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Famous Sustains Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Burns, Robert
A cottar howkin in a sheugh,
Wi’ dirty stanes biggin a dyke,
Baring a quarry, an’ sic like;
Himsel’, a wife, he thus sustains,
A smytrie o’ wee duddie weans,
An’ nought but his han’-daurk, to keep
Them right an’ tight in thack an’ rape.
 An’ when they meet wi’ sair disasters,
Like loss o’ health or want o’ masters,
Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer,
An’ they maun starve o’ cauld an’ hunger:
But how it comes, I never kent yet,
They’re maistly wonderfu’ contented;
A...Read more of this...

by Thomson, James
...finish'd university of things
In all its order, magnitude, and parts,
Forbear incessant to adore that Power
Who fills, sustains, and actuates the whole? 

Say, ye who best can tell, ye happy few,
Who saw him in the softest lights of life,
All unwithheld, indulging to his friends
The vast unborrow'd treasures of his mind,
oh, speak the wondrous man! how mild, how calr
How greatly humble, how divinely good,
How firm establish'd on eternal truth;
Fervent in doing well, with eve...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...ere'er that Power may move
Which has withdrawn his being to its own;
Which wields the world with never-wearied love,
Sustains it from beneath, and kindles it above.

He is a portion of the loveliness
Which once he made more lovely: he doth bear
His part, while the one Spirit's plastic stress
Sweeps through the dull dense world, compelling there
All new successions to the forms they wear;
Torturing th' unwilling dross that checks its flight
To its own likeness, ...Read more of this...

by Pope, Alexander
...fair Body thus th' informing Soul
With Spirits feeds, with Vigour fills the whole,
Each Motion guides, and ev'ry Nerve sustains;
It self unseen, but in th' Effects, remains.
Some, to whom Heav'n in Wit has been profuse.
Want as much more, to turn it to its use,
For Wit and Judgment often are at strife,
Tho' meant each other's Aid, like Man and Wife.
'Tis more to guide than spur the Muse's Steed;
Restrain his Fury, than provoke his Speed;
The winged Courser, like ...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...N>Where most she's conscious that her sight will pleaseThis is one pillar that sustains my life;The other her dear name,That to my heart sounds so delightfully.But tracing in my mind,That she who form'd my choicest hope is deadE'en in her blossom'd prime;Thou knowest, Love, full wel...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...Once more the lost loved treasure may be thine."This thought awhile sustains me, but againTo fail me and forsake in worse excess of pain. Time flies apace: the silent hours and swiftSo urge his journey on,Short span to me is leftEven to think how quick to death I run;Read more of this...

by Watts, Isaac all my soul renew,
And cleanse my spotted garments too.]

[Is he a fire? He'll purge my dross;
But the true gold sustains no loss:
Like a refiner shall he sit,
And tread the refuse with his feet.]

[Is he a rock? How firm he proves!
The Rock of ages never moves;
Yet the sweet streams that from him flow
Attend us all the desert through.]

[Is he a way? He leads to God,
The path is drawn in lines of blood;
There would I walk with hope and zeal,
Till I arrive at Z...Read more of this...

by Brontë, Emily
...f immortality. 

With wide-embracing love 
Thy Spirit animates eternal years, 
Pervades and broods above, 
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears. 

Though earth and man were gone, 
And suns and universes cease to be, 
And Thou were left alone, 
Every existence would exist in Thee. 

There is not room for Death, 
Nor atom that his might could render void: 
Thou--Thou art Being and Breath, 
And what Thou art may never be destroyed....Read more of this...

by Wheatley, Phillis
To approach the tables of the gods above:
Her grandsire Atlas, who with mighty pains
Th' ethereal axis on his neck sustains:
Her other grandsire on the throne on high
Rolls the loud-pealing thunder thro' the sky.

Her spouse, Amphion, who from Jove too springs,
Divinely taught to sweep the sounding strings.

Seven sprightly sons the royal bed adorn,
Seven daughters beauteous as the op'ning morn,
As when Aurora fills the ravish'd sight,
And decks the orient realms...Read more of this...

by Brontë, Emily of immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou were left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou—Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed....Read more of this...

by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...By shores and shoals of good and ill;
And still its flame at mainmast height
Through the rent air that foam-flakes fill
Sustains the indomitable light
Whence only man hath strength to steer
Or helm to handle without fear.

Save his own soul's light overhead,
None leads him, and none ever led,
Across birth's hidden harbour-bar,
Past youth where shoreward shallows are,
Through age that drives on toward the red
Vast void of sunset hailed from far,
To the equal waters of the ...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...but the blackness but soon I descried
A something more black than the blackness---the vast, the upright
Main prop which sustains the pavilion: and slow into sight
Grew a figure against it, gigantic and blackest of all.
Then a sunbeam, that burst thro' the tent-roof, showed Saul.


He stood as erect as that tent-prop, both arms stretched out wide
On the great cross-support in the centre, that goes to each side;
He relaxed not a muscle, but hung there as, caught...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...AN>Nature her delicate form by bonds so slightHolds in existence, that no help sustains;She is so modest that she now disdainsLonger to brook this vile life's painful fight.Thus fades and fails the spirit day by day,Which on those dear and lovely limbs should wait,Our mirror of true grace which wont to give:...Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...lass=iname>Macgregor.  Such noble aliment sustains my soul,That Jove I envy not his godlike food;I gaze on her—and feel each other goodEngulph'd in that blest draught at Lethe's bowl:Her every word I in my heart enrol,That on its grief it still may constant brood;Read more of this...

by Petrarch, Francesco
...lass=smcap>Weep, wretched eyes, accompany the heartWhich only from your weakness death sustains.E.    Weep? evermore we weep; with keener painsFor others' error than our own we smart.[Pg 86]P.    Love, entering first through you an easy part,Read more of this...

by Levertov, Denise
...As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace....Read more of this...

by Finch, Anne Kingsmill
Fills the next adjoining Trace: 
Independance leads the Way, 
Whom no heavy Curb do's sway; 
Truth an equal Part sustains, 
All indulg'd the loosen'd Reins: 
In the Box fits vig'rous Health, 
Shunning miry Paths of Wealth: 
Gaiety with easy Smiles, 
Ev'ry harsher Step beguiles; 
Whilst of Nature, or of Fate 
Only This I wou'd intreat: 
The Equipage might not decay, 
Till the worn Carriage drops away....Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
...e we tread the clothes
And gather all the talk?

What is this flesh I purchased with my pains,
This fallen star my milk sustains,
This love that makes my heart's blood stop
Or strikes a Sudden chill into my bones
And bids my hair stand up?...Read more of this...

by Finch, Anne Kingsmill
...bars the Door, by Labour call'd away, 
And, when returning at the Close of Day, 
With One small Mess himself, and that sustains, 
And half his Dish it shares, and half his slender Gains. 
When to the great Man's table now there comes 
A Lord as great, follow'd by hungry Grooms: 

For these must be provided sundry Meats, 
The best for Some, for Others coarser Cates. 
One Servant, diligent above the rest 
To help his Master to contrive the Feast, 
Extols the Lamb was n...Read more of this...

by Trumbull, John
...and torturing fears,
Contempt that lifts the haughty eye,
And unblest solitude are nigh;
While conscious pride no more sustains,
Nor art conceals thine inward pains,
And haggard vengeance haunts thy name,
And guilt consigns thee o'er to shame,
Avenging furies round thee wait,
And e'en thy foes bewail thy fate.

But see, with gentler looks and air,
Sophia comes. Ye youths beware!
Her fancy paints her still in prime,
Nor sees the moving hand of time;
To all her imperf...Read more of this...

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