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.

Is My Team Ploughing

By A. E. Housman

“Is my team ploughing,
   That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle . . .

Israfel

By Edgar Allan Poe

In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
   “Whose heart-strings are a lute”;   
None sing so wildly well . . .

It sifts from Leaden Sieves - (291)

By Emily Dickinson

It sifts from Leaden Sieves -
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool . . .

It was not Death, for I stood up, (355)

By Emily Dickinson

It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down -
It was not Night, for all the Bells . . .

January, 1795

By Mary Robinson

Pavement slipp’ry, people sneezing,
Lords in ermine, beggars freezing;
Titled gluttons dainties carving, . . .

['Joy of my life, full oft for loving you']

By Edmund Spenser

Joy of my life, full oft for loving you
    I bless my lot, that was so lucky placed:
    But then the more your own mishap I rue, . . .

Kubla Khan

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran . . .

La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad

By John Keats

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
       Alone and palely loitering?
The sedgesedge Grasslike or rushlike plant that grows in wet areas. has withered from the lake, . . .

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

By William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, . . .

Let the Light Enter

By Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

“Light! more light! the shadows deepen,
        And my life is ebbing low,
Throw the windows widely open: . . .