Pre-20th Century Poems

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2018-2019 competition.

Go to:
By Ben Jonson

Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years, ...

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,...

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight,
      When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations, ...

By William Blake

A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? say?"...

By William Blake

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!"...

By Baron Brooke Fulke Greville

O wearisome condition of humanity!
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity;...

By Jones Very

The morning comes, and thickening clouds prevail,
    Hanging like curtains all the horizon round,
Or overhead in heavy stillness sail;...

By George Herbert

I struck the board, and cried, "No more;
                         I will abroad!
What? shall I ever sigh and pine? ...

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood ...

By Robert Browning

What is he buzzing in my ears?
"Now that I come to die,
Do I view the world as a vale of tears?"...

What People are Saying

"I learned to enjoy older poems. At first, I hated the requirement that I had to choose a poem that was pre-20th century. However, as time went by, I began to enjoy the poems more and more. My favorite pre-20th century poet is now Emily Bronte. "
Eseme Segbefia
2018 NY POL Champ