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.

To a Mouse

By Robert Burns

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty, . . .

To Althea, from Prison

By Richard Lovelace

When Love with unconfinèd wings
Hovers within my Gates,
And my divine Althea brings . . .

To an Athlete Dying Young

By A. E. Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by, . . .

To Autumn

By John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
ConspiringConspiring Working together; literally, to conspire is “to breathe together” (OED) with him how to load and bless . . .

To Fashion

By Elizabeth Moody

Gay Fashion thou Goddess so pleasing,
   However imperious thy sway;
Like a mistress capricious and teasing, . . .

To Helen

By Edgar Allan Poe

Helen, thy beauty is to me
   Like those Nicéan barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, . . .

To Her Father with Some Verses

By Anne Bradstreet

Most truly honoured, and as truly dear,
If worth in me or ought I do appear,
Who can of right better demand the same . . .

To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

By Richard Lovelace

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
         That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind . . .

To the Memory of Mr. Oldham

By John Dryden

Farewell, too little and too lately known,
Whom I began to think and call my own;
For sure our souls were near ally'd; and thine . . .

To My Dear and Loving Husband

By Anne Bradstreet

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man, . . .

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