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.

Sonnet 91: On the fleet streams, the Sun, that late arose

By Anna Seward

On the fleet streams, the Sun, that late arose,
   In amber radiance plays; the tall young grass
   No foot hath bruised; clear morning, as I pass, . . .

Sonnet  15: When I consider everything that grows

By William Shakespeare

When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows . . .

Sonnet  18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

By William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, . . .

Sonnet 23: Methought I saw my late espoused saint

By John Milton

Methought I saw my late espoused saint
       Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
       Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, . . .

Sonnet  29: When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes

By William Shakespeare

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, . . .

Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight . . .

The Sorrow of Love

By William Butler Yeats

The brawling of a sparrow in the eaves,   
The brilliant moon and all the milky sky,   
And all that famous harmony of leaves,    . . .

The Spring

By Thomas Carew

Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream . . .

Spring

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush          . . .

Spring

By William Shakespeare

When daisies pied and violets blue
   And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue . . .