Pre-20th Century Poems

Menu

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2013-2014 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and the Road Unknown

By Walt Whitman

A march in the ranks hard-prest, and the road unknown,
A route through a heavy wood with muffled steps in the darkness,
Our army foil’d with loss severe, and the sullen remnant retreating, . . .

Meeting at Night

By Robert Browning

I
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 - . . .

A narrow fellow in the grass (1096)

By Emily Dickinson

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him—did you not . . .

The Natural Child

By Helen Leigh

Let not the title of my verse offend,
   Nor let the pride contract her rigid brow;
That helpless Innocence demands a friend, . . .

The New Colossus

By Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand . . .

The New Decalogue

By Ambrose Bierce

Have but one God: thy knees were sore
If bent in prayer to three or four.
. . .

News

By Thomas Traherne

News from a foreign country came,
As if my treasures and my joys lay there;
         So much it did my heart inflame, . . .