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Poems About Anger

Table of Contents

  1. Reproach by Ruby Archer
  2. Anger by Charles and Mary Lamb
  3. The Letters I Have Not Sent by Anonymous
  4. Stop Me! by Amos Russel Wells
  5. A Live Wire by Anonymous
  6. Time's Lesson by Emily Dickinson
  7. A Poison Tree by William Blake
  8. Keep Your Temper by Ellen P. Allerton

  1. Reproach

    by Ruby Archer

    He came in ruddy anger, and he flung
    Quick, deeply-stabbing words, nor measured wounds,
    Nor minded if a loving heart were stung.
    My sobs uprose. I pressed them back to bounds.
    Oh, could he know, his briefest look unkind
    Were more than ample punishment to find,—
    Reserve alone had all my bosom wrung.

  2. Anger

    by Charles and Mary Lamb

    Anger in its time and place
    May assume a kind of grace.
    It must have some reason in it,
    And not last beyond a minute.
    If to further lengths it go,
    It does into malice grow.
    'Tis the difference that we see
    'Twixt the serpent and the bee.
    If the latter you provoke,
    It inflicts a hasty stroke,
    Puts you to some little pain,
    But it never stings again.
    Close in tufted bush or brake
    Lurks the poison-swelled snake
    Nursing up his cherished wrath;
    In the purlieus of his path,
    In the cold, or in the warm,
    Mean him good, or mean him harm,
    Wheresoever fate may bring you,
    The vile snake will always sting you.

  3. The Letters I Have Not Sent

    by Anonymous

    I have written them, keen, and sarcastic, and long,
    With righteously wrathful intent,
    Not a stroke undeserved nor a censure too strong;
    And some, alas! some of them went!

    I have written them, challenging, eager to fight,
    All hot with a merited ire;
    And some of them chanced to be kept overnight,
    And mailed, the next day--in the fire!

    Ah, blessed the letters that happily go
    On errands of kindliness bent;
    But much of my peace and my fortune I owe
    To the letters I never have sent.

  4. Stop Me!

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Stop me, good people! Don't you see
    My temper is running away with me?
    Help, Master Commonsense! Are you afraid?
    Good Mistress Prudence, come to my aid!
    Stop me, Conscience! Stop me, I pray!
    My temper, my temper is running away!
    Dear Brother Kindness, snatch after the reins!
    Help, or my temper will dash out my brains!
    Help, or I'll get a terrible fall!
    Help, Shame, Caution, Love, Wisdom, and all!

  5. A Live Wire

    by Anonymous

    I did not know—so awkward I,
    So fumbling in my speech—
    That I had touched a quivering nerve
    No man might safely reach.

    A burst, a flash, a deadly blow,
    A friendship numb for aye,
    What other end may one expect,
    If one with lightnings play?

  6. Time's Lesson

    by Emily Dickinson

    Mine enemy is growing old, —
    I have at last revenge.
    The palate of the hate departs;
    If any would avenge, —

    Let him be quick, the viand flits,
    It is a faded meat.
    Anger as soon as fed is dead;
    'T is starving makes it fat.

  7. The Three Laws

    by Anonymous

    Love is the golden law,
    Sunnily dear;
    Justice, the silver law,
    Cold, calm, and clear;
    Anger, the iron law,
    Harshly severe

    Anger's an iron lance
    Mighty to slay;
    Justice, a silver scale,
    Faultless alway;
    Love is a golden ring,
    Joining for aye!

  8. A Poison Tree

    by William Blake

    I was angry with my friend;
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
    I was angry with my foe:
    I told it not, my wrath did grow.

    And I waterd it in fears,
    Night & morning with my tears:
    And I sunned it with smiles,
    And with soft deceitful wiles.

    And it grew both day and night.
    Till it bore an apple bright.
    And my foe beheld it shine,
    And he knew that it was mine.

    And into my garden stole,
    When the night had veild the pole;
    In the morning glad I see;
    My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

  9. Keep Your Temper

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    It never did, and never will,
    Put things in better fashion,
    Though rough the road, and steep the hill,
    To fly into a passion.

    And never yet did fume or fret
    Mend any broken bubble;
    The direst evil, bravely met,
    Is but a conquered trouble.

    Our trials—did we only know—
    Are often what we make them;
    And mole-hills into mountains grow,
    Just by the way we take them.

    Who keeps his temper, calm and cool,
    Will find his wits in season;
    But rage is weak, a foaming fool,
    With neither strength nor reason.

    And if a thing be hard to bear
    When nerve and brain are steady,
    If fiery passions rave and tear,
    It finds us mained already.

    Who yields to anger conquered lies—
    A captive none can pity;
    Who rules his spirit, greater is
    Than he who takes a city.

    A hero he, though drums are mute,
    And no gay banners flaunted;
    He treads his passions under foot,
    And meets the world undaunted.

    Oh, then, to bravely do our best,
    Howe'er the winds are blowing;
    And meekly leave to God the rest,
    Is wisdom worth the knowing!

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