Pre-20th Century Poems

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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the current 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 . . .

Delia 33: When men shall find thy flower, thy glory, pass

By Samuel Daniel


When men shall find thy flower, thy glory, pass,
And thou with careful brow sitting alone . . .

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; . . .