A Collection of Classic Love Poems for Your Sweetheart

Get Some Inspiration From Great Poets

The feelings of romantic love are pretty universal -- even if it seems like nobody could ever have felt the way you do; that's universal, too. And that's why songs and poems often say just what you're feeling -- only better than you can express it. If you want to tell your sweetheart just how you feel about him or her, whether it's Valentine's Day or any old day, but you can't quite find the just the right words, maybe these classic poems from some of the greatest poets in the English language might fit the bill. Here you'll find the first few lines; click on the links for the full poems.

01
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'Hero and Leander'

“Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?”

Christopher Marlowe (1598)​

02
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'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."

Christopher Marlowe (1598)

03
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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 ..."

William Shakespeare (1609)

04
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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-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken ..."

 William Shakespeare (1609)

05
of 18
'Song to Celia'

"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."

Ben Jonson (1619)

06
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'Air and Angels'

"Twice or thrice had I lov’d thee,
Before I knew thy face or name;
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame
Angels affect us oft, and worshipp’d be ..."

John Donne (1633)

07
of 18

"If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do."

John Donne (1633)

08
of 18
'To My Dear and Loving Husband'

"If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold."

Anne Bradstreet (1678) 

09
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'To His Coy Mistress'

"Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day ..."

 Andrew Marvell (1681)

10
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'Song -- 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."

Robert Burns (1794)

11
of 18
'Love'

"All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
 And feed his sacred flame."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1799)

12
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'Love's Philosophy'

"The fountains mingle with the river
   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?—"

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1819)

13
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Sonnet 14

"If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
“I love her for her smile—her look—her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day”—"

 Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1850)

14
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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."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1850)

15
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Sonnet 44

"Beloved, thou hast brought me many flowers
Plucked in the garden, all the summer through,
And winter, and it seemed as if they grew
In this close room, nor missed the sun and showers."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1850)

16
of 18
' 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-gray 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 (1899)

17
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'In Excelsis'

"You—you—
Your shadow is sunlight on a plate of silver;
Your footsteps, the seeding-place of lilies;
Your hands moving, a chime of bells across a windless air.

The movement of your hands is the long, golden running of light from a rising sun;
It is the hopping of birds upon a garden-path."

Amy Lowell (1922) 

18
of 18
'To Earthward'

"Love at the lips was touch
As sweet as I could bear;
And once that seemed too much;
I lived on air."

 Robert Frost (1923)