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Best Famous Passion Poems

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

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by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |

How Do I Love Thee?

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 every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love 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.

by Ben Jonson | |

His Excuse for Loving

Let it not your wonder move, 
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years, I have had, and have, my peers.
Poets, though divine, are men; Some have loved as old again.
And it is not always face, Clothes, or fortune gives the grace, Or the feature, or the youth; But the language and the truth, With the ardor and the passion, Gives the lover weight and fashion.
If you then would hear the story, First, prepare you to be sorry That you never knew till now Either whom to love or how; But be glad as soon with me When you hear that this is she Of whose beauty it was sung, She shall make the old man young, Keep the middle age at stay, And let nothing hide decay, Till she be the reason why All the world for love may die.

by Oscar Wilde | |


To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God.
Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod I did but touch the honey of romance— And must I lose a soul's inheritance?

More great poems below...

by Olu Oguibe | |

All because i loved you

once i wrote with the irreverence of youth
and the fire of a heart burning to ash 
i plucked words like faggots from blazing coal 
and on the anvil of exile i hammered sorrow into verse 
the burden of your suffering tore poetry from my flesh 
and on the night of your hanging there was dust in my lines 
i aimed for song and there was not an eye without tears 

i marked the fourteen stations of the cross 
but your death has killed my verse 
each day i wake on the hour to mourn 
and i feel like a wanderer in a city without lights 
passion flees in the fog and words crumble at my touch 
and my throat feels like a concrete floor 
the power of tears has deserted me 

i walk through the streets of this forbidding town 
searching for faces i used to know 
and your memory is like a faded picture in the pocket 
here and there i hear your name like the distant crack of a whip 
and there is a dull pain where the scars remain 
i recall your stubbornness and the ring of blood on your wrist 
and i embrace this cold that severed you from me 

once i howled with the rage of a bard 
there was epiphany in the pain 
and all because i loved you 
now i claw the walls for the naked word 
my lines are a hollow sepulchre 
ready for the final dust 
silence claims us at last 

by Ehsan Sehgal | |


I am looking forward your way with passion
You are my princess whatever your name is
The beauty of the universe I see in YOU
My passion becomes glorious and colourful world
And appears before me as you
When I say "I LOVE YOU"
Ehsan Sehgal

by Anonymous | |


Before we close our eyes to-night,
Oh, let us each these questions ask!
Have we endeavored to do right,
Nor thought our duty a hard task?Have we been gentle, lowly, meek,
And the small voice of conscience heard?
When passion tempted us to speak,
Have we repressed the angry word?Have we with cheerful zeal obeyed
What our kind parents bade us do?
And not by word or action said
The thing that was not strictly true?In hard temptation’s troubled hour,
Oh! have we stopped to think and pray,
[Pg 023]
That God would please to give us power
To chase the naughty thought away?Oh, Thou! who seest all my heart,
Do Thou forgive and love me still
And unto me new strength impart,
And make me love and do Thy will.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |

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.

by Ben Jonson | |

On Margaret Ratcliffe

M arble, weep, for thou dost cover
A dead beauty underneath thee,
R ich as nature could bequeath thee :
G rant then, no rude hand remove her.

A ll the gazers on the skies
R ead not in fair heaven's story,
E xpresser truth, or truer glory,
T han they might in her bright eyes.

R are as wonder was her wit ;
A nd, like nectar, ever flowing :
T ill time, strong by her bestowing,
C onquer'd hath both life and it ;
L ife, whose grief was out of fashion
I n these times.
  Few so have rued
F ate in a brother.
  To conclude,
F or wit, feature, and true passion,
E arth, thou hast not such another.

[ AJ Note:
   Margaret Ratcliffe was one of Queen Elizabeth's
 She wasted away from grief in
   November 1599, after long mourning the deaths
   of four of her brothers.

by Robert Seymour Bridges | |

To Joseph Joachim

 Belov'd of all to whom that Muse is dear 
Who hid her spirit of rapture from the Greek, 
Whereby our art excelleth the antique, 
Perfecting formal beauty to the ear; 
Thou that hast been in England many a year 
The interpreter who left us nought to seek, 
Making Beethoven's inmost passion speak, 
Bringing the soul of great Sebastian near.
Their music liveth ever, and 'tis just That thou, good Joachim, so high thy skill, Rank (as thou shalt upon the heavenly hill) Laurel'd with them, for thy ennobling trust Remember'd when thy loving hand is still And every ear that heard thee stopt with dust.

by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

A Word for the Hour

 The firmament breaks up.
In black eclipse Light after light goes out.
One evil star, Luridly glaring through the smoke of war, As in the dream of the Apocalypse, Drags others down.
Let us not weakly weep Nor rashly threaten.
Give us grace to keep Our faith and patience; wherefore should we leap On one hand into fratricidal fight, Or, on the other, yield eternal right, Frame lies of laws, and good and ill confound? What fear we? Safe on freedom's vantage ground Our feet are planted; let us there remain In unrevengeful calm, no means untried Which truth can sanction, no just claim denied, The sad spectators of a suicide! They break the lines of Union: shall we light The fires of hell to weld anew the chain On that red anvil where each blow is pain? Draw we not even now a freer breath, As from our shoulders falls a load of death Loathsome as that the Tuscan's victim bore When keen with life to a dead horror bound? Why take we up the accursed thing again? Pity, forgive, but urge them back no more Who, drunk with passion, flaunt disunion's rag With its vile reptile blazon.
Let us press The golden cluster on our brave old flag In closer union, and, if numbering less, Brighter shall shine the stars which still remain.

by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

A Minor Poet

 I am a shell.
From me you shall not hear The splendid tramplings of insistent drums, The orbed gold of the viol's voice that comes, Heavy with radiance, languorous and clear.
Yet, if you hold me close against the ear, A dim, far whisper rises clamorously, The thunderous beat and passion of the sea, The slow surge of the tides that drown the mere.
Others with subtle hands may pluck the strings, Making even Love in music audible, And earth one glory.
I am but a shell That moves, not of itself, and moving sings; Leaving a fragrance, faint as wine new-shed, A tremulous murmur from great days long dead.

by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

Dinner in a Quick Lunch Room

 Soup should be heralded with a mellow horn, 
Blowing clear notes of gold against the stars; 
Strange entrees with a jangle of glass bars 
Fantastically alive with subtle scorn; 
Fish, by a plopping, gurgling rush of waters, 
Clear, vibrant waters, beautifully austere; 
Roast, with a thunder of drums to stun the ear, 
A screaming fife, a voice from ancient slaughters! 

Over the salad let the woodwinds moan; 
Then the green silence of many watercresses; 
Dessert, a balalaika, strummed alone; 
Coffee, a slow, low singing no passion stresses; 
Such are my thoughts as -- clang! crash! bang! -- I brood 
And gorge the sticky mess these fools call food!

by Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

Brother Jonathans Lament

 SHE has gone,-- she has left us in passion and pride,--
Our stormy-browed sister, so long at our side!
She has torn her own star from our firmament's glow,
And turned on her brother the face of a foe!

Oh, Caroline, Caroline, child of the sun,
We can never forget that our hearts have been one,--
Our foreheads both sprinkled in Liberty's name,
From the fountain of blood with the finger of flame!

You were always too ready to fire at a touch;
But we said, "She is hasty,-- she does not mean much.
" We have scowled, when you uttered some turbulent threat; But Friendship still whispered, "Forgive and forget!" Has our love all died out? Have its altars grown cold? Has the curse come at last which the fathers foretold? Then Nature must teach us the strength of the chain That her petulant children would sever in vain.
They may fight till the buzzards are gorged with their spoil, Till the harvest grows black as it rots in the soil, Till the wolves and the catamounts troop from their caves, And the shark tracks the pirate, the lord of the waves: In vain is the strife! When its fury is past, Their fortunes must flow in one channel at last, As the torrents that rush from the mountains of snow Roll mingled in peace through the valleys below.
Our Union is river, lake, ocean, and sky: Man breaks not the medal, when God cuts the die! Though darkened with sulphur, though cloven with steel, The blue arch will brighten, the waters will heal! Oh, Caroline, Caroline, child of the sun, There are battles with Fate that can never be won! The star-flowering banner must never be furled, For its blossoms of light are the hope of the world! Go, then, our rash sister! afar and aloof, Run wild in the sunshine away from our roof; But when your heart aches and your feet have grown sore, Remember the pathway that leads to our door!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar | |

Lifes Tragedy

 It may be misery not to sing at all, 
And to go silent through the brimming day; 
It may be misery never to be loved, 
But deeper griefs than these beset the way.
To sing the perfect song, And by a half-tone lost the key, There the potent sorrow, there the grief, The pale, sad staring of Life's Tragedy.
To have come near to the perfect love, Not the hot passion of untempered youth, But that which lies aside its vanity, And gives, for thy trusting worship, truth.
This, this indeed is to be accursed, For if we mortals love, or if we sing, We count our joys not by what we have, But by what kept us from that perfect thing.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar | |

If I Could But Forget

 If I could but forget 
The fullness of those first sweet days, 
When you burst sun-like thro' the haze 
Of unacquaintance, on my sight, 
And made the wet, gray day seem bright 
While clouds themselves grew fair to see.
And since, no day is gray or wet But all the scene comes back to me, If I could but forget.
If I could but forget How your dusk eyes look into mine, And how I thrilled as with strong wine Beneath your touch; while sped amain The quickened stream thro' ev'ry vein; How near my breath fell to a gasp, When for a space our fingers met In one electric vibrant clasp, If I could but forget.
If I could but forget The months of passion and of pain, And all that followed in their train-- Rebellious thoughts that would arise, Rebellious tears that dimmed mine eyes, The prayers that I might set love's fire Aflame within your bosom yet-- The death at last of that desire-- If I could but forget.

by Mihai Eminescu | |


'Tis eve on the hillside, the bagpipes are distantly wailing, 
Flocks going homewards, and stars o'er the firmament sailing, 
Sound of the bubbling spring sorrow's legend narrating, 
And beneath a tall willow for me, dear one, you are waiting.
The wandering moon up the heavens her journey is wending, Big-eyed you watch through the boughs her gold lantern ascending, Now over the dome of the sky all the planets are gleaming, And heavy your breast with its longing, your brow with its dreaming.
Cornfields bright flooded with beams by the clouds steeply drifted, Old cottage gables of thatch to the moonlight uplifted, The tall wooden arm of the well in the wind softly grating, And the shepherd-boy's pipe from the sheep-pen sad "doina" relating.
The peasants, their scythes on their backs, from their labour are coming, The sound of the "toaca" its summons more loudly is drumming, While the clang of the village church bell fills the evening entire, And with longing for you like a faggot my soul is on fire.
O, soon will the village be silent and scarce a light burning, O, soon eager steps to the hillside again I'll be turning, And all the night long I will clasp you in love's hungry fashion, And in secret we'll tell to each other the tale of our passion.
Till at last we will fall fast asleep neath the shade of that willow, Your lips drawn aside in a smile and your breast for my pillow, O, to live one such beautiful night all these wonders fulfilling And barter the rest of existence, who would not be willing? English version by Corneliu M.
Popescu Transcribed by Catalina Stoica School No.
10, Focsani, Romania

by Edna St Vincent Millay | |

Sonnets 01: We Talk Of Taxes And I Call You Friend

 We talk of taxes, and I call you friend;
Well, such you are,—but well enough we know
How thick about us root, how rankly grow
Those subtle weeds no man has need to tend,
That flourish through neglect, and soon must send
Perfume too sweet upon us and overthrow
Our steady senses; how such matters go
We are aware, and how such matters end.
Yet shall be told no meagre passion here; With lovers such as we forevermore Isolde drinks the draught, and Guinevere Receives the Table's ruin through her door, Francesca, with the loud surf at her ear, Lets fall the colored book upon the floor.

by Edna St Vincent Millay | |

Sonnets 02: Into The Golden Vessel Of Great Song

 Into the golden vessel of great song
Let us pour all our passion; breast to breast
Let other lovers lie, in love and rest;
Not we,—articulate, so, but with the tongue
Of all the world: the churning blood, the long
Shuddering quiet, the desperate hot palms pressed
Sharply together upon the escaping guest,
The common soul, unguarded, and grown strong.
Longing alone is singer to the lute; Let still on nettles in the open sigh The minstrel, that in slumber is as mute As any man, and love be far and high, That else forsakes the topmost branch, a fruit Found on the ground by every passer-by.

by Edna St Vincent Millay | |

Gods World

 O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
 Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
 Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
 But never knew I this;
 Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

by Marianne Moore | |

He Made This Screen

 not of silver nor of coral, 
but of weatherbeaten laurel.
Here, he introduced a sea uniform like tapestry; here, a fig-tree; there, a face; there, a dragon circling space -- designating here, a bower; there, a pointed passion-flower.

by Petrarch | |



Nova angeletta sovra l' ale accorta.


From heaven an angel upon radiant wings,
New lighted on that shore so fresh and fair,
To which, so doom'd, my faithful footstep clings:
Alone and friendless, when she found me there,
Of gold and silk a finely-woven net,
Where lay my path, 'mid seeming flowers she set:
[Pg 102]Thus was I caught, and, for such sweet light shone
From out her eyes, I soon forgot to moan.

by Petrarch | |



I' ho pregato Amor, e nel riprego.


Oft have I pray'd to Love, and still I pray,
My charming agony, my bitter joy!
That he would crave your grace, if consciously
From the right path my guilty footsteps stray.
That Reason, which o'er happier minds holds sway,
Is quell'd of Appetite, I not deny;
And hence, through tracks my better thoughts would fly,
The victor hurries me perforce away,
You, in whose bosom Genius, Virtue reign
With mingled blaze lit by auspicious skies—
Ne'er shower'd kind star its beams on aught so rare!
You, you should say with pity, not disdain;
"How could he 'scape, lost wretch! these lightning eyes—
So passionate he, and I so direly fair?"

by Petrarch | |



L' alto signor, dinanzi a cui non vale.


The sovereign Lord, 'gainst whom of no avail
Concealment, or resistance is, or flight,
My mind had kindled to a new delight
By his own amorous and ardent ail:
[Pg 213]Though his first blow, transfixing my best mail
Were mortal sure, to push his triumph quite
He took a shaft of sorrow in his right,
So my soft heart on both sides to assail.
A burning wound the one shed fire and flame,
The other tears, which ever grief distils,
Through eyes for your weak health that are as rills.
But no relief from either fountain came
My bosom's conflagration to abate,
Nay, passion grew by very pity great.

by Petrarch | |



Quand' io v' odo parlar si dolcemente.


Whene'er you speak of her in that soft tone
Which Love himself his votaries surely taught,
My ardent passion to such fire is wrought,
That e'en the dead reviving warmth might own:
Where'er to me she, dear or kind, was known
There the bright lady is to mind now brought,
In the same bearing which, to waken thought,
Needed no sound but of my sighs alone.
Half-turn'd I see her looking, on the breeze
Her light hair flung; so true her memories roll
On my fond heart of which she keeps the keys;
But the surpassing bliss which floods my soul
So checks my tongue, to tell how, queen-like, there,
She sits as on her throne, I never dare.

by Petrarch | |



Amor mi sprona in un tempo ed affrena.


Love in one instant spurs me and restrains,
Assures and frightens, freezes me and burns,
Smiles now and scowls, now summons me and spurns,
In hope now holds me, plunges now in pains:
Now high, now low, my weary heart he hurls,
Until fond passion loses quite the path,
And highest pleasure seems to stir but wrath—
My harass'd mind on such strange errors feeds!
A friendly thought there points the proper track,
Not of such grief as from the full eye breaks,
To go where soon it hopes to be at ease,
But, as if greater power thence turn'd it back,
Despite itself, another way it takes,
And to its own slow death and mine agrees.