Planning Tools | Music, Poems & Quotes
Romantic Poems Part II
The Wedding Directory’s collection of romantic poems continued…
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:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed;
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.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright and poet. Sonnet 18 is one of the best known of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets and in it, he compares his love to the beauty and warmth of summer, arguing that she is better.
Love has crept out of her sealed heart
As a field-bee, black and amber,
Breaks from the winter-cell, to clamber
Up the warm grass where the sunbeams start.
Mischief has come in her dawning eyes,
And a glint of coloured iris brings
Such as lies along the folded wings
Of the bee before he flies.
Who, with a ruffling, careful breath,
Has opened the wings of the wild young sprite?
Has fluttered her spirit to stumbling flight
In her eyes, as a young bee stumbleth?
Love makes the burden of her voice.
The hum of his heavy, staggering wings
Sets quivering with wisdom the common things
That she says, and her words rejoice.
D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), English author, poet and playwright. Lawrence was unafraid to tackle social issues in his works and, here, we see reference to the new, feisty and independent-minded ‘flapper’ girls of the 1920s.
To Jane: The Keen Stars Were Twinkling
…The keen stars were twinkling,
And the fair moon was rising among them,
…The guitar was tinkling,
But the notes were not sweet till you sung them
…As the moon’s soft splendor
O’er the faint cold starlight of Heaven
…So your voice most tender
To the strings without soul had then given
…The stars will awaken,
Though the moon sleep a full hour later,
…No leaf will be shaken
Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
…Though the sound overpowers,
Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
…Of some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), regarded amongst the finest lyric poets of the English language. This poem is dedicated to a family friend, Jane. Shelley liked to hear her sing, and gave her a guitar as a gift.
If Thou Must Love Me, Let it Be for Nought
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 ease on such a day”
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee, and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheek dry,
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou may’st love on, through love’s eternity.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), prominent Victorian poet. In one of the most famous love stories of the literary world, Elizabeth married fellow poet Robert Browning ‚ six years her junior ‚ after a secret courtship in 1846.
somewhere i have never travelled
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
e.e. cummings (1894-1962), avant-garde American poet, author, playwright and painter. cummings is famous for presenting all his written works (including his signature) in lower case. The poem, like the rose it describes, is multi-layered and speaks of the one whom the poet loves.