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.

La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad

By John Keats

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
       Alone and palely loitering?
The sedgesedge Grasslike or rushlike plant that grows in wet areas. has withered from the lake, . . .

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

By William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, . . .

“Hope” is the thing with feathers - (314)

By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words - . . .

Let the Light Enter

By Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

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

A Letter to her Husband, absent upon Publick employment

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, . . .

Life

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 . . .

Life in a Love

By Robert Browning

Escape me?
Never—
Beloved! . . .

Light Shining out of Darkness

By William Cowper

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

London

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 . . .

Love Armed

By Aphra Behn

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

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