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 Emily Dickinson

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers -
Untouched by Morning - 
and untouched by noon -...

By Thomas Traherne

These little limbs,
    These eyes and hands which here I find,
These rosy cheeks wherewith my life begins, ...

By Arthur Hugh Clough

Say not the struggle nought availeth,
     The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth, ...

By Arthur Rimbaud

When the child's forehead, full of red torments,
Implores the white swarm of indistinct dreams,
There come near his bed two tall charming sisters...

By Mary Weston Fordham

Sleep, love sleep,
The night winds sigh,
In soft lullaby. ...

By Emily Brontë

Shall earth no more inspire thee,
Thou lonely dreamer now?
Since passion may not fire thee...

By Lord Byron (George Gordon)

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright...

By Herman Melville

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
      The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days, ...

By A. E. Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride ...

By Thomas Hood

There is a silence where hath been no sound,
   There is a silence where no sound may be,
   In the cold grave—under the deep deep sea, ...

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