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 James Whitcomb Riley

O the days gone by! O the days gone by!
The apples in the orchard, and the pathway through the rye;
The chirrup of the robin, and the whistle of the quail ...

By Andrew Marvell

My love is of a birth as rare
As ’tis for object strange and high;
It was begotten by Despair ...

By Samuel Daniel


When men shall find thy flower, thy glory, pass,
And thou with careful brow sitting alone...

By Lord Byron (George Gordon)

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,...

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 ...

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