Famous Suspense Poems by Famous Poets
These are examples of famous Suspense poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous suspense poems. These examples illustrate what a famous suspense poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).
by Bradstreet, Anne
...ister Scotland hurts me now no more,
78 Though she hath been injurious heretofore.
79 What Holland is, I am in some suspense,
80 But trust not much unto his Excellence.
81 For wants, sure some I feel, but more I fear;
82 And for the Pestilence, who knows how near?
83 Famine and Plague, two sisters of the Sword,
84 Destruction to a Land doth soon afford.
85 They're for my punishments ordain'd on high,
86 Unless thy tears prevent it speedily.
87 But yet I answer...Read More
by Smart, Christopher
When to his graceful harp he knelt,
And did for audience call;
When Satan with his hand he quell'd
And in serene suspense he held
The frantic throes of Saul.
His furious foes no more malign'd
As he such melody divin'd,
And sense and soul detain'd;
Now striking strong, now soothing soft,
He sent the godly sounds aloft,
Or in delight refrain'd.
When up to heav'n his thoughts he pil'd
From fervent lips fair Michal smil'd,
As blush t...Read More
by Bronte, Anne
...e his bright day dreams o'er?
Has he thus hoped and longed in vain,
And must they meet no more?
One moment more of sad suspense
And those dark trees are past;
The lonely well bursts on his sight
And they are met at last!...Read More
by Moody, William Vaughn
Out of the gladdening west is sinister
With sounds of nameless battle overseas;
Though when we turn and question in suspense
If these things be indeed after these ways,
And what things are to follow after these,
Our fluent men of place and consequence
Fumble and fill their mouths with hollow phrase,
Or for the end-all of deep arguments
Intone their dull commercial liturgies --
I dare not yet believe! My ears are shut!
I will not hear the thin satiric praise
And m...Read More
by Pope, Alexander
...same sad prospect find,
And wake to all the griefs I left behind.
For thee the fates, severely kind, ordain
A cool suspense from pleasure and from pain;
Thy life a long, dead calm of fix'd repose;
No pulse that riots, and no blood that glows.
Still as the sea, ere winds were taught to blow,
Or moving spirit bade the waters flow;
Soft as the slumbers of a saint forgiv'n,
And mild as opening gleams of promis'd heav'n.
Come, Abelard! for what hast thou to dread?
by Dickinson, Emily
Shook my strong trust --
Did it then -- yield?
Hurled my belief --
But -- did he shatter -- it?
Racked -- with suspense --
Not a nerve failed!
Wrung me -- with Anguish --
But I never doubted him --
'Tho' for what wrong
He did never say --
Stabbed -- while I sued
His sweet forgiveness --
Jesus -- it's your little "John"!
Don't you know -- me?...Read More
by Alighieri, Dante
...d thy fear,
The things which first I heard, and brought me here.
One came where, in the Outer Place, I dwell,
Suspense from hope of Heaven or fear of Hell,
Radiant in light that native round her clung,
And cast her eyes our hopeless Shades among
(Eyes with no earthly like but heaven's own blue),
And called me to her in such voice as few
In that grim place had heard, so low, so clear,
So toned and cadenced from the Utmost Sphere,
The Unattainable Heaven...Read More
by Plath, Sylvia
...agree, it is not odd
that one man's devil is another's god
or that the solar spectrum is
a multitude of shaded grays; suspense
on the quicksands of ambivalence
is our life's whole nemesis.
So we could rave on, darling, you and I,
until the stars tick out a lullaby
about each cosmic pro and con;
nothing changes, for all the blazing of
our drastic jargon, but clock hands that move
implacably from twelve to one.
We raise our arguments like sitting ducks
to knock...Read More
by Byron, George (Lord)
...ensation of recurring sense,
And then subsiding back to death,
And then again a little breath,
A little thrill, a short suspense,
An icy sickness curdling o'er
My heart, and sparks that crossed my brain
A gasp, a throb, a start of pain,
A sigh, and nothing more.
'I woke - where was I? - Do I see
A human face look down on me?
And doth a roof above me close?
Do these limbs on a couch repose?
Is this a chamber where I lie
And is it mortal yon bright eye,
That watches ...Read More
by Trumbull, John
...hasty strides he flies in vain,
His rear attack'd on Monmouth plain.
With various chance the dread affray
Holds in suspense till close of day,
When his tired bands, o'ermatch'd in fight,
Are rescued by descending night.
He forms his camp, with great parade,
While evening spreads the world in shade,
Then still, like some endanger'd spark,
Steals off on tiptoe in the dark:
Yet writes his king in boasting tone
How grand he march'd by light of moon.
I see him, but th...Read More
by Milton, John
...on whom we send
The weight of all, and our last hope, relies."
This said, he sat; and expectation held
His look suspense, awaiting who appeared
To second, or oppose, or undertake
The perilous attempt. But all sat mute,
Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and each
In other's countenance read his own dismay,
Astonished. None among the choice and prime
Of those Heaven-warring champions could be found
So hardy as to proffer or accept,
Alone, the dread...Read More
by Milton, John
...Portending hollow truce: At each behind
A Seraph stood, and in his hand a reed
Stood waving tipt with fire; while we, suspense,
Collected stood within our thoughts amused,
Not long; for sudden all at once their reeds
Put forth, and to a narrow vent applied
With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame,
But soon obscured with smoke, all Heaven appeared,
From those deep-throated engines belched, whose roar
Embowelled with outrageous noise the air,
And all her entrails t...Read More
by Milton, John
...o magnify his works, the more we know.
And the great light of day yet wants to run
Much of his race though steep; suspense in Heaven,
Held by thy voice, thy potent voice, he hears,
And longer will delay to hear thee tell
His generation, and the rising birth
Of Nature from the unapparent Deep:
Or if the star of evening and the moon
Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring,
Silence; and Sleep, listening to thee, will watch;
Or we can bid his absence, till ...Read More
by Naidu, Sarojini
Old longings in fulfilling new desires.
And now the Soul stands in a vague, intense
Expectancy and anguish of suspense,
On the dim chamber-threshold . . . lo! he sees
Like a strange, fated bride as yet unknown,
His timid future shrinking there alone,
Beneath her marriage-veil of mysteries....Read More
by Frost, Robert
...y had been there watching all the time,
But from a shed where neither of them could see him.)
There was a moment of suspense in birth
When the girl seemed too waterlogged to live,
Before she caught her first breath with a gasp
And laughed. Then she climbed slowly to her feet,
And walked off, talking to herself or Paul,
Across the logs like backs of alligators,
Paul taking after her around the pond.
Next evening Murphy and some other fellows
Got drunk, and tracke...Read More
by Schiller, Friedrich von
...ous stripling, oh, fare thee well!"
And duller and duller the howls recommence,
While they pause in anxious and fearful suspense.
"If even thy crown in the gulf thou shouldst fling,
And shouldst say, 'He who brings it to me
Shall wear it henceforward, and be the king,'
Thou couldst tempt me not e'en with that precious foe;
What under the howling deep is concealed
To no happy living soul is revealed!"
Full many a ship, by the whirlpool held fast,
Shoots straightway benea...Read More
by Scott, Sir Walter
...hat his sight received;
Such apparition well might seem
Delusion of a dreadful dream.
Sir Roderick in suspense he eyed,
And to his look the Chief replied:
'Fear naught—nay, that I need not say
But—doubt not aught from mine array.
Thou art my guest;—I pledged my word
As far as Coilantogle ford:
Nor would I call a clansman's brand
For aid against one valiant hand,
Though on our strife lay every vale
Rent by...Read More
by Smart, Christopher
...whole house was like a fair;
But soon his entry as he made,
Without a prompter, or parade,
'Twas all expectance, all suspense,
And silence gagg'd the audience.
He hid his head behind his wig,
With with such truth took off* a Pig, [imitated]
All swore 'twas serious, and no joke,
For doubtless underneath his cloak,
He had conceal'd some grunting elf,
Or was a real hog himself.
A search was made, no pig was found--
With thund'ring claps the seats resound,
by Johnson, Samuel
340 And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest.
341 Where then shall Hope and Fear their objects find?
342 Must dull Suspense corrupt the stagnant mind?
343 Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
344 Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?
345 Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise,
346 No cries attempt the mercies of the skies?
347 Enquirer, cease, petitions yet remain,
348 Which Heav'n may hear, nor deem religion vain.
349 Still raise for good the supplicating vo...Read More
by Swift, Jonathan
...we are lashed, they kiss the rod,
Resigning to the will of God.
The fools, my juniors by a year,
Are tortured with suspense and fear:
Who wisely thought my age a screen
When death approached, to stand between: -
The screen removed, their hearts are trembling;
They mourn for me without dissembling.
My female friends, whose tender hearts
Have better learned to act their parts,
Receive the news in doleful dumps:
"The Dean is dead -and what is trumps? -
Then Lord have...Read More
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