Pre-20th Century Poems

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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2013-2014 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

The Canonization

By John Donne

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love,
         Or chide my palsy, or my gout,
My five gray hairs, or ruined fortune flout, . . .

A Celebration of Charis: I. His Excuse for Loving

By Ben Jonson

Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years, . . .

Channel Firing

By Thomas Hardy

That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares, . . .

The Charge of the Light Brigade

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward, . . .

The Children's Hour

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight,
      When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations, . . .

The Chimney Sweeper: A little black thing among the snow

By William Blake

A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? say?" . . .

The Chimney Sweeper: When my mother died I was very young

By William Blake

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!" . . .

Chorus Sacerdotum

By Fulke Greville

O wearisome condition of humanity!
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity; . . .

The Clouded Morning

By Jones Very

The morning comes, and thickening clouds prevail,
    Hanging like curtains all the horizon round,
Or overhead in heavy stillness sail; . . .

The Collar

By George Herbert

I struck the board, and cried, "No more;
                         I will abroad!
What? shall I ever sigh and pine? . . .

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