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Romantic Love Poems - Poetry Collection of Adoration and Praise

Romantic

Love

Poems

 

Poetry Collection of

Adoration and Praise

 

 

Lisa Shea

Copyright © 2004 by Lisa Shea / Minerva Webworks LLC

All Rights Reserved

 

Cover design by Lisa Shea

Book design by Lisa Shea

Visit my website at LisaShea.com

 

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

 

~ v5 ~

 

Amazon ASIN: B007JBR9YS

Introduction

Love is all around us. Whether it is a profound love for a higher being, a dedicated love to a spouse or partner, a tender love for children and family members, or a loyal love for friends, we all share in the splendors of love. We can feel a love for nature on witnessing a spectacular sunrise or a tear-inducing sunset. We can be stunned by love when we hold a newborn child in our arms.

 

These eighty love poems span the centuries, from the earliest in 43 b.c.to the latest poems written only a few decades ago. Love is universal. All humans have felt love, have thrilled in it, have agonized in it, and have been moved by its power. By reading the love poetry from century to century, we realize just how universal this feeling is, and how powerful it can be.

 

Love poetry can be perfect for love letters, for meditation, for wedding ceremonies, for reading on a sunny afternoon beneath a willow tree.

 

Enjoy this treasury of love poems – and be sure to let us know if your favorite is not included here! We would be thrilled to consider additions for our upcoming edition.

A Note about The Poems

 

First, enormous kudos go to my sister, Jenn, who adores poetry and who collected her favorite love poems as a basis for me to work from. I am greatly in debt to her taste and appreciation of the masters.

 

Second, it is clear that many of the poets covered here are English poets. That is because the primary language I read is English. For whatever reason, few poems from Russian, Egypt, Spain, Japan, or other locations get translated into English for English-language readers to appreciate and enjoy.

 

I would be thrilled to include more non-English poems in this anthology, if copyright-free translations become available. If readers who can interpret other languages want to suggest translations that I could use, I would be more than happy to share those words with the world!

 

The poems are arranged by the date of birth of the poet.

 

A Suggestion to Poets

 

Many people read romantic poems to gain inspiration for their own efforts. Here are a few suggestions we can draw from this collection of love poems.

 

Travel

A key message we get from poet after poet is that they traveled to a variety of exotic locations. They took in the inspirations of landscapes far different from their own, from customs and languages that were unfamiliar. The more they drew in this range of experiences, the more rich their poetry grew.

 

Relationships

Poets also drew in inspiration from a variety of characters. They did not just spend time with people in their own small neighborhood. They talked with the high and the low, with people of a variety of backgrounds. From each new person they gained fresh insight on the world.

 

Experiences

Many of the poets were engaged in a variety of fields over their lifetime. They tried jewelry making, then they examined what it was to be a vicar. They enjoyed music and they also tried a hand at painting. The more ways you express your creative talents, the more you stretch your brain and become open to new experiences.

Anonymous

 

It seems fitting to begin this collection with a poem that we don’t know who wrote it – and we don’t know when it was written – but we can feel its power even down through the centuries.

 

Sanskrit Poem

Although I conquer all the earth,

Yet for me there is only one city.

In that city there is for me only one house;

And in that house, one room only;

And in that room, a bed.

And one woman sleeps there,

The shining joy and jewel of all my kingdom.

Ovid

 

Publius Ovidius Nasowas a Roman who was born about 43BC and lived to about 18AD. He was married three times, and enjoyed traveling.

 

Elegy 5

In summer’s heat and mid-time of the day

To rest my limbs upon a bed I lay,

One window shut, the other open stood,

Which gave such light, as twinkles in a wood,

Like twilight glimpse at setting of the sun,

Or night being past, and yet not day begun.

Such light to shamefast maidens must be shown,

Where they must sport, and seem to be unknown.

Then came Corinna in a long loose gown,

Her white neck hid with tresses hanging down:

Resembling fair Semiramis going to bed

Or Layis of a thousand wooers sped.

I snatched her gown, being thin, the harm was small,

Yet strived she to be covered there withal.

And striving thus as one that would be chaste,

Betrayed herself, and yielded at the last.

Stark naked as she stood before mine eye,

Not one wen in her body could I spy.

What arms and shoulders did I touch and see,

How apt her breasts were to be pressed by me.

How smooth a belly under her waist saw I?

How large a leg, and what a lusty thigh?

To leave the rest, all liked me passing well,

I clinged her naked body, down she fell,

Judge you the rest, being tired she bade me kiss,

Jove sent me more such afternoons as this.

Lady Heguri

 

This Japanese poet lived about in the year 750. Little is known about her.

 

A thousand years, you said

A thousand years, you said,

as our hearts melted.

I look at the hand you held,

and the ache is hard to bear.

Izumi Shikibu

 

Izumi Shikibu was a Japanese woman of the Imperial court who kept a diary of her poetry and observations. These translations were made by Annie Shepley Omori and Kochi Doi in 1920.

 

Izumi wrote this poem while missing her love, her Prince.

 

In Her Deserted House

In her deserted house
She gazes at the moon–
He is not coming
And she cannot reveal her heart–
There is none who will listen.

 

How Many

How many nights, alas!–
Sleepless–
Only the calls of the wild geese–

 

Thomas A Kempis

 

It’s fascinating to read love poetry written by a monk. Thomas lived from 1380 to 1471 and was born in Germany. Much of his life was recopying content to help preserve it. He hand wrote the entire Bible four times, for this purpose.

 

Love is a Great Thing

Love is a great thing, yea, a great and thorough good.

By itself it makes that which is heavy light;

and it bears evenly all that is uneven.

It carries a burden which is no burden;

it will not be kept back by anything low and mean;

It desires to be free from all worldly affections,

and not to be entangled by any outward prosperity,

or by any adversity subdued.

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble,

attempts what is above its strength,

pleads no excuse of impossibility.

It is therefore able to undertake all things,

and it completes many things and warrants them to take effect,

where he who does not love would faint and lie down.

Though weary, it is not tired;

though pressed it is not straightened;

though alarmed, it is not confounded;

but as a living flame it forces itself upwards and securely passes through all.

Love is active and sincere, courageous, patient, faithful, prudent, and manly.

 

Edmund Spenser

 

Edmund was an English poet who was born and died in London. He lived from 1552 to 1599. He is most famous for The Faerie Queen. He has some notoriety for having been given land in County Cork and then recommending the Irish be driven into desolation in order to subjugate them.

 

Sonnet 75

One day I wrote her name upon the strand

But came the waves and washed it away:

Agayne I wrote it with a second hand,

But came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray.

“Vayne man,” sayd she, “that doest in vaine assay,

A mortall thing so to immortalize,

For I my selve shall lyke to this decay,

And eek my name bee wyped out lykewize.”

“Not so,” quod I, “let baser things devize

To dy in dust, but you shall live by fame:

My verse your vertues rare shall eternize,

And in the hevens wryte your glorious name.

Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,

Our love shall live, and later life renew.”

Sir Philip Sidney

 

Philip was an English poet who lived from 1554 to 1586. He was a member of Queen Elizabeth’s court. He married Frances in 1583 and three years later he died at age 31 in a battle.

 

Leave Me, O Love, Which Reachest But to Dust

Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust,

And thou my mind aspire to higher things:

Grow rich in that which never taketh rust:

Whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.

Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might,

To that sweet yoke, where lasting freedoms be:

Which breaks the clouds and opens forth the light,

That doth both shine and give us sight to see.

O take fast hold, let that light be thy guide,

In this small course which birth draws out to death,

And think how evil becometh him to slide,

Who seeketh heaven, and comes of heavenly breath.

Then farewell world, thy uttermost I see,

Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me.

Sir John Harington

 

John was an English poet who lived from 1560 to 1612. While he is known for his poetry, many also laud him for inventing the flush toilet. He and his wife Mary had nine children. He gained and lost favor with Queen Elizabeth.

 

An elegy of a pointed diamond given by the author to his wife at the birth of his eldest son

Dear, I to thee this diamond commend,

In which a model of thyself I send.

How just unto thy joints this circlet sitteth,

So just thy face and shape my fancy fitteth.

The touch will try this ring of purest gold,

My touch tries thee, as pure though softer mold.

That metal precious is, the stone is true,

As true, and then how much more precious you.

The gem is clear, and hath nor needs no foil,

Thy face, nay more, thy fame is free from soil.

You’ll deem this dear, because from me you have it,

I deem your faith more dear, because you gave it.

This pointed diamond cuts glass and steel,

Your love’s like force in my firm heart I feel.

But this, as all things else, time wastes with wearing,

Where you my jewels multiply with bearing.

William Shakespeare

 

Perhaps the most famous writer of plays in the world, William Shakespeare was English and lived from 1564 to 1616. He wrote Hamlet, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, and many other plays and poems.

Sonnet #130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damasked, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

As any she belied with false compare.

 

Shall I Compare Thee

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,

Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou growest;

 

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 

Thomas Campion

 

Thomas was an English poet who lived from 1567 to 1620. His main job was as a physician. He also wrote songs. He never married.

 

I Care Not for These Ladies

I care not for these ladies

That must be wooed and prayed;

Give me kind Amaryllis,

The wanton country maid.

Nature Art disdaineth;

Her beauty is her own.

Her when we court and kiss,

She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”

But when we come where comfort is,

She never will say no.

 

If I love Amaryllis,

She gives me fruit and flowers;

But if we love these ladies,

We must give golden showers.

Give them gold that sell love,

Give me the nut-brown lass,

Who when we court and kiss,

She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”

But when we come where comfort is,

She never will say no.

 

These ladies must have pillows,

And beds by strangers wrought;

Give me a bower of willows,

Of moss and leaves unbought,

And fresh Amaryllis,

With milk and honey fed;

Who when we court and kiss,

She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”

But when we come where comfort is,

She never will say no.

 

Ben Jonson

 

Ben lived from 1572 to 1637 – being born and laid to rest in London, England. He lived in the same times as William Shakespeare and also wrote plays. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

 

This poem was arranged to music in the 1800s.

 

Song: To Celia

Drink to me only with thine eyes,

And I will pledge with mine;

Or leave a kiss but in the cup,

And I’ll not look for wine.

The thirst that from the soul doth rise,

Doth ask a drink divine:

But might I of jove’s nectar sup,

I would not change for thine.

 

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,

Not so much honoring thee,

As giving it a hope, that there

It could not withered be.

But thou thereon did’st only breathe,

And sent’st it back to me;

Since when it grows and smells, I swear,

Not of itself, but thee.

 

John Donne

 

John was born and died in London – he lived from 1572 to 1631. He has twelve children with his wife, Anne.

 

The Good Morrow

I wonder by my troth, what thou and I

Did, till we loved ? were we not wean’d till then ?

But suck’d on country pleasures, childishly ?

Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den ?

‘Twas so ; but this, all pleasures fancies be ;

If ever any beauty I did see,

Which I desired, and got, ‘twas but a dream of thee.

 

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,

Which watch not one another out of fear ;

For love all love of other sights controls,

And makes one little room an everywhere.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone ;

Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown ;

Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.

 

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,

And true plain hearts do in the faces rest ;

Where can we find two better hemispheres

Without sharp north, without declining west ?

Whatever dies, was not mix’d equally ;

If our two loves be one, or thou and I

Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die.

Aurelian Townshend

 

Aurelian was an English poet who lived from 1583 to 1643. He traveled throughout Europe.

 

Kind and True

‘Tis not how witty nor how free,

Nor yet how beautiful she be,

But how much kind and true to me.

Freedom and wit none can confine

And beauty like the sun doth shine,

But kind and true are only mine.

 

Let others with attention sit

To listen, and admire her wit,

That is a rock where I’ll not split.

Let others dote upon her eyes

And burn their hearts for sacrifice,

Beauty’s a calm where danger lies.

 

But kind and true have been long tried

A harbour where we may confide,

And safely there at anchor ride.

From change of winds there we are free

And need not fear storms’ tyranny,

Nor pirate though a prince he be.

Robert Herrick

 

Robert, an English poet, lived from 1591 to 1674. While trained in jewelry-making, he decided to become a vicar instead. He lived a long life, dying at age 83.

 

Robert did not marry, and he wrote over 2,500 poems, so they cover a wide range of topics.

 

To his mistress, objecting to him neither toying or talking

You say I love not, ‘cause I do not play

Still with your curls, and kiss the time away.

You blame me, too, because I can’t devise

Some sport, to please those babies in your eyes; -

By Love’s religion, I must here confess it,

The most I love, when I the least express it.

Small griefs find tongues; full casks are ever found

To give, if any, yet but little sound.

Deep waters noisless are; and this we know,

That chiding streams betray small depth below.

So when love speechless is, she doth express

A depth in love, and that depth bottomless.

Now, since my love is tongueless, know me such,

Who speak but little, ‘cause I love so much.

 

 

To Anthea (IV)

Come, Anthea, know thou this,

Love at no time idle is ;

Let’s be doing, though we play

But at push-pin half the day ;

Chains of sweet bents let us make

Captive one, or both, to take :

In which bondage we will lie,

Souls transfusing thus, and die.

To Anthea, Who May Command Him Anything

Bid me to live, and I will live

Thy Protestant to be,

Or bid me love, and I will give

A loving heart to thee.

 

A heart as soft, a heart as kind,

A heart as sound and free

As in the whole world thou canst find,

That heart I’ll give to thee.

 

Bid that heart stay, and it will stay

To honour thy decree :

Or bid it languish quite away,

And’t shall do so for thee.

 

Bid me to weep, and I will weep

While I have eyes to see :

And, having none, yet I will keep

A heart to weep for thee.

 

Bid me despair, and I’ll despair

Under that cypress-tree :

Or bid me die, and I will dare

E’en death to die for thee.

 

Thou art my life, my love, my heart,

The very eyes of me :

And hast command of every part

To live and die for thee.

 

Thomas Carew

 

Thomas, an English poet, lived from 1595 to 1640. He spent time in Italy and France.

 

Mediocrity in Love Rejected

Give me more love, or more disdain;

The torrid or the frozen zone

Bring equal ease unto my pain;

The temperate affords me none:

Either extreme, of love or hate,

Is sweeter than a calm estate.

Give me a storm; if it be love,

Like Danae in that golden shower,

I swim in pleasure; if it prove

Disdain, that torrent wil devour

My vulture hopes; and he’s possessed

Of heaven that’s but from hell released.

Then crown my joys, or cure my pain;

Give me more love or more disdain.

Edmund Waller

 

My birth name was Waller so I was always intrigued by him. Edmund was an English poet who lived from 1606 to 1687. He was arrested in 1634 for “Waller’s Plot” where he attempted to grab London in the name of the King.

 

Go, Lovely Rose

GO, lovely Rose—

Tell her that wastes her time and me,

That now she knows,

When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to be.

 

Tell her that ‘s young,

And shuns to have her graces spied,

That hadst thou sprung

In deserts where no men abide,

Thou must have uncommended died.

 

Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired:

Bid her come forth,

Suffer herself to be desired,

And not blush so to be admired.

 

Then die—that she

The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee;

How small a part of time they share

That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

Sir John Suckling

 

John was an English poet who lived from 1609 to 1642. He invented Cribbage! I love that game. He was quite dedicated to card games.

 

Song

No, no, fair heretic, it needs must be

But an ill love in me,

And worse for thee.

 

For were it in my power,

To love thee now this hour

More than I did the last ;

 

‘Twould then so fall,

I might not love at all.

Love that can flow, and can admit increase,

Admits as well an ebb, and may grow less.

 

True love is still the same : the torrid zones,

And those more frigid ones,

It must not know ;

 

For love, grown cold or hot,

Is lust or friendship, not

The thing we have :

 

For that’s a flame would die,

Held down or up too high.

 

Then thing I love more than I can express,

And would love more, could I but love thee less.

 

Anne Bradstreet

 

Amazingly, in a time when men tended to rule, Anne Bradstreet was the first poet in New England (US colonies) to be published. She lived from 1612 to 1672. She was born in England, but came to Massachusetts, in what would eventually be the US, in 1630 with her parents. She married her husband, Simon, at age 16. Her family is responsible for founding Harvard University.

 

To My Dear and Loving Husband

If ever two were one, then surely we.

If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;

If ever wife was happy in a man,

Compare with me, ye women, if you can.

I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold

Or all the riches that the East doth hold.

My love is such that rivers cannot quench,

Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense.

Thy love is such I can no way repay,

The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.

Then while we live, in love let’s so persevere

That when we live no more, we may live ever.

 

 

Richard Lovelace

 

Richard lived from 1618 to 1657, and was an English poet. He studied at Oxford and served in the military as a captain. This is one of my personal favorite poems.

 

To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind

That from the nunnery

Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind,

To war and arms I fly.

 

True, a new mistress now I chase,

The first foe in the field;

And with a stronger faith embrace

A sword, a horse, a shield.

 

Yet this inconstancy is such

As you too shall adore;

I could not love thee, dear, so much,

Loved I not honor more.

 

Andrew Marvell

 

Andrew was an English poet who lived from 1621 to 1678. He was a child genius; he was at Trinity College by the age of twelve. He was tutoring a young woman in around 1650 when he wrote this poem.

 

The Fair Singer

To make a final conquest of all me,

Love did compose so sweet an enemy,

In whom both beauties to my death agree,

Joining themselves in fatal harmony;

That while she with her eyes my heart does bind,

She with her voice might captivate my mind.

 

I could have fled from one but singly fair:

My disentangled soul itself might save,

Breaking the curled trammels of her hair.

But how should I avoid to be her slave,

Whose subtle art invisibly can wreathe

My fetters of the very air I breathe?

 

It had been easy fighting in some plain,

Where victory might hang in equal choice,

But all resistance against her is vain,

Who has th’ advantage both of eyes and voice,

And all my forces needs must be undone,

She having gained both the wind and sun.

 

To His Coy Mistress

Had we but world enough, and time,

This coyness, Lady, were no crime

We would sit down and think which way

To walk and pass our long love’s day.

Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side

Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide

Of Humber would complain. I would

Love you ten years before the Flood,

And you should, if you please, refuse

Till the conversion of the Jews.

My vegetable love should grow

Vaster than empires, and more slow;

An hundred years should go to praise

Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;

Two hundred to adore each breast,

But thirty thousand to the rest;

An age at least to every part,

And the last age should show your heart.

For, Lady, you deserve this state,

Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear

Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;

And yonder all before us lie

Deserts of vast eternity.

Thy beauty shall no more be found,

Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound

My echoing song: then worms shall try

That long preserved virginity,

And your quaint honour turn to dust,

And into ashes all my lust:

The grave ‘s a fine and private place,

But none, I think, do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue

Sits on thy skin like morning dew,

And while thy willing soul transpires

At every pore with instant fires,

Now let us sport us while we may,

And now, like amorous birds of prey,

Rather at once our time devour

Than languish in his slow-chapt power.

Let us roll all our strength and all

Our sweetness up into one ball,

And tear our pleasures with rough strife

Thorough the iron gates of life:

Thus, though we cannot make our sun

Stand still, yet we will make him run.

William Blake

 

William was an English poet who lived and died in London. He lived from 1757 to 1827. He only attended school until age 10, and he was trained as a professional engraver.

 

My Pretty Rose Tree

A flower was offered to me:

Such a flower as May never bore.

But I said “I’ve a Pretty Rose-tree”,

And I passed the sweet flower o’er.

 

Then I went to my Pretty Rose-tree:

To tend her by day and by night.

But my Rose turn’d away with jealousy:

And her thorns were my only delight.

 

 

Never Seek To Tell Thy Love

Never seek to tell thy love

Love that never told can be;

For the gentle wind does move

Silently, invisibly.

 

I told my love, I told my love,

I told her all my heart,

Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears

Ah, she doth depart.

 

Soon as she was gone from me

A traveller came by

Silently, invisibly

O, was no deny.

 

Royall Tyler

 

Royall was a US poet who lived from 1757 to 1826. Born in Boston, he studied at Harvard and became a lawyer. He had eleven children with his wife, Mary.

 

A Love Song

By the fierce flames of Love I’m in a sad taking,

I’m singed like a pig that is hung up for bacon,

My stomach is scorched like an over-done mutton-chop,

That for want of gravy wont afford a single drop.

Love, love, love is like a dizziness,

Wont let a poor man go about his business.

 

My great toes and little toes are burnt to a cinder,

As a hot burning-glass burns a dish-cloth to tinder,

As cheese by a hot salamander is roasted,

By beauty that’s red-hot, like a cheese am I toasted.

Love, love, love is like a dizziness,

Wont let a poor man go about his business.

 

Attend all young lovers, who after ladies dandle,

I’m singed like a duck’s foot over a candle,

By this that and t’other, I’m treated uncivil,

Like a gizzard I’m peppered, and then made a devil.

Love, love, love is like a dizziness,

Wont let a poor man go about his business.

William Wordsworth

 

William was an English poet who lived from 1770 to 1850. He is most famous for The Prelude, but he wrote many other works. He enjoyed travel and lived in France and Germany as well as England.

 

Desideria

Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind

I turned to share the transport—O! with whom

…But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb,

That spot which no vicissitude can find?

Love, faithful love, recall’d thee to my mind—

…But how could I forget thee? Through what power,

…Even for the least division of an hour,

Have I been so beguiled as to be blind

To my most grievous loss?—That thought’s return

…Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,

Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,

…Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;

That neither present time, nor years unborn

…Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

 

Speak!

Why art thou silent! Is thy love a plant

Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air

Of absence withers what was once so fair?

Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant?

Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant—

Bound to thy service with unceasing care,

The mind’s least generous wish a mendicant

For nought but what thy happiness could spare.

Speak—though this soft warm heart, once free to hold

A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,

Be left more desolate, more dreary cold

Than a forsaken bird’s-nest filled with snow

‘Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine—

Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know!

 

Thomas Moore

 

Thomas was an Irish poet who was born in Dublin and lived from 1779 to 1852. He went to Trinity, and then studied law. He married Elizabeth, an actress. Sadly, while they had five children, all five died while he was alive.

 

Did Not

‘Twas a new feeling – something more

Than we had dared to own before,

Which then we hid not;

We saw it in each other’s eye,

And wished, in every half-breathed sigh,

To speak, but did not.

 

She felt my lips’ impassioned touch -

‘Twas the first time I dared so much,

And yet she chid not;

But whispered o’er my burning brow,

‘Oh, do you doubt I love you now?’

Sweet soul! I did not.

 

Warmly I felt her bosom thrill,

I pressed it closer, closer still,

Though gently bid not;

Till – oh! the world hath seldom heard

Of lovers, who so nearly erred,

And yet, who did not.

 

 

Echo

How sweet the answer Echo makes

To Music at night

When, roused by lute or horn, she wakes,

And far away o’er lawns and lakes

Goes answering light!

 

Yet Love hath echoes truer far

And far more sweet

Than e’er, beneath the moonlight’s star,

Of horn or lute or soft guitar

The songs repeat.

 

’Tis when the sigh,—in youth sincere

And only then,

The sigh that’s breathed for one to hear—

Is by that one, that only dear

Breathed back again.

 

Leigh Hunt

 

Leigh was an English poet who lived from 1784 to 1859. Interestingly, in a reverse of typical migrations, his parents came back from the United States because they supported the English cause. He and his wife Marianne had ten children.

 

Sadly, in 1986 this title became a made-for-TV movie which was fairly pitiful. Enjoy the poem, and avoid the movie.

 

Jenny Kissed Me

Jenny kissed me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in.

Time, you thief! who love to get

Sweets into your list, put that in.

Say I’m weary, say I’m sad;

Say that health and wealth have missed me;

Say I'm growing old, but add --

Jenny kissed me!

Lord Byron

 

Lord Byron, also known as George Gordon Byron, was an English poet who lived from 1788 to 1824. He loved to travel and died of a fever he picked up in Greece. He was known as a fairly wild man who enjoyed numerous affairs.

 

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that ‘s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellow’d to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair’d the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

 

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

 

Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

Percy, an English poet, lived from 1792 to 1822. His second wife was Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. Unfortunately for his first wife, he ran off with Mary while the young eighteen-year-old was pregnant with his child. He drowned in a shipwreck before he turned thirty.

 

Love’s Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the Ocean,

The winds of Heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;

All things by a law divine

In one spirit meet and mingle.

Why not I with thine? -

 

See the mountains kiss high Heaven

And the waves clasp one another,

No sister-flower would be forgiven

If it disdained its brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth

And the moonbeams kiss the sea:

What is all this sweet work worth

If thou kiss not me?

 

One word is too often profaned

 

This poem by Percy was written to his married friend Jane Williams.

 

One word is too often profaned

For me to profane it,

One feeling too falsely disdain’d

For thee to disdain it.

One hope is too like despair

For prudence to smother,

And pity from thee more dear

Than that from another.

 

I can give not what men call love;

But wilt thou accept not

The worship the heart lifts above

And the Heavens reject not:

The desire of the moth for the star,

Of the night for the morrow,

The devotion to something afar

From the sphere of our sorrow?

John Clare

 

John was an English poet who lived from 1793 to 1864. He grew up in a poor farm family.

First Love

I ne’er was struck before that hour

With love so sudden and so sweet,

Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower

And stole my heart away complete.

My face turned pale as deadly pale.

My legs refused to walk away,

And when she looked, what could I ail?

My life and all seemed turned to clay.

 

And then my blood rushed to my face

And took my eyesight quite away,

The trees and bushes round the place

Seemed midnight at noonday.

I could not see a single thing,

Words from my eyes did start --

They spoke as chords do from the string,

And blood burnt round my heart.

 

Are flowers the winter’s choice?

Is love’s bed always snow?

She seemed to hear my silent voice,

Not love’s appeals to know.

I never saw so sweet a face

As that I stood before.

My heart has left its dwelling-place

And can return no more

 

John Keats

 

John Keats was an English poet who lived from 1795 to 1821. His poetry was only really appreciated after he passed on. He held a medical career while he wrote his poetry.

 

This Living Hand

This living hand, now warm and capable

Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold

And in the icy silence of the tomb,

So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights

That thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry of blood

So in my veins red life might stream again,

And thou be conscience-calmed – see here it is -

I hold it towards you.

 

Alexander Pushkin

 

Alexander, a Russian poet, was born in Moscow in 1799.Many consider him Russia’s greatest poet. He was a man of honor and died fighting a duel with a man who tried to seduce his wife, Natalia. This was in 1837.

 

I still recall the wondrous moment

I still recall the wondrous moment

When you appeared before my eyes,

Just like a fleeting apparition,

Just like pure beauty’s distillation.

 

When’er I languished in the throes of hopeless grief

Amid the troubles of life’s vanity,

Your sweet voice lingered on in me,

Your dear face came to me in dreams.

 

Years passed. The raging, gusty storms

Dispersed my former reveries,

And I forgot your tender voice,

Your features so divine.

 

In exile, in confinement’s gloom,

My uneventful days wore on,

Bereft of awe and inspiration

Bereft of tears, of life, of love.

 

My soul awakened once again:

And once again you came to me,

Just like a fleeting apparition

Just like pure beauty’s distillation.

 

My heart again resounds in rapture,

Within it once again arise

Feelings of awe and inspiration,

Of life itself, of tears, and love.

I loved you

I loved you; even now I may confess,

Some embers of my love their fire retain;

But do not let it cause you more distress,

I do not want to sadden you again.

Hopeless and tonguetied, yet I loved you dearly

With pangs the jealous and the timid know;

So tenderly I loved you, so sincerely,

I pray God grant another love you so.

Honore de Balzac

 

Honore was a French poet who lived from 1799 to 1850. He tried a variety of professions and loved writing about the average human.

 

La Femme de Trente Ans

Love has its own instinct. It knows how to find the road to

The heart just as the weakest insect moves towards its

Flower by an irresistible will which fears nothing.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Ralph was born in Boston, Massachusetts and lived from 1803 to 1883. He went to Harvard at age 14. In his later years he traveled throughout Europe and Egypt.

 

The Rhodora

On being asked, Whence is the flower?

 

In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,

I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods ,

Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,

To please the desert and the sluggish brook.

The purple petals , fallen in the pool ,

Made the black water with their beauty gay;

Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,

And court the flower that cheapens his array.

Rhodora ! if the sages ask thee why

This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,

Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,

Then Beauty is its own excuse for being :

Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!

I never thought to ask , I never knew:

But, in my simple ignorance , suppose

The self-same Power that brought me there brought you

Fyodor Tyutchev

 

Fyodor, a Russian poet, lived from 1803 to 1873. In his forties he began an affair with Elena Denisyeva, and it is that affair which caused him to write the following poem.

 

Last Love

Love at the closing of our days

is apprehensive and very tender.

Glow brighter, brighter, farewell rays

of one last love in its evening splendor.

 

Blue shade takes half the world away:

through western clouds alone some light is slanted.

O tarry, O tarry, declining day,

enchantment, let me stay enchanted.

 

The blood runs thinner, yet the heart

remains as ever deep and tender.

O last belated love, thou art

a blend of joy and of hopeless surrender.

 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

Elizabeth was an English poet who lived from 1806 to 1861. Her parents encouraged her poetry and education. She was quite popular in her lifetime. She married Robert Browning and had a son. They lived together contentedly in Italy.

 

If Thou Must Love Me, Let It Be For Nought

If thou must love me, let it be for nought

Except for love’s sake only. Do not say,

“I love her for her smile — her look — her way

Of speaking gently — for a trick of thought

That falls in well with mine, and brings

A sense of pleasant ease on such a day.” —

For these things in themselves, Beloved, may

Be changed, or change for thee — and love, so wrought

May be unwrought so. Neither love me for

Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry —

A creature might forget to weep who bore

Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!

But love me for love’s sake, that evermore

Thou may love on, through love’s eternity.

 

 

Lord Tennyson

 

Alfred Tennyson lived from 1809 to 1892. He was the poet laureate for Queen Victoria. One of his most famous poems is The Charge of the Light Brigade – “Half a league, half a league, half a league onward, all in the valley of Death rode the six hundred.”

 

Alfred is also famous for having coined the phrase:

“Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all”

 

The Miller’s Daughter

It is the miller’s daughter,

And she is grown so dear, so dear,

That I would be the jewel

That trembles in her ear:

For hid in ringlets day and night,

I’d touch her neck so warm and white.

 

And I would be the girdle

About her dainty dainty waist,

And her heart would beat against me,

In sorrow and in rest:

And I should know if it beat right,

I’d clasp it round so close and tight.

 

And I would be the necklace,

And all day long to fall and rise

Upon her balmy bosom,

With her laughter or her sighs:

And I would lie so light, so light,

I scarce should be unclasp’d at night.

Come down, O Maid

“Come down, O maid, from yonder mountain height:

What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang)

In height and cold, the splendour of the hills?

But cease to move so near the Heavens, and cease

To glide a sunbeam by the blasted Pine,

To sit a star upon the sparkling spire;

And come, for Love is of the valley, come,

For Love is of the valley, come thou down

And find him; by the happy threshold, he,

Or hand in hand with Plenty in the maize,

Or red with spirited purple of the vats,

Or foxlike in the vine; nor cares to walk

With Death and Morning on the Silver Horns,

Nor wilt thou snare him in the white ravine,

Nor find him dropt upon the firths of ice,

That huddling slant in furrow-cloven falls

To roll the torrent out of dusky doors:

But follow; let the torrent dance thee down

To find him in the valley; let the wild

Lean-headed Eagles yelp alone, and leave

The monstrous ledges there to slope, and spill

Their thousand wreaths of dangling water-smoke,

That like a broken purpose waste in air:

So waste not thou; but come; for all the vales

Await thee; azure pillars of the hearth

Arise to thee; the children call, and I

Thy shepherd pipe, and sweet is every sound,

Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet;

Myriads of rivulets hurrying thro’ the lawn,

The moan of doves in immemorial elms,

And murmuring of innumerable bees.”

 

Edward Fitzgerald

 

Edward lived from 1809 to 1883 and, born in Suffolk, England, lived in both England and France. His family was quite wealthy. He is best known for his translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

 

From Omar Khayyám

A book of Verses underneath the Bough,

A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread – and Thou

Beside me singing in the Wilderness -

O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Edgar Allan Poe

 

Ah, one of my favorite poets. Edgar was born in Boston, Massachusetts and lived from 1809 to 1849. In that brief life he created some amazing works. He adored his cousin, Virginia, who he married. At the time he was 26 and she was 13. She soon died of tuberculosis. His poetry was often dark.

 

One of my favorite poems of Poe’s is The Raven, but here we’ll share his more romantic poem.

 

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago

In this kingdom by the sea

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee;

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child, and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea,

But we loved with a love that was more than love,

I and my Annabel Lee,

With a love that the winged seraphs in heaven

Coveted her and me.

And that was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful Annabel Lee,

So that her high-born kinsmen came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulcher

In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,

Went envying her and me—

Yes! that was the reason (as all men know

In this kingdom by the sea)

That a wind blew out of a cloud by night,

Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those that were older than we,

Of many far wiser than we,

And neither the angels in heaven above

Nor the demons down under the sea

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee,

And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

And so, all the night tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,

In her sepulcher there by the sea—

In her tomb by the sounding sea.

 

 

Robert Browning

 

Robert was an English poet who lived from 1812 to 1889. He was already writing poetry at age twelve, and he loved to travel, visiting Italy, Russia, and other countries. His beloved wife was Elizabeth Barrett Browning, also a famous poet in her own right.

 

From In a Gondola

The moth’s kiss, first!

Kiss me as if you made believe

You were not sure, this eve,

How my face, your flower, had pursed

Its petals up; so, here and there

You brush it, till I grow aware

Who wants me, and wide ope I burst.

 

The bee’s kiss, now!

Kiss me as if you entered gay

My heart at some noonday,

A bud that dares not disallow

The claim, so all is rendered up,

And passively its shattered cup

Over your head to sleep I bow.

Meeting at Night

The grey sea and the long black land;

And the yellow half-moon large and low;

And the startled little waves that leap

In fiery ringlets from their sleep

As I gain the cove with pushing prow,

And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;

Three fields to cross till a farm appears;

A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch

And blue spurt of a lighted match,

And a voice less loud, through its joys and feares,

Than the two hearts beating each to each!

Charles Baudelaire

 

Charles was a French poet who lived from 1821 to 1867. He traveled to India.

 

Overcast

Are they blue, gray or green? Mysterious eyes

(as if in fact you were looking through a mist)

in alternation tender, dreamy, grim

to match the shiftless pallor of the sky.

 

That's what you're like- these warm white afternoons

which make the ravished heart dissolve in tears,

the nerves, inexplicably overwrought,

outrage the dozen mind.

 

Not always, though-sometimes

you’re like the horizon when the sun

ignites our cloudy autumn-how you glow!

A sodden countryside in sudden rout,

turned incandescent by a changing wind.

 

Dangerous woman-demoralizing days!

Will I adore your killing frost as much,

and in that implacable winter, when it comes,

discover pleasures sharper than iron and ice?

Matthew Arnold

 

Matthew was born in Middlesex, England and lived from 1822 to 1888. He married Frances and had six children.

 

Come to me in my dreams

Come to me in my dreams, and then

By day I shall be well again!

For so the night will more than pay

The hopeless longing of the day.

 

Come, as thou cam’st a thousand times,

A messenger from radiant climes,

And smile on thy new world, and be

As kind to others as to me!

 

Or, as thou never cam’st in sooth,

Come now, and let me dream it truth,

And part my hair, and kiss my brow,

And say, My love why sufferest thou?

 

Come to me in my dreams, and then

By day I shall be well again!

For so the night will more than pay

The hopeless longing of the day.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 

His name might sound Italian, but Dante was English, and lived from 1828 to 1882. He was multi-talented and not only wrote poetry but also painted.

 

Sudden Light

I have been here before,

But when or how I cannot tell:

I know the grass beyond the door,

The sweet keen smell,

The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

You have been mine before,

How long ago I may not know:

But just when at that swallow’s soar

Your neck turned so,

Some veil did fall – I knew it all of yore.

 

Has this been thus before?

And shall not thus time’s eddying flight

Still with our lives our love restore

In death’s despite,

And day and night yield one delight once more?

Christina Rossetti

 

Christina Rossetti lived from 1830 to 1894 in London, England. She was praised during her lifetime for her high quality of writing. She passed away from breast cancer.

 

The First Day

 

I wish I could remember the first day,

First hour, first moment of your meeting me;

If bright or dim the season, it might be

Summer or winter for aught I can say.

So unrecorded did it slip away,

So blind was I to see and to foresee,

So dull to mark the budding of my tree

That would not blossom yet for many a May.

If only I could recollect it! Such

A day of days! I let it come and go

As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow.

It seemed to mean so little, meant so much!

If only now I could recall that touch,

First touch of hand in hand! – Did one but know!

 

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann’d:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

Echo

Come to me in the silence of the night;

Come in the speaking silence of a dream;

Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright

As sunlight on a stream;

Come back in tears,

O memory, hope, love of finished years.

 

O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,

Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,

Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;

Where thirsting longing eyes

Watch the slow door

That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

 

Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live

My very life again though cold in death:

Come back to me in dreams, that I may give

Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:

Speak low, lean low

As long ago, my love, how long ago.

Emily Dickinson

 

Emily was a poet of the United States who lived from 1830 to 1886. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, Emily wrote over 1,800 poems. There is only one known image of her for her entire adult life. Her grandfather founded Amherst College. She never married, and later in life she never wanted to leave her room.

 

If You Were Coming In The Fall

If you were coming in the fall,

I’d brush the summer by

With half a smile and half a spum,

As housewives do a fly.

 

If I could see you in a year,

I’d wind the months in balls,

And put them each in separate drawers,

Until their time befalls.

 

If only centuries delayed,

I’d count them on my hand,

Subtracting till my fingers dropped

Into Van Diemen’s land.

 

If certain, when this life was out,

That yours and mine should be,

I’d toss it yonder like a rind,

And taste eternity.

 

But now, all ignorant of the length

Of time’s uncertain wing,

It goads me, like the goblin bee,

That will not state its sting.

Heart, We Will Forget Him

Heart, we will forget him,

You and I, tonight!

You must forget the warmth he gave,

I will forget the light.

 

When you have done pray tell me,

Then I, my thoughts, will dim.

Haste! lest while you’re lagging

I may remember him!

 

 

Part Three: Love XLV

I’ve got an arrow here;

Loving the hand that sent it,

I the dart revere.

 

Fell, they will say, in “skirmish”!

Vanquished, my soul will know,

By but a simple arrow

Sped by an archer’s bow.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

 

Algernon was an English writer who was born and died in London. He lived from 1837 to 1909. While he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature six times, he never won.

 

Love and Sleep

Lying asleep between the strokes of night

I saw my love lean over my sad bed,

Pale as the duskiest lilly’s leaf or head,

Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite,

Too wan for blushing and too warm for white,

But perfect-coloured without white or red.

And her lips opened amorously, and said -

I wist not what, saving one word – Delight.

And all her face was honey to my mouth,

And all her body pasture to mine eyes.

The long lithe arms and hotter hands than fire,

The quivering flanks, hair smelling of the south,

The bright light feet, the splendid supple thighs

And glittering eyelids of my soul’s desire.

Wilfred Blunt

 

Wilfred Blunt lived from 1840 to 1922 and was based in England. He worked with the British Diplomatic Service. He loved to travel and over his life ended up in Egypt, Spain, India, and many other countries.

 

To Manon, on his Fortune in loving Her

I did not choose thee, dearest. It was Love

That made the choice, not I. Mine eyes were blind

As a rude shepherd’s who to some lone grove

His offering brings and cares not at what shrine

He bends his knee. The gifts alone were mine;

The rest was Love’s. He took me by the hand,

And fired the sacrifice, and poured the wine,

And spoke the words I might not understand.

I was unwise in all but the dear chance

Which was my fortune, and the blind desire

Which led my foolish steps to Love’s abode,

And youth’s sublime unreason’d prescience

Which raised an altar and inscribed in fire

Its dedication To the Unknown God.

 

Farewell to Juliet

I see you, Juliet, still, with your straw hat

Loaded with vines, and with your dear pale face,

On which those thirty years so lightly sat,

And the white outline of your muslin dress.

You wore a little fichu trimmed with lace

And crossed in front, as was the fashion then,

Bound at your waist with a broad band or sash,

All white and fresh and virginally plain.

There was a sound of shouting far away

Down in the valley, as they called to us,

And you, with hands clasped seeming still to pray

Patience of fate, stood listening to me thus

With heaving bosom. There a rose lay curled.

It was the reddest rose in all the world.

Thomas Hardy

 

Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928, is probably best known for writing Tess of the d’Urbervilles, but he also published a number of poems later in his life. His ashes are in Westminster Abbey.

 

The Voice

Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,

Saying that now you are not as you were

When you had changed from the one who was all to me,

But as at first, when our day was fair.

 

Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,

Standing as when I drew near to the town

Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then,

Even to the original air-blue gown!

 

Or is it only the breeze, in its listlessness

Travelling across the wet mead to me here,

You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness,

Heard no more again far or near?

Thus I; faltering forward,

Leaves around me falling,

Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward,

And the woman calling.

 

Robert Bridges

 

Robert lived from 1844 to 1930 and was the poet laureate of England. He was a physician, but a lung disease forced him to retire. He chose to write poetry.

 

So Sweet Love Seemed

So sweet love seemed that April morn,

When first we kissed beside the thorn,

So strangely sweet, it was not strange,

We thought love could never change.

Francis William Bourdillon

 

Francis was an English poet who lived from 1852 to 1921. He wrote many poems during his lifetime, and tutored the sons of Prince Christian.

 

The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

The night has a thousand eyes,

And the day but one;

Yet the light of a bright world dies

When day is done.

 

The mind has a thousand eyes,

And the heart but one;

Yet the light of a whole life dies

When love is done.

 

Francis Thompson

 

Francis was an English poet who lived from 1859 to 1907. He had a rough life. He was addicted to opium and died of tuberculosis.

 

Arab Love-Song

The hunchèd camels of the night

Trouble the bright

And silver waters of the moon.

The Maiden of the Morn will soon

Through Heaven stray and sing,

Star gathering.

Now while the dark about our loves is strewn,

Light of my dark, blood of my heart, O come!

And night will catch her breath up, and be dumb.

Leave thy father, leave thy mother

And thy brother;

Leave the black tents of thy tribe apart!

Am I not thy father and thy brother,

And thy mother?

And thou -- what needest with thy tribe's black tents

Who hast the red pavilion of my heart?

 

Frank Dempster Sherman

 

Frank was a poet from the United States who was born in Peekskill, New York. He lived from 1860 to 1916. His main profession was that of a teacher.

 

Love’s Springtide

My heart was winter-bound until

I heard you sing;

O voice of Love, hush not, but fill

My life with Spring!

 

My hopes were homeless things before

I saw your eyes;

O smile of Love, close not the door

To paradise!

 

My dreams were bitter once, and then

I found them bliss;

O lips of Love, give me again

Your rose to kiss!

 

Springtide of Love! The secret sweet

Is ours alone;

O heart of Love, at last you beat

Against my own!

 

Mary Coleridge

 

Mary was an English poet who lived from 1861 to 1907. She was a teacher for twelve years. She also loved to travel.

 

To Memory

Strange Power, I know not what thou art,

Murderer or mistress of my heart.

I know I’d rather meet the blow

Of my most unrelenting foe

Than live—-as now I live—-to be

Slain twenty times a day by thee.

 

Yet, when I would command thee hence,

Thou mockest at the vain pretence,

Murmuring in mine ear a song

Once loved, alas! forgotten long;

And on my brow I feel a kiss

That I would rather die than miss.

 

William Butler Yeats

 

One of the most famous Irish poets, William lived from 1865 to 1939. He was the first Irishman to earn the Nobel Prize for Literature.

 

The Rose in the Deeps of his Heart

All things uncomely and broken,

all things worn-out and old,

The cry of a child by the roadway,

the creak of a lumbering cart,

 

The heavy steps of the ploughman,

splashing the wintry mould,

Are wronging your image that blossoms

a rose in the deeps of my heart.

 

The wrong of unshapely things

is a wrong too great to be told;

I hunger to build them anew

and sit on a green knoll apart,

 

With the earth and the sky and the water,

remade, like a casket of gold

For my dreams of your image that blossoms

a rose in the deeps of my heart.

When You Are Old

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

 

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true;

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you

And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

 

And bending down beside the glowing bars

Murmurs, a little sadly, how love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crown of stars.

Amy Lowell

 

Amy was a poet from the US who lived from 1874 to 1925. She was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. She even made the cover of Time Magazine in 1925. She gets special recognition for winning the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926, after she had died.

 

In an indication of just how far we have come in under a century, Amy’s parents wouldn’t send her to college because they felt it was not proper for a woman.

 

The Bungler

You glow in my heart

Like the flames of uncounted candles.

But when I go to warm my hands,

My clumsiness overturns the light

And then I stumble

Against the tables and chairs.

 

The Taxi

When I go away from you

The world beats dead

Like a slackened drum.

I call out for you against the jutted stars

And shout into the ridges of the wind.

Streets coming fast,

One after the other,

Wedge you away from me,

And the lamps of the city prick my eyes

So that I can no longer see your face.

Why should I leave you,

To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?

A Little Song

When you, my Dear, are away, away,

How wearily goes the creeping day.

A year drags after morning, and night

Starts another year of candle light.

O Pausing Sun and Lingering Moon!

Grant me, I beg of you, this boon.

 

Whirl round the earth as never sun

Has his diurnal journey run.

And, Moon, slip past the ladders of air

In a single flash, while your streaming hair

Catches the stars and pulls them down

To shine on some slumbering Chinese town.

O Kindly Sun! Understanding Moon!

Bring evening to crowd the footsteps of noon.

 

But when that long awaited day

Hangs ripe in the heavens, your voyaging stay.

Be morning, O Sun! with the lark in song,

Be afternoon for ages long.

And, Moon, let you and your lesser lights

Watch over a century of nights.

 

Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Ranier was born in Austria-Hungary and lived from 1875 to 1926. He traveled to Russia and Italy. He married Clara, who was a sculptor. They had a daughter, Ruth.

 

Again and again, however we know the landscape of love

Again and again, however we know the landscape of love

and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,

and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others

fall: again and again the two of us walk out together

under the ancient trees, lie down again and again

among the flowers, face to face with the sky.

 

From First Poems

Understand, I’ll slip quietly

away from the noisy crowd

when I see the pale

stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.

 

I’ll pursue solitary pathways

through the pale twilit meadows,

with only this one dream:

You come too.

Sara Teasdale

 

Sarah was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1884 and died in 1933. She married Ernst Filsinger in 1914. She divorced, lived in New York City for several years, and ended her own life.

 

I Am Not Yours

I am not yours, not lost in you,

Not lost, although I long to be

Lost as a candle lit at noon,

Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

 

You love me, and I find you still

A spirit beautiful and bright,

Yet I am I, who long to be

Lost as a light is lost in light.

 

Oh plunge me deep in love -- put out

My senses, leave me deaf and blind,

Swept by the tempest of your love,

A taper in a rushing wind.

 

The Kiss

Before you kissed me only winds of heaven

Had kissed me, and the tenderness of rain —

Now you have come, how can I care for kisses

Like theirs again?

 

I sought the sea, she sent her winds to meet me,

They surged about me singing of the south —

I turned my head away to keep still holy

Your kiss upon my mouth.

 

And swift sweet rains of shining April weather

Found not my lips where living kisses are;

I bowed my head lest they put out my glory

As rain puts out a star.

 

I am my love’s and he is mine forever,

Sealed with a seal and safe forevermore —

Think you that I could let a beggar enter

Where a king stood before?

D.H. Lawrence

 

David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English poet who lived from 1885 to 1930. He adored travel and visited most of the known world. He stayed in New Mexico, US for two years.

 

The Appeal

You, Helen, who see the stars

As mistletoe berries burning in a black tree,

You surely, seeing I am a bowl of kisses

Should put your mouth to mine and drink of me.

 

Helen, you let my kisses steam

Wasteful into the night’s black nostrils; drink

Me up, I pray; oh you, who are Night’s bacchante,

How can you from my bowl of kisses shrink?

 

Intimates

Don’t you care for my love? she said bitterly.

 

I handed her the mirror, and said:

Please address these questions to the proper person!

Please make all requests to head-quarters!

In all matters of emotional importance

please approach the supreme authority direct! -

 

So I handed her the mirror.

And she would have broken it over my head,

but she caught sight of her own reflection

and that held her spellbound for two seconds

while I fled.

 

Hart Crane

 

Hart Crane, an American poet, lived from 1899 to 1932. He was born in Ohio.

 

Carrier Letter

My hands have not touched water since your hands, -

No; – nor my lips freed laughter since ‘farewell’.

And with the day, distance again expands

Between us, voiceless as an uncoiled shell.

 

Yet, – much follows, much endures … Trust birds alone:

A dove’s wings clung about my heart last night

With surging gentleness; and the blue stone

Set in the tryst-ring has but worn more bright.

Lisa Shea

 

Lisa, the organizer of this anthology, is certainly a simple mortal compared with the stellar powerhouses of poetry included in this ebook. Still, since extra pages are free in an ebook, and the ebook is already listed at the lowest price possible, here are two free extra poems from Lisa’s own personal library.

 

 

Pine needles under bare feet

my body yearns for your touch

your tea waits, steaming.

 

 

Laughing, runs through the grass,

turning, gaily stretching hand,

she entices him.

 

 

Dedication

Enormous thanks go to my sister, Jenn Mottram, whose adoration for poetry helped to substantially form and shape this selection.

 

Also, many thanks go to Robert See, my love of my life for over eighteen years, who provides daily inspiration for my sharing of love with our world.

 

Summary

Love poetry lifts the heart. It warms the spirit. It inspires us to love one another and to celebrate life. It encourages us to write our own poetry and to see out new poets.

 

If you have a poet you feel I should include in an upcoming release of this book, please let me know! I’m always eager to learn about new poets.

 

If you enjoyed this, please leave feedback on Amazon and GoodReads!

 

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Blog:

http://www.lisashea.com/lisabase/blog/

 

About the Author

Lisa Shea was the go-to person for romantic advice during high school. She has been on the internet since the days of telnet and FTP. Her two worlds comingled nicely!

 

Lisa has been offering romantic advice on the web since 1998. On March 1, 2002 she launched RomanceClass.com in order to offer tips, advice, and a relationship-oriented community to the web world.

 

Good luck with all your relationship goals and dreams!

 

 

Free Ebooks

 

All of the following books are FREE on all major platforms. Download and enjoy! If for some reason you find a spot it’s not free, all proceeds from that sale go to support battered women’s shelters.

 

 


Romantic Love Poems - Poetry Collection of Adoration and Praise

Love is all around us. Whether it is a profound love for a higher being, a dedicated love to a spouse or partner, a tender love for children and family members, or a loyal love for friends, we all share in the splendors of love. We can feel a love for nature on witnessing a spectacular sunrise or a tear-inducing sunset. We can be stunned by love when we hold a newborn child in our arms. These 80 love poems span the centuries, from the earliest in 43 b.c.to the latest poems written only a few decades ago. Love is universal. All humans have felt love, have thrilled in it, have agonized in it, and have been moved by its power. By reading the love poetry from century to century, we realize just how universal this feeling is, and how powerful it can be. Love poetry can be perfect for love letters, for meditation, for wedding ceremonies, for reading on a sunny afternoon beneath a willow tree. I'm always eager to hear of new love poems to add to this collection. If you have a favorite poet, please let me know! Enjoy this treasury of love poems!

  • ISBN: 9781311788085
  • Author: Lisa Shea
  • Published: 2016-03-02 03:05:24
  • Words: 11748
Romantic Love Poems - Poetry Collection of Adoration and Praise Romantic Love Poems - Poetry Collection of Adoration and Praise