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.

The Conqueror Worm

By Edgar Allan Poe

Lo! ’t is a gala night
   Within the lonesome latter years!   
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight . . .

Constancy to an Ideal Object

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Since all that beat about in Nature's range,
Or veer or vanish; why should'st thou remain
The only constant in a world of change, . . .

A Country Boy in Winter

By Sarah Orne Jewett

The wind may blow the snow about,
For all I care, says Jack,
And I don’t mind how cold it grows, . . .

The Cross of Snow

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
   A gentle face — the face of one long dead —
   Looks at me from the wall, where round its head . . .

Crossing the Bar

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar, . . .

The Days Gone By

By James Whitcomb Riley

O the days gone by! O the days gone by!
The apples in the orchard, and the pathway through the rye;
The chirrup of the robin, and the whistle of the quail . . .

The Definition of Love

By Andrew Marvell

My love is of a birth as rare
As ’tis for object strange and high;
It was begotten by Despair . . .

The Destruction of Sennacherib

By Lord Byron (George Gordon)

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, . . .

Dirge in Woods

By George Meredith

A wind sways the pines,
         And below
Not a breath of wild air; . . .

The Doubt of Future Foes

By Queen Elizabeth I

The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,
And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy;
For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects’ faith doth ebb, . . .