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 19: When I consider how my light is spent

By John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent,
   Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
   And that one Talent which is death to hide . . .

When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be

By John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
   Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery, . . .

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

By Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them, . . .

When You Are Old

By William Butler Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look . . .

The Windhover

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

I caught this morning morning's minionminion favorite, darling; also, an underling or servant, king-
    dom of daylight's dauphindauphin prince; a French historical term, along with “chevalier”, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
    Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and . . .

Work without Hope

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair—
The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing—
And Winter slumbering in the open air, . . .

The World Is Too Much With Us

By William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours; . . .