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Famous Testimony Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Whitman, Walt
...e same monotonous old song.)


17
O I see now, flashing, that this America is only you and me, 
Its power, weapons, testimony, are you and me, 
Its crimes, lies, thefts, defections, slavery, are you and me,
Its Congress is you and me—the officers, capitols, armies, ships, are you and me, 
Its endless gestations of new States are you and me, 
The war—that war so bloody and grim—the war I will henceforth forget—was
 you and
 me, 
Natural and artificial are you and me, 
Free...Read More



by Baudelaire, Charles
...
A beacon lighting a thousand citadels
A summons to hunters lost in the wide woods.

For truly, O Lord, what better testimony
Can we give to our dignity
Than this burning sob that rolls from age to age
And comes to die on the shore of Your eternity?...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...lavor’d fruit, ready for eating; 
This face of a healthy honest boy is the programme of all good.

These faces bear testimony, slumbering or awake; 
They show their descent from the Master himself. 

Off the word I have spoken, I except not one—red, white, black, are all deific; 
In each house is the ovum—it comes forth after a thousand years. 

Spots or cracks at the windows do not disturb me;
Tall and sufficient stand behind, and make signs to me; 
I read the pr...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...t was their last hour, 
A madness of farewells. And Modred brought 
His creatures to the basement of the tower 
For testimony; and crying with full voice 
`Traitor, come out, ye are trapt at last,' aroused 
Lancelot, who rushing outward lionlike 
Leapt on him, and hurled him headlong, and he fell 
Stunned, and his creatures took and bare him off, 
And all was still: then she, `The end is come, 
And I am shamed for ever;' and he said, 
`Mine be the shame; mine was the sin:...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...OUT of the testimony of such reluctant lips, out of the oaths and mouths of such scrupulous liars, out of perjurers whose hands swore by God to the white sun before all men,

Out of a rag saturated with smears and smuts gathered from the footbaths of kings and the loin cloths of whores, from the scabs of Babylon and Jerusalem to the scabs of London and New York,

From ...Read More



by Smart, Christopher
...o the Lord and Giver of Life. 

Let the Levites of the Lord take the Beavers of the brook alive into the Ark of the Testimony. 

Let Eleazar with the Ermine serve the Lord decently and in purity. 

Let Ithamar minister with a Chamois, and bless the name of Him, which cloatheth the naked. 

Let Gershom with an Pygarg Hart bless the name of Him, who feedeth the hungry. 

Let Merari praise the wisdom and power of God with the Coney, who scoopeth the rock, and...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...>
Therefore, the prosecuting attorneys, fellow citizens, and a jury of his peers, also fellow citizens, listened to the testimony of other fellow citizens, policemen, doctors, and after a verdict of guilty, the judge, a fellow citizen, said: I sentence you to be hanged by the neck till you are dead.

So there is a killer to be killed and I am the killer of the killer for today.
I don’t know why it beats in my head in the lines I read once in an old school reader: I’m ...Read More

by Milton, John
...ngle hast maintained 
Against revolted multitudes the cause 
Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms; 
And for the testimony of truth hast borne 
Universal reproach, far worse to bear 
Than violence; for this was all thy care 
To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds 
Judged thee perverse: The easier conquest now 
Remains thee, aided by this host of friends, 
Back on thy foes more glorious to return, 
Than scorned thou didst depart; and to subdue 
By force, who r...Read More

by Milton, John
...en to dwell: 
By his prescript a sanctuary is framed 
Of cedar, overlaid with gold; therein 
An ark, and in the ark his testimony, 
The records of his covenant; over these 
A mercy-seat of gold, between the wings 
Of two bright Cherubim; before him burn 
Seven lamps as in a zodiack representing 
The heavenly fires; over the tent a cloud 
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night; 
Save when they journey, and at length they come, 
Conducted by his Angel, to the land 
Promised ...Read More

by Milton, John
...our as their King. All come,
And he himself among them was baptized—
Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
The testimony of Heaven, that who he is
Thenceforth the nations may not doubt. I saw
The Prophet do him reverence; on him, rising 
Out of the water, Heaven above the clouds
Unfold her crystal doors; thence on his head
A perfet Dove descend (whate'er it meant);
And out of Heaven the sovraign voice I heard,
'This is my Son beloved,—in him am pleased.'
His ...Read More

by Milton, John
...tatute giv'n of old
For Israel to observe
A Law of Jacobs God, to hold
From whence they might not swerve.
This he a Testimony ordain'd
In Joseph, not to change,
When as he pass'd through Aegypt land;
The Tongue I heard, was strange. 
From burden, and from slavish toyle
I set his shoulder free;
His hands from pots, and mirie soyle
Deliver'd were by me.
When trouble did thee sore assaile,
On me then didst thou call,
And I to free thee did not faile,
And led thee out...Read More

by Heaney, Seamus
...'We were killing pigs when the 
Yanks arrived.
A Tuesday morning, sunlight
and gutter-blood
Outside the slaughter house.
>From the main road
They would have heard the screaming,
Then heard it stop and had a view of us 
In our gloves and aprons coming
down the hill.
Two lines of them, guns on their 
shoulders, marching.
Armoured cars and tan...Read More

by Sandburg, Carl
...THE ROSES slanted crimson sobs
On the night sky hair of the women,
And the long light-fingered men
Spoke to the dark-haired women,
“Nothing lovelier, nothing lovelier.”
How could he sit there among us all
Guzzling blood into his guts,
Goblets, mugs, buckets—
Leaning, toppling, laughing
With a slobber on his mouth,
A smear of red on his strong raw lips,...Read More

by Ammons, A R
...idden; when you consider

that birds' bones make no awful noise against the light but
lie low in the light as in a high testimony; when you consider
the radiance, that it will look into the guiltiest

swervings of the weaving heart and bear itself upon them,
not flinching into disguise or darkening; when you consider
the abundance of such resource as illuminates the glow-blue

bodies and gold-skeined wings of flies swarming the dumped
guts of a natural slaughter or the coil o...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
  Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
  Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
  And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;               180
  Departed, have left no addresses.

  Line 161 ALRIGHT. This spelling occurs also in
  the Hogarth Press edition— Editor.

  By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .
  Sweet Thames...Read More

by Cullen, Countee
...r day again; for this, these groans
From tangled flesh and interlocked bones.
And no thing died that did not give
A testimony that it longed to live.
Man, strange composite blend of brute and god,
Pushed on, nor backward glanced where last he trod:
He seemed to mount a misty ladder flung
Pendant from a cloud, yet never gained a rung
But at his feet another tugged and clung.
My heart was still a pool of bitterness,
Would yield nought else, nought else confess.
...Read More

by Forche, Carolyn
...Our life is a fire dampened, or a fire shut up in stone.
 --Jacob Boehme, De Incarnatione Verbi

Outside everything visible and invisible a blazing maple.
Daybreak: a seam at the curve of the world. The trousered legs of the women
 shimmered.
They held their arms in front of them like ghosts.

The coal bones of the house clinked in a ki...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...ng.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors; 
Departed, have left no addresses.
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hea...Read More

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