Some of these
poems written long ago are so long! I picked out the shorter ones, that can be
homemade cards or written by hand in notes.
I Love Thee?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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 seem 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.
Shall I Compare Thee
To A Summer's Day?
Shall I compare thee to a
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 dimm'd:
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
By they eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Thou gav'st me leave to kiss,
Thou gav'st me leave to woo;
Thou mad'st me think, by this
And that, thou lov'st me too.
But I shall ne'er forget
How, for to make thee merry
Thou mad'st me chop, but yet
Another snapp'd the cherry.
To Lucasta, Going off
to the Wars
Tell me not, Sweet, I am
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.
True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such
As thou too shalt adore;
I could not love thee, Dear, so much,
Loved I not Honour more.
False though She Be to
Me and Love
False though she be to me and
I'll ne'er pursue revenge;
For still the charmer I approve,
Though I deplore her change.
In hours of bliss we oft have
They could not always last;
And though the present I regret,
I'm grateful for the past.
Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
I told my love, I told my
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears.
Ah! she did depart!
A Red, Red Rose
O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As far art throu, my bonnie
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my
And the rocks melt wi' the sun!
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o'life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile!
The Torch of Love
Dispels the Gloom
Walter Savage Landor
The torch of Love dispels the
Of life, and animates the tomb;
But never let it idly flare
On gazers in the open air,
Nor turn it quite away from one
To whom it serves for moon and sun,
And who alike in night or day
Without it could not find his way.
Twas a new feeling--something
Than we had dared to own before,
Which then we hit not;
We saw it in each other's eye,
And wished, it every half-breathed sigh,
To speak, but did not.
She felt my lips' impassioned
Twas the first time I dared so much,
And yet she chid not;
But whispered o'er my burning brow,
"Oh, do you doubt I love you now?"
Sweet soul! I did not.
I've oft been told by learned friars,
That wishing and the crime are one,
And Heaven punishes desires
As much as if the deed were done.
If wishing damns us, you and
Are damned to all our heart's content;
Come, then, at least we may enjoy
Some pleasure for our punishement!
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the
And the rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine? ---
See the mountains kiss high
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained it's brother.
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?
We Outgrow Love Like
We outgrow love like other
And put it in the drawer,
Till it an antique fashion shows
Like costumes grandsires wore.
Down by the Salley
Down by the salley gardens my
love and I did meet;
She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.
In a field by the river my
love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.
A Drinking Song
Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we know for truth
Before we grow ond and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.
The feverish room and that
The tumbled skirts upon a chair,
The novel flung half-open where
Hat, hair[pins, puffs, and paints, are spread;
The mirror that has sucked
Into it's secret deep of deeps,
And there mysteriously keeps
Forgotten memories of grace;
And you, half-dressed and
Your slant eyes strangely watching me,
And I, who watch you drowsily,
With eyes that, having slept not, ache;
This (need one dread? nay,
dare one hope?)
Will rise, a ghost of memory, if
Ever again my handkerchief
Is scented with White Heliotrope.
[Note: Heliotrope is flower whose scent is infamous for giving baby powder that smell!]
There is a Smile of Love
And there is a Smile of Deceit
And there is a Smile of Smiles
In which these two Smiles meet
And there is a Frown of Hate
And there is a Frown of Disdain
And there is a Frown of Frowns
Which you strive to forget in vain
For it sticks in the Hearts
And it sticks in the deep Back bone
And no Smile that ever was smild
But only one Smile alone
That betwixt the Cradle &
It only once Smild can be
But when it once is Smild
There's an end to all Misery
She dwelt among the
She dwelt among the untrodden
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
--Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown and few
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!
to Main Valentine Page or...
Take a peek at the other Valentine Pages:
Romance & Love Poems (Original)
Sources for these
"Great Love Poems" by Shane Weller
Dover Publications © 1992
Romantic Poetry, An Anthology" by Stanley Appelbaum
Dover Publications © 1996
Both books contain a lot of poetry. I picked out the shorter ones for this page.
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