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.

Give All to Love

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days, . . .

God's Grandeur

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil . . .

The Good-Morrow

By John Donne

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly? . . .

Grief

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless;
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air . . .

Hap

By Thomas Hardy

If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: "Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy, . . .

Holy Sonnets: Batter my heart, three-person'd God

By John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend . . .

Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud

By John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow . . .

"Hope" is the thing with feathers - (314)

By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words - . . .

How many times these low feet staggered (238)

By Emily Dickinson

How many times these low feet staggered -
Only the soldered mouth can tell -
Try - can you stir the awful rivet - . . .

A Hymn to God the Father

By John Donne

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
         Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run, . . .