Pre-20th Century Poems


ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the current Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

The Tables Turned

By William Wordsworth

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks; . . .

Tall Ambrosia

By Henry David Thoreau

Among the signs of autumn I perceive
The Roman wormwood (called by learned men
Ambrosia elatior, food for gods,— . . .

There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House

By Emily Dickinson

There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House,
As lately as Today —
I know it, by the numb look . . .

They Flee From Me

By Thomas Wyatt

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek, . . .

Thou Art My Lute

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Thou art my lute, by thee I sing,—
     My being is attuned to thee.
Thou settest all my words a-wing, . . .

Thoughtless Cruelty

By Charles Lamb

There, Robert, you have kill'd that fly ,
And should you thousand ages try
The life you've taken to supply, . . .

A Thousand Martyrs

By Aphra Behn

A thousand martyrs I have made,
   All sacrificed to my desire;
A thousand beauties have betrayed, . . .

The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown . . .

The Time I’ve Lost in Wooing

By Thomas Moore

The time I’ve lost in wooing,
In watching and pursuing
The light, that lies . . .

To -

By Sarah Helen Whitman

Vainly my heart had with thy sorceries striven:
It had no refuge from thy love,—no Heaven
But in thy fatal presence;—from afar . . .

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