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Poems About Fame

Table of Contents

  1. Fame is a fickle food by Emily Dickinson
  2. Popularity by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  3. I'm nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickinson
  4. excerpt from The Young Artist by Hannah Flagg Gould
  5. To Youth by George Gordon Byron
  6. Success by Anonymous
  7. Where Fame is Sure by Amos Russel Wells
  8. Fame by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

  1. Fame is a fickle food

    Fame is a fickle food

    - Emily Dickinson
    Fame is a fickle food
    by Emily Dickinson

    Fame is a fickle food
    Upon a shifting plate
    Whose table once a
    Guest but not
    The second time is set.

    Whose crumbs the crows inspect
    And with ironic caw
    Flap past it to the Farmer’s Corn —
    Men eat of it and die.

  2. Popularity

    It has become almost an honor
    Not to be crowned.

    - Thomas Bailey Aldrich
    Stanzas Written on the Road Between Florence and Pisa
    by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

    Such kings of shreds have wooed and won her,
    Such crafty knaves her laurel owned,
    It has become almost an honor
    Not to be crowned.

  3. I'm nobody! Who are you?

    by Emily Dickinson

    I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there 's a pair of us — don't tell!
    They 'd banish us, you know.

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a frog
    To tell your name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

  4. excerpt from "The Young Artist"

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Honors may bloom on thy future way;
    And the rays of glory around thee play.
    But fame's best laurels never will be
    So dear as thy sister's wreath to thee!
    For, they will not set on a cloudless brow,
    And a silken curl, as we see them now!

    Fame will her envied crown prepare
    For the whitening locks and the brow of care.
    Its clustering leaves will not be lit
    By the smile of a child, who has braided it!
    As thy native castle, sublimely grand,
    A beautiful structure, thou mays't stand
    High and unmoved by the tempest's strife,
    The bolt and the blast of the storms of life.
    But should it be thus, there must come a day
    When thy house will shake, and its strength decay;
    When the light that will gild its crumbling towers
    Must be left by the sun of thy childish hours!
    Then, may their memory, like the vine,
    Mantling over the ruin, twine,
    And, spreading a living vesture, climb
    To cover the rust and the tooth of time,
    And curtain with verdure the mouldering walls,
    Which shall not fade till the fabric falls!

  5. To Youth

    by George Gordon Byron

    Oh, talk not to me of a name great in story;
    The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
    And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
    Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.

    What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
    'Tis but as a dead-flower with May-dew besprinkled:
    Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!
    What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?

    Oh Fame!—if I e'er took delight in thy praises,
    'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
    Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover,
    She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.

    There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
    Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
    When it sparkled o'er aught that was bright in my story,
    I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.

  6. Success

    by Amos Russel Wells

    If he succeeds whose coffers, heaped with gold,
    Are red with ruined and despairing lives,
    The man who owns a mint to coin tears,
    Expert to wring a farthing from a heart,—
    Though all the world pay homage, all the world
    Envy the wretch,—if this is to succeed,
    My pride and all my hope shall be to fail!

    If he succeeds who bids the magpie crowd,
    Tossing his name upon its chattering tongues,
    Talk, write, and dream of him, and they obey,
    While he they praise, alive on lips of men,
    Has breathed his soul into the bubble, fame,
    And lives an empty life,—if he succeeds,
    Be mine a life of failure to the end!

    If he succeeds, the man of strenuous brain,
    Skilled in the deeps and heights of many a lore,
    Bent with the plundered wealth of libraries,
    But ignorant of love, and ignorant
    Of all the roses and the stars of life,—
    Though men unite to wonder and applaud,
    If this is called success, be mine defeat!

    But these are not success; success it is
    To front the angry tumult of a world
    With Right for comrade; faithfully to work;
    To wear contentment shining on the brow;
    Above the gathered treasures of the globe
    To reckon brotherhood. and make it mine,—
    This is success, and this my prayer shall be.

  7. Where Fame is Sure

    Though all the storms of life may beat,
    Your fame will find a safe retreat,
    A haven sure and undefiled,
    Within the memory of your child.

    - Amos R. Wells
    Where Fame is Sure
    by Amos Russel Wells

    The hollow-sounding trump of fame
    May never magnify your name,
    Nor even in the small renown
    Of any close-encircled town
    May men exult your praises high
    To fill a little, local sky.

    But evermore and evermore,
    To Time's remotest, firmest shore,
    Though all the storms of life may beat,
    Your fame will find a safe retreat,
    A haven sure and undefiled,
    Within the memory of your child.

    Ah, let it be your constant care
    That this your fame may all be fair,
    That only what is kind and wise
    Your child may thus immortalize,
    And carry through eternity
    The parent you would like to be!

  8. Fame

    by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

    Of all the thousand verses you have writ,
    If Time spare none, you will not care at all;
    If Time spare one, you will not know of it:
    Nor shame nor fame can scale a churchyard wall.