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 George Meredith

A wind sways the pines,
         And below
Not a breath of wild air; ...

By Queen Elizabeth I

The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,
And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy;
For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects’ faith doth ebb, ...

By Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light ...

By George Moses Horton

I lov’d thee from the earliest dawn,
     When first I saw thy beauty’s ray,
And will, until life’s eve comes on,...

By William Blake

The sun does arise,
And make happy the skies.
The merry bells ring...

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King;
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,—mud from a muddy spring; ...

By Mary Lamb

This rose-tree is not made to bear
The violet blue, nor lily fair,
   Nor the sweet mignionet: ...

By Robert Browning

At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time,
When you set your fancies free,
Will they pass to where—by death, fools think, imprisoned—...

By Christopher Smart

It ever was allow’d, dear Madam,   
Ev’n from the days of father Adam,   
Of all perfection flesh is heir to,   ...

By Katherine Philips

What on Earth deserves our trust?
Youth and Beauty both are dust.
Long we gathering are with pain,...

What People are Saying

"I went in expecting to lend my voice to the poetry, but found that it was a two-way exchange: the poetry lent its voice to me, as well."
Megan Kim
2017 OR POL Champion