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.

Lovers' Infiniteness

By John Donne

If yet I have not all thy love,
Dear, I shall never have it all;
I cannot breathe one other sigh, to move, . . .

Luke Havergal

By Edwin Arlington Robinson

Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There where the vines cling crimson on the wall,
And in the twilight wait for what will come. . . .

Mad Song

By William Blake

The wild winds weep, 
         And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep, . . .

The Maid’s Lament

By Walter Savage Landor

I loved him not; and yet, now he is gone,
         I feel I am alone.
I check’d him while he spoke; yet, could he speak, . . .

The Maldive Shark

By Herman Melville

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim, . . .

Meeting at Night

By Robert Browning

The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low; . . .

Mezzo Cammin

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Half of my life is gone, and I have let
   The years slip from me and have not fulfilled
   The aspiration of my youth, to build . . .

The moon now rises to her absolute rule

By Henry David Thoreau

The moon now rises to her absolute rule,
And the husbandman and hunter
Acknowledge her for their mistress. . . .

Much Madness is divinest Sense - (620)

By Emily Dickinson

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness - . . .

[My prime of youth is but a frost of cares]

By Chidiock Tichborne

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares, . . .