Classic Love Collection

Special Collection

Poets have always written poems about love. We have put together a collection of recordings of some of the best classic love poems, introduced and read for you by today’s poets. From Elizabeth Barrett Browning asking "How do I love thee?" to Lord Byron declaring "She walks in beauty like the night", these poems are all about that universal theme of love. 

Share this collection with the one you love on Twitter or Facebook. Download the Classic Love Collection as a gift for that special someone or, even better, profess your love by Sponsoring a Poem in dedication to your significant other. If you're feeling especially brave, you could use this collection as inspiration to pen your own verses. Who says romance is dead!

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How do I love thee?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett eloped to Italy. 'How I do Love Thee' is the 43rd of 44 sonnets which trace the evolution in love of the two. 'How I do Love Thee' is justly famous as a delightful celebration of the promised eternity of enduring love

She Walks in Beauty

Lord Byron

Often thought of as one of Byron’s most perfect love poems

She walks in beauty like the night

of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that's best of dark and

bright meets in her aspect and her eyes ...

Let me not to the marriage of true minds... (Sonnet 116)

William Shakespeare

True love, says the poet, is like a sea mark, placed on the coast to give sailors a constant point of reference, or like a star by which one can navigate. Shakespeare's Sonnet's are a meditation on the nature of constant love.

Invitation To Love

Paul Laurence Dunbar

A trio of classic love poems, with Dubar and Wyatt welcoming and admiring love, whilst Herbert grapples with the balance of earthly and divine love.

The Resolve

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Both approaching love from the female perspective, in 'The Resolve' the ambiguities of being approached by a man are sternly pursued, while 'The Rights of Women' a rhetorical feminist militancy gives way to a calmer vision of love's unifying powers.

Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal

Alfred Tennyson

An excellent example of romanticism in poetry...

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;

Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;

Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font;

The firefly wakens, waken thou with me.

In summer's heat and midtime of the day

Christopher Marlowe

These poems share the theme of summer, Marlowe lays "In summer's heat and midtime of the day", whilst Shakespeare asks "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" and Marvell studies "all the summer night".

The Good-morrow

John Donne

'The Good-morrow', climaxes with a complicated set of images of balancing hemispheres and equal loves.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,

And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;

Where can we find two better hemispheres...

The Song of Wandering Aengus

William Butler Yeats

Two poems of longing here. Yeats remarked of his early poems that they were 'the heart's cry against necessity'. With Jonson's poem urging Celia to share in his feelings of love.

Dover Beach

Matthew Arnold

Arnold here speaks calmly of a human misery and confusion against which he can only oppose the power of a personal love.

Ah, love, let us be true

To one another! for the world, which seems

To lie before us like a land of dreams