93 Best Love Poems For Your Boyfriend

These are 93 best love poems for your boyfriend.

From Love Songs to You’ll Love Me Yet.

If you want the best love poems for him, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!

Table of Contents

93 Best Love Poems For Your Boyfriend (Categorized)

My Favorite Love Poem For Your Boyfriend

Man playing guitar for her woman by the sea.

Love Songs

I have remembered beauty in the night,
Against black silences I waked to see
A shower of sunlight over Italy
And green Ravello dreaming on her height;
I have remembered music in the dark,
The clean swift brightness of a fugue of Bach’s,
And running water singing on the rocks
When once in English woods I heard a lark.

But all remembered beauty is no more
Than a vague prelude to the thought of you.
You are the rarest soul I ever knew,
Lover of beauty, knightliest and best;
My thoughts seek you as waves that seek the shore,
And when I think of you, I am at rest.

Sara Teasdale

Romantic Love Poems For Your Boyfriend

Beautiful couple in love, hugging and smiling.

This Much and More

If my lover were a comet
Hung in air,
I would braid my leaping body
In his hair.

Yea, if they buried him ten leagues
Beneath the loam,
My fingers they would learn to dig
And I’d plunge home!

Djuna Barnes

Evening Song

Dear love, what thing of all the things that be
Is ever worth one thought from you or me,
Save only Love,
Save only Love?

The days so short, the nights so quick to flee,
The world so wide, so deep and dark the sea,
So dark the sea;

So far the suns and every listless star,
Beyond their light—Ah! dear, who knows how far,
Who knows how far?

One thing of all dim things I know is true,
The heart within me knows, and tells it you,
And tells it you.

So blind is life, so long at last is sleep,
And none but Love to bid us laugh or weep,
And none but Love,
And none but Love.

Willa Cather

A Valentine

Out of the depths of a heart of love,
Out of the birth-place of sighs,
Freighted with hope and freighted with fear,
My all in a valentine, hies.
Oh, frail little missive
Of delicate texture,
Speed thee, on thy journey,
And give her a lecture!

Fathom her heart, that seems to me, cold,
Trouble her bosom, as mine,
Let it be mutual, this that I crave,
Her ‘yes’ for a valentine.
Oh, frail little missive,
In coy Cupid’s keeping,
Oh! speed back a message,
To set my pulse leaping.

Priscilla Jane Thompson

My Love is the Flaming Sword

My love is the flaming Sword
To fight through the world;
Thy love is the Shield to ward,
And the Armour of the Lord
And the Banner of Heaven unfurl’d.

James Thomson

‘Belovèd, It Is Morn!’

Beloved, it is morn!
A redder berry on the thorn,
A deeper yellow on the corn,
For this good day new-born:
Pray, Sweet, for me
That I may be
Faithful to God and thee.

Belovèd, it is day!
And lovers work, as children play,
With heart and brain untired alway:
Dear love, look up and pray.
Pray, Sweet, for me
That I may be
Faithful to God and thee.

Belovèd, it is night!
Thy heart and mine are full of light,
Thy spirit shineth clear and white,—
God keep thee in his sight!
Pray, Sweet, for me
That I may be
Faithful to God and thee.

Emily Henrietta Hickey
Unusual wedding in the desert. A girl in a white dress ivory shade. Very long plume fluttering in the wind. A loving couple is embracing tenderly against the background of white sand and blue sky

Love in the Winds

When I am standing on a mountain crest,
Or hold the tiller in the dashing spray,
My love of you leaps foaming in my breast,
Shouts with the winds and sweeps to their foray;
My heart bounds with the horses of the sea,
And plunges in the wild ride of the night,
Flaunts in the teeth of tempest the large glee
That rides out Fate and welcomes gods to fight.
Ho, love, I laugh aloud for love of you,
Glad that our love is fellow to rough weather,—
No fretful orchid hothoused from the dew,
But hale and hardy as the highland heather,
Rejoicing in the wind that stings and thrills,
Comrade of ocean, playmate of the hills.

Richard Hovey

Love

I leaned out of window, I smelt the white clover,
Dark, dark was the garden, I saw not the gate;
“Now, if there be footsteps, he comes, my one lover—
Hush, nightingale, hush! O sweet nightingale, wait
Till I listen and hear
If a step draweth near,
For my love he is late!

“The skies in the darkness stoop nearer and nearer,
A cluster of stars hangs like fruit in the tree,
The fall of the water comes sweeter, comes clearer:
To what art thou listening, and what dost thou see?
Let the star-clusters glow,
Let the sweet waters flow,
And cross quickly to me.

“You night-moths that hover where honey brims over
From sycamore blossoms, or settle or sleep;
You glow-worms, shine out, and the pathway discover
To him that comes darkling along the rough steep.
Ah, my sailor, make haste,
For the time runs to waste,
And my love lieth deep,—

“Too deep for swift telling; and yet, my one lover,
I ’ve conned thee an answer, it waits thee to-night.”
By the sycamore passed he, and through the white clover;
Then all the sweet speech I had fashioned took flight;
But I ’ll love him more, more
Than e’er wife loved before,
Be the days dark or bright.

Jean Ingelow

My True-love Hath My Heart

My true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one to the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one;
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own;
I cherish his because in me it bides:
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.

Sir Philip Sidney

Last Night

Last night the nightingale waked me,
Last night when all was still;
It sang in the golden moonlight
From out the woodland hill.
I opened the window gently,
And all was dreamy dew—
And oh! the bird, my darling,
Was singing, singing of you!

I think of you in the day-time;
I dream of you by night—
I wake—would you were near me,
And hot tears blind my sight.
I hear a sigh in the lime-tree,
The wind is floating through,
And oh! the night, my darling,
Is longing, longing for you.

Nor think I can forget you!
I could not though I would!
I see you in all around me,—
The stream, the night, the wood;
The flowers that sleep so gently,
The stars above the blue,
Oh! heaven itself, my darling,
Is praying, praying for you.

Christian Winther
(From the Swedish by Théophile Julius Henry Marzials)
Red heart with lights on wooden background.

I Do Not Love Thee!

I do not love thee!—no! I do not love thee!
And yet when thou art absent I am sad;
And envy even the bright blue sky above thee,
Whose quiet stars may see thee and be glad.

I do not love thee!—yet, I know not why,
Whate’er thou dost seems still well done, to me—
And often in my solitude I sigh—
That those I do love are not more like thee!

I do not love thee!—yet, when thou art gone
I hate the sound (though those who speak be dear)
Which breaks the lingering echo of the tone
Thy voice of music leaves upon my ear.

I do not love thee!—yet thy speaking eyes,
With their deep, bright, and most expressive blue—
Between me and the midnight heaven arise,
Oftener than any eyes I ever knew.

I know I do not love thee! yet, alas!
Others will scarcely trust my candid heart;
And oft I catch them smiling as they pass,
Because they see me gazing where thou art.

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah (Sheridan) Norton

My Heart Shall Be Thy Garden

My heart shall be thy garden. Come, my own,
Into thy garden; thine be happy hours
Among my fairest thoughts, my tallest flowers,
From root to crowning petal, thine alone.

Thine is the place from where the seeds are sown
Up to the sky enclosed, with all its showers.
But ah, the birds, the birds! Who shall build bowers
To keep these thine? O friend, the birds have flown.

For as these come and go, and quit our pine
To follow the sweet season, or, new-comers,
Sing one song only from our alder-trees,

My heart has thoughts, which, though thine eyes hold mine,
Flit to the silent world and other summers,
With wings that dip beyond the silver seas.

Alice Meynell
Red Heart shape on white sand beach ,Image For Love Valentine Day or summer vacation Concept.

Eternal

Love is eternal, so the strong souls say,
But seeing how hard life doth give the lie
Unto the mighty words, with sneer or sigh,
The weaker ones cry out in sad dismay
That love is changeful as an April day,
Holding within itself no strength whereby
It can the subtle shafts of time defy,
And in the heart of man abide alway.

Not every heart is great enough to hold
A great immortal tenant. Love hath fled
Always from natures narrow, weak and cold.
Know, when by scornful lips you hear it said
That Love is traitor, that the truth is told
Not of dear Love, but of that soul instead.

Carlotta Perry

The Crown of Love

I would be a goddess in
The light of those dear eyes
Apt to hold you as to win,
All-beautiful, all-wise.
Pray you wherefore should you deem
This a vain and idle dream?
Purblind love that cannot see
That woman still to man may be
Whatever she can seem!

I would win your tender trust,
But not to keep you still
Kneeling lowly in the dust,
Obedient to my will;
Nor to surfeit all my days
On the nectar of your praise;
Or to hear it sung so high
That the idle passer-by
Paused to hear your lays.

I but ask you for your faith
That, wounded by the herd,
I may bring you healing with
The magic of a word.
Pray you to believe me so
That in darkness, doubt, or woe,
I may guide you when you grope,
Light you with my stronger hope,
Warm you with my glow.

I would have you love me well,
That, fainting in the strife,
Kiss of mine should be a spell,
To win you back to life;
Love me so that day or night,
I could hide the world from sight,
Keep it out with woven arms,
Or subdue it with my charms,
As a goddess might!

Love! my worth will wax or wane
As your light shall shine,
Now a homely thing, or vain,
Now almost divine.
Lorn of love, my hands hang down,
I am nothing when you frown;
Hold me fair, and keep me great,
With your faithfulness for state,
And your love for crown!

Emily Pfeiffer

Love Me

Brown-thrush singing all day long
In the leaves above me,
Take my love this April song,
“Love me, love me, love me!”

When he harkens what you say,
Bid him, lest he miss me,
Leave his work or leave his play,
And kiss me, kiss me, kiss me!

Sara Teasdale
True Love

Love’s Meaning

I thought it meant all glad ecstatic things,
Fond glance and touch and speech, quick blood and brain,
And strong desire, and keen, delicious pain,
And beauty’s thrall, and strange bewilderings
’Twixt hope and fear, like to the little stings
The rose-thorn gives, and then the utter gain—
Worth all my sorest striving to attain—
Of the dear bliss long-sought possession gives.

Now with a sad, clear sight that reassures
My often sinking soul, with longing eyes
Averted from the path that still allures,
Lest, seeing that for which my sore heart sighs,
I seek my own good at the cost of yours,—
I know at last that love means sacrifice.

Carlotta Perry

Yet, Love, Mere Love, Is Beautiful Indeed

Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed,
And worthy of acceptation. Fire is bright,
Let temple burn or flax! An equal light
Leaps in the flame from cedar-plant or weed.
And love is fire: and when I say at need,
I love thee—Mark!—I love thee!—in thy sight
I stand transfigured, glorified aright,
With conscience of the new rays that proceed
Out of my face toward thine. There’s nothing low
In love, when love the lowest. Meanest creatures
Who love God, God accepts while loving so.
And what I feel, across the inferior features
Of what I am, doth flash itself, and show
How that great work of Love enhances Nature’s.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I Would Be With Thee on the Sunny Hills

I would be with thee on the sunny hills,
And by the streams would linger, as they flow
With their perpetual music sweet and low;
And where, in light, leap out the shining rills,
Like chains of liquid diamonds, I would be:
Methinks ’t were sweet to wander far and free,
Tempting each craggy height or sylvan shade,—
A loiterer where the mossy banks, inlaid
With nature’s flowery gems, invite repose;
And, stealing o’er my brow, thy breath of balm
Might lull each care my beating bosom knows,
And bid the tossing waves of thought be calm;
And I might half forget life’s boding ills,
Roaming with thee out on the sunny hills.

Mary Noel McDonald

I Would Live In Your Love

I would live in your love as the sea-grasses live in the sea,
Borne up by each wave as it passes, drawn down by each wave that recedes;
I would empty my soul of the dreams that have gathered in me,
I would beat with your heart as it beats, I would follow your soul
as it leads.

Sara Teasdale

Love Poems For Your Boyfriend That Will Make Him Cry

Vintage couple in love, looking at each other passionately.

Say Over Again…

Say over again, and yet once over again,
That thou dost love me. Though the word repeated
Should seem “a cuckoo-song,” as thou dost treat it,
Remember, never to the hill or plain,
Valley and wood, without her cuckoo-strain
Comes the fresh Spring in all her green completed.
Belovèd, I, amid the darkness greeted
By a doubtful spirit-voice, in that doubt’s pain
Cry, “Speak once more—thou lovest!” Who can fear
Too many stars, though each in heaven shall roll,
Too many flowers, though each shall crown the year?
Say thou dost love me, love me, love me—toll
The silver iterance!—only minding, Dear,
To love me also in silence with thy soul.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(Sonnets From The Portuguese XXI)

Oh, My Beloved, Have You Thought of This

Oh, my beloved, have you thought of this:
How in the years to come unscrupulous Time,
More cruel than Death, will tear you from my kiss,
And make you old, and leave me in my prime?
How you and I, who scale together yet
A little while the sweet, immortal height
No pilgrim may remember or forget,
As sure as the world turns, some granite night
Shall lie awake and know the gracious flame
Gone out forever on the mutual stone;

And call to mind that on the day you came
I was a child, and you a hero grown?—
And the night pass, and the strange morning break
Upon our anguish for each other’s sake!

Edna St. Vincent Millay
(Sonnet X)

Love

Dreaming of love, the ardent mind of youth
Conceives it one with passion’s brief delights,
With keen desire and rapture. But, in truth,
These are but milestones to sublime heights
After the highways, swept by strong emotions,
Where wild winds blow and blazing sun rays beat,
After the billows of tempestuous oceans,
Fair mountain summits wait the lover’s feet.

The path is narrow, but the view is wide,
And beauteous the outlook towards the west
Happy are they who walk there side by side,
Leaving below the valleys of unrest,
And on the radiant altitudes above
Know the serene intensity of love.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Loving couple embracing at sunset

Love Me Little, Love Me Long.

You say, to me-wards your affection’s strong;
Pray love me little, so you love me long.
Slowly goes far: the mean is best: desire,
Grown violent, does either die or tire.

Robert Herrick

The Lamp

If I can bear your love like a lamp before me,
When I go down the long steep Road of Darkness,
I shall not fear the everlasting shadows,
Nor cry in terror.

If I can find out God, then I shall find Him,
If none can find Him, then I shall sleep soundly,
Knowing how well on earth your love sufficed me,
A lamp in darkness.

Sara Teasdale

A Love Song

Ah, love, my love is like a cry in the night,
A long, loud cry to the empty sky,
The cry of a man alone in the desert,
With hands uplifted, with parching lips,

Oh, rescue me, rescue me,
hy form to mine arms,
The dew of thy lips to my mouth,
Dost thou hear me?–my call thro’ the night?

Darling, I hear thee and answer,
Thy fountain am I,
All of the love of my soul will I bring to thee,
All of the pains of my being shall wring to thee,
Deep and forever the song of my loving shall sing to thee,
Ever and ever thro’ day and thro’ night shall I cling to thee.
Hearest thou the answer?
Darling, I come, I come.

Paul Laurence Dunbar
Hand giving heart to another

Love That Lives

Dear face-bright, glinting hair;
Dear life, whose heart is mine-
The thought of you is prayer,
The love of you divine.

In starlight, or in rain;
In the sunset’s shrouded glow;
Ever, with joy or pain,
To you my quick thoughts go

Like winds or clouds, that fleet
Across the hungry space
Between, and find you, sweet,
Where life again wins grace.

Now, as in that once young
Year that so softly drew
My heart to where it clung,
I long for, gladden in you.

And when in the silent hours
I whisper your sacred name,
Like an altar-fire it showers
My blood with fragrant flame!

Perished is all that grieves;
And lo, our old-new joys
Are gathered as in sheaves,
Held in love’s equipoise.

Ours is the love that lives;
Its springtime blossoms blow
‘Mid the fruit that autumn gives,
And its life outlasts the snow.

George Parsons Lathrop

A Love Song

My love it should be silent, being deep–
And being very peaceful should be still–
Still as the utmost depths of ocean keep–
Serenely silent as some mighty hill.

Yet is my love so great it needs must fill
With very joy the inmost heart of me,
The joy of dancing branches on the hill,
The joy of leaping waves upon the sea.

Theodosia Garrison

If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking

If I can stop one Heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching,
Or cool one Pain,

Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Emily Dickinson
Sweet couple lover on the river bridge with city and mountain in background.

I Wish I Could Remember

I wish I could remember that 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 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!

Christina Rossetti

Good-Night

Good-night? ah! no; the hour is ill
Which severs those it should unite;
Let us remain together still,
Then it will be good night.

How can I call the lone night good,
Though thy sweet wishes wing its flight?
Be it not said, thought, understood–
Then it will be–good night.

To hearts which near each other move
From evening close to morning light,
The night is good; because, my love,
They never say good-night.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Be My Valentine

I, Lover

I shall never have any fear of love,
Not of its depth nor its uttermost height,
Its exquisite pain and its terrible delight.
I shall never have any fear of love.

I shall never hesitate to go down
Into the fastness of its abyss
Nor shrink from the cruelty of its awful kiss.
I shall never have any fear of love.

Never shall I dread love’s strength
Nor any pain it might give.
Through all the years I may live
I shall never have any fear of love.

I shall never draw back from love
Through fear of its vast pain
But build joy of it and count it again.
I shall never have any fear of love.

I shall never tremble nor flinch
From love’s moulding touch:
I have loved too terribly and too much
Ever to have any fear of love.

Elsa Gidlow

Silence

Silence with you is like the faint delicious
Smile of a child asleep, in dreams unguessed:
Only the hinted wonder of its dreaming,
The soft, slow-breathing miracle of rest.
Silence with you is like a kind departure
From iron clangor and the engulfing crowd
Into a wide and greenly barren meadow,
Under the bloom of some blue-bosomed cloud;
Or like one held upon the sands at evening,
When the drawn tide rolls out, and the mixed light
Of sea and sky enshrouds the far, wind-bellowed
Sails that move darkly on the edge of night.

Babette Deutsch

For Who?

When the heavens with stars are gleaming
Like a diadem of light,
And the moon’s pale rays are streaming,
Decking earth with radiance bright;
When the autumn’s winds are sighing,
O’er the hill and o’er the lea,
When the summer time is dying,
Wanderer, wilt thou think of me?

When thy life is crowned with gladness,
And thy home with love is blest,
Not one brow o’ercast with sadness,
Not one bosom of unrest—
When at eventide reclining,
At thy hearthstone gay and free,
Think of one whose life is pining,
Breathe thou, love, a prayer for me.

Should dark sorrows make thee languish,
Cause thy cheek to lose its hue,
In the hour of deepest anguish,
Darling, then I’ll grieve with you.
Though the night be dark and dreary,
And it seemeth long to thee,
I would whisper, “be not weary;”
I would pray love, then, for thee.

Well I know that in the future,
I may cherish naught of earth;
Well I know that love needs nurture,
And it is of heavenly birth.
But though ocean waves may sever
I from thee, and thee from me,
Still this constant heart will never,
Never cease to think of thee.

Mary Weston Fordham
Romantic couple wrapped in blanket outside

Together

O, come, Love, let us take a walk,
Down the Way-of-Life together;
Storms may come, but what care we,
If be fair or foul the weather.

When the sky overhead is blue,
Balmy, scented winds will after
Us, adown the valley blow
Haunting echoes of our laughter.

When Life’s storms upon us beat
Crushing us with fury, after
All is done, there’ll ringing come
Mocking echoes of our laughter.

So we’ll walk the Way-of-Life,
You and I, Love, both together,
Storm or sunshine, happy we
If be foul or fair the weather.

Carrie Williams Clifford

Sonnet 134

So, now I have confess’d that he is thine,
And I myself am mortgaged to thy will,
Myself I’ll forfeit, so that other mine
Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still:
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free,
For thou art covetous and he is kind;
He learn’d but surety-like to write for me
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind.
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take,
Thou usurer, that put’st forth all to use,
And sue a friend came debtor for my sake;
So him I lose through my unkind abuse.
Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me:
He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.

William Shakespeare

The Modern Woman to Her Lover

I shall not lie to you any more,
Flatter or fawn to attain my end—
I am what never has been before,
Woman—and Friend.

I shall be strong as a man is strong,
I shall be fair as a man is fair,
Hand in locked hand we shall pass along
To a purer air:

I shall not drag at your bridle-rein,
Knee pressed to knee shall we ride the hill;
I shall not lie to you ever again—
Will you love me still?

Margaret Widdemer
Young woman in the city looking for love., finding soul mate concept

When My Soul Findeth Wings

Like roses the bright dream did pass,
On swift, noiseless footsteps away;
Like glistening dew on the grass,
Dissolving beneath the sun’s ray.

Like voice of the lark that doth soar,
Through the golden haze of the dawn;
You hear it and bend to adore,
Just hear it and then it is gone.

The lark on his swift, flashing wings,
Keeps pace with the flowers in their flight;
And that’s why when soaring he sings,
And passes so swiftly from sight.

I slept, and a vision did see,
Of eyes that were tender and blue;
I awoke to know that for me
The vision may never come true.

The lark soars no more in the skies,
He’s gone with the roses and dew;
The face with the soft tender eyes,
Comes never to gladden my view.

My memory holds images fair,
Of all these beautiful things;
Which I will be seeking somewhere,
When my soul, as lark, findeth wings.

Libbie C. Baer

He is More Than a Hero

He is more than a hero
he is a god in my eyes—
the man who is allowed
to sit beside you — he

who listens intimately
to the sweet murmur of
your voice, the enticing

laughter that makes my own
heart beat fast. If I meet
you suddenly, I can’t

speak — my tongue is broken;
a thin flame runs under
my skin; seeing nothing,

hearing only my own ears
drumming, I drip with sweat;
trembling shakes my body

and I turn paler than
dry grass. At such times
death isn’t far from me.

Sappho

The Mystery

Your eyes drink of me,
Love makes them shine,
Your eyes that lean
So close to mine.

We have long been lovers,
We know the range
Of each other’s moods
And how they change;

But when we look
At each other so
Then we feel
How little we know;

The spirit eludes us,
Timid and free,
Can I ever know you
Or you know me?

Sara Teasdale

Deep Meaningful Love Poems For Him

Young couple in love walking in the autumn park holding hands.

Love’s Prayer

If Heaven would hear my prayer,
My dearest wish would be,
Thy sorrows not to share,
But take them all on me;
If Heaven would hear my prayer.

I’d beg with prayers and sighs
That never a tear might flow
From out thy lovely eyes,
If Heaven might grant it so;
Mine be the tears and sighs.

No cloud thy brow should cover,
But smiles each other chase
From lips to eyes all over
Thy sweet and sunny face;
The clouds my heart should cover.

That all thy path be light
Let darkness fall on me;
If all thy days be bright,
Mine black as night could be.
My love would light my night.

For thou art more than life,
And if our fate should set
Life and my love at strife,
How could I then forget
I love thee more than life?

John Milton Hay

Sonnet III

Why should you be astonished that my heart,
Plunged for so long in darkness and in dearth,
Should be revived by you, and stir and start
As by warm April now, reviving Earth?
I am the field of undulating grass
And you the gentle perfumed breath of Spring,
And all my lyric being, when you pass,
Is bowed and filled with sudden murmuring.
I asked you nothing and expected less,
But, with that deep, impassioned tenderness
Of one approaching what he most adores,
I only wished to lose a little space
All thought of my own life, and in its place
To live and dream and have my joy in yours.

Alan Seeger

Song Of Love

If there be a velvet sward
By dewdrops pearly drest,
Where through all seasons fairies guard
Flowers by bees carest,
Where one may gather, day and night,
Roses, honeysuckle, lily white,
I fain would make of it a site
For thy foot to rest.

If there be a loving heart
Where Honor rules the breast,
Loyal and true in every part,
That changes ne’er molest,
Eager to run its noble race,
Intent to do some work of grace,
I fain would make of it a place
For thy brow to rest.

And if there be of love a dream
Rose-scented as the west,
Which shows, each time it comes, a gleam, –
A something sweet and blest, –
A dream of which heaven is the pole,
A dream that mingles soul and soul,
I fain of it would make the goal
Where thy mind should rest.

Victor-Marie Hugo
Stylish couple expressing romantic feelings during open air rest

Love in the Open Air

I’ll love you in the open air
But stuffy rooms and blazing fires
And mirrors with familiar stare
Cloak and befoul my high desires.

The dearest day that I have known
Was in the fields, when driving rain
Was like a veil around us thrown,
A grey close veil without a stain.

The young oak-tree was stripped and bare
But naked twigs a shelter made,
Where curious cows came round to stare
And stood astonished and dismayed.

Let it be rain or summer sun,
Smell of wet earth or scent of flowers,
Love, once more give me, give me one
Of these enchanted lover’s hours.

Edward Shanks

Love’s Seasons

When the bees are humming in the honeysuckle vine
And the summer days are in their bloom,
Then my love is deepest, oh, dearest heart of mine,
When the bees are humming in the honeysuckle vine.

When the winds are moaning o’er the meadows chill and gray,
And the land is dime with winter gloom,
Then for thee, my darling, love will have its way,
When the winds are moaning o’er the meadows chill and gray.

In the vernal dawning with the starting of the leaf,
In the merry-chanting time of spring,
Love steals all my senses, oh, the happy-hearted thief!
In the vernal morning with the starting of the leaf.

Always, ever always, even in the autumn drear,
When the days are sighing out their grief,
Thou art still my darling, dearest of the dear,
Always, ever always, even in the autumn drear.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love’s Lesson

One lesson let us bear in mind –
Be very gentle with our own,
Be to their faults a little blind,
Nor wound them by a look or tone.

Put self behind! turn tender eyes;
Keep back the words that hurt and sting;
We learn, when sorrow makes us wise,
Forbearance is the grandest thing.

Be patient lest some day we turn
Our eyes on loved one fast asleep,
And whisper, as we lean and yearn,
“How often I have made you weep!

“Some loved you not and words let fall
That must have pierced your gentle breast,
But I, who loved you best of all,
Hurt you far more than all the rest.”

One lesson let us keep in mind –
To hold our dear ones close and fast,
Since loyal hearts are hard to find,
And life and love so soon are past.

Jean Blewett
Happy beautiful couple sitting on side of yacht

Love While You May

Day by day, with startling fleetness,
Life speeds away;
Love, alone, can glean its sweetness,
Love while you may.
While the soul is strong and fearless,
While the eye is bright and tearless,
Ere the heart is chilled and cheerless –
Love while you may.

Life may pass, but love, undying,
Dreads no decay;
Even from the grave replying,
“Love while you may.”
Love’s the fruit, as life’s the flower;
Love is heaven’s rarest dower;
Love gives love its quick’ning power –
Love while you may.

Charles Sangster

Let Us Go Back

Let us go back together to the hills.
Weary am I of palaces and courts,
Weary of words disloyal to my thoughts,,
Come, my beloved, let us to the hills.

Let us go back together to the land,
And wander hand in hand upon the heights;
Kings have we seen, and manifold delights,,
Oh, my beloved, let us to the land!

Lone and unshackled, let us to the road
Which holds enchantment round each hidden bend,
Our course uncompassed and our whim its end,
Our feet once more, beloved, to the road!

Victoria Mary Sackville-West

Love’s Lantern

Because the road was steep and long
And through a dark and lonely land,
God set upon my lips a song
And put a lantern in my hand.

Through miles on weary miles of night
That stretch relentless in my way
My lantern burns serene and white,
An unexhausted cup of day.

O golden lights and lights like wine,
How dim your boasted splendors are.
Behold this little lamp of mine;
It is more starlike than a star!

Alfred Joyce Kilmer (Joyce)
Romantic couple sitting on the wooden pier on the lake.

Philomela’s Ode

Sitting by a river’s side
Where a silent stream did glide,
Muse I did of many things
That the mind in quiet brings.
I ’gan think how some men deem
Gold their god; and some esteem
Honor is the chief content
That to man in life is lent;
And some others do contend
Quiet none like to a friend.
Others hold there is no wealth
Compared to a perfect health;
Some man’s mind in quiet stands
When he ’s lord of many lands.
But I did sigh, and said all this
Was but a shade of perfect bliss:
And in my thoughts I did approve
Naught so sweet as is true love.
Love ’twixt lovers passeth these,
When mouth kisseth and heart ’grees—
With folded arms and lips meeting,
Each soul another sweetly greeting;
For by the breath the soul fleeteth,
And soul with soul in kissing meeteth.
If love be so sweet a thing,
That such happy bliss doth bring,
Happy is love’s sugared thrall;
But unhappy maidens all
Who esteem your virgin blisses
Sweeter than a wife’s sweet kisses.
No such quiet to the mind
As true love with kisses kind;
But if a kiss prove unchaste,
Then is true love quite disgraced.
Though love be sweet, learn this of me,
No sweet love but honesty.

Robert Greene
(That She Sung in Her Arbor)

Cupid Swallowed

T’ other day, as I was twining
Roses for a crown to dine in,
What, of all things, midst the heap,
Should I light on, fast asleep,
But the little desperate elf,
The tiny traitor,—Love himself!
By the wings I pinched him up
Like a bee, and in a cup
Of my wine I plunged and sank him;
And what d’ ye think I did?—I drank him!
Faith, I thought him dead. Not he!
There he lives with tenfold glee;
And now this moment, with his wings
I feel him tickling my heart-strings.

Leigh Hunt
(Paraphrase from the Greek)
Hot coffee cup of love on table blurred flower background

Perfume

What gift for passionate lovers shall we find?
Not flowers nor books of verse suffice for me,
Nor splinters of the odorous cedar-tree,
And tufts of pine-buds, oozy in the wind;
Give me young shoots of aromatic rind,
Or samphire, redolent of sand and sea,
For all such fragrances I deem to be
Fit with my sharp desire to be combined.
My heart is like a poet, whose one room,
Scented with Latakia faint and fine,
Dried rose-leaves, and spilt attar, and old wine,
From curtained windows gathers its warm gloom
Round all but one sweet picture where incline
His thoughts and fancies mingled with perfume.

Sir Edmund William Gosse

Life

O life! that mystery that no man knows,
And all men ask: the Arab from his sands,
The Cæsar’s self, lifting imperial hands,
And the lone dweller where the lotus blows;
O’er trackless tropics, and o’er silent snows,
She dumbly broods, that Sphinx of all the lands;
And if she answers, no man understands,
And no cry breaks the blank of her repose.
But a new form rose once upon my pain,
With grave, sad lips, but in the eyes a smile
Of deepest meaning dawning sweet and slow,
Lighting to service, and no more in vain
I ask of Life, “What art thou?”—as erewhile—
For since Love holds my hand I seem to know!

Lizzie M. Little

Love Not Me For Comely Grace

Love not me for comely grace,
For my pleasing eye or face,
Nor for any outward part,
No, nor for my constant heart;
For those may fail or turn to ill,
So thou and I shall sever;
Keep therefore a true woman’s eye,
And love me still, but know not why.
So hast thou the same reason still
To dote upon me ever.

Anonymous

Why?

Why came the rose? Because the sun, in shining,
Found in the mold some atoms rare and fine:
And, stooping, drew and warmed them into growing,—
Dust, with the spirit’s mystic countersign.

What made the perfume? All his wondrous kisses
Fell on the sweet red mouth, till, lost to sight,
The love became too exquisite, and vanished
Into a viewless rapture of the night.

Why did the rose die? Ah, why ask the question?
There is a time to love, a time to give;
She perished gladly, folding close the secret
Wherein is garnered what it is to live.

Mary Louise Ritter
Sometimes it is necessary to hide love for longer.

A Man’s Requirements

I
Love me Sweet, with all thou art,
Feeling, thinking, seeing;
Love me in the lightest part,
Love me in full being.

II
Love me with thine open youth
In its frank surrender;
With the vowing of thy mouth,
With its silence tender.

III
Love me with thine azure eyes,
Made for earnest granting;
Taking colour from the skies,
Can Heaven’s truth be wanting?

IV
Love me with their lids, that fall
Snow-like at first meeting;
Love me with thine heart, that all
Neighbours then see beating.

V
Love me with thine hand stretched out
Freely—open-minded:
Love me with thy loitering foot,—
Hearing one behind it.

VI
Love me with thy voice, that turns
Sudden faint above me;
Love me with thy blush that burns
When I murmur Love me!

VII
Love me with thy thinking soul,
Break it to love-sighing;
Love me with thy thoughts that roll
On through living—dying.

VIII
Love me when in thy gorgeous airs,
When the world has crowned thee;
Love me, kneeling at thy prayers,
With the angels round thee.

IX
Love me pure, as musers do,
Up the woodlands shady:
Love me gaily, fast and true
As a winsome lady.

X
Through all hopes that keep us brave,
Farther off or nigher,
Love me for the house and grave,
And for something higher.

XI
Thus, if thou wilt prove me, Dear,
Woman’s love no fable.
I will love thee—half a year—
As a man is able.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

When Will Love Come?

Some find Love late, some find him soon,
Some with the rose in May,
Some with the nightingale in June,
And some when skies are gray;
Love comes to some with smiling eyes,
And comes with tears to some;
For some Love sings, for some Love sighs,
For some Love’s lips are dumb.
How will you come to me, fair Love?
Will you come late or soon?
With sad or smiling skies above,
By light of sun or moon?
Will you be sad, will you be sweet,
Sing, sigh, Love, or be dumb?
Will it be summer when we meet,
Or autumn ere you come?

Pakenham Beatty

I Carry Your Heart With Me (I Carry It In)

I carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
I go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

I fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

E. E. Cummings

If Thou Must Love Me

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 certes brought
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’st love on, through love’s eternity.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Love Is Enough

Love is enough. Let us not ask for gold.
Wealth breeds false aims, and pride and selfishness;
In those serene, Arcadian days of old
Men gave no thought to princely homes and dress.
The gods who dwelt on fair Olympia’s height
Lived only for dear love and love’s delight.
Love is enough.

Love is enough. Why should we care for fame?
Ambition is a most unpleasant guest:
It lures us with the glory of a name
Far from the happy haunts of peace and rest.
Let us stay here in this secluded place
Made beautiful by love’s endearing grace!
Love is enough.

Love is enough. Why should we strive for power?
It brings men only envy and distrust.
The poor world’s homage pleases but an hour,
And earthly honours vanish in the dust.
The grandest lives are ofttimes desolate;
Let me be loved, and let who will be great.
Love is enough.

Love is enough. Why should we ask for more?
What greater gift have gods vouchsafed to men?
What better boon of all their precious store
Than our fond hearts that love and love again?
Old love may die; new love is just as sweet;
And life is fair and all the world complete:
Love is enough!

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Passionate Love Poems For Your Boyfriend

Young couple deeply in love on the beach sunset.

Oh You Are Coming

Oh you are coming, coming, coming,
How will hungry Time put by the hours till then?,
But why does it anger my heart to long so
For one man out of the world of men?

Oh I would live in myself only
And build my life lightly and still as a dream,
Are not my thoughts clearer than your thoughts
And colored like stones in a running stream?

Now the slow moon brightens in heaven,
The stars are ready, the night is here,
Oh why must I lose myself to love you,
My dear?

Sara Teasdale

Wild Nights – Wild Nights!

Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah – the Sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
In thee!

Emily Dickinson
Pure seduction

I Love You

I love your lips when they’re wet with wine
And red with a wild desire;
I love your eyes when the lovelight lies
Lit with a passionate fire.
I love your arms when the warm white flesh
Touches mine in a fond embrace;
I love your hair when the strands enmesh
Your kisses against my face.

Not for me the cold, calm kiss
Of a virgin’s bloodless love;
Not for me the saint’s white bliss,
Nor the heart of a spotless dove.
But give me the love that so freely gives
And laughs at the whole world’s blame,
With your body so young and warm in my arms,
It sets my poor heart aflame.

So kiss me sweet with your warm wet mouth,
Still fragrant with ruby wine,
And say with a fervor born of the South
That your body and soul are mine.
Clasp me close in your warm young arms,
While the pale stars shine above,
And we’ll live our whole young lives away
In the joys of a living love.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A Glimpse

A glimpse through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner,
Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand,
A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.

Walt Whitman

Tonight

The moon is a curving flower of gold,
The sky is still and blue;
The moon was made for the sky to hold,
And I for you;

The moon is a flower without a stem,
The sky is luminous;
Eternity was made for them,
To-night for us.

Sara Teasdale
incredibly beautiful couple in love on the background of the mou

Ah, How Sweet

Ah, how sweet it is to love!
Ah, how gay is young desire!
And what pleasing pains we prove
When we first approach love’s fire!
Pains of love be sweeter far
Than all other pleasures are.

Sighs which are from lovers blown
Do but gently heave the heart:
E’en the tears they shed alone
Cure, like trickling balm, their smart.
Lovers, when they lose their breath,
Bleed away in easy death.

Love and Time with reverence use,
Treat them like a parting friend;
Nor the golden gifts refuse
Which in youth sincere they send:
For each year their price is more,
And they less simple than before.

Love, like spring-tides full and high,
Swells in every youthful vein;
But each tide does less supply,
Till they quite shrink in again.
If a flow in age appear,
’T is but rain, and runs not clear.

John Dryden

The First Kiss

How delicious is the winning
Of a kiss at love’s beginning,
When two mutual hearts are sighing
For the knot there ’s no untying!

Yet remember, midst your wooing,
Love has bliss, but love has ruing;
Other smiles may make you fickle,
Tears for other charms may trickle.

Love he comes, Love he tarries,
Just as fate or fancy carries,—
Longest stays when sorest chidden,
Laughs and flies when pressed and bidden.

Bind the sea to slumber stilly,
Bind its odor to the lily,
Bind the aspen ne’er to quiver,—
Then bind Love to last forever!

Love ’s a fire that needs renewal
Of fresh beauty for its fuel;
Love’s wing moults when caged and captured,—
Only free he soars enraptured.

Can you keep the bee from ranging,
Or the ring-dove’s neck from changing?
No! nor fettered Love from dying
In the knot there ’s no untying.

Thomas Campbell

Upon The Sand

All love that has not friendship for its base,
Is like a mansion built upon the sand.
Though brave its walls as any in the land,
And its tall turrets lift their heads in grace;
Though skillful and accomplished artists trace
Most beautiful designs on every hand,
And gleaming statues in dim niches stand,
And mountains play in some flow’r-hidden place:

Yet, when from the frowning east a sudden gust
Of adverse fate is blown, or sad rains fall
Day in, day out, against its yielding wall,
Lo! the fair structure crumbles to the dust.
Love, to endure life’s sorrow and earth’s woe,
Needs friendship’s solid masonwork below.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Lover’s Song

My soul unto thy heart is given,
In mystic fold do they entwine,
So bound in one that, were they riven,
Apart my soul would life resign.
Thou art my song and I the lyre;
Thou art the breeze and I the brier;
The altar I, and thou the fire;
Mine the deep love, the beauty thine!
As fleets away the rapid hour
While weeping – may
My sorrowing lay
Touch thee, sweet flower.

Victor-Marie Hugo
Young woman on beach under sunset light, eyes closed in deep thought.

I Thought Of You

I thought of you and how you love this beauty,
And walking up the long beach all alone
I heard the waves breaking in measured thunder
As you and I once heard their monotone.

Around me were the echoing dunes, beyond me
The cold and sparkling silver of the sea,
We two will pass through death and ages lengthen
Before you hear that sound again with me.

Sara Teasdale

Love’s Phases

Love hath the wings of the butterfly,
Oh, clasp him but gently,
Pausing and dipping and fluttering by
Inconsequently.
Stir not his poise with the breath of a sigh;
Love hath the wings of the butterfly.

Love hath the wings of the eagle bold,
Cling to him strongly–
What if the look of the world be cold,
And life go wrongly?
Rest on his pinions, for broad is their fold;
Love hath the wings of the eagle bold.

Love hath the voice of the nightingale,
Hearken his trilling–
List to his song when the moonlight is pale,–
Passionate, trilling.
Cherish the lay, ere the lilt of it fail;
Love hath the voice of the nightingale.

Love hath the voice of the storm at night,
Wildly defiant.
Hear him and yield up your soul to his might,
Tenderly pliant.
None shall regret him who heed him aright;
Love hath the voice of the storm at night.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love’s Way

Love gives us copious potions of delight,
Of pain and ecstasy, and peace and care;
Love leads us upward, to the mountain height,
And, like an angel, stands beside us there;
Then thrusts us, demon-like, in some abyss:
Where, in the darkness of despair, we grope,
Till, suddenly, Love greets us with a kiss
And guides us back to flowery fields of hope.

Love makes all wisdom seem but poorest folly,
And yet the simplest mind with Love grows wise,
The gayest heart he teaches melancholy,
Yet glorifies the erstwhile brooding eyes.
Love lives on change, and yet at change Love mocks,
For Love’s whole life is one great paradox.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Couple meet halfway on mountain bridge

Longing

Look westward o’er the steaming rain-washed slopes,
Now satisfied with sunshine, and behold
Those lustrous clouds, as glorious as our hopes,
Softened with feathery fleece of downy gold,
In all fantastic, huddled shapes uprolled,
Floating like dreams, and melting silently,
In the blue upper regions of pure sky.

The eye is filled with beauty, and the heart
Rejoiced with sense of life and peace renewed;
And yet at such an hour as this, upstart
Vague myriad longing, restless, unsubdued,
And causeless tears from melancholy mood,
Strange discontent with earth’s and nature’s best,
Desires and yearnings that may find no rest.

Emma Lazarus

Sonnet

Cover me with your everlasting arms,
Ye guardian giants of this solitude!
From the ill-sight of men, and from the rude,
Tumultuous din of yon wide world’s alarms!
Oh, knit your mighty limbs around, above,
And close me in for ever! let me dwell
With the wood spirits, in the darkest cell
That ever with your verdant locks ye wove.
The air is full of countless voices, joined
In one eternal hymn; the whispering wind,
The shuddering leaves, the hidden water-springs,
The work-song of the bees, whose honeyed wings
Hang in the golden tresses of the lime,
Or buried lie in purple beds of thyme.

Frances Anne Kemble (Fanny)

A Spanish Love Song

From Andalusian gardens
I bring the rose and rue,
And leaves of subtle odour,
To weave a gift for you.
You’ll know the reason wherefore
The sad is with the sweet;
My flowers may lie, as I would,
A carpet for your feet!

The heart the heart is constant;
It holds its secret, Dear!
But often in the night time
I keep awake for fear.
I have no hope to whisper,
I have no prayer to send,
God save you from such passion!
God help you from such end!

You first, you last, you false love!
In dreams your lips I kiss,
And thus I greet your Shadow,
“Take this, and this, and this!”
When dews are on the casement,
And winds are in the pine,
I have you close beside me
In sleep your mouth is mine.

I never see you elsewhere;
You never think of me;
But fired with fever for you
Content I am to be.
You will not turn, my Darling,
Nor answer when I call;
But yours are soul are body
And love of mine and all!

You splendid Spaniard! Listen
My passion leaps to flame
For neck and cheek and dimple,
And cunning shades of shame!
I tell you, I would gladly
Give Hell myself to keep,
To cling to, half a moment,
The lips I taste in sleep.

Henry Kendall
Giving the gift of love on Christmas

Spirit Love

How great my joy! How grand my recompense!
I bow to thee; I keep thee in my sight.
I call thee mine, in love though not in sense
I share with thee the hermitage immense
Of holy dreams which come to us at night,
When, through the medium of the spirit-lens
We see the soul, in its primeval light,
And Reason spares the hopes it cannot blight.
It is the soul of thee, and not the form,
And not the face, I yearn-to in my sleep.
It is thyself. The body is the storm,
The soul the star beyond it in the deep
Of Nature’s calm. And yonder on the steep
The Sun of Faith, quiescent, round, and warm!

Eric Mackay

Sonnet L

In every breast Affection fires, there dwells
A secret consciousness to what degree
They are themselves belov’d. – We hourly see
Th’ involuntary proof, that either quells,
Or ought to quell false hopes, – or sets us free
From pain’d distrust; – but, O, the misery!
Weak Self-Delusion timidly repels
The lights obtrusive – shrinks from all that tells
Unwelcome truths, and vainly seeks repose
For startled Fondness, in the opiate balm,
Of kind profession, tho’, perchance, it flows
To hush Complaint – O! in Belief’s clear calm,
Or ‘mid the lurid clouds of Doubt, we find
Love rise the Sun, or Comet of the Mind.

Anna Seward

The Sunshine Of Thine Eyes

The sunshine of thine eyes,
(O still, celestial beam!)
Whatever it touches it fills
With the life of its lambent gleam.

The sunshine of thine eyes,
O let it fall on me!
Though I be but a mote of the air,
I could turn to gold for thee!

George Parsons Lathrop

Sweet Eyes Of Blue

Sweet eyes of blue! The stars by night,
That swoon the world with laughing light,
And touch the hills with tender glow
While all the vales are kissed below,
Beside you would no more be bright.

My worlds ye are, and while I throw
My heart to catch the beams that flow
From your fair shrine, my woes take flight,
Sweet eyes of blue!

Glad orbs of beauty! In your sight
My soul mounts up with secret might,
Till Eden’s lovely bowers I know;
And as through Heaven’s gates I go,
The pleasures all my sorrow smite,
Sweet eyes of blue!

Freeman Edwin Miller

The Bargain

My true love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides:
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

Sir Philip Sidney

Love Poems For Him From the Heart

Handsome bearded man and brunette woman, strong athletic lovers embrace at the park.

At the Mid Hour of Night

At the mid hour of night, when stars are weeping, I fly
To the lone vale we loved, when life shone warm in thine eye;
And I think oft, if spirits can steal from the regions of air
To revisit past scenes of delight, thou wilt come to me there,
And tell me our love is remember’d even in the sky.

Then I sing the wild song it once was rapture to hear,
When our voices commingling breathed like one on the ear;
And as Echo far off through the vale my sad orison rolls,
I think, O my love! ’tis thy voice from the Kingdom of Souls
Faintly answering still the notes that once were so dear.

Thomas Moore

Song

Love in fantastic triumph sate
Whilst bleeding hearts around him flow’d,
For whom fresh pains he did create
And strange tyrannic power he show’d:
From thy bright eyes he took his fires,
Which round about in sport he hurl’d;
But ’twas from mine he took desires
Enough t’ undo the amorous world.

From me he took his sighs and tears,
From thee his pride and cruelty;
From me his languishments and fears,
And every killing dart from thee.
Thus thou and I the god have arm’d
And set him up a deity;
But my poor heart alone is harm’d,
Whilst thine the victor is, and free!

Aphra Behn

Phillis 2

Love guards the roses of thy lips
And flies about them like a bee;
If I approach he forward skips,
And if I kiss he stingeth me.

Love in thine eyes doth build his bower,
And sleeps within their pretty shine;
And if I look the boy will lower,
And from their orbs shoot shafts divine.

Love works thy heart within his fire,
And in my tears doth firm the same;
And if I tempt it will retire,
And of my plaints doth make a game.

Love, let me cull her choicest flowers;
And pity me, and calm her eye;
Make soft her heart, dissolve her lowers
Then will I praise thy deity.

But if thou do not, Love, I’ll truly serve her
In spite of thee, and by firm faith deserve her.

Thomas Lodge

A Birthday

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a daïs of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Rosalind’s Madrigal

Love in my bosom like a bee
Doth suck his sweet:
Now with his wings he plays with me,
Now with his feet.
Within mine eyes he makes his nest,
His bed amidst my tender breast;
My kisses are his daily feast,
And yet he robs me of my rest:
Ah! wanton, will ye?

And if I sleep, the percheth he
With pretty flight,
And makes his pillow of my knee
The livelong night.
Strike I my lute, he tunes the string;
He music plays if so I sing;
He lends me every lovely thing,
Yet cruel he my heart doth sting:
Whist, wanton, still ye!

Else I with roses every day
Will whip you hence,
And bind you, when you long to play,
For your offence.
I’ll shut mine eyes to keep you in;
I’ll make you fast it for your sin;
I’ll count your power not worth a pin.
—Alas! what hereby shall I win
If he gainsay me?

What if I beat the wanton boy
With many a rod?
He will repay me with annoy,
Because a god.
Then sit thou safely on my knee;
Then let thy bower my bosom be;
Lurk in mine eyes, I like of thee;
O Cupid, so thou pity me,
Spare not, but play thee!

Thomas Lodge

Icarus

Love wing’d my Hopes and taught me how to fly
Far from base earth, but not to mount too high:
For true pleasure
Lives in measure,
Which if men forsake,
Blinded they into folly run and grief for pleasure take.

But my vain Hopes, proud of their new-taught flight,
Enamour’d sought to woo the sun’s fair light,
Whose rich brightness
Moved their lightness
To aspire so high
That all scorch’d and consumed with fire now drown’d in woe they lie.

And none but Love their woeful hap did rue,
For Love did know that their desires were true;
Though fate frownèd,
And now drownèd
They in sorrow dwell,
It was the purest light of heav’n for whose fair love they fell.

Anonymous
Beautiful girl in summer dress walks in a flower field.

Love is Enough

Love is enough: though the World be a-waning,
And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining,
Though the sky be too dark for dim eyes to discover
The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder,
Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder,
And this day draw a veil over all deeds pass’d over,
Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter;
The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter
These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.

William Morris

Sonnets from the Portuguese IV

If thou must love me, let it be for naught
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 certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’—
For these things in themselves, Belovèd, 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 mayst love on, through love’s eternity.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Valentine's day tear off stub note

Her Reply

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd’s tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy Love.

But Time drives flocks from field to fold;
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becometh dumb;
The rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward Winter reckoning yields:
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy’s spring, but sorrow’s fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
Soon break, soon wither—soon forgotten,
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy-buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs,—
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy Love.

But could youth last, and love still breed,
Had joys no date, nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee and be thy Love.

Sir Walter Raleigh

Meeting at Night

The gray 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, thro’ its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

Robert Browning
Romantic Love

Love

Tell me where is Fancy bred,
Or in the heart or in the head?
How begot, how nourishèd?
Reply, reply.
It is engender’d in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and Fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies.
Let us all ring Fancy’s knell:
I’ll begin it,—Ding, dong, bell.
All. Ding, dong, bell.

William Shakespeare

The Ecstasy

Where, like a pillow on a bed,
A pregnant bank swell’d up, to rest
The violet’s reclining head,
Sat we two, one another’s best.

Our hands were firmly cèmented
By a fast balm which thence did spring;
Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
Our eyes upon one double string.

So to engraft our hands, as yet
Was all the means to make us one;
And pictures in our eyes to get
Was all our propagation.

As ‘twixt two equal armies Fate
Suspends uncertain victory,
Our souls—which to advance their state
Were gone out—hung ‘twixt her and me.

And whilst our souls negotiate there,
We like sepulchral statues lay;
All day the same our postures were,
And we said nothing, all the day.

John Donne

You’ll Love Me Yet

You’ll love me yet!—and I can tarry
Your love’s protracted growing:
June rear’d that bunch of flowers you carry,
From seeds of April’s sowing.

I plant a heartful now: some seed
At least is sure to strike,
And yield—what you’ll not pluck indeed,
Not love, but, may be, like.

You’ll look at least on love’s remains,
A grave ‘s one violet:
Your look?—that pays a thousand pains.
What ‘s death? You’ll love me yet!

Robert Browning