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

Shakespeare's most famous love poetry, his sonnets, were all written in the form of three quatrains and a couplet that is now recognized as Shakespearean.

Let us end by looking at three more examples, namely: sonnets 2, 130 and 147.

Sonnet II

"When forty winters shall besiege thy brow

And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,

Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now,

Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held.

Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies,

Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,

To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,

Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.

How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use,

If thou couldst answer, "This fair child of mine

Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,"

Proving his beauty by succession thine!

This were to be new made when thou art old,

And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.

As a reading of sonnet 2 reveals, nearly all of Shakespeare's sonnets examine the inevitable decay of time, and the immortalization of beauty and love in famous love poetry.

Let us enjoy the next one...

Sonnet CXXX

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips' red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

As any she belied with false compare.

Famous Love Poetry is greatly indebted to Shakespeare and his age for these fine contributions that convey such utter mastery of language and elegance. Evidence indicates that both he and his world looked to poetry, not playwriting for enduring fame.

Shakespeare's 154 sonnets fall into two broad groups: sonnets 1-126 are addressed to a beloved friend, a handsome and noble young man, while sonnets 127-152, to a malignant but fascinating "Dark Lady," whom the poet loves in spite of himself.

It is her he berates and serenades simultaneously in sonnet 130 above, and the unforgettable lines of Sonnet CXLVII below, "My love is as a fever, longing still, for that which longer nurseth the disease...


My love is as a fever, longing still

For that which longer nurseth the disease,

Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,

The uncertain sickly appetite to please.

My Reason, the physician to my love,

Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,

Hath left me, and 1 desperate now approve

Desire is death, which physic did except.

Past cure I am, now reason is past care,

And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;

My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,

At random from the truth vainly express'd;

For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright,

Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

So, with that we come to the end of our page on Shakespeare's famous love poetry. Just like the bard many have discovered since, that... "Love's fire heats water, water cools not love"

Famous Love Poetry Examples 1



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