Famous Love Poetry is greatly indebted to Shakespeare and his age.

The immortal bard from Stratford needs no introduction to famous love poetry. His towering figure in literature was not lightly earned. In fact today, the age of the sceptic, much (wholly inconclusive) evidence has been adduced to convince us that his prodigous output is actually owed to the contributions of possibly several, or at least one ghost writer.

That this suggestion is not dismissed out of hand is a testament to the sheer incredulty that confronts the mind when you consider that one man produced so much in less than 25 years. 37 major plays,154 sonnets and several lengthy poems all of consistently high standards and quality.

Shakespeare's obvious contributions to famous love poetry are his famed sonnets. Shakespeare's sonnets were composed between 1593 and 1601, though not published until 1609. One must add though that love verses and quotes abound in his playwriting and other poems apart from the sonnets, as for example Venus and Adonis.

His claim to being a love poet was recognised as early as 1598, when in the'Palladis Tamia', a kind of literary handbook published by a certain Francis Meres, he was extolled not only for his proficiency as a playwrite, but also for being one of "the most passionate among us to bewaile and bemoane the perplexities of love"

Let us see how Shakespeare eminently "bewailed and bemoaned the perplexities of love"...

Shall I Compare Thee?

Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?

Thou are 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 ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet CXVI

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.

Oh, no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests.. and is never shaken.

It is the star to every wandering bark

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love is 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.

The opening stanza's of the above sonnets have passed into famous love poetry legend. They will always be intoned as long as the english language endures:

"Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day? Thou are more lovely and more temperate:"


"Love is not love, Which alters when it alteration finds,"

Here is another good example from the sonnets, of famous love poetry:

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.

There are more examples of Shakespeare's famous love poetry below:



Famous Love Poetry Examples 1



If you like Famous Love Poetry and would like to receive more information directly in your inbox, subscribe to my Love Poetry of The World newsletter

Return from Famous Love Poetry to Love Poetry of The World