Pre-20th Century Poems

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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2014-2015 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

Mad Song

By William Blake

The wild winds weep, 
         And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep, . . .

The Maid’s Lament

By Walter Savage Landor

I loved him not; and yet, now he is gone,
         I feel I am alone.
I check’d him while he spoke; yet, could he speak, . . .

The Maldive Shark

By Herman Melville

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim, . . .

A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and the Road Unknown

By Walt Whitman

A march in the ranks hard-prest, and the road unknown,
A route through a heavy wood with muffled steps in the darkness,
Our army foil’d with loss severe, and the sullen remnant retreating, . . .

Meeting at Night

By Robert Browning

I
The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low; . . .

Mezzo Cammin

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Half of my life is gone, and I have let
   The years slip from me and have not fulfilled
   The aspiration of my youth, to build . . .

The moon now rises to her absolute rule

By Henry David Thoreau

The moon now rises to her absolute rule,
And the husbandman and hunter
Acknowledge her for their mistress. . . .

Much Madness is divinest Sense - (620)

By Emily Dickinson

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness - . . .

The Man with the Hoe

By Edwin Markham

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans   
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,   
The emptiness of ages in his face, . . .

[My prime of youth is but a frost of cares]

By Chidiock Tichborne

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares, . . .