Best Poems of Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray is one of the best novelists of the nineteenth century. He had written many poems and novels but his satirical works are being successful.

Thrackay’s Ten Best Poems

“Vanity Fair” is one of the best novels though many poems are there that readers do not know. Let us discuss that.

The Collection of Poems
The Collection of Poems

A Credo

It is one of the best poems of Thakeray that is has been divided into three parts. Here in the first stanza, he talks about Martin Luther who loved to sing. The poet is also want to sing like him as ‘holy chant’. Now he says,

“He is a fool his whole life long!’

Perhaps the poet also wants o stay like a fool in his life. In the second stanza, he says he loved the beaker sparkles and he tasted by his lips that he loved.

So it is a very puzzling poem where readers will get confused with the main theme.

“And sing as Martin Luther sang,
As Doctor Martin Luther sang:”

The poet repeated this line many times. In the last stanza, he says he was as holy as John Knox. And the poet uses to call him ‘heterodox’. In the last, he utters the same as he spoke before.

A Tragic Story

It is a poem of twenty-three lines and the whole poem is divided into six stanzas. In the first stanza, Thackeray is talking about a sage who had a gorgeous pigtail.

A Tragic Story
A Tragic Story

He wondered much because his pigtail hung beside him. After that, he places his pigtail into another place of his body. He says,

“The mystery I’ve found,—
I’ll turn me round,”

Then the sage again spins round and round and sometimes out and in. But still, his pigtail lies after him.

“ And right, and left, and round about,
And up, and down, and in, and out,”

It goes right to left and up and down. But his pigtail still lies after his head. In the last stanza, the poet is saying that his effort would never slacken.

He is twist, twirl, and tacks the spin. But the pigtail stays at the back of the sage. Maybe the story is the tragic cause of his pigtail lies after him all the time.

At The Church-Gate

In this poem, William Makepeace Thackeray is divided into five stanzas. In the first stanza, he utters that he did not enter into the church and was travelling outside of it. When he goes to the gate he was scared.

“With longing eyes I wait,
Expectant of her.”

In the second stanza, the poet says the bells is toll out and there is a humming sound of humans. Maybe ‘she’ is coming. Still to whom the poet is addressing is not being clear.

William Makepeace Thackeray
William Makepeace Thackeray

And at last, she has come and her steps are very fast seems coming. This is the heaven that goes with her. There is a fair saint who has sited kneeled. The did not enter there and he is suffering from pace.

“And see through heaven’s gate
Angels within it.”

Maybe for whom he was waiting is buried there. This is the whole poem that the poet has written with a bit of sorrow.

Little Billee

This a very well-known poem by William Thackeray. Here the poet says a story of sailors. Three sailors went to sea and had beef, pork and then they have nothing left to eat.

“Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
⁠”I am extremely hungaree.”

To gorging, Jack says guzzling Jimmy,

⁠”We’ve nothing left, us must eat we.”

So now they thought of eating the little Billee. But Billee asks to say him catechism. And he progresses with that and he went to the top of the mast and ask Jack and Jilly that he can see a land. When they go little Billee hanged them and make him the captain on seventy-three.

Persicos Odi

This poem consists of sixteen lines and divided into two stanzas. In this poem, the poet talks about ‘Franchised fuss’ that he does not like much. He further states,

“No footman in lace and in ruffles
Need dangle behind my arm-chair;”

This is imagery that he uses and says if his armchair gets truffles then do not mind as it is rare. If he gets a leg of mutton then the poet will be ready at three.

During the time of making food, he will have a smoke and will take a liquor. So, the poem is very fragmented, and what exactly the poet says it can not be judged.

Sorrows of Werther

This is a poem about a man who loved a married woman. This poem consists of sixteen lines and divided into four stanzas. Here the protagonist is Werther who loved Charlotte, a young married woman. He falls in love when she was cutting bread and butter.

“So he sighed and pined and ogled,
And his passion boiled and bubbled,”

He sighed as she is a married woman and his love gets boiled and bubbled. Charlotte has a baby and he was having seen the baby. But Werther did not make any trouble and just let her cut bread and butter. This is a sweet story that poet tells narratively.

The Age of Wisdom

This poem is being divided into six stanzas. In the first stanza, he states on a man that has dimples chin and it is marked with scars. But it happens when people get old.

“Wait till you come to forty year”

Later he talks about a woman who has shed her brain with golden locks. She will be shying and singing at the midnight. After crossing forty the hairs will be grizzled and then he or she can get to that the boy is an ass.

Now, who has glossy black beards will be changed into white. The reddest lips will be faded when the age will cross forty even the brightest eyes will be lost. Just let the age come.

Then the poet takes a reference to Gilligan’s death. The poet loved her for twenty years. But now, he sits alone and Merry is now at forty. Then the poet is dipping his nose into the glass of wine. Here, time plays an important role.

The Ballad of Bouillabaisse

Is a very famous poem that has been divided into eleven stanzas and the poem is very significant. In the poem, the poet first speaks on a street that is in Paris and the famous dish of the place is Bouillabaisse.

There is a kind of soup or broth, red chilli paper, onion, garlic is being added there. It has a great savoury that serves him as the Bouillabaisse.

Then the poet went to that restaurant and waited for the grand dish. At that time he thought of many things. After getting the dish, at last, he says,

“With thankful heart, whate’er the meal is.
Here comes the smoking Bouillabaisse!”

So this is also a narrative poem and also has a great taste of pleasure.

The Cane-Bottom’d Chair

William Makepeace Thackeray has written this poem in a very different manner. This poem has a total of fourteen stanzas. In the very first stanzas, the poet says of a day with tattered snickers that looks roasted in bars. There are fire and air that are pure.

“And the view I behold on a sunshiny day
Is grand through the chimney-pots over the way”

On that day, the poet states on the weather, and there is a grand chimney pot. There were old armour, prints, picture lines. There is a sofa that is being baked and to that, he takes a historical reference.

Now in the last part of the poem, the poet says, he would like to sit on his fanny cane-bottomed chair when will be staying alone. And at that time, she will come and sit on his chair. So, this is a historical poem where the poet creates several imageries.

The Mahogany Tree

This is a well-known poem by the hands of Thakeray. At the starting of the poem, the poet utters that Christmas is near and the wind is whispering. That is the sound of the wintry breeze.

The breeze comes and stays at the Mahogany tree. On the old tree, birds come and sing and that is why the poet calls it ‘jolly tree’. Boys also come and sit under it. They use to play with the tree as well.

“Care, like a dun,
Parks at the gate:”

The tree is friendly and it let others drink. So, the poet says the Mahogany tree is very good and expresses his thoughts in a humanistic way.

In the last lines, he says the tree to let them free and let them round around the tree. So, it is a poem with a bit of romanticism.
So, these are the ten best poems by the grand novelist William Makepeace Thackeray.

Each of his poems is contained with many literary devices that attract the readers very much.

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