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 Ocean

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves, . . .


By Arthur O'Shaughnessy

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers . . .

Ode on Solitude

By Alexander Pope

Happy the man, whose wish and care
   A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air, . . .

['Often rebuked, yet always back returning']

By Emily Brontë

Often rebuked, yet always back returning
    To those first feelings that were born with me,
And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning . . .

“Oh could I raise the darken’d veil”

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Oh could I raise the darken’d veil,
Which hides my future life from me,
Could unborn ages slowly sail, . . .

Oh, Hope! thou soother sweet of human woes

By Charlotte Smith

Oh, Hope! thou soother sweet of human woes!
      How shall I lure thee to my haunts forlorn!
For me wilt thou renew the withered rose, . . .

Old Ironsides

By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
   Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see . . .

On a Drop of Dew

By Andrew Marvell

See how the orient dew,
Shed from the bosom of the morn   
   Into the blowing roses, . . .

On An Unsociable Family

By Elizabeth Hands

O what a strange parcel of creatures are we,
Scarce ever to quarrel, or even agree;
We all are alone, though at home altogether, . . .

On Education

By Elizabeth Bentley

When infant Reason first exerts her sway,
And new-formed thoughts their earliest charms display;
Then let the growing race employ your care . . .

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