10 to try: Valentine love poems

In need of help with the right words for your Valentine’s card? Leave it to the pros

Valentines, The Knowledge

Shame on you! You’re looking on the Internet for help writing a Valentine’s card. Just write from the heart and your loved one will appreciate it.

Still got nothing? OK, don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Time Out presents 10 timeless love poems to help inspire your romantic and poetic efforts.

Sonnet 116 William Shakespeare
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-fixèd mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his heighth 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.

When You Are Old, W. B. Yeats
When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
And bending down beside the glowing bars
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And his his face amid a crowd of stars.

Love is Enough, William Morris
Love is enough: though the world be a-waning,
And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining,
Though the skies be too dark for dim eyes to discover
The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming there under,
Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder,
And this day draw a veil over all deeds passed over,
Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter:
The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter
These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.

Love's Secret William Blake
Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
Silently, invisibly.
I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears,
Ah! she did depart!
Soon after she was gone from me
A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly,
He took her with a sigh.

My lady's presence makes the roses red, Henry Constable
My lady's presence makes the roses red,
Because to see her lips they blush for shame.
The lily's leaves, for envy, pale became,
And her white hands in them this envy bred.
The marigold the leaves abroad doth spread,
Because the sun's and her power is the same.
The violet of purple colour came.
Dyed in the blood she made my heart to shed.
In brief: all flowers from her their virtue take;
From her sweet breath their sweet smells do proceed;
The living heat which her eyebeams doth make
Warmeth the ground and quickeneth the seed.
The rain, wherewith she watereth the flowers,
Falls from mine eyes, which she dissolves in showers.

Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare
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 oft' 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 owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

On the balcony D.H. Lawrence
In front of the sombre mountains,
a faint, lost ribbon of rainbow
And between us and it, the thunder;
And down below in the green wheat,
the labourers stand like dark stumps,
still in the green wheat.
You are near to me, and naked feet
In their sandals, and through the
scent of the balcony's naked timber
I distinguish the scent of your hair:
so now the limber
Lightning falls from heaven.
Adown the pale-green glacier river floats
A dark boat through the gloom --
and whither? The thunder roars
But still we have each other!
The naked lightnings in the heavens dither
And disappear --
what have we but each other?
The boat has gone.

Bright Star, John Keats
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.

Love's Philosophy- By Percy Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine? -
See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?

So Fair is she, Spike Milligan
So fair is she!
So fair her face
So fair her pulsing figure
Not so fair
The maniacal stare
Of a husband who's much bigger.

So there you have it – Shakespeare, Shelley, Keats, Yeats, Blake and Milligan. Think you can do better? Leave your poetic comments below.

More from News, Valentines

Al Green, Nina Simone, The Beatles, Michael Jackson and more

Get help from the best to write that Valentine’s Day verse

You’ve organised the venue, decided what to wear and bought the present. Now make sure you don’t ruin it all at the last minute

In need of help with the right words for your Valentine’s card? Leave it to the pros

Whether you’re rich, poor, cash-conscious or a tightwad, with our Valentine’s planner you’ll find something for you

Newsletters

Follow us