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Famous Tower Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Yeats, William Butler
...t lie
Flowers from I know not what embroidery -
Heart's purple - and all these I set
For emblems of the day against the tower
Emblematical of the night,
And claim as by a soldier's right
A charter to commit the crime once more.

My Soul. Such fullness in that quarter overflows
And falls into the basin of the mind
That man is stricken deaf and dumb and blind,
For intellect no longer knows
Is from the Ought, or knower from the Known - 
That is to say, ascends to Heaven;...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...riel, son of the blacksmith!

So passed the morning away. And lo! with a summons sonorous
Sounded the bell from its tower, and over the meadows a drum beat.
Thronged erelong was the church with men. Without, in the churchyard,
Waited the women. They stood by the graves, and hung on the headstones
Garlands of autumn-leaves and evergreens fresh from the forest.
Then came the guard from the ships, and marching proudly among them
Entered the sacred portal....Read more of this...

by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
...fluttering stranger! and as oft
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang
>From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day,
So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear
Most like articulate sounds of things to come!
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams!
And so I brooded all t...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...being man died for the sake of God,
And whose unrisen bones sleep peacefully,
O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto's tower,
Thou marble lily of the lily town! let not the lour

Of the rude tempest vex his slumber, or
The Arno with its tawny troubled gold
O'er-leap its marge, no mightier conqueror
Clomb the high Capitol in the days of old
When Rome was indeed Rome, for Liberty
Walked like a bride beside him, at which sight pale Mystery

Fled shrieking to her farthest sombre...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...d full offear; like anxious men
Who on wide plains gather in panting troops,
When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers.
Even now, while Saturn, rous'd from icy trance,
Went step for step with Thea through the woods,
Hyperion, leaving twilight in the rear,
Came slope upon the threshold of the west;
Then, as was wont, his palace-door flew ope
In smoothest silence, save what solemn tubes,
Blown by the serious Zephyrs, gave of sweet
And wandering sounds, slow-breathed...Read more of this...

by Alighieri, Dante
...s who took 
 That diet for their wrath. Till livelier look 
 Was forward drawn, for where at last we came 
 A great tower fronted, and a beacon's flame. 

Canto VIII 

 I SAY, while yet from that tower's base afar, 
 We saw two flames of sudden signal rise, 
 And further, like a small and distant star, 
 A beacon answered. 
 "What before us lies? 
 Who signals our approach, and who replies?" 
 I asked, and answered he who all things knew, 
 "Already, if the ...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...dden fray, 
In haughty silence slowly strode away; 
He back'd his steed, his homeward path he took, 
Nor cast on Otho's tower a single look. 


But where was he? that meteor of a night, 
Who menaced but to disappear with light. 
Where was this Ezzelin? who came and went 
To leave no other trace of his intent. 
He left the dome of Otho long ere morn, 
In darkness, yet so well the path was worn 
He could not miss it: near his dwelling lay; 
But there he was...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
...o'er again that happy hour,  When midway on the Mount I lay    Beside the Ruin'd Tower.   The Moonshine stealing o'er the scene  Had blended with the Lights of Eve;  And she was there, my Hope, my Joy,    My own dear Genevieve!   She lean'd against the Armed Man,  The Statue of the Armed Knight:  She stood and listen'...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar passion burned,
When far away across the sedge and mere
I saw that Holy City rising clear,
Crowned with her crown of towers! - On and on
I galloped, racing with the setting sun,
And ere the crimson after-glow was passed,
I stood within Ravenna's walls at last!


How strangely still! no sound of life or joy
Startles the air; no laughing shepherd-boy
Pipes on his reed, nor ever through the day
Comes the glad sound of children at their play:
O sad, and sweet, and si...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K our days ran,
He also looked forth for an hour
On peopled plains and skies that lower,
From those few windows in the tower
That is the head of a man.

But who shall look from Alfred's hood
Or breathe his breath alive?
His century like a small dark cloud
Drifts far; it is an eyeless crowd,
Where the tortured trumpets scream aloud
And the dense arrows drive.

Lady, by one light only
We look from Alfred's eyes,
We know he saw athwart the wreck
The sign that hangs abou...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...he outer gate, 
(Woe to the head whose eye beheld 
My child Zuleika's face unveil'd!) 
Hence, lead my daughter from her tower: 
Her fate is fix'd this very hour: 
Yet not to her repeat my thought; 
By me alone be duty taught!" 
"Pacha! to hear is to obey." 
No more must slave to despot say — 
Then to the tower had ta'en his way, 
But here young Selim silence brake, 
First lowly rendering reverence meet! 
And downcast look'd, and gently spake, 
Still standing at the Pacha'...Read more of this...

by Poe, Edgar Allan the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around by lifting winds forgot 
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.

No rays from the holy heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently-
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free...Read more of this...

by Masefield, John
...nd carol in festivity 
For joy of Jesus Christ's Nativity 
(Bell-ringer Dawe and his two sons 
Beheld 'em from the bell-tower once}, 
To and two about about 
Singing the end of Advent out, 
Dwindling down to windlestraws 
When the glittering peacock craws, 
As craw the glittering peacock should 
When Christ's own star come over the wood. 
Lamb of the sky comes out of fold 
Wandering windy heavens cold. 
So they shone and sang till twelve 
When all the bells ring out o...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...ed his instinct to outgo
The step of science; and against her shames
Imagination stakes out heavenly claims,
Building a tower above the head of woe. 
Nor is there fairer work for beauty found
Than that she win in nature her release
From all the woes that in the world abound:
Nay with his sorrow may his love increase,
If from man's greater need beauty redound,
And claim his tears for homage of his peace. 

Thus to thy beauty doth my fond heart look,
That late dismay'...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...hich Merlin built for Arthur long ago! 
For all the sacred mount of Camelot, 
And all the dim rich city, roof by roof, 
Tower after tower, spire beyond spire, 
By grove, and garden-lawn, and rushing brook, 
Climbs to the mighty hall that Merlin built. 
And four great zones of sculpture, set betwixt 
With many a mystic symbol, gird the hall: 
And in the lowest beasts are slaying men, 
And in the second men are slaying beasts, 
And on the third are warriors, perfect men, 
A...Read more of this...

by Wordsworth, William
... In high and low, above, below,  In great and small, in round and square,  In tree and tower was Johnny seen,  In bush and brake, in black and green,  'Twas Johnny, Johnny, every where.   She's past the bridge that's in the dale,  And now the thought torments her sore,  Johnny perhaps his horse forsook,  To hunt the moon that's in the brook, &nb...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...el crowned as a conquerour;
And there he lived in joy and in honour
Term of his life; what needeth wordes mo'?
And in a tower, in anguish and in woe,
Dwellen this Palamon, and eke Arcite,
For evermore, there may no gold them quite* *set free

Thus passed year by year, and day by day,
Till it fell ones in a morn of May
That Emily, that fairer was to seen
Than is the lily upon his stalke green,
And fresher than the May with flowers new
(For with the rose colour strove her hue;
...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...under-splintered pinnacle;
     Round many an insulated mass,
     The native bulwarks of the pass,
     Huge as the tower which builders vain
     Presumptuous piled on Shinar's plain.
     The rocky summits, split and rent,
     Formed turret, dome, or battlement.
     Or seemed fantastically set
     With cupola or minaret,
     Wild crests as pagod ever decked,
     Or mosque of Eastern architect.
     Nor were these earth-born castles bare,
     Nor lacked th...Read more of this...

by Miller, Alice Duer
...bell has rung, 
The curtain rises and the stage is set 
For tragedy-they were in love and young. 

We went to the Tower,
We went to the Zoo, 
We saw every flower 
In the gardens at Kew. 
We saw King Charles a-prancing
On his long-tailed horse, 
And thought him more entrancing
Than better kings, of course. 
At a strange early hour, 
In St. James's palace yard, 
We watched in a shower 
The changing of the guard.
And I said, what a pity,
To have just a week...Read more of this...

by Akhmatova, Anna

Song about Song

So many stones have been thrown at me
That I don't fear them any longer
Like elegant tower the westerner stands free
Among tall towers, the taller.
I'm grateful to their builders -- so be gone
Their sadness and their worry, go away,
Early from here I can see the dawn
And here triumphant lives the sun's last ray.
And frequently into my room's window
The winds from northern seas begin to blow
And pigeon from my palms eats wheat...Read more of this...

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