125 Best Love Poems For Her

Here are the 121 best love poems for her categorized:

  • Passionate love poems for her
  • Short love poems for her
  • Romantic poems for her
  • Long love poems for her
  • Poems to make her feel special
  • Love poems and sonnets by Shakespeare
  • Deep love poems for her by Edmund Spenser

So if you want all the best love poems for her in one place, then this poems list is what you’re looking for.

Let’s jump right in!

Table of Contents

121 Best Love Poems For Her.

My Favorite Love Poem For Her

There is a Garden in Her Face

There is a garden in her face,
Where roses and white lilies blow;
A heavenly paradise is that place,
Wherein all pleasant fruits do grow;
There cherries grow that none may buy,
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
They look like rosebuds filled with snow;
Yet them no peer nor prince may buy,
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

Her eyes like angels watch them still,
Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threatening with piercing frowns to kill
All that approach with eye or hand
These sacred cherries to come nigh,
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

Anonymous

Passionate Love Poems For Her

Back view of young girl running toward the sunset on a bridge, holding a man's hand.

My Lady

So gentle and so gracious doth appear
My lady when she giveth her salute,
That every tongue becometh, trembling, mute;
Nor do the eyes to look upon her dare.
Although she hears her praises, she doth go
Benignly vested with humility;
And like a thing come down she seems to be
From heaven to earth, a miracle to show.
So pleaseth she whoever cometh nigh,
She gives the heart a sweetness through the eyes,
Which none can understand who doth not prove.
And from her countenance there seems to move
A spirit sweet and in Love’s very guise,
Who to the soul, in going, sayeth: Sigh!

Dante Alighieri

My Sweetheart’s Face

My kingdom is my sweetheart’s face,
And these the boundaries I trace:
Northward her forehead fair;
Beyond a wilderness of auburn hair;
A rosy cheek to east and west;
Her little mouth
The sunny south.
It is the south that I love best.

Her eyes two crystal lakes,
Rippling with light,
Caught from the sun by day,
The stars by night.
The dimples in
Her cheeks and chin
Are snares which Love hath set,
And I have fallen in!

John Allan Wyeth

The Maiden I Love

How sweet are Spring wild flowers! They grow past the counting.
How sweet are the wood-paths that thread through the grove!
But sweeter than all the wild flowers of the mountain
Is the beauty that walks here–the maiden I love.
Her black hair in tangles
The rose briar mangles;
Her lips and soft cheeks,
Where love ever speaks:
O there’s nothing so sweet as the maiden I love.

It was down in the wild flowers, among brakes and brambles,
I met the sweet maiden so dear to my eye,
In one of my Sunday morn midsummer rambles,
Among the sweet wild blossoms blooming close by.
Her hair it was coal black,
Hung loose down her back;
In her hand she held posies
Of blooming primroses,
The maiden who passed on the morning of love.

Coal black was her silk hair that shaded white shoulders;
Ruby red were her ripe lips, her cheeks of soft hue;
Her sweet smiles, enchanting the eyes of beholders,
Thrilled my heart as she rambled the wild blossoms through.
Like the pearl, her bright eye;
In trembling delight I
Kissed her cheek, like a rose
In its gentlest repose.
O there’s nothing so sweet as the maiden I love!

John Clare

A Fond Kiss

A fond kiss, and then we sever;
A farewell, and then forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.
I’ll ne’er blame my partial fancy,
Nothing could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love forever.
Had we never lov’d say kindly,
Had we never lov’d say blindly,
Never met—or never parted—
We had ne’er been broken-heart ed.
Fare thee well, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee well, thou best and dearest!
Thine be like a joy and treasure,
Peace. enjoyment, love, and pleasure!
A fond kiss, and then we sever;
A farewell, alas, forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee!

Robert Burns

A Violet in Her Hair

A violet in her lovely hair,
A rose upon her bosom fair!
But O, her eyes
A lovelier violet disclose,
And her ripe lips the sweetest rose 5
That ’s ’neath the skies.

A lute beneath her graceful hand
Breathes music forth at her command;
But still her tongue
Far richer music calls to birth 10
Than all the minstrel power on earth
Can give to song.

And thus she moves in tender light,
The purest ray, where all is bright,
Serene, and sweet; 15
And sheds a graceful influence round,
That hallows e’en the very ground
Beneath her feet!

Charles Swain

Greek Love-Talk

What I have already learned as a lover,
I see you, beloved, learning angrily;
then for you it distantly departed,
now your destiny stands in all the stars.

Over your breasts we will together contend:
since as glowingly shining they’ve ripened,
so also your hands desire to touch them
and their own pleasure superintend.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Sonnet Upon a Stolen Kiss

Now gentle sleep hath closèd up those eyes
Which, waking, kept my boldest thoughts in awe;
And free access unto that sweet lip lies,
From whence I long the rosy breath to draw.
Methinks no wrong it were, if I should steal
From those two melting rubies one poor kiss;
None sees the theft that would the theft reveal,
Nor rob I her of aught what she can miss:
Nay, should I twenty kisses take away,
There would be little sign I would do so;
Why then should I this robbery delay?
O, she may awake, and therewith angry grow!
Well, if she do, I ’ll back restore that one,
And twenty hundred thousand more for loan.

George Wither

I Like My Body When It Is With Your

I like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
I like your body. I like what it does,
I like its hows. I like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, I like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh…

And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly I like the thrill of under me you so quite new

E. E. Cummings

Daybreak

The lark now leaves his watery nest,
And climbing shakes his dewy wings,
He takes your window for the east,
And to implore your light, he sings;
Awake, awake, the morn will never rise,
Till she can dress her beauty at your eyes.

The merchant bows unto the seaman’s star,
The ploughman from the sun his season takes;
But still the lover wonders what they are,
Who look for day before his mistress wakes:
Awake, awake, break through your veils of lawn!
Then draw your curtains and begin the dawn.

Sir William Davenant

Lovers’ Infiniteness

If yet I have not all the love,
Dear, I shall never have it all,
I cannot breathe one other sigh, to move,
Nor can entreat one other tear to fall.
All my treasure, which should purchase thee,
Sighs, tears, and oaths, and letters I have spent,
Yet no more can be due to me,
Than at the bargain made was meant.
If then thy gift of love were partial,
That some to me, some should to others fall,
Dear, I shall never have thee all.

Or if then thou gavest me all,
All was but all, which thou hadst then;
But if in thy heart, since, there be or shall
New love created be, by other men,
Which have their stocks entire, and can in tears,
In sighs, in oaths, and letters outbid me,
This new love may beget new fears,
For, this love was not vowed by thee.
And yet it was, thy gift being general,
The ground, thy heart is mine; whatever shall
Grow there, dear, I should have it all.

Yet I would not have all yet,
He that hath all can have no more,
And since my love doth every day admit
New growth, thou shouldst have new rewards in store;
Thou canst not every day give me thy heart,
If thou canst give it, then thou never gav’st it;
Love’s riddles are, that though thy heart depart,
It stays at home, and thou with losing sav’st it:
But we will have a way more liberal,
Than changing hearts, to join them, so we shall
Be one, and another’s all.

John Donne
Dramatic spring sunset on the the cape Milazzo panorama of nature reserve Piscina di Venere.

Let Us Live and Love

My sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love;
And though the sager sort our deeds reprove,
Let us not weigh them. Heaven’s great lamps do dive
Into their west, and straight again revive;
But, soon as once set is our little light,
Then must we sleep one ever-during night.

If all would lead their lives in love like me,
Then bloody swords and armor should not be;
No drum nor trumpet peaceful sleeps should move,
Unless alarm came from camp of love.
But fools do live and waster their little light,
And seek with pain their ever-during night.

When timely death my life and fortune ends,
Let not my hearse be vexed with mourning friends;
But let all lovers rich in triumph come,
And with sweet pastime grace my happy tomb.
And, Lesbia, close up thou my little light,
And crown with love by ever-during night.

Gaius Valerius Catullus

In a Boat

See the stars, love,
In the water much clearer and brighter
Than those above us, and whiter,
Like nenuphars.

Star-shadows shine, love,
How many stars in your bowl?
How many shadows in your soul,
Only mine, love, mine?

When I move the oars, love,
See how the stars are tossed,
Distorted, the brightest lost.
—So that bright one of yours, love.

The poor waters spill
The stars, waters broken, forsaken.
—The heavens are not shaken, you say, love,
Its stars stand still.

There, did you see
That spark fly up at us; even
Stars are not safe in heaven.
—What of yours, then, love, yours?

What then, love, if soon
Your light be tossed over a wave?
Will you count the darkness a grave,
And swoon, love, swoon?

D. H. Lawrence

Valentines From An Inconstant-Constant

Though I love many maidens fair
As fondly as a heart may dare,
Yet still are you the only one
True goddess of my pantheon.

And though my life is like a song,
Each maid a stanza, clear and strong,
Yet always I return again
To you who are the sweet refrain.

Arthur Macy

On Some Buttercups

A little way below her chin,
Caught in her bosom’s snowy hem,
Some buttercups are fastened in,—
Ah, how I envy them!
They do not miss their meadow place,
Nor are they conscious that their skies
Are not the heavens, but her face,
Her hair, and mild blue eyes.

There, in the downy meshes pinned,
Such sweet illusions haunt their rest;
They think her breath the fragrant wind,
And tremble on her breast;
As if, close to her heart, they heard
A captive secret slip its cell,
And with desire were sudden stirred
To find a voice and tell!

Frank Dempster Sherman

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

To Anthea Who May Command Him Any Thing

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.

Robert Herrick

“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

My Choice

Shall I tell you whom I love?
Hearken then awhile to me;
And if such a woman move
As I now shall versify,
Be assured ’t is she or none,
That I love, and love alone.

Nature did her so much right
As she scorns the help of art.
In as many virtues dight
As e’er yet embraced a heart.
So much good so truly tried,
Some for less were deified.

Wit she hath, without desire
To make known how much she hath;
And her anger flames no higher
Than may fitly sweeten wrath.
Full of pity as may be,
Though perhaps not so to me.

Reason masters every sense,
And her virtues grace her birth;
Lovely as all excellence,
Modest in her most of mirth.
Likelihood enough to prove
Only worth could kindle love.

Such she is; and if you know
Such a one as I have sung;
Be she brown, or fair, or so
That she be but somewhat young;
Be assured ’t is she, or none,
That I love, and love alone.

William Browne

Song

When from the sod the flowerets spring,
And smile to meet the sun’s bright ray,
When birds their sweetest carols sing,
In all the morning pride of May,
What lovelier than the prospect there?
Can earth boast anything more fair?
To me it seems an almost heaven,
So beauteous to my eyes that vision bright is given.

But when a lady chaste and fair,
Noble, and clad in rich attire,
Walks through the throng with gracious air,
As sun that bids the stars retire,—
Then where are all thy boastings, May?
What hast thou beautiful and gay,
Compared with that supreme delight?
We leave thy loveliest flowers, and watch that lady bright.

Wouldst thou believe me,—come and place
Before thee all this pride of May,
Then look but on my lady’s face,
And which is best and brightest say.
For me, how soon (if choice were mine)
This would I take, and that resign;
And say, “Though sweet thy beauties, May,
I ’d rather forfeit all than lose my lady gay!”

Walther von der Vogelweide
(Translatesd from German by Edgar Taylor)

Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes

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 didst only breathe
And sent’st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself but thee!

Ben Jonson

Short Love Poems For Her

Beautiful asian woman smiling, standing at a park in bright sunlight.

Break Of Day!

Stay, O sweet, and do not rise ;
The light that shines comes from thine eyes ;
The day breaks not, it is my heart,
Because that you and I must part.
Stay, or else my joys will die,
And perish in their infancy.

John Donne

Kisses

My love and I for kisses played:
She would keep stakes—I was content;
But when I won, she would be paid;
This made me ask her what she meant.
“Pray since I see,” quoth she, “your wrangling vein,
Take your own kisses; give me mine again.”

William Strode

The White Rose

If this fair rose offend thy sight,
Placed in thy bosom bare,
’T will blush to find itself less white,
And turn Lancastrian there.

But if thy ruby lip it spy,
As kiss it thou mayest deign,
With envy pale ’t will lose its dye,
And Yorkish turn again.

Anonymous

A Vision of Beauty

It was a beauty that I saw,—
So pure, so perfect, as the frame
Of all the universe were lame
To that one figure, could I draw,
Or give least line of it a law:
A skein of silk without a knot!
A fair march made without a halt!
A curious form without a fault!
A printed book without a blot!
All beauty!—and without a spot.

Ben Jonson

Take, O Take Those Lips Away

Take, O take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again,
bring again,
Seals of love, but seal’d in vain,
seal’d in vain.

William Shakespeare

Desire

Where true Love burns Desire is Love’s pure flame ;
It is the reflex of our earthly frame,
That takes its meaning from the nobler part,
And but translates the language of the heart.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Love

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is over-ruled by fate.
When two are stript long e’er the course begin,
We wish that one should lose, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows; let it suffice,
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?

Christopher Marlowe

Love’s Silence

Because I breathe not love to everie one,
Nor do not use set colors for to weare,
Nor nourish special locks of vowèd haire,
Nor give each speech a full point of a groane,—
The courtlie nymphs, acquainted with the moane
Of them who on their lips Love’s standard beare,
“What! he?” say they of me. “Now I dare sweare
He cannot love: No, no! let him alone.”
And think so still,—if Stella know my minde.
Profess, indeed, I do not Cupid’s art;
But you, faire maids, at length this true shall finde,—
That his right badge is but worne in the hearte.
Dumb swans, not chattering pies, do lovers prove:
They love indeed who quake to say they love.

Sir Philip Sidney

“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, 5
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

Of Love: A Sonnet

How love came in I do not know,
Whether by the eye, or ear, or no;
Or whether with the soul it came
(At first) infused with the same;
Whether in part ’tis here or there,
Or, like the soul, whole everywhere,
This troubles me: but I as well
As any other this can tell:
That when from hence she does depart
The outlet then is from the heart.

Robert Herrick

Love Song

When my soul touches yours a great chord sings!
How shall I tune it then to other things?
O! That some spot in darkness could be found
That does not vibrate when’er your depth sound.
But everything that touches you and me
Welds us as played strings sound one melody.
Where is the instrument whence the sounds flow?
And whose the master-hand that holds the bow?
O! Sweet song—

Rainer Maria Rilke

Love

Tell me where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourishèd?
Reply, reply.

It is engendered 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,
Ding, dong, bell.

William Shakespeare
From “The Merchant of Venice,” Act III. Sc. 2.
Cheerful couple in love kissing in a city street.

Sonnet: “Muses, That Sing Love’s Sensual Empirie”

Muses, that sing Love’s sensual empirie,
And lovers kindling your enragèd fires
At Cupid’s bonfires burning in the eye,
Blown with the empty breath of vain desires;
You, that prefer the painted cabinet
Before the wealthy jewels it doth store ye,
That all your joys in dying figures set,
And stain the living substance of your glory;
Abjure those joys, abhor their memory;
And let my love the honored subject be
Of love and honor’s complete history!
Your eyes were never yet let in to see
The majesty and riches of the mind,
That dwell in darkness; for your god is blind.

George Chapman

Light

The night has a thousand eyes,
The day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.

The mind has a thousand eyes, 5
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When its love is done.

Francis William Bourdillon

Spring

Now the bright crocus flames, and now
The slim narcissus takes the rain,
And, straying o’er the mountain’s brow,
The daffodillies bud again.
The thousand blossoms wax and wane
On wold, and heath, and fragrant bough,
But fairer than the flowers art thou,
Than any growth of hill or plain.

Ye gardens, cast your leafy crown,
That my Love’s feet may tread it down,
Like lilies on the lilies set;
My Love, whose lips are softer far
Than drowsy poppy petals are,
And sweeter than the violets!

Meleager of Gadar
(From the Greek by Andrew Lang)

A Poet To His Beloved

I bring you with reverent hands
The books of my numberless dreams,
White woman that passion has worn
As the tide wears the dove-grey sands,
And with heart more old than the horn
That is brimmed from the pale fire of time:
White woman with numberless dreams,
I bring you my passionate rhyme.

William Butler Yeats

Kate Temple’s Song

Only a touch, and nothing more:
Ah! but never so touched before!
Touch of lip, was it? Touch of hand?
Either is easy to understand.
Earth may be smitten with fire or frost—
Never the touch of true love lost.

Only a word, was it? Scarce a word!
Musical whisper, softly heard,
Syllabled nothing—just a breath—
’T will outlast life and ’t will laugh at death.
Love with so little can do so much—
Only a word, sweet! Only a touch!

Sir James Carnegie, Earl of Southesk

For Thee the Sun Doth Daily Rise, and Set – Sonnet XLIV

For thee the sun doth daily rise, and set
Behind the curtain of the hills of sleep,
And my soul, passing through the nether deep,
Broods on thy love, and never can forget.
For thee the garlands of the wood are wet,
For thee the daisies up the meadow’s sweep
Stir in the sidelong light, and for thee weep
The drooping ferns above the violet.
For thee the labour of my studious ease
I ply with hope, for thee all pleasures please,
Thy sweetness doth the bread of sorrow leaven;
And from thy noble lips and heart of gold
I drink the comfort of the faiths of old,
Any thy perfection is my proof of heaven.

George Santayana

The White Rose

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.

John Boyle O’Reilly

“O Mistress Mine”

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear! your true-love ’s coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journeys end in lovers’ meeting,— 5
Every wise man’s son doth know.

What is love? ’t is not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What ’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,— 10
Then come kiss me, Sweet-and-twenty,
Youth ’s a stuff will not endure.

William Shakespeare
From “Twelfth Night,” Act II. Sc. 3.

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

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

Romantic Poems For Her

Beautiful orange butterfly on autumnal flower.

There is a Garden in Her Face

There is a garden in her face,
Where roses and white lilies blow;
A heavenly paradise is that place,
Wherein all pleasant fruits do grow;
There cherries grow that none may buy,
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
They look like rosebuds filled with snow;
Yet them no peer nor prince may buy,
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

Her eyes like angels watch them still,
Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threatening with piercing frowns to kill
All that approach with eye or hand
These sacred cherries to come nigh,
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

Anonymous

Perfect Love

Beloved, those who moan of love’s brief day
Shall find but little grace with me, I guess,
Who know too well this passion’s tenderness
To deem that it shall lightly pass away,
A moment’s interlude in life’s dull play;
Though many loves have lingered to distress,
So shall not ours, sweet Lady, ne’ertheless,
But deepen with us till both heads be grey.

For perfect love is like a fair green plant,
That fades not with its blossoms, but lives on,
And gentle lovers shall not come to want,
Though fancy with its first mad dream be gone;
Sweet is the flower, whose radiant glory flies,
But sweeter still the green that never dies.

Archibald Lampman

My Love, Thou Art A Nosegay Sweet

My love, thou art a nosegay sweet,
My sweetest flower I’ll prove thee,
And pleased I pin thee to my breast,
And dearly do I love thee.

And when, my nosegay, thou shalt fade,
As sweet a flower thou’lt prove thee;
And as thou witherest on my breast
For beauty past I’ll love thee.

And when, my nosegay, thou shalt die,
And heaven’s flower shalt prove thee,
My hopes shall follow to the sky,
And everlasting love thee.

John Clare

Golden Eyes

Ah, Golden Eyes, to win you yet,
I bring mine April coronet,
The lovely blossoms of the spring,
For you I weave, to you I bring:
These roses with the lilies wet,
The dewy dark-eyed violet,
Narcissus, and the wind-flower wet.
Wilt thou disdain mine offering,
Ah, Golden Eyes?
Crowned with thy lover’s flowers, forget
The pride wherein thy heart is set,
For thou, like these or anything,
Hast but thine hour of blossoming,
Thy spring, and then—the long regret,
Ah, Golden Eyes!

Rufinus
From the Greek by Andrew Lang

The Awakening

I dreamed that I was a rose
That grew beside a lonely way,
Close by a path none ever chose,
And there I lingered day by day.
Beneath the sunshine and the show’r
I grew and waited there apart,
Gathering perfume hour by hour,
And storing it within my heart,
Yet, never knew,
Just why I waited there and grew.

I dreamed that you were a bee
That one day gaily flew along,
You came across the hedge to me,
And sang a soft, love-burdened song.
You brushed my petals with a kiss,
I woke to gladness with a start,
And yielded up to you in bliss
The treasured fragrance of my heart;
And then I knew
That I had waited there for you.

James Weldon Johnson

To Helen

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicæan barks of yore,
That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,
The weary, wayworn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs, have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy Land!

Edgar Allan Poe

Thou Art To Me

Thou art to me
As are soft breezes to a summer sea;
As stars unto the night;
Or when the day is born,
As sunrise to the morn;
As peace unto the fading of the light.

Thou art to me
As one sweet flower upon a barren lea;
As rest to toiling hands;
As one clear spring amid the desert sands;
As smiles to maidens’ lips;
As hope to friends that wait for absent ships;
As happiness to youth;
As purity to truth;
As sweetest dreams to sleep;
As balm to wounded hearts that weep.
All, all that I would have thee be
Thou art to me.

Arthur Macy

Welcome, Welcome, Do I Sing

Welcome, welcome, do I sing,
Far more welcome than the spring;
He that parteth from you never
Shall enjoy a spring forever.

Love, that to the voice is near,
Breaking from your ivory pale,
Need not walk abroad to hear
The delightful nightingale.
Welcome, welcome, then I sing, etc.

Love, that still looks on your eyes
Though the winter have begun
To benumb our arteries,
Shall not want the summer’s sun.
Welcome, welcome, then I sing, etc.

Love, that still may see your cheeks,
Where all rareness still reposes,
Is a fool if e’er he seeks
Other lilies, other roses.
Welcome, welcome, then I sing, etc.

Love, to whom your soft lip yields,
And perceives your breath in kissing,
All the odors of the fields
Never, never shall be missing.

William Browne

A Sonnet

Sweet summer queen, with trailing robe of green,
What spell has thou to bind the heart to thee?
Thy throne is built upon the sun-lit sea,
Where break the waves in clouds of silver sheen
And oft at dawn like some resplendent queen,
Thou sittest on the hills in majesty;
And all the flowers wake at thy decree.
But now farewell to all thy joys serene;
The autumn comes with swift-winged, silent flight,
And he will woo thee with his fiery breath;
In crimson robes and hues of flashing gold
He’ll clothe thee, and thy beauty in the night
Will take a richer glow. But wintry death
Will come and wrap thee in his fold.

Fannie Isabelle Sherrick

I Love You Much (Most Beautiful Darling)

I love you much(most beautiful darling)

more than anyone on the earth and I
like you better than everything in the sky

-sunlight and singing welcome your coming

although winter may be everywhere
with such a silence and such a darkness
noone can quite begin to guess

(except my life)the true time of year-

and if what calls itself a world should have
the luck to hear such singing(or glimpse such
sunlight as will leap higher than high
through gayer than gayest someone’s heart at your each

nearness)everyone certainly would(my
most beautiful darling)believe in nothing but love

E. E. Cummings

Disdain Me Not

Disdain me not without desert,
Nor leave me not so suddenly;
Since well ye wot that in my heart
I mean ye not but honestly.
Disdain me not.

Refuse me not without cause why,
Nor think me not to be unjust;
Since that by lot of fantasy
This careful knot needs knit I must.
Refuse me not.

Mistrust me not, though some there be
That fain would spot my steadfastness;
Believe them not, since that we see
The proof is not as they express.
Mistrust me not.

Forsake me not till I deserve
Nor hate me not till I offend;
Destroy me not till that I swerve;
But since ye know that I intend,
Forsake me not.

Disdain me not that I’m your own:
Refuse me not that I’m so true:
Mistrust me not till all be known:
Forsake me not ne for no new.
Disdain me not.

Thomas Wyatt

Love’s Growth

I scarce believe my love to be so pure
As I had thought it was,
Because it doth endure
Vicissitude, and season, as the grass ;
Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore
My love was infinite, if spring make it more.

But if this medicine, love, which cures all sorrow
With more, not only be no quintessence,
But mix’d of all stuffs, vexing soul, or sense,
And of the sun his active vigour borrow,
Love’s not so pure, and abstract as they use
To say, which have no mistress but their Muse ;
But as all else, being elemented too,
Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do.

And yet no greater, but more eminent,
Love by the spring is grown ;
As in the firmament
Stars by the sun are not enlarged, but shown,
Gentle love deeds, as blossoms on a bough,
From love’s awakened root do bud out now.

If, as in water stirr’d more circles be
Produced by one, love such additions take,
Those like so many spheres but one heaven make,
For they are all concentric unto thee ;
And though each spring do add to love new heat,
As princes do in times of action get
New taxes, and remit them not in peace,
No winter shall abate this spring’s increase.

John Donne

Extinguish Thou My Eyes

Extinguish Thou my eyes:I still can see Thee,
deprive my ears of sound:I still can hear Thee,
and without feet I still can come to Thee,
and without voice I still can call to Thee.

Sever my arms from me, I still will hold Thee
with all my heart as with a single hand,
arrest my heart, my brain will keep on beating,
and Should Thy fire at last my brain consume,
the flowing of my blood will carry Thee.

Rainer Maria Rilke

The Definition Of Love

My Love is of a birth as rare
As ’tis for object strange and high:
It was begotten by despair
Upon Impossibility.

Magnanimous Despair alone.
Could show me so divine a thing,
Where feeble Hope could ne’r have flown
But vainly flapt its Tinsel Wing.

And yet I quickly might arrive
Where my extended Soul is fixt,
But Fate does Iron wedges drive,
And alwaies crouds it self betwixt.

For Fate with jealous Eye does see.
Two perfect Loves; nor lets them close:
Their union would her ruine be,
And her Tyrannick pow’r depose.

And therefore her Decrees of Steel
Us as the distant Poles have plac’d,
(Though Loves whole World on us doth wheel)
Not by themselves to be embrac’d.

Unless the giddy Heaven fall,
And Earth some new Convulsion tear;
And, us to joyn, the World should all
Be cramp’d into a Planisphere.

As Lines so Loves Oblique may well
Themselves in every Angle greet:
But ours so truly Paralel,
Though infinite can never meet.

Therefore the Love which us doth bind,
But Fate so enviously debarrs,
Is the Conjunction of the Mind,
And Opposition of the Stars.

Andrew Marvell
Sunset over the ocean with pelicans flying over the sun in Costa Rica.

Beyond the Sea

Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,
My heart is gone, far, far from me;
And ever on its track will flee
My thoughts, my dreams, beyond the sea.

Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,
The swallow wanders fast and free:
Oh, happy bird! were I like thee,
I, too, would fly beyond the sea.

Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,
Are kindly hearts and social glee:
But here for me they may not be;
My heart is gone beyond the sea.

Thomas Love Peacock

Vision of a Fair Woman

Tell us some of the charms of the stars:
Close and well set were her ivory teeth;
White as the canna upon the moor
Was her bosom the tartan bright beneath.

Her well-rounded forehead shone
Soft and fair as the mountain snow;
Her two breasts were heaving full;
To them did the hearts of heroes flow.

Her lips were ruddier than the rose;
Tender and tunefully sweet her tongue;
White as the foam adown her side
Her delicate fingers extended hung.

Smooth as the dusky down of the elk
Appeared her shady eyebrows to me;
Lovely her cheeks were, like berries red;
From every guile she was wholly free.

Her countenance looked like the gentle buds
Unfolding their beauty in early spring;
Her yellow locks like the gold-browed hills;
And her eyes like the radiance the sunbeams bring.

From Elizabeth A. Sharp’s “Lyra Celtica”

When Like An Eaglet – Sonnet LVI

When like an eaglet I first found my Love,
For that the virtue I thereof would know,
Upon the nest I set it forth to prove
If it were of that kingly kind or no;
But it no sooner say my Sun appear,
But on her rays with open eyes it stood,
To show that I had hatch’d it for the air
And rightly came from that brave mounting brood;
And, when the plumes were summ’d with sweet desire,
To prove the pinions it ascends the skies;
Do what I could, it needsly would aspire
To my Soul’s Sun, those two celestial eyes.
Thus from my breast, where it was bred alone,
It after thee is, like an eaglet, flown.

Michael Drayton

Beauty That Is Never Old

When buffeted and beaten by life’s storms,
When by the bitter cares of life oppressed,
I want no surer haven than your arms,
I want no sweeter heaven than your breast.

When over my life’s way there falls the blight
Of sunless days, and nights of starless skies;
Enough for me, the calm and steadfast light
That softly shines within your loving eyes.

The world, for me, and all the world can hold
Is circled by your arms; for me there lies,
Within the lights and shadows of your eyes,
The only beauty that is never old.

James Weldon Johnson

My Lady Is Compared To A Young Tree

When I see a young tree
In its white beginning,
With white leaves
And white buds
Barely tipped with green,
In the April weather,
In the weeping sunshine—
Then I see my lady,
My democratic queen,
Standing free and equal
With the youngest woodland sapling
Swaying, singing in the wind,
Delicate and white:
Soul so near to blossom,
Fragile, strong as death;
A kiss from far-off Eden,
A flash of Judgment’s trumpet—
April’s breath.

Vachel Lindsay

Bright Star Of Beauty – Sonnet IV

Bright star of beauty, on whose eyelids sit
A thousand nymph-like and enamour’d Graces,
The Goddesses of Memory and Wit,
Which there in order take their several places;
In whose dear bosom sweet delicious Love
Lays down his quiver, which he once did bear,
Since he that blessed Paradise did prove,
And leaves his mother’s lap to sport him there.
Let others strive to entertain with words;
My soul is of a braver metal made;
I hold that vile which vulgar wit affords;
In me’s that faith which Time cannot invade.
Let what I praise be still made good by you;
Be you most worthy, whilst I am most true.

Michael Drayton

(From) A Billet Doux

My brightest hopes are mix’d with tears,
Like hues of light and gloom;
As when mid sun-shine rain appears,
Love rises with a thousand fears,

To pine and still to bloom.
When I have told my last fond tale
In lines of song to thee,
And for departure spread my sail,
Say, lovely princess, wilt thou fail
To drop a tear for me?

O, princess, should my votive strain
Salute thy ear no more,
Like one deserted on the main,
I still shall gaze, alas! but vain,
On wedlock’s flow’ry shore.

George Moses Horton

Long Love Poems For Her

Ballerina stunning arabesque pose in black and white background.

Immortal Love

Immortal love, too high for my possessing,—
Yet, lower than thee, where shall I find repose?
Long in my youth I sang the morning rose,
By earthly things the heavenly pattern guessing!
Long fared I on, beauty and love caressing,
And finding in my heart a place for those
Eternal fugitives; the golden close
Of evening folds me, still their sweetness blessing.

Oh happy we, the first-born heirs of nature,
For whom the Heavenly Sun delays his light!
He by the sweets of every mortal creature
Tempers eternal beauty to our sight;
And by the glow upon love’s earthly feature
Maketh the path of our departure bright.

George Edward Woodberry

August Moonlight

The solemn light behind the barns,
The rising moon, the cricket’s call,
The August night, and you and I—
What is the meaning of it all!

Has it a meaning, after all?
Or is it one of Nature’s lies,
That net of beauty that she casts
Over Life’s unsuspecting eyes?

That web of beauty that she weaves
For one strange purpose of her own,—
For this the painted butterfly,
For this the rose—for this alone!

Strange repetition of the rose,
And strange reiterated call
Of bird and insect, man and maid,—
Is that the meaning of it all?

If it means nothing after all!
And nothing lives except to die—
It is enough—that solemn light
Behind the barns, and you and I.

Richard Le Gallienne

Meeting At Night

I
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.

II
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

My Queen

A fair sweet blossom is born for you,
A beautiful rose, my queen!
And never was flower so fair as this,
Oh, never so fair, I ween!
A banner is hung in the western sky
Of colors that flash ere they fade and die;
And the rippling waves where the waters run
Are stained with the gold of the summer sun;
The world is so fair for you, my queen,
The world is so fair and true;
And the rose that blossoms to-day, my own,
Is the love that I have for you.

The grasses that spring at your feet, my queen,
Could whisper all day in your ear;
But I stand dumb at your side, my own,
Stilled by my love’s own fear.
Oh, what would you know of my love’s sweet will
The heart speaks most when the lips are still;
And the love that is filling my soul to-day
Is the beautiful blossom you throw away.
But I worship you still, my queen, my queen,
I worship you still, I ween;
For the loveliest blossom on earth I know
Is my beautiful love, my queen!

Fannie Isabelle Sherrick

Winter to Spring

Did not I remember that my hair is grey
With only a fringe of it left,
I’d follow your footsteps from wee break of day
Till night was of moon-light bereft.

Your eyes wondrous fountains of joy and of youth
Remind me of days long since flown,
My sweetheart, I led to the altar of truth,
But then the gay spring was my own.

Now winter has come with its snow and its wind
And made me as bare as its trees,
Oh, yes, I still love, but it’s only in mind,
For I’m fast growing weak at the knees.

Your voice is as sweet as the song of a bird,
Your manners are those of the fawn,
I dream of you, darling,—oh, pardon, that word,
From twilight to breaking of dawn.

Your name in this missive you’ll search for in vain,
Nor mine at the finis, I’ll fling,
For winter must suffer the bliss and the pain
In secret for loving the spring.

Irvin W. Underhill

Poet to His Love

An old silver church in a forest
Is my love for you.
The trees around it
Are words that I have stolen from your heart.
An old silver bell, the last smile you gave,
Hangs at the top of my church.
It rings only when you come through the forest
And stand beside it.
And then, it has no need for ringing,
For your voice takes its place.

Maxwell Bodenheim

As Long As Your Eyes Are Blue

“Will you love me, sweet, when my hair is grey
And my cheeks shall have lost their hue?
When the charms of youth shall have passed away
Will your love as of old prove true?

“For the looks may change, and the heart may range
And the love be no longer fond;
Will you love with truth in the years of youth
And away to the years beyond?”

Oh, I love you, sweet, for your locks of brown
And the blush on your cheek that lies,
But I love you most for the kindly heart
That I see in your sweet blue eyes.

For the eyes are the signs of the soul within,
Of the heart that is leal and true,
And, my own sweetheart, I shall love you still,
Just as long as your eyes are blue.

For the locks may bleach, and the cheeks of peach
May be reft of their golden hue;
But, my own sweetheart, I shall love you still,
Just as long as your eyes are blue.

Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune!

As fair thou art, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I:
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt with the sun;
I will luve thee still my dear,
When the sands of life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again , my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Robert Burns

Spring Reminiscence

“My sweet,” you sang, and, “Sweet,” I sang,
And sweet we sang together,
Glad to be young as the world was young,
Two colts too strong for a tether.

Shall ever a spring be like that spring,
Or apple blossoms as white;
Or ever clover smell like the clover
We lay upon that night?

Shall ever your hand lie in my hand,
Pulsing to it, I wonder;
Or have the gods, being jealous gods,
Envied us our thunder?

Countee Cullen

The Flower Of Love

‘Tis said the rose is Love’s own flower,
Its blush so bright, its thorns so many;
And winter on its bloom has power,
But has not on its sweetness any.
For though young Love’s ethereal rose
Will droop on Age’s wintry bosom,
Yet still its faded leaves disclose
The fragrance of their earliest blossom.

But ah! the fragrance lingering there
Is like the sweets that mournful duty
Bestows with sadly-soothing care,
To deck the grave of bloom and beauty.
For when its leaves are shrunk and dry,
Its blush extinct, to kindle never,
That fragrance is but Memory’s sigh,
That breathes of pleasures past for ever.

Why did not Love the amaranth choose,
That bears no thorns, and cannot perish ?
Alas! no sweets its flowers diffuse,
And only sweets Love’s life can cherish.
But be the rose and amaranth twined,
And Love, their mingled powers assuming,
Shall round his brows a chaplet bind,
For ever sweet, for ever blooming.

Thomas Love Peacock

Longing

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.

Matthew Arnold

Oh, for a Little While Be Kind

(For Ruth Marie)

Oh, for a little while be kind to me
Who stand in such imperious need of
you,
And for a fitful space let my head lie
Happily on your passion’s frigid breast.
Although yourself no more resigned to me
Than on all bitter yesterdays I knew,
This half a loaf from sumptuous crumbs
your shy
Reneging hand lets fall shall make me blest.
The sturdy homage of a love that throws
Its strength about you, dawn and dusk, at bed
And board, is not for scorn. When all is said
With final amen certitude, who knows
But Dives found a matchless fragrance fled
When Lazarus no longer shocked his nose?

Countee Cullen

Meet Me In The Green Glen

Love, meet me in the green glen,
Beside the tall elm-tree,
Where the sweetbriar smells so sweet agen;
There come with me.
Meet me in the green glen.

Meet me at the sunset
Down in the green glen,
Where we’ve often met
By hawthorn-tree and foxes’ den,
Meet me in the green glen.

Meet me in the green glen,
By sweetbriar bushes there;
Meet me by your own sen,
Where the wild thyme blossoms fair.
Meet me in the green glen.

Meet me by the sweetbriar,
By the mole-hill swelling there;
When the west glows like a fire
God’s crimson bed is there.
Meet me in the green glen.

John Clare

Bright Star of Beauty – Sonnet IV

Bright star of beauty, on whose eyelids sit
A thousand nymph-like and enamour’d Graces,
The Goddesses of Memory and Wit,
Which there in order take their several places;
In whose dear bosom sweet delicious Love
Lays down his quiver, which he once did bear,
Since he that blessed Paradise did prove,
And leaves his mother’s lap to sport him there.
Let others strive to entertain with words;
My soul is of a braver metal made;
I hold that vile which vulgar wit affords;
In me’s that faith which Time cannot invade.
Let what I praise be still made good by you;
Be you most worthy, whilst I am most true.

Michael Drayton

The Morning Of Love

O! The spring-time of life is the season of blooming,
And the morning of love is the season of joy;
Ere noontide and summer, with radiance consuming,
Look down on their beauty, to parch and destroy.
0! faint are the blossoms life’s pathway adorning,
When the first magic glory of hope is withdrawn;
For the flowers of the spring, and the light of the morning,
Have no summer budding, and no second dawn.

Through meadows all sunshine, and verdure, and flowers
The stream of the valley in purity flies;
But mixed with the tides, where some proud city lowers,
O! where is the sweetness that dwelt on its rise ?
The rose withers fast-on the breast it first graces;
Its beauty is fled ere the day be half done:—
And life is that stream which its progress defaces,
And love is that flower which can bloom but for one.

Thomas Love Peacock
Melancholic beautiful woman in autumn, birds in the city sky.

Spring Night

The park is filled with night and fog,
The veils are drawn about the world,
The drowsy lights along the paths
Are dim and pearled.

Gold and gleaming the empty streets,
Gold and gleaming the misty lake,
The mirrored lights like sunken swords,
Glimmer and shake.

Oh, is it not enough to be
Here with this beauty over me?
My throat should ache with praise, and I
Should kneel in joy beneath the sky.
O beauty, are you not enough?
Why am I crying after love,
With youth, a singing voice, and eyes
To take earth’s wonder with surprise?
Why have I put off my pride,
Why am I unsatisfied,—
I, for whom the pensive night
Binds her cloudy hair with light,—
I, for whom all beauty burns
Like incense in a million urns?
O beauty, are you not enough?
Why am I crying after love?

Sara Teasdale

My Fair, If Thou Wilt – Sonnet LV

My Fair, if thou wilt register my love,
A world of volumes shall thereof arise;
Preserve my tears, and thou thyself shalt prove
A second flood, down-raining from mine eyes.
Note by my sighs, and thine eyes shall behold
The sunbeams smother’d with immortal smoke;
And if by thee my prayers may be enroll’d,
They Heav’n and Earth to pity shall provoke.
Look thou into my breast, and thou shalt see
Chaste holy vows for my soul’s sacrifice,
That soul, sweet Maid, which so hath honor’d thee,
Erecting trophies to thy sacred eyes,
Those eyes to my heart shining ever bright,
When darkness hath obscur’d each other light.

Michael Drayton

Break Of Day (Another Of The Same)

‘Tis true, ’tis day; what though it be?
O wilt thou therefore rise from me?
Why should we rise, because ’tis light?
Did we lie down, because ’twas night?
Love which in spite of darkness brought us hither
Should in despite of light keep us together.

Light hath no tongue, but is all eye;
If it could speak as well as spy,
This were the worst that it could say –
That being well, I fain would stay,
And that I loved my heart and honour so,
That I would not from her, that had them, go.

Must business thee from hence remove?
Oh, that’s the worst disease of love!
The poor, the foul, the false, love can
Admit, but not the busied man.
He which hath business, and makes love, doth do
Such wrong as when a married man doth woo.

John Donne

The Definition Of Love

My Love is of a birth as rare
As ’tis for object strange and high:
It was begotten by despair
Upon Impossibility.

Magnanimous Despair alone
Could show me so divine a thing,
Where feeble Hope could ne’r have flown
But vainly flapt its Tinsel Wing.

And yet I quickly might arrive
Where my extended Soul is fixt,
But Fate does Iron wedges drive,
And alwaies crowds it self betwixt.

For Fate with jealous Eye does see
Two perfect Loves; nor lets them close:
Their union would her ruine be,
And her Tyrannick pow’er depose.

And therefore her Decrees of Steel
Us as the distant Poles have plac’d,
(Though Love’s whole World on us doth wheel)
Not by themselves to be embrac’d.

Unless the giddy Heaven fall,
And Earth some new Convulsion tear;
And, us to joyn, the World should all
Be cramp’d into a Planisphere.

As Lines so Loves oblique may well
Themselves in every Angle greet:
But ours so truly Parallel,
Though infinite can never meet.

Therefore the Love which us doth bind,
But Fate so enviously debarrs,
Is the Conjunction of the Mind,
And Opposition of the Stars.

Andrew Marvell

The Passionate Shepherd To His Love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The shepherds’ swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

Christopher Marlowe

She Walks In Beauty

I.

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 mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

II.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired 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.

III.

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!

George Gordon Byron

Poems To Make Her Feel Special

Blurry close-up of a beautiful asian woman holding red roses feeling happy on Valentine's day.

In The Heart Of A Rose

I will hide my soul and its mighty love
In the bosom of this rose,
And its dispensing breath will take
My love wherever it goes.

And perhaps she’ll pluck this very rose,
And, quick as blushes start,
Will breathe my hidden secret in
Her unsuspecting heart.

And there I will live in her embrace
And the realm of sweetness there,
Enamored with an ecstasy,
Of bliss beyond compare.

George Marion McClellan

Ecstasy

Oh, thou my soul, oh, thou my heart,
Thou my delight, my pain thou art!
Oh, thou my world in which I move,
My heaven where I soar above,
Oh, thou the tomb to which I gave
Forever all my sorrow grave.

Thou art my peace, thou art my rest,
With thee, thou heaven, I am blessed.
Thy love endows me in mine eyes,
Thy glance my own life glorifies.
Through thee above myself I fly,
My guiding spirit, my better I!

Friedrich Rückert

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.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

From “A Dream of Love”

Look, this is why I feel so gay:
I have grown warm with cheer,
Clasped by a dream so dear.
Alas, I had to wake, for it was day.
Hear what she has done unto me:
All the summer I must peer
Into ladies’ eyes to see
If I can find my dear: then sorrow’s end were near.
Maybe she is going to this dance.
Ladies, I beg you, be so kind,
Push back your hats, if you don’t mind!
If I should find her ’neath this wreath by chance!

Walter von der Vogelweide

Song — O Were My Love You Lilac Fair

O were my love yon Lilac fair,
Wi’ purple blossoms to the Spring,
And I, a bird to shelter there,
When wearied on my little wing!
How I wad mourn when it was torn
By Autumn wild, and Winter rude!
But I wad sing on wanton wing,
When youthfu’ May its bloom renew’d.

O gin my love were yon red rose,
That grows upon the castle wa’;
And I myself a drap o’ dew,
Into her bonie breast to fa’!
O there, beyond expression blest,
I’d feast on beauty a’ the night;
Seal’d on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
Till fley’d awa by Phoebus’ light!

Robert Burns

I Am Thine

I am thine, thou art mine,
And this shall be a sure sign:
Locked fast thou art
Within my heart,
And lost forever is the key;
So thou inside must ever be.

Anonymous (12th century)

Somewhere I Have Never Travelled, Gladly Beyond

Somewhere I have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, I and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(I do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

E. E. Cummings

How Do I Love Thee? – Sonnet 43

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

My Loves

I love to see the big white moon,
A-shining in the sky;
I love to see the little stars,
When the shadow clouds go by.

I love the rain drops falling
On my roof-top in the night;
I love the soft wind’s sighing,
Before the dawn’s gray light.

I love the deepness of the blue,
In my Lord’s heaven above;
But better than all these things I think,
I love my lady love.

Langston Hughes

Random Thoughts Of Her

I gaze into her eyes—their tender light,
And strong, illumes my spirit’s darkest night,
And pours rich glory on me as a star
Which brings its silver luster from afar.

Sweet thoughts and beautiful within me burn,
And heaven I see what way soe’er I turn;
In borrowed radiance of her soulful glance
All things grow tenfold lovely and entrance.

I touch her willing hand—as gentle dove
It rests within my own, in trusting love;
And yet it moves me with a power so deep,
My heart is flame, and all my pulses leap.

I breathe her name unto the flowers: they bloom
With rarer hues, and shed more rich perfume!
The skylark hears it, as he floats along,
And adds new sweetness to his morning song.

Oh magic name! deep graven on my heart,
And, as its owner, of myself a part!
It hath in all my daily thoughts a share,
And forms the burden of my nightly prayer!

John Rollin Ridge

Amores (IV)

consider O
woman this
my body.
for it has

lain
with empty arms
upon the giddy hills
to dream of you,

approve these
firm unsated
eyes
which have beheld

night’s speechless carnival
the painting
of the dark
with meteors

streaming from playful
immortal hands
the bursting
of the wafted stars

(in time to come you shall
remember of this night amazing
ecstasies slowly,
in the glutted

heart fleet
flowerterrible
memories
shall

rise,slowly
return upon the
red elected lips

scaleless visions)

E. E. Cummings
Attractive couple laughing together, man leaning on the woman.

The Heart Of The Woman

O what to me the little room
That was brimmed up with prayer and rest;
He bade me out into the gloom,
And my breast lies upon his breast.

O what to me my mother’s care,
The house where I was safe and warm;
The shadowy blossom of my hair
Will hide us from the bitter storm.

O hiding hair and dewy eyes,
I am no more with life and death,
My heart upon his warm heart lies,
My breath is mixed into his breath.

W. B. Yeats

A Line-storm Song

The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift,
The road is forlorn all day,
Where a myriad snowy quartz stones lift,
And the hoof-prints vanish away.
The roadside flowers, too wet for the bee,
Expend their bloom in vain.
Come over the hills and far with me,
And be my love in the rain.

The birds have less to say for themselves
In the wood-world’s torn despair
Than now these numberless years the elves,
Although they are no less there:
All song of the woods is crushed like some
Wild, easily shattered rose.
Come, be my love in the wet woods; come,
Where the boughs rain when it blows.

There is the gale to urge behind
And bruit our singing down,
And the shallow waters aflutter with wind
From which to gather your gown.
What matter if we go clear to the west,
And come not through dry-shod?
For wilding brooch shall wet your breast
The rain-fresh goldenrod.

Oh, never this whelming east wind swells
But it seems like the sea’s return
To the ancient lands where it left the shells
Before the age of the fern;
And it seems like the time when after doubt
Our love came back amain.
Oh, come forth into the storm and rout
And be my love in the rain.

Robert Frost

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, through joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

Robert Browning

Romance

Romance, who loves to nod and sing,
With drowsy head and folded wing,
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been—a most familiar bird—
Taught me my alphabet to say—
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child—with a most knowing eye.

Of late, eternal Condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky.
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon thy spirit flings—
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away—forbidden things!
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.

Edgar Allan Poe

She Was A Phantom Of Delight

She was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment’s ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
Like Twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin-liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A Creature not too bright or good
For human nature’s daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

William Wordsworth

Heartbeat

Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart
which safely exists in the center of all things?
His giant heartbeat is diverted in us
into little pulses. And his giant grief
is, like his giant jubilation, far too
great for us. And so we tear ourselves away
from him time after time, remaining only
mouths. But unexpectedly and secretly
the giant heartbeat enters our being,
so that we scream ——,
and are transformed in being and in countenance.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I Carry Your Heart With Me

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)Ii 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

Along the Sun-Drenched Roadside

Along the sun-drenched roadside, from the great
hollow half-treetrunk, which for generations
has been a trough, renewing in itself
an inch or two of rain, I satisfy
my thirst: taking the water’s pristine coolness
into my whole body through my wrists.
Drinking would be too powerful, too clear;
but this unhurried gesture of restraint
fills my whole consciousness with shining water.

Thus, if you came, I could be satisfied
to let my hand rest lightly, for a moment,
lightly, upon your shoulder or your breast.

Rainer Maria Rilke

To A Kiss

Humid seal of soft affections,
Tend’rest pledge of future bliss,
Dearest tie of young connections,
Love’s first snow-drop, virgin kiss.

Speaking silence, dumb confession,
Passion’s birth, and infants’ play,
Dove-like fondness, chaste concession,
Glowing dawn of brighter day.

Sorrowing joy, adieu’s last action,
Ling’ring lips, — no more to join!
What words can ever speak affection
Thrilling and sincere as thine!

Robert Burns

My Love

My love
thy hair is one kingdom
the king whereof is darkness
thy forehead is a flight of flowers
thy head is a quick forest
filled with sleeping birds
thy breasts are swarms of white bees
upon the bough of thy body
thy body to me is April
in those armpits is the approach of spring
thy thighs are white horses yoked to a chariot
of kings
they are the striking of a good minstrel
between them is always a pleasant song
my love
thy head is a casket
of the cool jewel of thy mind
the hair of thy head is one warrior
innocent of defeat
thy hair upon thy shoulders is an army
with victory and with trumpets
thy legs are the trees of dreaming
whose fruit is the very eatage of forgetfulness
thy lips are satraps in scarlet
in whose kiss is the combinings of kings
thy wrists
are holy
which are the keepers of the keys of thy blood
thy feet upon thy ankles are flowers in vases
of silver
in thy beauty is the dilemma of flutes
thy eyes are the betrayal
of bells comprehended through incense

E. E. Cummings

The Lover

He meets, by heavenly chance express,
The destined maid; some hidden hand
Unveils to him that loveliness
Which others cannot understand.
His merits in her presence grow,
To match the promise in her eyes,
And round her happy footsteps blow
The authentic airs of Paradise.
For joy of her he cannot sleep;
Her beauty haunts him all the night;
It melts his heart, it makes him weep
For wonder, worship, and delight.
O, paradox of love, he longs,
Most humble when he most aspires,
To suffer scorn and cruel wrongs
From her he honours and desires.
Her graces make him rich, and ask
No guerdon; this imperial style
Affronts him; he disdains to bask,
The pensioner of her priceless smile.
He prays for some hard thing to do,
Some work of fame and labour immense,
To stretch the languid bulk and thew
Of love’s fresh-born magnipotence.
No smallest boon were bought too dear,
Though barter’d for his love-sick life;
Yet trusts he, with undaunted cheer,
To vanquish heaven, and call her Wife.
He notes how queens of sweetness still
Neglect their crowns, and stoop to mate;
How, self-consign’d with lavish will,
They ask but love proportionate;
How swift pursuit by small degrees,
Love’s tactic, works like miracle;
How valour, clothed in courtesies,
Brings down the haughtiest citadel;
And therefore, though he merits not
To kiss the braid upon her skirt,
His hope, discouraged ne’er a jot,
Out-soars all possible desert.

Coventry Patmore

Love Poems and Sonnets By Shakespeare

Stylish wedding couple in romantic loft decorations at night.

Sonnet 102

My love is strengthened, though more weak in seeming;
I love not less, though less the show appear.
That love is merchandised whose rich esteeming
The owner’s tongue doth publish everywhere.
Our love was new, and then but in the spring,
When I was wont to greet it with my lays,
As Philomel in summer’s front doth sing,
And stops his pipe in growth of riper days.
Not that the summer is less pleasant now
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night,
But that wild music burthens every bough,
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight.
Therefore, like her, I sometime hold my tongue,
Because I would not dull you with my song.

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 57

Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are how happy you make those.
So true a fool is love that in your will,
Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare

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 damask’d, 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.

William Shakespeare

Carpe Diem

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love’s coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey’s end in lovers’ meeting—
Every wise man’s son doth know.

What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,—
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 23

As an unperfect actor on the stage,
Who with his fear is put besides his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Whose strength’s abundance weakens his own heart;
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
The perfect ceremony of love’s rite,
And in mine own love’s strength seem to decay,
O’ercharg’d with burden of mine own love’s might.
O, let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast;
Who plead for love, and look for recompense,
More than that tongue that more hath more express’d.
O, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit.

William Shakespeare

Under The Greenwood Tree

Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird’s throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live i’ the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleas’d with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

William Shakespeare
Stunning woman in red dress underwater, dark dreamy background.

Sonnet 29

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 37

As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by fortune’s dearest spite,
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Entitled in thy parts do crownèd sit,
I make my love engrafted to this store.
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed,
And by a part of all thy glory live.
Look what is best, that best I wish in thee.
This wish I have; then ten times happy me.

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 47

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto the other.
When that mine eye is famished for a look,
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love’s picture then my eye doth feast
And to the painted banquet bids my heart.
Another time mine eye is my heart’s guest,
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part.
So either by thy picture or my love,
Thyself away are present still with me;
For thou no farther than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them, and they with thee;
Or if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
Awakes my heart to heart’s and eye’s delight.

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 61

Is it thy will thy image should keep open
My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send’st from thee
So far from home into my deeds to pry,
To find out shames and idle hours in me,
The scope and tenor of thy jealousy?
O no; thy love, though much, is not so great.
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake,
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
To play the watchman ever for thy sake.
For thee watch I whilst thou dost wake elsewhére,
From me far off, with others all too near.

William Shakespeare

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 damask’d, 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.

William Shakespeare

Bridal Song

Roses, their sharp spines being gone,
Not royal in their smells alone,
But in their hue;
Maiden pinks, of odour faint,
Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,
And sweet thyme true;

Primrose, firstborn child of Ver;
Merry springtime’s harbinger,
With her bells dim;
Oxlips in their cradles growing,
Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
Larks’-heels trim;

All dear Nature’s children sweet
Lie ‘fore bride and bridegroom’s feet,
Blessing their sense!
Not an angel of the air,
Bird melodious or bird fair,
Be absent hence!

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
The boding raven, nor chough hoar,
Nor chattering pye,
May on our bride-house perch or sing,
Or with them any discord bring,
But from it fly!

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 18

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 ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

William Shakespeare

Deep Love Poems For Her By Edmund Spenser

Silhouette of a young couple kissing in the sunset on snowy road.

Ice and Fire

My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told,
That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,
And ice, which is congeal’d with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device?
Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kind.

Edmund Spenser

Amoretti XXII: This Holy Season

This holy season, fit to fast and pray,
Men to devotion ought to be inclin’d:
Therefore I likewise on so holy day,
For my sweet saint some service fit will find.
Her temple fair is built within my mind,
In which her glorious image placed is,
On which my thoughts do day and night attend,
Like sacred priests that never think amiss.
There I to her as th’ author of my bliss,
Will build an altar to appease her ire:
And on the same my heart will sacrifice,
Burning in flames of pure and chaste desire:
The which vouchsafe, O goddess, to accept,
Amongst thy dearest relics to be kept.

Edmund Spenser

Amoretti LXXIX: Men Call You Fair

Men call you fair, and you do credit it,
For that your self ye daily such do see:
But the true fair, that is the gentle wit,
And vertuous mind, is much more prais’d of me.
For all the rest, how ever fair it be,
Shall turn to naught and lose that glorious hue:
But only that is permanent and free
From frail corruption, that doth flesh ensue.
That is true beauty: that doth argue you
To be divine, and born of heavenly seed:
Deriv’d from that fair Spirit, from whom all true
And perfect beauty did at first proceed.
He only fair, and what he fair hath made,
All other fair, like flowers untimely fade.

Edmund Spenser

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 heavens wryte your glorious name.
Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.”

Edmund Spenser
Asian couple in love embracing outdoor, noses touching laughing together.

My Love Is Like To Ice

My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told,
That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,
And ice, which is congeal’d with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device?
Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kind.

Edmund Spenser

Amoretti III: The Sovereign Beauty

The sovereign beauty which I do admire,
Witness the world how worthy to be praised:
The light whereof hath kindled heavenly fire
In my frail spirit, by her from baseness raised;
That being now with her huge brightness dazed,
Base thing I can no more endure to view;
But looking still on her, I stand amazed
At wondrous sight of so celestial hue.
So when my tongue would speak her praises due,
It stopped is with thought’s astonishment:
And when my pen would write her titles true,
It ravish’d is with fancy’s wonderment:
Yet in my heart I then both speak and write
The wonder that my wit cannot endite.

Edmund Spenser