Pre-20th Century Poems

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2017-2018 competition.

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By John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
         Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart, ...

By Ben Jonson

Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years, ...

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,...

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight,
      When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations, ...

By William Blake

A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? say?"...

By William Blake

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!"...

By Baron Brooke Fulke Greville

O wearisome condition of humanity!
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity;...

By Jones Very

The morning comes, and thickening clouds prevail,
    Hanging like curtains all the horizon round,
Or overhead in heavy stillness sail;...

By George Herbert

I struck the board, and cried, "No more;
                         I will abroad!
What? shall I ever sigh and pine? ...

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood ...

What People are Saying

"I learned that no matter how many times I do it, I will still be nervous when I speak in public. I also learned that it is possible to experience the same poem many times in a row and still feel like I am discovering something new about myself through the words of the writer."
Madeleine Schroeder
2017 OH POL Champion