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 Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

“Light! more light! the shadows deepen,
        And my life is ebbing low,
Throw the windows widely open:...

By Anne Bradstreet

My head, my heart, mine Eyes, my life, nay more,
My joy, my Magazine of earthly store,
If two be one, as surely thou and I, ...

By Edith Wharton

Life, like a marble block, is given to all,
A blank, inchoate mass of years and days,
Whence one with ardent chisel swift essays...

By Robert Browning

Escape me?
Never—
Beloved!...

By William Cowper

1
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;...

By George Moses Horton

Like heart-loving brothers we meet,
    And still the loud thunders of strife,
The blaze of fraternity kindles most sweet,...

By William Wordsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts ...

By William Blake

I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow. 
And mark in every face I meet ...

By Aphra Behn

Love in Fantastic Triumph sat,
Whilst Bleeding Hearts around him flowed,
For whom Fresh pains he did Create,...

By George Herbert

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
                              Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack ...

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