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.

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,    . . .

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art”

By John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
         Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart, . . .

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 William Shakespeare

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

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 and Fall

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you . . .

The Star

By Ann Taylor, Jane Taylor

TWINKLE, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are !
Up above the world so high, . . .

The Statesmen

By Ambrose Bierce

How blest the land that counts among
      Her sons so many good and wise,
To execute great feats of tongue . . .

The Sun Rising

By John Donne

               Busy old fool, unruly sun,
               Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains call on us? . . .