Pre-20th Century Poems

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

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, . . .

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. . . .

The Man with the Hoe

By Edwin Markham

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans   
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,   
The emptiness of ages in his face, . . .

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 . . .