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Famous Worm Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Dickinson, Emily
...A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,--
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he...Read more of this...

by Basho, Matsuo
...Autumn moonlight--
 a worm digs silently
 into the chestnut....Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
Or sins within me that I knew not of, 
Or just a foretaste of what waits in hell 
For those of us who cannot love a worm,— 
Whatever it was, or whence or why it was,
One day there came a stranger to the school. 
And having had one mordacious glimpse of him 
That filled my eyes and was to fill my life, 
I have known Peace only as one more word 
Among the many others we say over
That have an airy credit of no meaning. 
One of these days, if I were seeing many 
To li...Read more of this...

by Keats, John
...thy dewy hand the daisy tips?

 "O Sorrow,
 Why dost borrow
The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye?--
 To give the glow-worm light?
 Or, on a moonless night,
To tinge, on syren shores, the salt sea-spry?

 "O Sorrow,
 Why dost borrow
The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue?--
 To give at evening pale
 Unto the nightingale,
That thou mayst listen the cold dews among?

 "O Sorrow,
 Why dost borrow
Heart's lightness from the merriment of May?--
 A lover would not tread
 A cows...Read more of this...

by Pope, Alexander their centre nod, 
And Nature tremble to the throne of God: 
All this dread ORDER break -- for whom? for thee? 
Vile worm! -- oh, Madness, Pride, Impiety!

IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, 
Or hand to toil, aspir'd to be the head? 
What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd(27) 
To serve mere engines to the ruling Mind? 
Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains 
The great directing MIND of ALL ordains. 
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, ...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
Of Beauty tread no more the stones of each unlovely street.

What even Cromwell spared is desecrated
By weed and worm, left to the stormy play
Of wind and beating snow, or renovated
By more destructful hands: Time's worst decay
Will wreathe its ruins with some loveliness,
But these new Vandals can but make a rain-proof barrenness.

Where is that Art which bade the Angels sing
Through Lincoln's lofty choir, till the air
Seems from such marble harmonies to ring
With ...Read more of this...

by Alighieri, Dante
 And all the ground beneath with tears and blood 
 Was drenched, and crawling in that loathsome mud 
 There were great worms that drank it. 
 I gazed far forward. Dark and wide the flood 
 That flowed before us. On the nearer shore 
 Were people waiting. "Master, show me whence 
 These came, and who they be, and passing hence 
 Where go they? Wherefore wait they there content, 
 - The faint light shows it, - for their transit o'er 
 The unbri...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ture's self to share the shame, 
And charged all faults upon the fleshly form 
She gave to clog the soul, and feast the worm; 
'Till he at last confounded good and ill, 
And half mistook for fate the acts of will: 
Too high for common selfishness, he could 
At times resign his own for others' good, 
But not in pity, not because he ought, 
But in some strange perversity of thought, 
That sway'd him onward with a secret pride 
To do what few or none would do beside; 
And this s...Read more of this...

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
...steria Fastens its fingers in the strangling wall,
And the wide crannies quicken with bright weeds;
There dumbly like a worm all day the still white orchid feeds;
But never an echo of your daughters' laughter
Is there, nor any sign of you at all
Swells fungous from the rotten bough, grey mother of Pieria!

Only her shadow once upon a stone
I saw,—and, lo, the shadow and the garden, too, were gone.

I tell you you have done her body an ill,
You chatterers, you noisy crew!
...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
At length gave utterance to these words constrained. 
O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear 
To that false worm, of whomsoever taught 
To counterfeit Man's voice; true in our fall, 
False in our promised rising; since our eyes 
Opened we find indeed, and find we know 
Both good and evil; good lost, and evil got; 
Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know; 
Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void, 
Of innocence, of faith, of purity, 
Our wonted ornaments now s...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...ious objects of delight
Annull'd, which might in part my grief have eas'd,
Inferiour to the vilest now become
Of man or worm; the vilest here excel me,
They creep, yet see, I dark in light expos'd
To daily fraud, contempt, abuse and wrong,
Within doors, or without, still as a fool,
In power of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more then half.
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, 
Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse
Without all hope of day!
O f...Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt leaves, stiff or drooping in the fields; 
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them; 
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, and heap’d stones, elder, mullen and

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; 
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is, any more than he. 

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,...Read more of this...

by Cook, Eliza
...THE worm, the rich worm, has a noble domain
In the field that is stored with its millions of slain ;
The charnel-grounds widen, to me they belong,
With the vaults of the sepulchre, sculptured and strong.
The tower of ages in fragments is laid,
Moss grows on the stones, and I lurk in its shade ;
And the hand of the giant and heart of the brave
Must turn weak ...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
...d all were moved a little,
But Colan stood apart,
Having first pity, and after
Hearing, like rat in rafter,
That little worm of laughter
That eats the Irish heart.

And his grey-green eyes were cruel,
And the smile of his mouth waxed hard,
And he said, "And when did Britain
Become your burying-yard?

"Before the Romans lit the land,
When schools and monks were none,
We reared such stones to the sun-god
As might put out the sun.

"The tall trees of Britain
We worshippe...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...ough that corse shall lie 
Within a living grave? 
The bird that tears that prostrate form 
Hath only robb'd the meaner worm: 
The only heart, the only eye 
Had bled or wept to see him die, 
Had seen those scatter'd limbs composed, 
And mourn'd above his turban-stone, [40] 
That heart hath burst — that eye was closed — 
Yea — closed before his own! 


By Helle's stream there is a voice of wail! 
And woman's eye is wet — man's cheek is pale: 
Zuleika! last of Giaff...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...fear unknown,
     A feeble and a timorous guest,
     The fieldfare framed her lowly nest;
     There the slow blindworm left his slime
     On the fleet limbs that mocked at time;
     And there, too, lay the leader's skull
     Still wreathed with chaplet, flushed and full,
     For heath-bell with her purple bloom
     Supplied the bonnet and the plume.
     All night, in this sad glen the maid
     Sat shrouded in her mantle's shade:
     She said no shepherd ...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...rial snows—
And all for what, the devil only knows— 
Will aggregate an inkling to confirm 
The credit of a sage or of a worm, 
Or tell us why one man in five 
Should have a care to stay alive
While in his heart he feels no violence 
Laid on his humor and intelligence 
When infant Science makes a pleasant face 
And waves again that hollow toy, the Race; 
No planetary trap where souls are wrought
For nothing but the sake of being caught 
And sent again to nothing will attune 
I...Read more of this...

by Blake, William
...udence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.
He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence. 

The cut worm forgives the plow.

Dip him in the river who loves water.

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.
Eternity is in love with the productions of time. 
The busy bee has no time for sorrow.
The hours of folly are measur'd by the clock, but of wisdom: no
clock can m...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
..., nor I worse. 


'Look to the earth, I said, and say again: 
When this old, blind, mad, helpless, weak, poor worm 
Began in youth's first bloom and flush to reign, 
The world and he both wore a different form, 
And must of earth and all the watery plain 
Of ocean call'd him king: through many a storm 
His isles had floated on the abyss of time; 
For the rough virtues chose them for their clime. 


'He came to his sceptre young: he leaves it old: 
Look to...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...eda, p. 489.
408. Cf. Webster, The White Devil, v. vi:
. . they'll remarry
 Ere the worm pierce your winding-sheet, ere the spider
 Make a thin curtain for your epitaphs."
412. Cf. Inferno, xxxiii. 46:
 "ed io sentii
chiavar l'uscio di sotto
 all'orribile torre."
Also F. H. Bradley, Appearance and Reality, p. 346:
"My external sensations are no less private to myself than are my
thoughts or my feelings. I...Read more of this...

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