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Famous Sympathy Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...ged hills
It rests; and still as the divided frame 
Of the vast meteor sunk, the Poet's blood,
That ever beat in mystic sympathy
With Nature's ebb and flow, grew feebler still;
And when two lessening points of light alone
Gleamed through the darkness, the alternate gasp
Of his faint respiration scarce did stir
The stagnate night:--till the minutest ray
Was quenched, the pulse yet lingered in his heart.
It paused--it fluttered. But when heaven remained
Utterly black, t...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...e possess 
By some divine adjustment of our own 
Particular shrewd cells, or something else,
What others, for untutored sympathy, 
Go spirit-fishing more than half their lives 
To catch—like cheerful sinners to catch faith; 
And I have not a doubt but I assumed 
Some egotistic attribute like this
When, cautiously, next morning I reduced 
The fretful qualms of my novitiate, 
For most part, to an undigested pride. 
Only, I live convinced that I regret 
This enterprise no mo...Read More

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...and treacherous hate!
And thus she stood, in dizzy trance,
Still picturing that look askance
With forced unconscious sympathy
Full before her father's view-
As far as such a look could be
In eyes so innocent and blue!

And when the trance was o'er, the maid
Paused awhile, and inly prayed:
Then falling at the Baron's feet,
'By my mother's soul do I entreat
That thou this woman send away!'
She said: and more she could not say;
For what she knew she could not tell,...Read More

by Browning, Robert
And painted men like Phidias and his friend: 
I am not great as they are, point by point. 
But I have entered into sympathy 
With these four, running these into one soul, 
Who, separate, ignored each other's art. 
Say, is it nothing that I know them all? 
The wild flower was the larger; I have dashed 
Rose-blood upon its petals, pricked its cup's 
Honey with wine, and driven its seed to fruit, 
And show a better flower if not so large: 
I stand myself. Refer this...Read More

by Hughes, Ted
He tried talking to the sea 
But his brain shuttered and his eyes winced from it as from open flame. 

He tried sympathy for the sea 
But it shouldered him off - as a dead thing shoulders you off. 

He tried hating the sea 
But instantly felt like a scrutty dry rabbit-dropping on the windy cliff. 

He tried just being in the same world as the sea 
But his lungs were not deep enough 

And his cheery blood banged off it 
Like a water-drop off a hot sto...Read More

by Schiller, Friedrich von
...y griefs should feel a listener in the wind;
My joy--its echo in the caves should be!
Fool, if ye will--Fool, for sweet sympathy!

We are dead groups of matter when we hate;
But when we love we are as gods!--Unto
The gentle fetters yearning, through each state
And shade of being multiform, and through
All countless spirits (save of all the sire)--
Moves, breathes, and blends, the one divine desire.

Lo! arm in arm, through every upward grade,
From the rude mongrel to the ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes, 
The skin, the sun-burnt shade, freckles, hair, 
The curious sympathy one feels, when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body, 
The circling rivers, the breath, and breathing it in and out,
The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips, and thence downward toward the knees, 
The thin red jellies within you, or within me—the bones, and the marrow in the bones, 
The exquisite realization of health; 
O I say, ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord) the menial train, 
To whom he shew'd not deference nor disdain, 
But that well-worn reserve which proved he knew 
No sympathy with that familiar crew: 
His soul, whate'er his station or his stem, 
Could bow to Lara, not descend to them. 
Of higher birth he seem'd, and better days, 
Nor mark of vulgar toil that hand betrays, 
So femininely white it might bespeak 
Another sex, when match'd with that smooth cheek, 
But for his garb, and something in his gaze, 
More wild a...Read More

by Milton, John
...e: I started back, 
It started back; but pleased I soon returned, 
Pleased it returned as soon with answering looks 
Of sympathy and love: There I had fixed 
Mine eyes till now, and pined with vain desire, 
Had not a voice thus warned me; 'What thou seest, 
'What there thou seest, fair Creature, is thyself; 
'With thee it came and goes: but follow me, 
'And I will bring thee where no shadow stays 
'Thy coming, and thy soft embraces, he 
'Whose image thou art; him thou shalt e...Read More

by Milton, John
...l new strength within me rise, 
Wings growing, and dominion given me large 
Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on, 
Or sympathy, or some connatural force, 
Powerful at greatest distance to unite, 
With secret amity, things of like kind, 
By secretest conveyance. Thou, my shade 
Inseparable, must with me along; 
For Death from Sin no power can separate. 
But, lest the difficulty of passing back 
Stay his return perhaps over this gulf 
Impassable, impervious; let us tr...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...rena, in perfect condition,
 conscious of power, thirsting to meet his opponent. 

O the joy of that vast elemental sympathy which only the human Soul is capable of
 and emitting in steady and limitless floods. 

O the mother’s joys!
The watching—the endurance—the precious love—the anguish—the patiently
 yielded life. 

O the joy of increase, growth, recuperation; 
The joy of soothing and pacifying—the joy of concord and harmony. 

O to go back t...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)

But what have I, but what have I, my friend,
To give you, what can you receive from me?
Only the friendship and the sympathy
Of one about to reach her journey’s end.

I shall sit here, serving tea to friends...”

I take my hat: how can I make a cowardly amends
For what she has said to me?
You will see me any morning in the park
Reading the comics and the sporting page.
Particularly I remark
An English countess goes upon the stage.
A Greek was murde...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...and mock’d with Souls! 
Let the love that waits in them, wait! let it die, or pass stillborn to other spheres! 
Let the sympathy that waits in every man, wait! or let it also pass, a dwarf, to other

Let contradictions prevail! let one thing contradict another! and let one line of my poems
 contradict another!
Let the people sprawl with yearning, aimless hands! let their tongues be broken! let their
 be discouraged! let none descend into their hearts with the ...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...ler of hate and conciliation; 
Extoller of amies, and those that sleep in each others’ arms. 

I am he attesting sympathy;
(Shall I make my list of things in the house, and skip the house that supports

I am not the poet of goodness only—I do not decline to be the poet of
 wickedness also. 

Washes and razors for foofoos—for me freckles and a bristling beard. 

What blurt is this about virtue and about vice? 
Evil propels me, and reform of ev...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...deep'ning twilights of the spring  In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still  Full of meek sympathy must heave their sighs  O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.  My Friend, and my Friend's Sister! we have learnt  A different lore: we may not thus profane  Nature's sweet voices always full of love  And joyance! Tis the merry Nightingale   That crowds, and ...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter his young compeers,
     Was Brian from his infant years;
     A moody and heart-broken boy,
     Estranged from sympathy and joy
     Bearing each taunt which careless tongue
     On his mysterious lineage flung.
     Whole nights he spent by moonlight pale
     To wood and stream his teal, to wail,
     Till, frantic, he as truth received
     What of his birth the crowd believed,
     And sought, in mist and meteor fire,
     To meet and know his Phantom Sir...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...way he knew how
To find himself in one. Well, all we said was
He took a strange thing to be roguish over.
Some sympathy was wasted on the house,
A good old-timer dating back along;
But a house isn't sentient; the house
Didn't feel anything. And if it did,
Why not regard it as a sacrifice,
And an old-fashioned sacrifice by fire,
Instead of a new-fashioned one at auction?

Out of a house and so out of a farm
At one stroke (of a match), Brad had to turn
To earn a li...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
...wn;Thence was the coldness which your hopes distress'd,For such our sympathy in all the rest,As is alone where Love keeps honour's law.Since in your bosom first its birth I saw,One fire our heart has equally inflamed,Except that I conceal'd it, you proclaim'd;And louder as your cry for mercy swell...Read More

by Miller, Alice Duer
...d with death. 
So in these years between the wars did men 
From happier continents look on us when 
They brought us sympathy, and saw us stand 
Like the proverbial ostrich-head in sand— 
While youth passed resolutions not to fight, 
And statesmen muttered everything was right— 
Germany, a kindly, much ill-treated nation—
Russia was working out her own salvation
Within her borders. As for Spain, ah, Spain
Would buy from England when peace came again!
I listened and bel...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...of melody: 

Like a poet hidden 
In the light of thought, 
Singing hymns unbidden, 
Till the world is wrought 
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not: 

Like a high-born maiden 
In a palace tower, 
Soothing her love-laden 
Soul in secret hour 
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower: 

Like a glow-worm golden 
In a dell of dew, 
Scattering unbeholden 
Its aerial hue 
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view: 

Like a r...Read More

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