Shakespeare: Sonnet 17
If I could write the beauty of your eyes
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say, "This poet lies -
Such heavenly touches ne'er touched earthly faces."
Shakespeare: Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou are more lovely and more temperate.
Shakespeare: Sonnet 27
Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired,
But then begins the journey in my head
To work my head when body's work's expired:
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide
Looking n darkness which the blind do see:
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents thy shadows to my sightless view.
Shakespeare: Sonnet 29
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 remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my fate with kings.
Shakespeare: 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.
Shakespeare: Sonnet 43
When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee
And, darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
Shakespeare: 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 away, where thou dost stay.
Shakespeare: Sonnet 47
Betwix mine eye and heart a league is took.
And each doth good turns now unto the other:
When that my 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 thy love,
Thyself away are present still with me;
For thou not further 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.
Shakespeare: Sonnet 53
What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
And you, but one, can every shadow lend.
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
Is poorly imitated after you.
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.
Shakespeare: Sonnet 76
O, know, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:
For as the sun is daily new and old,
So is my love still telling what is old.
Shakespeare: Sonnet 78
So oft have I invoked thee for my muse
And found such fair assistance in my verse
As every alien pen has got my use
And under thee their poesy disperse.
Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing,
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,
Have added feathers to the learned's wing
And given grace a double majesty.
Shakespeare: Sonnet 87
Farewell, thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate.
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing:
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by your granting,
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to thou gav'st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprison growing,
Comes home again, on better judgement making.
Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter,
In sleep a king, but waking no such matter
Butterflies: John Davidson
At sixteen years she knew no care;
How could she, sweet and pure as light?
And there persued her everywhere
Butterflies all white.
A lover looked. She dropped her eyes
That glowed like pansies wet with dew;
And lo, there came from out the skies
Butterflies all blue.
Song To Celia: Ben Jonson
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in my cup,
And I'll not look for wine.
How Do 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 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.
Life in a Love: Robert Browning
While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world contains us both,
Me the loving and you the loth,
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
My life is a fault at last, I fear—
It seems too much like a fate, indeed!
Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed—
But what if I fail of my purpose here?
Longing: Matthew Arnold
Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again.
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.
The Nymph's Reply: Walter Raleigh
If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue.
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee, and be thy love.
But Time drives flocks from field to fold;
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becomes dumb;
The rest complains of times to come.
The Passionate Shepherd To His Love: Christopher Marlow
Come with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
The hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Or woods or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodius birds sing madrigals.
The Bait: John Donne
Come with me and be my love,
And we will some new pleasure prove
Of golden sands and crystal brooks:
With silken lines and silver hooks.
There will the river whispering run
Warmed by thine eyes more than the sun.
And there the enamored fish will stay,
Begging themselves they may betray.
A Book of Verse: Omar Khayyam
A book of verse, underneath the bough,
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread - and thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness -
Ah, wilderness were paradise now!
Love's Trinity: Alfred Austin
Soul, heart, and body, we thus singly name,
Are not in love divisible and distinct,
But each with each inseparably link'd.
One is not honour, and the other shame,
But burn as closely fused as fuel, heat, and flame.
They do not love who give the body and keep
The heart ungiven; nor they who yield the soul,
And guard the body. Love doth give the whole;
Its range being high as heaven, as ocean deep,
Wide as the realms of air or planet's curving sweep
Shakespeare: Venus and Adonis 20
'Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine,—
Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red,—
The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine:
What seest thou in the ground? hold up thy head:
Look in mine eyeballs, there thy beauty lies;
Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes?