place in all;
That tells the waters or to rise, or fall;
Or helps th' ambitious hill the heav'ns to scale,
Or scoops in circling theatres the vale;
Calls in the country, catches opening glades,
Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades,
Now breaks, or now directs, th' intendi...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...he world 
--The beauty and the wonder and the power, 
The shapes of things, their colours, lights and shades, 
Changes, surprises,--and God made it all! 
--For what? Do you feel thankful, ay or no, 
For this fair town's face, yonder river's line, 
The mountain round it and the sky above, 
Much more the figures of man, woman, child, 
These are the frame to? What's it all about? 
To be passed over, despised? or dwelt upon, 
Wondered at? oh, this last of course!--you say. 
B...Read More

by Cowper, William
...Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
With healing on His wings;
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation
We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God's salvation,
And find it ever new;
Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say,
E'en let...Read More

by Moore, Thomas> 
Sweeter 'tis to gaze upon 
My Nora's lid that seldom rises; 
Few its looks, but every one, 
Like unexpected light, surprises! 
Oh, my Nora Creina, dear, 
My gentle, bashful Nora Creina, 
Beauty lies 
In many eyes, 
But Love in yours, my Nora Creina. 

Lesbia wears a robe of gold, 
But all so close the nymph hath laced it, 
Not a charm of beauty's mould 
Presumes to stay where Nature placed it. 
Oh! my Nora's gown for me, 
That floats as wild as mountain breezes, ...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...and lame.
We never notice him. With my dear Lord I ought not 
to have minded that he came.
But, Gervase, it surprises me that you Should so lack grace 
to stay here." With one hand
She held her gaping bodice to conceal Her 
breast. "I must demand
Your instant absence. Everard, but new
Returned, will hardly care for guests. Adieu."
"Eunice, you're mad." His brain began 
to reel.

He tried again to take her, tried to twist Her 
arms...Read More

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...t slights or prizes,
All the dreams that make him fearful, fain, or fond,
Fade at forethought's touch of life's unknown surprises
Far beyond....Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...hen from the water-lilies slow uprises
The still vast face of all the life I know,
Changed now, and full of wonders and surprises,
With fire in eyes that once were glazed with snow.

Fair now the brows old Pain had erewhile wrinkled,
And peace and strength about the calm mouth dwell.
Clean of the ashes that Repentance sprinkled,
The meek head poises like a flower-bell.

All the old scars of wanton wars are vanished;
And what blue bruises grappling Sense had left
A...Read More

by Herbert, George
...g sin,
Afflictions sorted, anguish of all sizes,
Fine nets and stratagems to catch us in,
Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,
Blessings beforehand, ties of gratefulness,
The sound of glory ringing in our ears;
Without, our shame; within, our consciences;
Angels and grace, eternal hopes and fears:
Yet all these fences and their whole array
One cunning bosom-sin blows quite away....Read More

by Eluard, Paul
...perish in vain 
Time burdens only fools 
While Hell alone prospers 
And the wise men are absurd 

VI. A wolf 

Day surprises me and night scares me 
haunts me and winter follows me 
An animal walking on the snow has placed 
Its paws in the sand or in the mud 

Its paws have traveled 
From further afar than my own steps 
On a path where death 
Has the imprints of life 

VII. A flawless fire 

The threat under the red sky 
Came from below -- jaws 
And scales and links ...Read More

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