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Famous Travel Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Aiken, Conrad
...meless birds complain,
in stunted trees, female echoing male;
or, in the moonlight, the lost cuckoo's cry,
piercing the traveller's heart. Wayfarer from afar,
why are you here? what brings you here? why here?'


Why here. Nor can we say why here. The peachtree bough
scrapes on the wall at midnight, the west wind
sculptures the wall of fog that slides
seaward, over the Gulf Stream.
 The rat 
comes through the wainscot, brings to his larder
the twinned acorn...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...Where's the lamp that Hero lit
 Once to call Leander home?
Equal Time hath shovelled it
 'Neath the wrack of Greece and Rome.
Neither wait we any more
That worn sail which Argo bore.

Dust and dust of ashes close
 All the Vestal Virgin's care;
And the oldest altar shows
 But an older darkness there.
Age-encamped Oblivion
Tenteth every light tha...Read More

by Gibran, Kahlil smiles from my father's coffers. 

"My heart refuses to deny you its secret. Twelve months of comfort and travel await us; for a year we will spend my father's gold at the blue lakes of Switzerland, and viewing the edifices of Italy and Egypt, and resting under the Holy Cedars of Lebanon; you will meet the princesses who will envy you for your jewels and clothes. 

"All these things I will do for you; will you be satisfied?" 

In a little while I saw them wa...Read More

by Kendall, Henry
...d life-dreams dwell, 
There the faces beam with gladness that I loved in youth so well; 
There the songs of childhood travel, over wave-worn steep and strand - 
Over dale and upland stretching out behind this mountain land. 

``Lovely Being, can a mortal, weary of this changeless scene, 

Cross these cloudy summits to the land where man hath never been? 
Can he find a pathway leading through that wildering mass of pines, 
So that he shall reach the country where et...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...'ve had to work myself.
The having anything to sell is what
Is the disgrace in man or state or nation.

I met a traveler from Arkansas
Who boasted of his state as beautiful
For diamonds and apples. "Diamonds
And apples in commercial quantities?"
I asked him, on my guard. "Oh, yes," he answered,
Off his. The time was evening in the Pullman.
I see the porter's made your bed," I told him.

I met a Californian who would
Talk California—a state so bless...Read More

by Milton, John
...ith Heaven; or, if some other place, 
From your dominion won, th' Ethereal King 
Possesses lately, thither to arrive 
I travel this profound. Direct my course: 
Directed, no mean recompense it brings 
To your behoof, if I that region lost, 
All usurpation thence expelled, reduce 
To her original darkness and your sway 
(Which is my present journey), and once more 
Erect the standard there of ancient Night. 
Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge!" 
 Thus Satan; ...Read More

by Milton, John
...m thus employed beheld 
With pity Heaven's high King, and to him called 
Raphael, the sociable Spirit, that deigned 
To travel with Tobias, and secured 
His marriage with the seventimes-wedded maid. 
Raphael, said he, thou hearest what stir on Earth 
Satan, from Hell 'scaped through the darksome gulf, 
Hath raised in Paradise; and how disturbed 
This night the human pair; how he designs 
In them at once to ruin all mankind. 
Go therefore, half this day as friend with ...Read More

by Milton, John began. 
Second of Satan sprung, all-conquering Death! 
What thinkest thou of our empire now, though earned 
With travel difficult, not better far 
Than still at Hell's dark threshold to have sat watch, 
Unnamed, undreaded, and thyself half starved? 
Whom thus the Sin-born monster answered soon. 
To me, who with eternal famine pine, 
Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven; 
There best, where most with ravine I may meet; 
Which here, though plenteous, all too little s...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
Marking through these, and after all, in duplicate slender lines, 
Bridging the three or four thousand miles of land travel, 
Tying the Eastern to the Western sea, 
The road between Europe and Asia.

(Ah Genoese, thy dream! thy dream! 
Centuries after thou art laid in thy grave, 
The shore thou foundest verifies thy dream!) 

Passage to India! 
Struggles of many a captain—tales of many a sailor dead!
Over my mood, stealing and spreading they come, 
Like clouds and cl...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...d work with them—I joke at my work, like a mettlesome young man. 

In winter I take my eel-basket and eel-spear and travel out on foot on the ice—I have
 small axe to cut holes in the ice; 
Behold me, well-clothed, going gaily, or returning in the afternoon—my brood of tough
 accompaning me, 
My brood of grown and part-grown boys, who love to be with no one else so well as they
 love to
 be with me, 
By day to work with me, and by night to sleep with me.

Or,...Read More

by Berman, David
that will never completely displace the old ones
leaving everyone feeling quite nervous
and split in two.

We will travel to Mars
even as folks on Earth
are still ripping open potato chip
bags with their teeth.

Why? I don't have the time or intelligence
to make all the connections
like my friend Gordon
(this is a true story)
who grew up in Braintree Massachusetts
and had never pictured a brain snagged in a tree
until I brought it up.
He'd never broken the name d...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...sold at the auction-stand—the drunkard nods by the
 bar-room stove;
The machinist rolls up his sleeves—the policeman travels his beat—the
 gate-keeper marks who pass; 
The young fellow drives the express-wagon—(I love him, though I do not know
The half-breed straps on his light boots to complete in the race; 
The western turkey-shooting draws old and young—some lean on their rifles,
 some sit on logs, 
Out from the crowd steps the marksman, takes his positio...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...-fortune—I myself am good fortune; 
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road. 

The earth—that is sufficient; 
I do not want the constellations any nearer; 
I know they are very well where they are; 
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens; 
I carry them, men and women—I carry them with me wherever I go; 
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
..., 1868.

III. How Love Looked for Hell.

"To heal his heart of long-time pain
One day Prince Love for to travel was fain
With Ministers Mind and Sense.
`Now what to thee most strange may be?'
Quoth Mind and Sense. `All things above,
One curious thing I first would see --
Hell,' quoth Love.

"Then Mind rode in and Sense rode out:
They searched the ways of man about.
First frightfully groaneth Sense.
`'Tis here, 'tis here,' and spurreth in fea...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...and his mother again.


And he came back the pertest little ape
That ever affronted human shape;
Full of his travel, struck at himself.
You'd say, he despised our bluff old ways?
---Not he! For in Paris they told the elf
Our rough North land was the Land of Lays,
The one good thing left in evil days;
Since the Mid-Age was the Heroic Time,
And only in wild nooks like ours
Could you taste of it yet as in its prime,
And see true castles, with proper towers,
Young-...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
Seeking the face of Beauty without blame. 

Say who be these light-bearded, sunburnt faces
In negligent and travel-stain'd array,
That in the city of Dante come to-day,
Haughtily visiting her holy places?
O these be noble men that hide their graces,
True England's blood, her ancient glory's stay,
By tales of fame diverted on their way
Home from the rule of oriental races. 
Life-trifling lions these, of gentle eyes
And motion delicate, but swift to fire
For hon...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...e Bellman, perplexed and distressed,
Said he had hoped, at least, when the wind blew due East,
 That the ship would not travel due West!

But the danger was past--they had landed at last,
 With their boxes, portmanteaus, and bags:
Yet at first sight the crew were not pleased with the view,
 Which consisted to chasms and crags.

The Bellman perceived that their spirits were low,
 And repeated in musical tone
Some jokes he had kept for a season of woe--
 But the crew would ...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...rried accent lies,
     And grief is swimming in his eyes.
     All dripping from the recent flood,
     Panting and travel-soiled he stood,
     The fatal sign of fire and sword
     Held forth, and spoke the appointed word:
     'The muster-place is Lanrick mead;
     Speed forth the signal! Norman, speed!'
     And must he change so soon the hand
     Just linked to his by holy band,
     For the fell Cross of blood and brand?
     And must the day so blithe tha...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood, 
And sorry I could not travel both 
And be one traveler, long I stood 
And looked down one as far as I could 
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair, 
And having perhaps the better claim 
Because it was grassy and wanted wear; 
Though as for that, the passing there 
Had worn them really about the same, 

And both that morning equally...Read More

by Thomson, James
...Stores, ye viewless Beings! say? 
Where your aerial Magazines reserv'd,
Against the Day of Tempest perilous?
In what untravel'd Country of the Air,
Hush'd in still Silence, sleep you, when 'tis calm?

LATE, in the louring Sky, red, fiery, Streaks 
Begin to flush about; the reeling Clouds
Stagger with dizzy Aim, as doubting yet
Which Master to obey: while rising, slow,
Sad, in the Leaden-colour'd East, the Moon
Wears a bleak Circle round her sully'd Orb. 
Then issues fort...Read More

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