Pre-20th Century Poems


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

The Fair Singer

By Andrew Marvell

To make a final conquest of all me,
Love did compose so sweet an enemy,
In whom both beauties to my death agree, . . .

A Fit of Rhyme against Rhyme

By Ben Jonson

Rhyme, the rack of finest wits,
That expresseth but by fits
True conceit, . . .


By Margaret Fuller

We deemed the secret lost, the spirit gone,
Which spake in Greek simplicity of thought,
And in the forms of gods and heroes wrought . . .

Floating Island

By Dorothy Wordsworth

Harmonious Powers with Nature work
On sky, earth, river, lake, and sea:
Sunshine and storm, whirlwind and breeze . . .

Follow Thy Fair Sun

By Thomas Campion

Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow,
Though thou be black as night
And she made all of light, . . .


By Thomas Carlyle

The wind blows east, the wind blows west,
And the frost falls and the rain:
A weary heart went thankful to rest, . . .

Friendship After Love

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

After the fierce midsummer all ablaze
    Has burned itself to ashes, and expires
    In the intensity of its own fires, . . .