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Best Famous William Shakespeare Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous William Shakespeare poems. This is a select list of the best famous William Shakespeare poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous William Shakespeare poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of William Shakespeare poems.

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Written by William Shakespeare | |

Sonnet 29

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee—and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
   For thy sweet love rememb'red such wealth brings
   That then I scorn to change my state with kings.


Written by William Shakespeare | |

Sonnet 71

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse When I perhaps compounded am with clay, Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
But let your love even with my life decay, Lest the wise world should look into your moan And mock you with me after I am gone


Written by William Shakespeare | |

Sonnet 55

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contènts
Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn, And broils root out the work of masonry, Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room Even in the eyes of all posterity That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise, You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.


More great poems below...

Written by William Shakespeare | |

Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly: Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly: Then, heigh-ho! the holly! This life is most jolly.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, Thou dost not bite so nigh As benefits forgot: Though thou the waters warp, Thy sting is not so sharp As friend remember'd not.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly: Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly: Then, heigh-ho! the holly! This life is most jolly.


Written by Algernon Charles Swinburne | |

William Shakespeare

 Not if men's tongues and angels' all in one
Spake, might the word be said that might speak thee.
Streams, winds, woods, flowers, fields, mountains, yea, the sea, What power is in them all to praise the sun? His praise is this--he can be praised of none.
Man, woman, child, praise God for him; but he Exults not to be worshiped, but to be.
He is; and, being, beholds his work well done.
All joy, all glory, all sorrow, all strength, all mirth, Are his; without him, day were night on earth.
Time knows not his from time's own period.
All lutes, all harps, all viols, all flutes, all lyres, Fall dumb before him ere one string suspires.
All stars are angels; but the sun is God.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

Sonnet On Famous And Familiar Sonnets And Experiences

 (With much help from Robert Good, William Shakespeare, 
John Milton, and little Catherine Schwartz) 


Shall I compare her to a summer play?
She is too clever, too devious, too subtle, too dark:
Her lies are rare, but then she paves the way
Beyond the summer's sway, within the jejune park
Where all souls' aspiration to true nobility
Obliges Statues in the Frieze of Death
And when this pantomime and Panama of Panorama Fails,
"I'll never speak to you agayne" -- or waste her panting breath.
When I but think of how her years are spent Deadening that one talent which -- for woman is -- Death or paralysis, denied: nature's intent That each girl be a mother -- whether or not she is Or has become a lawful wife or bride -- 0 Alma Magna Mater, deathless the living death of pride.


Written by William Topaz McGonagall | |

An Address to Shakespeare

 Immortal! William Shakespeare, there's none can you excel,
You have drawn out your characters remarkably well,
Which is delightful for to see enacted upon the stage
For instance, the love-sick Romeo, or Othello, in a rage;
His writings are a treasure, which the world cannot repay,
He was the greatest poet of the past or of the present day
Also the greatest dramatist, and is worthy of the name,
I'm afraid the world shall never look upon his like again.
His tragedy of Hamlet is moral and sublime, And for purity of langucge, nothing can be more fine For instance, to hear the fair Ophelia making her moan, At her father's grave, sad and alone.
.
.
.
In his beautiful play, "As You Like If," one passage is very fine, Just for instance in fhe forest of Arden, the language is sublime, Where Orlando speaks of his Rosilind, most lovely and divine, And no other poet I am sure has written anything more fine; His language is spoken in the Church and by the Advocate at the bar, Here and there and everywhere throughout the world afar; His writings abound with gospel truths, moral and sublime, And I'm sure in my opinion they are surpassing fine; In his beautiful tragedy of Othello, one passage is very fine, Just for instance where Cassio looses his lieutenancy .
.
.
By drinking too much wine; And in grief he exclaims, "Oh! that men should put an Enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains.
" In his great tragedy of Richard the III, one passage is very fine Where the Duchess of York invokes the aid of the Divine For to protect her innocent babes from the murderer's uplifted hand, And smite him powerless, and save her babes, I'm sure 'tie really grand.
Immortal! Bard of Avon, your writings are divine, And will live in the memories of you admirers until the end of time; Your plays are read in family ciFcles with wonder and delight, While seated around the fireside on a cold winter's night.


Written by Rg Gregory | |

the shakes

 now pay attention
(said the teacher)
and look up here

the children looked up

this is william shakespeare

four centuries up
on a pedestal
was shakespeare's head

he was what we call
a great man

the children got sore necks
looking up
and some began to look down

no no
you mustn't look down
(said the teacher)
apart from winston churchill
shakespeare was the greatest
englishman who ever lived

the children's eyes
drained to their feet
and their minds
played around with
their private parts

shakespeare was once
a schoolteacher who
had a second best bed
and he happened to write
thirty six plays

and sonnets and things
he has a noble brow
as you can see

the children stared

from a dusty old head
and a mothridden beard
two sour eyes
glared down

from being a bit bored
then very bored
the children began to have
explosions going off
in many parts of their
bodies

 mutters came
out of their mouths
and then anger
followed by flames

shakespeare is a chauvinist
pig
 (they screamed)

why don't you piss off
(they shrieked at the teacher)
and take him with you 

now now children
(said the teacher)
shakespeare's language
was always as noble
as his brow
he will be shocked
to hear such words

some of the class jumped
on the teacher
(as the young are inclined
to nowadays)
  and
the rest began to rock
shakespeare's pedestal

no
please no children
(cried the teacher) 

you know not what you do
do you want to destroy
all that is good
in the world

the rocking went on
like an earthquake
and slowly
 up four
centuries of stone
shakespeare's head
began to wobble
and all of a sudden
it seemed to 
jump from its pedestal
and drop
 shaking itself
free of dust and
a beardful of moths

vandals desecrators
(raged the teacher)
wetting himself
no doubt

watch out
(laughed the children)
catch

 and the head
fell safely into
their outstretched hands

the teacher shrank away
(wet wet)
terrified to be so close
to the greatest but one
of the greats

the children flocked round
curious to find
what greatness was

shakespeare blew his nose
cleared his throat
(the last of the dust)
and said

 hello kids
i'm famished
what's to eat
tell me about yourselves
(and things like that)

he had a real face
and he spoke english
with a kind of
birmingham accent
and he didn't seem to know
much more than they did

he was always pissing around
(he told them)
when he was their age

the teacher gradually
came back
 very surprised
and (when he dared to look
at himself) obviously
very relieved

he went away and began
reading the plays
and (discovering
where he'd gone wrong)

got out of teaching


Written by William Shakespeare | |

Sonnet 70: That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect

 That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
For slander's mark was ever yet the fair;
The ornament of beauty is suspect,
A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air.
So thou be good, slander doth but approve Thy worth the greater being wooed of time, For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love, And thou present'st a pure unstainèd prime.
Thou hast passed by the ambush of young days, Either not assailed, or victor being charged; Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise, To tie up envy, evermore enlarged.
If some suspect of ill masked not thy show, Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.


Written by William Shakespeare | |

Sonnet XLIII

 When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright, How would thy shadow's form form happy show To the clear day with thy much clearer light, When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so! How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made By looking on thee in the living day, When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay! All days are nights to see till I see thee, And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.


Written by William Shakespeare | |

Sonnets XVIII: Shall I compare thee to a summers day?

 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 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 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.


Written by William Shakespeare | |

Under the Greenwood Tree

 Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.
Who doth ambition shun, And loves to live i' the sun, Seeking the food he eats, And pleas'd with what he gets, Come hither, come hither, come hither: Here shall he see No enemy But winter and rough weather.


Written by William Shakespeare | |

Sonnet XXXII: If thou survive my well-contented day

 If thou survive my well-contented day,
When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover,
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,
Compare them with the bettering of the time,
And though they be outstripp'd by every pen,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
Exceeded by the height of happier men.
O then vouchsafe me but this loving thought: "Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age A dearer birth than this his love had brought, To march in ranks of better equipage: But since he died and poets better prove, Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love.
"


Written by William Shakespeare | |

Sonnet XXXIII

 Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all triumphant splendor on my brow;
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth; Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.


Written by William Shakespeare | |

Sonnet XXXVIII

 How can my Muse want subject to invent,
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?
O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;
For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee,
When thou thyself dost give invention light?
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
Eternal numbers to outlive long date.
If my slight Muse do please these curious days, The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.