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.

“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, . . .

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: . . .

A Letter to her Husband, absent upon Publick employment

By Anne Bradstreet

My head, my heart, mine Eyes, my life, nay more,
My joy, my Magazine of earthly store,
If two be one, as surely thou and I, . . .

Life

By Edith Wharton

Life, like a marble block, is given to all,
A blank, inchoate mass of years and days,
Whence one with ardent chisel swift essays . . .

Life in a Love

By Robert Browning

Escape me?
Never—
Beloved! . . .

Light Shining out of Darkness

By William Cowper

1
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform; . . .

Lines Written in Early Spring

By William Wordsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts . . .

London

By William Blake

I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow. 
And mark in every face I meet . . .

Love Armed

By Aphra Behn

Love in Fantastic Triumph sat,
Whilst Bleeding Hearts around him flowed,
For whom Fresh pains he did Create, . . .

Love (III)

By George Herbert

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew backLove bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back compare Song of Solomon 5:6. "I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had with drawen himself" (Authorized Version, 1611). "Bade" is past tense of "bid," and in Herbert's time was pronounced like "bad."
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