Top 10 Famous, Romantic Love Poems

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As long as there have been poets, there have been love poems. After all, if love cannot inspire, what can? Our minds turn to love on special anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and weddings, but how to express it? We are not all blessed with the gift of poetic words. The list below may include a romantic love poems for him or a love poem for her to serve the occasion but don’t pretend it’s yours. You will look very foolish when you are found out. But love tends to do that to us anyway.

Top 19 Romantic Love Poems for Him or Her

10. ‘Wild Nights’ by Emily Dickinson

Image result for toptenz wild nights poems

A leading American poet (1830 – 1836), she is one of the most accessible and popular poets. This selection is not typical of her output and is surprisingly passionate for a woman of those times. Dickinson led a secluded life and it’s not certain for whom these lines were intended, ‘might I but moor tonight with thee’. Biographers believe that she may have created a fantasy for herself. But this may also have been a love poem for a man.

Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile the winds
To a heart in port,
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!

9. ‘We Are Made One with What We Touch and See’ by Oscar Wilde

Image result for We Are Made One with What We Touch and See’ by Oscar Wilde

Of course, it’s well known that Wilde’s romantic exploits got him into trouble, resulting in a two-year sentence for hard labour.  He’s better known for his comedic plays and witty quotes than for his poems. This poem has the joyful line; ‘we draw the spring into our hearts and feel that life is good’. Read the full poem.

We shall be notes in that great Symphony
Whose cadence circles through the rhythmic spheres,
And all the live World’s throbbing heart shall be
One with our heart, the stealthy creeping years
Have lost their terrors now, we shall not die,
The Universe itself shall be our Immortality!

8. ‘Bright Star’ by John Keats

‘Bright Star’ by John Keats

A leading figure amongst the English Romantic poets, many of Keats’ poems are melancholic. He was a doomed man, dying of TB at the age of 26 in a house in Rome where he had gone to improve his health. The house, next to the Spanish Steps, is now a museum dedicated to his life and the life of Shelley. He wrote his poetry in a brief five-year period. Sensual love is celebrated in the line, ‘pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast’.

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

7. ‘Another Valentine’ by Wendy Cope

Image result for ‘Another Valentine’ by Wendy Cope

This is from the point of view of a couple that have been together a long time. At first, Cope seems slightly resentful that she is being forced into making a romantic declaration just because a certain date in the calendar demands it, but she gets into the spirit of the occasion and her love for her man shines through. They are sure of each other, as shown by ‘you know I’m yours and I know you are mine’. It is more difficult to find love poems for him, but “Another Valentine” is just that.

Today we are obliged to be romantic
And think of yet another valentine.
We know the rules and we are both pedantic:
Today’s the day we have to be romantic.
Our love is old and sure, not new and frantic.
You know I’m yours and I know you are mine.
And saying that has made me feel romantic,
My dearest love, my darling valentine.

6. ‘A Drinking Song’ by W.B. Yeats

A Drinking Song’ by W.B. Yeats

The title does not suggest a love poem and it’s debatable as to how much alcohol consumption is playing a part! Nevertheless, it is a romantic poem. The opening lines are ‘wine comes in at the mouth and love comes in at the eye’ Let’s hope they don’t regret it in the morning.

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

5. ‘Valentine’ by John Fuller

Top 10 Famous, Romantic Love Poems for Him or Her -‘Valentine’ by John Fuller

Perhaps the least well known poet on the list, he is an English writer, born in 1937, and is the son of the feted poet, Roy Fuller. This is a sensual poem, which celebrates the physical features of his beloved; ‘I like it when you tilt your cheek up’.  It’s a gently teasing poem with fun lines such as ‘I’d like to find you in the shower and chase the soap for half an hour’. Read the full poem.


The things about you I appreciate may seem indelicate:
I’d like to find you in the shower
And chase the soap for half an hour.
I’d like to have you in my power and see your eyes dilate.
I’d like to have your back to scour
And other parts to lubricate.
Sometimes I feel it is my fate
To chase you screaming up a tower or make you cower
By asking you to differentiate Nietzsche from Schopenhauer.
I’d like to successfully guess your weight and win you at a féte.
I’d like to offer you a flower.

4. ‘Love Is’ by Adrian Henri

Image result for Love Is’ by Adrian Henri

The late Henri, along with his fellow Liverpool poets, Roger McGough and Brian Patten, brought poetry to a new generation in their 1967 anthology, ‘The Mersey Sound’. It’s a poem about everyday love between everyday people but is strangely touching. ‘Love is a fan club with only two fans’ and ‘love is what happens when the music stops’.

Love is…
Love is feeling cold in the back of vans
Love is a fanclub with only two fans
Love is walking holding paintstained hands
Love is.
Love is fish and chips on winter nights
Love is blankets full of strange delights
Love is when you don’t put out the light
Love is
Love is the presents in Christmas shops
Love is when you’re feeling Top of the Pops
Love is what happens when the music stops
Love is
Love is white panties lying all forlorn
Love is pink nightdresses still slightly warm
Love is when you have to leave at dawn
Love is
Love is you and love is me
Love is prison and love is free
Love’s what’s there when you are away from me
Love is…

3. ‘How Do I Love Thee’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Top 10 Famous, Romantic Love Poems for Him or Her -‘How Do I Love Thee’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Browning had the advantage of a good education, not given to most Victorian women in England. She blossomed as a poet and found love with fellow writer, Robert Browning. They married against her father’s wishes and eloped to Italy. It doesn’t get any more romantic than that. The opening lines to this romantic love poem are often quoted; ‘how do I love thee, let me count the ways’.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

2. ‘A Red, Red Rose’ by Robert Burns

Top 10 Famous, Romantic Love Poems for Him or Her -‘A Red, Red Rose’ by Robert Burns

This is both a poem and a song, first published in 1794. Burns is one of the most famous Scotsmen in the world and the anniversary of his birth, January 25th, is celebrated around the world with recitations, whiskey and haggis (for those that can stomach it). Burns Night undoubtedly features this romantic poem and the lines, ‘O, my love is like a red, red, rose, that is newly sprung in June’.

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!

1. ‘Love Sonnet 130’ by William Shakespeare

‘Love Sonnet 130’ by William Shakespeare

The most revered playwright in history also found time to compose 154 sonnets, published in 1609. The sonnets are a great source for quotations on the theme of romance, love and passion. He was constantly preoccupied with the relationships between men and women in his writing. Number 130 glories in lines, such as ‘and yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare’.

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.


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74 Comments

  1. the list is great.

    have to say, though, pablo neruda should have been here.

    • Thank you Daniel for the Brazilian poem. It’s interesting – have to say it probably lost a fair bit in the translation.

  2. Anne Iredale on

    Thanks Trueblleu

    I'm not familiar with Pablo Neruda. In fact, I'm ashamed to say I'm not familiar with non-British, Irish and North American poets (with the exception of a couple of Chinese poets) A situation I intend to put right! However, my favorite novelist is German (Hermann Hesse). Glad you liked the list.

  3. I'm surprised not to see e.e. cummings "i carry your heart." It's absoulutely beatiful. But great list otherwise! 🙂

  4. Here's a love poem by Herman Melville(!):

    The Lover and the Syringa Bush

    Like a lit-up Christmas tree,

    Like a grotto pranked with spars,

    Like white coral in green sea,

    Like night's sky of endless stars,

    To me, like these, you show, Syringa,

    What heightening power has love, believe,

    While here at Eden's gate I linger,

    Love's tryst to keep with truant Eve.

    By the way, Syringa is the scientific name for the lilac.

  5. One of my personal favorites is Song: To Celia by Ben Jonson.

    Drink to me, only with thine eyes

    And I will pledge with mine;

    Or leave a kiss but in the cup,

    And I'll not look for wine.

    The thirst that from the soul doth rise

    Doth ask a drink divine:

    But might I of Jove's nectar sup

    I would not change for thine.

    I sent thee late a rosy wreath,

    Not so much honouring thee

    As giving it a hope that there

    It could not withered be

    But thou thereon didst only breath

    And sent'st it back to me:

    Since, when it grows and smells, I swear,

    Not of itself but thee.

  6. Only Love

    Love can sometimes be fresh.

    Love can sometimes be new.

    Love can sometimes make you happy.

    And sometimes make you blue.

    Love is the light that radiates from your eyes.

    Love is your image floating in the skies.

    Love is true.

    And darling, the only love for me is you.

    • ImmortaL LovE

      Love is all about caring,
      like a small wave of the sea coming closer without daring;
      Love is the heaven’s fountain,
      like the beautiful valley flowing through the vast mountains;
      Love is the god’s most beautiful made bonds,
      this is the only thing of which i am very fond;
      Love is the strongest bond on this earth,
      no one knows when it takes birth;
      Love binds each and every thing,
      which give love birds their wings;
      Love is divine and powerful,
      which makes it more realistic and wonderful;
      Love is like a beautiful dove,
      O the citizens of the world, Please LovE!

      to all the love birds on this valentine……………..

  7. Our Love

    As long as there is love, I will cherish you.

    As long as there is life, I will love you.

    As long as the stars shine above, I will want you.

    As long as there are waves in the ocean, I will need you.

    As long as there is heaven above, there will always be our love.

  8. The Night Was Made For Romance

    The night was made for romance.

    In the night our two hearts dance.

    Under the stars our lips touch.

    In the garden your embrace means so much.

    The night was made for love.

    Our hearts cooing like a white dove.

    Your eyes sparkling like diamonds so white.

    I love you darling with all my might.

    The night was made for caring and trust.

    And darling, God made this night for us.

  9. Pablo Neruda is really great. "Almost out of the Sky" is awe inspiring – nothing saccarin about it.Dorothy Parker's "Dark Girl's Rhyme" is a beautiful poem about star crossed love.

    I like that they are both bitter sweet examples that tell a tale more layered than multiple lines of full frontal flattery could ever hope to achieve. IMHO 😉

  10. John Fuller's Valentine is exhilerating for its sheer earthy, audacious passion. Loved it. It says in the little introduction for him that he is lesser known than his father Roy Fuller. In fact i know a bit of the former's poems. Does anyone have more poems to share? Even Roy's, if he is as good.

    And do add Neruda, as someone suggested.

    • Ok, I am sorry to be the English snob, but that particular sonnet by Shakespeare is NOT a love poem, if you take a look at the language, you will see that. Plus, there are several others that are considerably more romantic- especially 116, which is my favorite.

        • Wasn’t referring to “She walks in beauty” I know it is Byron. I didn’t mean to link directly to your comment. I was talking about Sonnet 130 from the list, which is not a romantic poem. Apologies.

      • JulietSammules on

        Good, someone else who caught that!

        For those of you on here who are unaware of what sonnet 116 is:

        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:
        O 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’s 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.

        Sonnet 116 is a beautiful poem about love. Sonnet 116 discusses the strength of love when it’s true and the language in general is more focused on romantic ideas. Sonnet 130 is not romantic or touching in any way. Sonnet 130 is focused more on the down side of a long relationship. 130 is saying that he loves her even though she has all of the listed flaws. A list of flaws about the person you love is not something that’s romantic, even if your saying you still love them, and definitely not nearly as romantic as 116. Think about it, if you were in love which would you rather receive from your significant other, a poem about your flaws that at the end says your significant other still loves you anyways or a poem about the strength of their love for you?

        • Byron’s poem is quite possibly my all-time favourite. However, I would argue that Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 *is* a love poem! It is not the gushy sentiment of frantic, new love. It is not the sensual praise of desire. It is that sturdy, self-assured love that can only ripen with time. It’s the old man who looks at his aged, fat, wrinkled wife with the thin hair and arthritic fingers, and all he can say is “Isn’t she a beauty?” (Or, as Shakespeare would put it “And yet, by Heaven, I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare”) 🙂 I have always thought it to be an incredibly romantic sonnet.

  11. One of my favorites from the man himself, W.B. Yeats.

    He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

    Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,

    Enwrought with golden and silver light,

    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

    Of night and light and the half-light,

    I would spread the cloths under your feet:

    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

    I have spread my dreams under your feet;

    Tread softly because you tread upon my dreams.

  12. I find it ridiculous to list Love Sonnet 130 as the number one romantic poem. Can't you read into it at all? It's not exactly romantic. The woman is not complemented but insulted. She's said to have wires for hair, her voice is unpleasant and her breath reeks, her eyes are dull, and so forth. Sure, the ending indicates that regardless of it all the speaker truly loves her.

    But romantic? Not really 😛

    Shakespeare has countless poems which are much more romantic than this one.

    Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day for instance.

    • I just saw this, and normally i dont get involved, but your argument is blooming ridiculous. Shall i compare thee to a summers day is good, but it doesnt have the depth of emotion or truth. it takes no skill to say, oh she has eyes like the sun, lips like coral. other poets did that before shakespeare, here this poem mock those poets while showing that what he is saying is not sweet nothings. He loves to hear her speak, but it is nto the greatest thing he has heard, she is not perfect, nobody is, and yet, he compares her to a goddess and still believes that the love he has for this woman is greater than any love he could have, any woman who would falsely be compared to the sun.

  13. My favourite love poem is by anon, I think its called 'Love not me for comely grace

    For my pleasing eye or face,

    Nor for any outward part,

    No, nor for a constant heart.

    For these may fail or turn to ill,

    So thou and I shall sever.

    Keep therefore a true woman's eye

    And love me still but know not why,

    So hast thou the same reason still

    To dote upon me ever.

    It's just simple and I love it.

    • this is lovely.. the beauty lies in its simplicity of thought.. thank you for sharing this..

  14. Signoro Incognito on

    "To know, know, know you,

    Is to love, love love you

    And I do"

    Always the slow-dance ladyslayer- late, great Bobby Vinton.

    • Signoro Incognito on

      Why can't you see?

      Oh, how blind can you be?

      To know, know, know you

      Is to love, love, love you

      Just to see you smile

      Makes my life worthwhile

      To know, know, know you

      Is to love, love, love you

      And I do, yes I do, yes I do

      I'll be good to you

      And I'll bring love to you

      Oh, everyone says there'll come a day

      When I'll walk along side of you

      And to know, know, know you

      Is to love, love, love you

      And I do, yes I do, yes I do

      Why can't you see?

      Oh, how blind can you be?

      Someday you'll see

      That you were meant for me

      To know, know, know you

      Is to love, love, love you

      Just to see you smile

      Makes my life worthwhile

      To know, know, know you

      Is to love, love, love you

      And I do, yes I do, yes I do

      And I do, yes I do, yes I do

      Yes I do

  15. THE BRACELET: TO JULIA

    by: Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

    HY I tie about thy wrist,
    Julia, this silken twist;
    For what other reason is’t
    But to show thee how, in part,
    Thou my pretty captive art?
    But thy bond-slave is my heart:

    ‘Tis but silk that bindeth thee,
    Knap the thread and thou art free;
    But ’tis otherwise with me:
    –I am bound and fast bound, so
    That from thee I cannot go;
    If I could, I would not so

  16. Umm…so whoever wrote this list didn’t realize that Sonnet 130 is NOT a love sonnet. It’s Shakespeare saying that his mistress is an ugly whore…

  17. The list is good. Especially i like the poem ‘A Drinking Song’ by W.B. Yeats. There are lot of famous love poems in other languages too and I love some sufi poems and they are very romantic also. Rumi’s poems are also very good.