Epic Poems

Popular Epic Poems
The Iliad: Book 1
by Homer

Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought
countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send
hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs
and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the
day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first
fell out with one another.
And which of the gods was it that set them on to quarrel? It was the
son of Jove and Leto; for he was angry with the king and sent a
pestilence upon the host to plague the people, because the son of
Atreus had dishonoured Chryses his priest. Now Chryses had come to the

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Don Juan: Canto The Fourteenth
by George Gordon Byron

If from great nature's or our own abyss
Of thought we could but snatch a certainty,
Perhaps mankind might find the path they miss--
But then 'twould spoil much good philosophy.
One system eats another up, and this
Much as old Saturn ate his progeny;
For when his pious consort gave him stones
In lieu of sons, of these he made no bones.

But System doth reverse the Titan's breakfast,

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What Were They Like?
by Denise Levertov

Did the people of Viet Nam
use lanterns of stone?
Did they hold ceremonies
to reverence the opening of buds?
Were they inclined to quiet laughter?
Did they use bone and ivory,
jade and silver, for ornament?
Had they an epic poem?
Did they distinguish between speech and singing?


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Don Juan: Dedication
by George Gordon Byron

Difficile est proprie communia dicere
HOR. Epist. ad PisonI
Bob Southey! You're a poet--Poet-laureate,
And representative of all the race;
Although 'tis true that you turn'd out a Tory at
Last--yours has lately been a common case;
And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at?
With all the Lakers, in and out of place?
A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye
Like "four and twenty Blackbirds in a pye;II

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Don Juan: Canto The Eighth
by George Gordon Byron

The town was taken--whether he might yield
Himself or bastion, little matter'd now:
His stubborn valour was no future shield.
Ismail's no more! The Crescent's silver bow
Sunk, and the crimson Cross glar'd o'er the field,
But red with no redeeming gore: the glow
Of burning streets, like moonlight on the water,
Was imag'd back in blood, the sea of slaughter.

All that the mind would shrink from of excesses;

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Recent Epic Poems
love eternally - forever to be
by D. Apollonia

danger's lurking through mountains so white
treachery and plight!

hope galloping like a fair white mare
courage bolting like a stallion dare

the heart is mighty and soft
and we make love in my mind's secret loft

the worlds are ever-changing

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poem of old
by D. Apollonia

bereft
cliffs close
abysses arose

canyons awide
side by side
pain and pride

tales told
battles old

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Woman And War
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We women teach our little sons how wrong
And how ignoble blows are; school and church
Support our precepts and inoculate
The growing minds with thoughts of love and peace.
β€˜Let dogs delight to bark and bite, ’ we say;
But human beings with immortal souls
Must rise above the methods of the brute
And walk with reason and with self-control.

And then – dear God! you men, you wise, strong men,

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The Revelation
by Robert William Service

The same old sprint in the morning, boys, to the same old din and smut;
Chained all day to the same old desk, down in the same old rut;
Posting the same old greasy books, catching the same old train:
Oh, how will I manage to stick it all, if I ever get back again?

We've bidden good-bye to life in a cage, we're finished with pushing a pen;
They're pumping us full of bellicose rage, they're showing us how to be men.
We're only beginning to find ourselves; we're wonders of brawn and thew;
But when we go back to our Sissy jobs, -- oh, what are we going to do?


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Kathleen
by Robert William Service

It was the steamer Alice May that sailed the Yukon foam.
And touched in every river camp from Dawson down to Nome.
It was her builder, owner, pilot, Captain Silas Geer,
Who took her through the angry ice, the last boat of the year;
Who patched her cracks with gunny sacks and wound her pipes with wire,
And cut the spruce upon the banks to feed her boiler fire;
Who headed her into the stream and bucked its mighty flow,
And nosed her up the little creeks where no one else would go;
Who bragged she had so small a draft, if dew were on the grass,
With gallant heart and half a start his little boat would pass.

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