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 Dryden

You charm'd me not with that fair face
      Though it was all divine:
To be another's is the grace, ...

By Frances Anne Kemble

Cover me with your everlasting arms,
   Ye guardian giants of this solitude!
   From the ill-sight of men, and from the rude,...

By William Shakespeare

When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows...

By William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,...

By William Shakespeare

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,...

By William Shakespeare

Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents...

By Sir Philip Sidney

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,...

By John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent,
   Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
   And that one Talent which is death to hide ...

By John Milton

Methought I saw my late espoused saint
       Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
       Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, ...

By Anna Seward

While one sere leaf, that parting Autumn yields,
   Trembles upon the thin, and naked spray,
   November, dragging on this sunless day, ...

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