Classic Love Quotes

Writers and poets have given us some of the canon's classic expressions of love

What makes a classic love quote classic? Just because it's old doesn't necessarily make a quote or a saying romantic (in fact, some older love quotes don't really age all that well). In Western literature, many a scribe has tried to express his or her love, and plenty of these love quotes have stood the test of time. 

It's not easy to know what turns of phrase your beloved will find most appealing, but there are many poems, sonnets, and phrases that have become part of the lexicon. Perhaps it's because they've touched on something in our collective consciousness. In any event, there's no shortage of quotes about love and romance to offer inspiration.

Classic Love Quotes from Writers

Not every writer is known for having a romantic side, but sometimes the most romantic thoughts come from the least likely voice. Here are some well-known, classic love quotes from famous writers. 

"All mankind love a lover."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” 
― Jane Austen, from "Pride and Prejudice."

"Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other."
―Rainer Maria Rilke

I don't call you handsome, sir, though I love you most dearly: far too dearly to flatter you."
―Charlotte Bronte, from "Jane Eyre."

"There is only one happiness in this life: to love and be loved."
―George Sand

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm and whose conscience approves their conduct will pursue their principles unto death."
―Leonardo da Vinci

Classic Love Quotes from Poets

Then, of course, there are the poets, for whom love is a primary preoccupation (at least, for a great many of them). Sometimes love is beautiful and kind, sometimes it is a curse and a scourge, but it's always fuel for passionate expression

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach"
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"And seem to walk on wings, and tread in the air.
― Alexander Pope

I will write the evangel-poem of comrades and of love."
Walt Whitman

"Love in a hut, with water and a crust, Is - Love, forgive us! - cinders, ashes, dust."

John Keats

"There is pleasure in the pathless woods there is a rapture on the lonely shore, there is a society where none intrudes by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more."

Lord Byron

"And all my days are trances,

And all my nightly dreams Are where thy dark eye glances,

And where thy footstep gleams - In what ethereal dances,

By what eternal streams."
― Edgar Allan Poe

"For life, with all, it yields of joy and woe,

And hope and fear (believe the aged friend),

Is just our chance o' the prize of learning love

How love might be, hath been indeed and is."

Robert Browning