Classic Vampire Poetry
Vampires in fiction is nothing new, we all know that. There are hundreds of vampire novels out there, but what about poetry? We have covered the first vampire poem, Der Vampir, but what about the other notable poetry contributions out there? There have been some remarkable poems written about vampires, many that came out long before the genre-changing novel Dracula, and others written by the greats that came out after.
Some noteworthy classic vampire poems:
- Der Vampire by Heinrich August Eckenfelder (1748)
- Lenore by Gottfied August Bürger (1773)
- Die Braut von Korinth by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1797)
- Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (date unknown)
- Thalaba the Destroyer by Robert Southey (1800)
- The Giaour by Lord Byron (1813)
- La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats (1819)
- Lamia by John Keats (1820)
- The Vampire Bride by Henry Liddell (1833)
- La Morte Amoureuse by Theophile Gautier (1836)
- The Vampyre by James Clerk Maxwell (1845)
- Le Vampire by Charles Baudelaire (1857)
- Les Metamorphoses du Vampire by Charles Baudelaire (date unknown)
- The Vampire by Rudyard Kipling (1897)
A list of classic vampire poems written by some of the greats., there are of course, many more out there but these are some of the most noteworthy. There are also countless modern vampire poems written recently, many of which are truly breathtaking and incredible.
What is your favorite vampire poem out there, new or old? Leave a comment and let us know.
My favorite from the list above is Le Vampire by Charles Baudelaire. Unfortunately I do not speak French, which is what the poem was written in, but many poets since have rewritten the poem in English. My favorite version is this…
By Jacques LeClercq
Thou, sharper than a dagger thrust
Sinking into my plaintive heart,
Thou, frenzied and arrayed in lust,
Strong as a demon host whose art
Possessed my humbled soul at last,
Made it thy bed and thy domain,
Strumpet, to whom I am bound fast
As is the convict to his chain,
The stubborn gambler to his dice,
The rabid drunkard to his bowl,
The carcass to its vermin lice —
O thrice-accursèd be thy soul!
I called on the swift sword to smite
One blow to free my life of this,
I begged perfidious aconite
For succor in my cowardice.
But sword and poison in my need
Heaped scorn upon my craven mood,
Saying: "Unworthy to be freed,
From thine accursed servitude,
O fool, if through our efforts, Fate
Absolved thee from thy sorry plight,
Thy kisses would resuscitate
Thy vampire's corpse for thy delight."