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Famous Welfare Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
...icity;
For the petty beads of thought
Which thine eyes alone could see.
Ah, those eyes, love-blind, but keen
For my welfare and my weal!
Tho' the grave-door shut between,
Still their love-lights o'er me steal.
I can see thee thro' my tears,
As thro' rain we see the sun.
What tho' cold and cooling years
Shall their bitter courses run,—
I shall see thee still and be
Thy true lover evermore,
And thy face shall be to me
Dear and helpful as before.
Death may vaunt a...Read More



by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...r;
And the notary rising, and blessing the bride and the bridegroom,
Lifted aloft the tankard of ale and drank to their welfare.
Wiping the foam from his lip, he solemnly bowed and departed,
While in silence the others sat and mused by the fireside,
Till Evangeline brought the draught-board out of its corner.
Soon was the game begun. In friendly contention the old men
Laughed at each lucky hit, or unsuccessful manoeuver,
Laughed when a man was crowned, or a breach...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...shibboleth of Five-per-Cent.

So get ten thousand pounds, my friend, in any way you can.
And leave your future welfare to the noble Working Man.
He'll buy you suits of Harris tweed, an Airedale and a car;
Your golf clubs and your morning Times, your whisky and cigar.
He'll cosily install you in a cottage by a stream,
With every modern comfort, and a garden that's a dream>
Or if your tastes be urban, he'll provide you with a flat,
Secluded from the clamour of ...Read More

by Alighieri, Dante
...replied, 
 "Of one thing more I ask thee. Great desire 
 Is mine to learn it. Where are those who sought 
 Our welfare earlier? Those whose names at least 
 Are fragrant for the public good they wrought, 
 Arrigo, Mosca, and the Tegghiaio 
 Worthiest, and Farinata, and with these 
 Jacopo Rusticucci. I would know 
 If soft in Heaven or bitter-hard in Hell 
 Their lives continue." 
 "Cast in hells
 more low 
 Than yet thou hast invaded, deep they lie, 
 For di...Read More

by Angelou, Maya
...her dreams for the
Lucky sign and walks bare-handed
Into a den of bereaucrats for her portion.

'They don't give me welfare.
I take it.'...Read More



by Swinburne, Algernon Charles
...gs were furled
In an eyrie consecrated
Where the snakes of strife uncurled,
And her soul was soothed and sated
With the welfare of the world.

ANT. 1

But now, close-clad with peace,
While war lays hand on Greece,
The kingdoms and their kings stand by to see;
"Aha, we are strong," they say,
"We are sure, we are well," even they;
"And if we serve, what ails ye to be free?
We are warm, clothed round with peace and shame;
But ye lie dead and naked, dying for a name."...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...reveal it unto others."
Thus said Hiawatha, walking
In the solitary forest,
Pondering, musing in the forest,
On the welfare of his people.
From his pouch he took his colors,
Took his paints of different colors,
On the smooth bark of a birch-tree
Painted many shapes and figures,
Wonderful and mystic figures,
And each figure had a meaning,
Each some word or thought suggested.
Gitche Manito the Mighty,
He, the Master of Life, was painted
As an egg, with points projec...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...looked upon the rampion wildly, 
fancying that she would die 
if she could not have it. 
Her husband feared for her welfare 
and thus climbed into the garden 
to fetch the life-giving tubers. 

Ah ha, cried the witch, 
whose proper name was Mother Gothel, 
you are a thief and now you will die. 
However they made a trade, 
typical enough in those times. 
He promised his child to Mother Gothel 
so of course when it was born 
she took the child away with her....Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...looked upon the rampion wildly, 
fancying that she would die 
if she could not have it. 
Her husband feared for her welfare 
and thus climbed into the garden 
to fetch the life-giving tubers. 

Ah ha, cried the witch, 
whose proper name was Mother Gothel, 
you are a thief and now you will die. 
However they made a trade, 
typical enough in those times. 
He promised his child to Mother Gothel 
so of course when it was born 
she took the child away with her....Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...we purge.
Even so being full of your ne'er-cloying sweetness,
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding;
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness
To be diseased ere that there was true needing.
Thus policy in love t' anticipate
The ills that were not, grew to faults assured,
And brought to medicine a healthful state
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cured.
But thence I learn and find the lesson true:
Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you....Read More

by Shakespeare, William
...hen we purge,
Even so, being tuff of your ne'er-cloying sweetness,
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding
And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meetness
To be diseased ere that there was true needing.
Thus policy in love, to anticipate
The ills that were not, grew to faults assured
And brought to medicine a healthful state
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be cured:
But thence I learn, and find the lesson true,
Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you....Read More

by Flatman, Thomas
...ottle do's jog,
The Vermin, the Theif, and the Tory in vain
Of the trap, of the Jail, of the Quagmire complain.
But welfare poor Pug! for he playes with his Clog;
And tho' he would be rid on't rather than his life,
Yet he lugg's it, and he hug's it, as a man does his wife....Read More

by Goldsmith, Oliver
...aring wile,
And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile.
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed,
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in Heaven.
As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.

Beside yon...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...tithe of them, 
And those that had not, stood before the King, 
Who, when he saw me, rose, and bad me hail, 
Saying, "A welfare in thine eye reproves 
Our fear of some disastrous chance for thee 
On hill, or plain, at sea, or flooding ford. 
So fierce a gale made havoc here of late 
Among the strange devices of our kings; 
Yea, shook this newer, stronger hall of ours, 
And from the statue Merlin moulded for us 
Half-wrenched a golden wing; but now--the Quest, 
This vision...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...South-sea-isle taboo, 
Dwarfs of the gynæceum, fail so far 
In high desire, they know not, cannot guess 
How much their welfare is a passion to us. 
If we could give them surer, quicker proof-- 
Oh if our end were less achievable 
By slow approaches, than by single act 
Of immolation, any phase of death, 
We were as prompt to spring against the pikes, 
Or down the fiery gulf as talk of it, 
To compass our dear sisters' liberties.' 

She bowed as if to veil a noble tea...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...

Though I respect authority
 And order never flout,
When Law and Justice disagree
 You can include me out.
The Welfare State I tolerate
 If it is kept in bound,
But if you wish to rouse my hate
 --Just push me round.

And that's the way with lots of us:
 We want to feel we're free;
So labour governments we cuss
 And mock at monarchy.
Yea, we are men of secret mirth,
 And fury seldom sound;
But if you value peace on earth
 --Don't push us round....Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...star his world resigning.

O child of Paradise!
Boy who made dear his father's home
In whose deep eyes
Men read the welfare of the times to come;
I am too much bereft;
The world dishonored thou hast left;
O truths and natures costly lie;
O trusted, broken prophecy!
O richest fortune sourly crossed;
Born for the future, to the future lost!

The deep Heart answered, Weepest thou?
Worthier cause for passion wild,
If I had not taken the child.
And deemest thou as those wh...Read More

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
...his world resigning. 

O child of paradise, 
Boy who made dear his father's home, 
In whose deep eyes 
Men read the welfare of the times to come, 
I am too much bereft. 
The world dishonored thou hast left. 
O truth's and nature's costly lid 
O trusted broken prophecy! 
O richest fortunes sourly crossed! 
Born for the future, to the future lost! 

The deep Heart answered, "Weepest thou? 
Worthier cause for passion wild 
If I had not taken the child. 
And deeme...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...wrist
Turn to a drunken journalist;
A girl that knew all Dante once
Live to bear children to a dunce;
A Helen of social welfare dream,
Climb on a wagonette to scream.
Some think it a matter of course that chance
Should starve good men and bad advance,
That if their neighbours figured plain,
As though upon a lighted screen,
No single story would they find
Of an unbroken happy mind,
A finish worthy of the start.
Young men know nothing of this sort,
Observant old men kno...Read More

by Hillringhouse, Mark
...n-washed streets erased the footprints
of tired mothers who waited in line
under the red and gold transom
to cash their welfare checks.

And maybe we're all feeling the same rage,
seeing the up-turned fish tanks stacked against the parakeet cages,
sunlight catching on the twisted wire between the shabbiness
of an emptied storefront, rays of sunlight poking in
to finger the dusty hollowness of barren shelves.
Or maybe it's the cheap Plexiglas above the Chinese letterin...Read More

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