Pre-20th Century Poems

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

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By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

After the fierce midsummer all ablaze
    Has burned itself to ashes, and expires
    In the intensity of its own fires, ...

By George Moses Horton

I feel myself in need
   Of the inspiring strains of ancient lore,
My heart to lift, my empty mind to feed,...

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

By James Shirley

The glories of our blood and state
     Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against Fate; ...

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...

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? ...

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,...

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 ...

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 ...

What People are Saying

"Because poetry centers around very human themes, we are able to connect with it in an extraordinary meaningful, poignant way, regardless of when it was written. "
Hope Stratman
2018 NE POL Champ