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.

The Snow-Storm

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air . . .

So We'll Go No More a Roving

By Lord Byron (George Gordon)

So, we'll go no more a roving
   So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving, . . .

Solitude

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, . . .

Song

By Edmund Waller

Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows, . . .

Song: Go and catch a falling star

By John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,
    Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are, . . .

Song of Myself: 35

By Walt Whitman

Would you hear of an old-time sea-fight?
Would you learn who won by the light of the moon and stars?
List to the yarn, as my grandmother’s father the sailor told it to me. . . .

Song: to Celia [“Drink to me only with thine eyes”]

By Ben Jonson

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
         And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup, . . .

Song: to Celia [Come, my Celia, let us prove]

By Ben Jonson

Come, my Celia, let us prove,
While we can, the sports of love;
Time will not be ours forever; . . .

Sonnet 1 

By Philip Sidney

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That the dear She might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know, . . .

Sonnet  55: Not marble nor the gilded monuments

By William Shakespeare

Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents . . .