Famous Love Poetry has some of the most famed love poetry written.

The Famous Love Poetry examples on this page are classics. Thomas Hood, John Keats, Edmund Spenser George Herbert and Christopher Marlowe serve up a treat with their various examples. I have selected two examples of The Passionate Shepard to His Love. Marlowe's being maybe the better known, but Thomas Hood's version is also classic famous love poetry in its own right.

The Passionate Shepard to His Love

by Thomas Hood (1799-1845)

I love thee - I love thee!

'Tis all that I can say;

It is my vision in the night,

My dreaming in the day;

The very echo of my heart,

The blessing when I pray:

I love thee - I love thee!

Is all that I can say.

I love thee - I love thee!

Is ever on my tongue;

In all my proudest poesy

That chorus still is sung;

It is the verdict of my eyes,

Amidst the gay and young:

I love thee - I love thee!

A thousand maids among.

I love thee - I love thee!

Thy bright and hazel glance,

The mellow lute upon those lips,

Whose tender tones entrance;

But most, dear heart of hearts, thy proofs

That still these words enhance.

I love thee - I love thee!

Whatever be thy chance.

Ode on a Grecian Urn

by John Keats

Thou still unravished bride of quietness!

Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,

Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

A flow'ry tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape

Of deities or mortals, or of both,

In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?

What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?

What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?

What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;

Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:

Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave

Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;

Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,

Though winning near the goal -yet, do not grieve;

She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,

For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed

Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;

And, happy melodist, unwearied,

For ever piping songs for ever new;

More happy love! more happy, happy love!

For ever warm and still to be enjoyed,

For ever panting and for ever young;

All breathing human passion far above,

That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,

A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?

To what green altar, O mysterious priest,

Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,

And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?

What little town by river or sea-shore,

Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,

Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?

And, little town, thy streets for evermore

Will silent be; and not a soul to tell

Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede

Of marble men and maidens overwrought,

With forest branches and the trodden weed;

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought

As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!

When old age shall this generation waste,

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Among the Romantic English poets none was greater than Keats. His famous refrain,

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,

-that is all Ye know on earth,

and all ye need to know."

is for all time. Few quotes capture the zenith of human aspirations better. Famous Love Poetry indeed!

Edmund Spenser was a famed English poet laureate who was unfortunate to be a near contemporary of Shakespeare. He contrived major contributions to English Literature and Famous love Poetry, which influenced Keats, Wordsworth and Tennyson with its purposely archaic language which harps back to Chaucer and the medieval era. Here is an example of his famous love poetry:

One day I wrote her name upon the strand

by Edmund Spenser

One day I wrote her name upon the


But came the waves and washed it away:

Again I wrote it with a second hand,

But came the tide, and made my pains his


Vain man, said she, that dost in vain


A mortal thing so to immortalize!

For I myself shall like to this decay,

And eek my name be wiped out likewise.

Not so (quoth I), let baser things


To die in dust, but you shall live by


My verse your virtues rare shall


And in the heavens write your glorious


Where, whenas death shall all the world


Our love shall live, and later life


George Herbert is a wonderful poet who produced sublime poetry in his later years when he took orders, after a short life as a politician and outstanding orator. Love (III) manifests rare spiritual depth, typical of his oeuvre and is quite outstanding Famous Love poetry.

Love (III)

By George Herbert

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul

drew back,

Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow


From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning

If I lacked anything.

"A guest," I answered, "worthy to be here":

Love said, "You shall be he."

"I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,

I cannot look on thee."

Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,

"Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord; but I have marred them;

let my shame

Go where it doth deserve."

"And know you not," says Love,

"who bore the blame?"

"My dear, then I will serve."

"You must sit down," says Love,

"and taste my meat."

So I did sit and eat.

This example of famous love poetry is quite remarkable.

Here is another offering of famous love poetry from Keats, and the page closes with Christopher Marlowe's The Passionate Shepard to His Love, which fulfils my earlier promise to give you two examples of these famous love poetry..

When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be

by John Keats (1795 - 1821)

When I have fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,

Before high-piled books, in charactery,

Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;

When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,

Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

And think that I may never live to trace

Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,

That I shall never look upon thee more,

Never have relish in the faery power

Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think

Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

The Passionate Shepard to His Love

by Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my Love,

And we will all the pleasures


That hills and valleys, dales and


Or woods or steepy mountain


And we will sit upon the rocks,

And see the shepherds feed

their flocks

By shallow rivers, to whose falls

Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses

And a thousand fragrant posies;

A cap of flowers, and a kirtle

Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool

Which from our pretty lambs we pull;

Fair-lined slippers for the cold,

With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds

With coral clasps and amber studs-

And if these pleasures may thee move,

Come live with me and by my Love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and


For thy delight each May morning-

If these delights thy mind may move,

Then live with me and be my Love.

So, my dear reader,we come to the end of this rendering of famous love poetry examples. Which of these two versions of the famous love poetry of The Passionate Shepherd do you prefer? Marlowe's or Hood's?

Examples 4

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Lord Byron

Edgar Allan Poe

Emily Dickinson 1

Emily Dickinson 2






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