Shakespeare
A lover's complaint

Shakespeare
Venus & Adonis

Shakespeare
The black lady

Shakespeare - Love Poems
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)  
Artist: John Taylor
'Chandos Portrait' (ca. 1610) 
Oil on canvas (55.2 x 43.8 cm) 
National Portrait Gallery, London


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, 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 not plenty; Then, come kiss me, sweet and twenty, Youth's a stuff will not endure.




Take, O Take

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!




Love Sonnet 1

From fairest creatures we desire increase, That thereby beauty's rose might never die, But as the riper should by time decease, His tender heir might bear his memory: But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes, Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel, Making a famine where abundance lies, Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel: Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament, And only herald to the gaudy spring, Within thine own bud buriest thy content, And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding: Pity the world, or else this glutton be, To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.




Love Sonnet 2

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field, Thy youth’s proud livery, so gaz’d on now, Will be a tatter’d weed, of small worth held: Then being ask’d, where all thy beauty lies, Where all the treasure of thy lusty days, To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes, Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise. How much more praise deserv’d thy beauty’s use, If thou couldst answer ‘This fair child of mine Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,’ Proving his beauty by succession thine! This were to be new made when thou art old, And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it cold.




Love 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 dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd; But thy 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.




Love 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, Featur'd 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.




Love Sonnet 40

Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all; What hast thou then more than thou hadst before? No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call; All mine was thine before thou hadst this more. Then if for my love thou my love receivest, I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest; But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest By wilful taste of what thyself refusest. I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief, Although thou steal thee all my poverty; And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury. Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows, Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.




Love Sonnet 44

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought, Injurious distance should not stop my way. For then, despite of space, I would be brought From limits far remote where thou dost stay. No matter then although my foot did stand Upon the farthest earth removed from thee. For nimble thought can jump both sea and land As soon as think the place where he would be. But, ah, thought kills me, that I am not thought, To leap large length of miles when thou art gone, But that, so much of earth and water wrought, I must attend times leisure with my moan, Receiving naught by elements so slow But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.




Love Sonnet 55

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme; But you shall shine more bright in these contents Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time. When wasteful war shall statues overturn, And broils root out the work of masonry, Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory. 'Gainst death and all oblivious enmity Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room, Even in the eyes of all posterity That wear this world out to the ending doom. So, till the judgment that yourself arise, You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.




Love Sonnet 63

Against my love shall be as I am now, With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'erworn; When hours have drain'd his blood and fill'd his brow With lines and wrinkles; when his youthful morn Hath travelled on to age's steepy night; And all those beauties whereof now he's king Are vanishing, or vanished out of sight, Stealing away the treasure of his spring; For such a time do I now fortify Against confounding age's cruel knife, That he shall never cut from memory My sweet love's beauty, though my lover's life: His beauty shall in these black lines be seen, And they shall live, and he in them still green.




Love Sonnet 105

Let not my love be called idolatry, Nor my beloved as an idol show, Since all alike my songs and praises be To one, of one, still such, and ever so. Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind, Still constant in a wondrous excellence; Therefore my verse to constancy confined, One thing expressing, leaves out difference. Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument, Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words; And in this change is my invention spent, Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords. Fair, kind, and true, have often lived alone, Which three till now, never kept seat in one.




Love Sonnet 109

O, never say that I was false of heart, Though absence seemed my flame to qualify. As easy might I from my self depart As from my soul which in thy breast doth lie. That is my home of love; if I have ranged, Like him that travels I return again, Just to the time, not with the time exchanged, So that myself bring water for my stain. Never believe though in my nature reigned All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood, That it could so preposterously be stained To leave for nothing all thy sum of good; For nothing this wide universe I call Save thou, my rose, in it thou art my all




Love 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 heighth 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.




Love Sonnet 130

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




Love Sonnet 138

When my love swears that she is made of truth, I do believe her though I know she lies, That she might think me some untutored youth, Unlearned in the world's false subtleties. Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young, Although she knows my days are past the best, Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue: On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed: But wherefore says she not she is unjust? And wherefore say not I that I am old? O! love's best habit is in seeming trust, And age in love, loves not to have years told: Therefore I lie with her, and she with...




Love Sonnet 147

My love is as a fever, longing still For that which longer nurseth the disease, Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill, Th' uncertain sickly appetite to please. My reason, the physician to my love, Angry that his prescriptions are not kept, Hath left me, and I desperate now approve Desire is death, which physic did except. Past cure I am, now reason is past care, And frantic-mad with evermore unrest; My thoughts and my discourse as mad men's are, At random from the truth vainly expressed. For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.




Love Sonnet 148

O ME! what eyes hath love put in my head, Which have no correspondence with true sight: Or if they have, where is my judgment fled That censures falsely what they see aright? If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote, What means the world to say it is not so? If it be not, then love doth well denote Love’s eye is not so true as all men’s: No, How can it? O how can love’s eye be true, That is so vex’d with watching and with tears? No marvel then though I mistake my view: The sun itself sees not till heaven clears. O cunning Love! with tears thou keep’st me blind, Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find!




Love Sonnet 153

Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep: A maid of Dian's this advantage found, And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep In a cold valley-fountain of that ground; Which borrow'd from this holy fire of Love A dateless lively heat, still to endure, And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove Against strange maladies a sovereign cure. But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fired, The boy for trial needs would touch my breast; I, sick withal, the help of bath desired, And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest, But found no cure: the bath for my help lies Where Cupid got new fire--my mistress' eyes.




Love Sonnet 154

The little Love-god lying once asleep Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand, Whilst many nymphs that vow'd chaste life to keep Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand The fairest votary took up that fire Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd; And so the general of hot desire Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarm'd. This brand she quenched in a cool well by, Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual, Growing a bath and healthful remedy For men diseased; but I, my mistress' thrall, Came there for cure, and this by that I prove, Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.








Shakespeare - Venus and Adonis

Shakespeare - A Lover's Complaint

Shakespeare - Sonnets for the black lady

Andrew Marvell - To his Coy Mistress

Love Poems

Dead Poets Society


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