Love-poems  

MY MISTRESS' EYES


A RED RED ROSE


SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY


HOW DO I LOVE THEE


HE TOUCHED ME


SONG


A QUOI BON DIRE


WHY AM I CRYING AFTER LOVE


THE KISS


CAMOMILE TEA

MY MISTRESS' EYES

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak; yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rate
As any she belied with false compare.

William Shakespeare  (1564 - 1616)

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  (1759 - 1796)

SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

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.

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!

Lord Byron  (1788-1824)

HOW DO I LOVE THEE

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 everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight. 
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  (1806 - 1861)

HE TOUCHED ME

HE touched me, so I live to know  
That such a day, permitted so,  
    I groped upon his breast.  
It was a boundless place to me,  
And silenced, as the awful sea       
    Puts minor streams to rest.  
   
And now, I ím different from before,  
As if I breathed superior air,  
    Or brushed a royal gown;  
My feet, too, that had wandered so,       
My gypsy face transfigured now  
    To tenderer renown.

Emily Dickinson  (1830 - 1886)

SONG

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head
Nor shady cypress tree.
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain.
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set
Haply I may remember
And haply may forget.

Christina Rossetti  (1830 -1894)

A QUOI BON DIRE

Seventeen years ago you said
Something that sounded like Good-bye;
And everybody thinks that you are dead,
But I. 

So I, as I grow stiff and cold
To this and that say Good-bye too;
And everybody sees that I am old
But you. 

And one fine morning in a sunny lane
Some boy and girl will meet and kiss and swear
That nobody can love their way again
While over there
You will have smiled, I shall have tossed your hair.

Charlotte Mew  (1879 - 1928)

WHY AM I CRYING AFTER LOVE

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?
Oh, beauty, are you not enough?
Why am I crying after love?

Sarah Teasdale  (1884 - 1933)

THE KISS

I hoped that he would love me, 
And he has kissed my mouth, 
But I am like a stricken bird 
That cannot reach the south. 

For though I know he loves me, 
To-night my heart is sad; 
His kiss was not so wonderful 
As all the dreams I had. 

Sarah Teasdale  (1884 - 1933)

CAMOMILE TEA

Outside the sky is light with stars; 
There's a hollow roaring from the sea. 
And, alas! for the little almond flowers, 
The wind is shaking the almond tree. 

How little I thought, a year ago, 
In the horrible cottage upon the Lee 
That he and I should be sitting so 
And sipping a cup of camomile tea. 

Light as feathers the witches fly, 
The horn of the moon is plain to see; 
By a firefly under a jonquil flower 
A goblin toasts a bumble-bee. 

We might be fifty, we might be five, 
So snug, so compact, so wise are we! 
Under the kitchen-table leg 
My knee is pressing against his knee. 

Our shutters are shut, the fire is low, 
The tap is dripping peacefully; 
The saucepan shadows on the wall 
Are black and round and plain to see.

Katherine Mansfield  (1888 - 1923)

Upward

Emily Dickinson

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© Gaston D'Haese: 12-02-2004.
Update: 25-07-2017.