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.

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, . . .

Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness

By John Donne

Since I am coming to that holy room,
         Where, with thy choir of saints for evermore,
I shall be made thy music; as I come . . .

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, (340)

By Emily Dickinson

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed . . .

I Find no Peace

By Thomas Wyatt

I find no peace, and all my war is done.
I fear and hope. I burn and freeze like ice.
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise; . . .

I Hear America Singing

By Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, . . .

I heard a Fly buzz - when I died - (591)

By Emily Dickinson

I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air - . . .

I Remember, I Remember

By Thomas Hood

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun . . .

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

By William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd, . . .

Idea 20: An evil spirit, your beauty, haunts me still

By Michael Drayton


An evil spirit, your beauty, haunts me still,
Wherewith, alas, I have been long possess'd, . . .

Idea 43: Why should your fair eyes with such sovereign grace

By Michael Drayton

Why should your fair eyes with such sovereign grace
Disperse their rays on every vulgar spirit,
Whilst I in darkness in the self-same place . . .