Pre-20th Century Poems

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

The Paradox

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

I am the mother of sorrows,
   I am the ender of grief;
I am the bud and the blossom, . . .

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

By Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields, . . .

Pastoral Dialogue

By Anne Killigrew

Remember when you love, from that same hour
Your peace you put into your lover’s power;
From that same hour from him you laws receive, . . .

The Pilgrim

By John Bunyan

Who would true Valour see
Let him come hither;
One here will Constant be, . . .

The Poets light but Lamps — (930)

By Emily Dickinson

The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate . . .

A Poison Tree

By William Blake

I was angry with my friend; 
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:  . . .

The Princess: Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font. . . .

The Pulley

By George Herbert

When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can. . . .