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.

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, . . .

“Hope” is the thing with feathers - (314)

By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words - . . .

“Oh could I raise the darken’d veil”

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Oh could I raise the darken’d veil,
Which hides my future life from me,
Could unborn ages slowly sail, . . .