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 Michael Drayton

Why should your fair eyes with such sovereign grace
Disperse their rays on every vulgar spirit,
Whilst I in darkness in the self-same place ...

By Michael Drayton

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part.
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart, ...

By Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson

An idle lingerer on the wayside's road,
  He gathers up his work and yawns away;
  A little longer, ere the tiresome load...

By George Eliot

The sky is cloudy, yellowed by the smoke.
For view there are the houses opposite
Cutting the sky with one long line of wall ...

By John Greenleaf Whittier

Still sits the school-house by the road,
   A ragged beggar sleeping;
Around it still the sumachs grow, ...

By Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground, ...

By Adah Isaacs Menken

Where is the promise of my years;
    Once written on my brow?
Ere errors, agonies and fears ...

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Thin are the night-skirts left behind
By daybreak hours that onward creep,
And thin, alas! the shred of......

By William Blake

Piping down the valleys wild 
Piping songs of pleasant glee 
On a cloud I saw a child. ...

By William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be ...

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