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.

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 . . .

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          . . .