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Best Famous Romance Poems

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

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See also: Best Member Poems

by Oscar Wilde | |

Hélas

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?


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

Miniver Cheevy

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.
Miniver loved the days of old When swords were bright and steeds were prancing; The vision of a warrior bold Would set him dancing.
Miniver sighed for what was not, And dreamed, and rested from his labors; He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot, And Priam's neighbors.
Miniver mourned the ripe renown That made so many a name so fragrant; He mourned Romance, now on the town, And Art, a vagrant.
Miniver loved the Medici, Albeit he had never seen one; He would have sinned incessantly Could he have been one.
Miniver cursed the commonplace And eyed a khaki suit with loathing; He missed the mediæval grace Of iron clothing.
Miniver scorned the gold he sought But sore annoyed was he without it; Miniver thought, and thought, and thought, And thought about it.
Miniver Cheevy, born too late, Scratched his head and kept on thinking; Miniver coughed, and called it fate, And kept on drinking.


by John Keats | |

When I have Fears that I may cease to be

WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be 
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain  
Before high pil`d books in charact'ry  
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain; 
When I behold upon the night's starr'd face 5 
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance  
And feel that I may never live to trace 
Their shadows with the magic hand of chance; 
And when I feel fair creature of an hour! 
That I shall never look upon thee more 10 
Never have relish in the faery power 
Of unreflecting love;¡ªthen on the shore 
Of the wide world I stand alone and think  
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.


More great poems below...

by Erin Belieu | |

From On Being Fired Again

 I've known the pleasures of being
fired at least eleven times—

most notably by Larry who found my snood
unsuitable, another time by Jack,
whom I was sleeping with.
Poor attitude, tardiness, a contagious lack of team spirit; I have been unmotivated squirting perfume onto little cards, while stocking salad bars, when stripping covers from romance novels, their heroines slaving on the chain gang of obsessive love— and always the same hard candy of shame dissolving in my throat; handing in my apron, returning the cash- register key.
And yet, how fine it feels, the perversity of freedom which never signs a rent check or explains anything to one's family.
.
.


by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

Music

 My friend went to the piano; spun the stool 
A little higher; left his pipe to cool; 
Picked up a fat green volume from the chest; 
And propped it open.
Whitely without rest, His fingers swept the keys that flashed like swords, .
.
.
And to the brute drums of barbarian hordes, Roaring and thunderous and weapon-bare, An army stormed the bastions of the air! Dreadful with banners, fire to slay and parch, Marching together as the lightnings march, And swift as storm-clouds.
Brazen helms and cars Clanged to a fierce resurgence of old wars Above the screaming horns.
In state they passed, Trampling and splendid on and sought the vast -- Rending the darkness like a leaping knife, The flame, the noble pageant of our life! The burning seal that stamps man's high indenture To vain attempt and most forlorn adventure; Romance, and purple seas, and toppling towns, And the wind's valiance crying o'er the downs; That nerves the silly hand, the feeble brain, From the loose net of words to deeds again And to all courage! Perilous and sharp The last chord shook me as wind shakes a harp! .
.
.
And my friend swung round on his stool, and from gods we were men, "How pretty!" we said; and went on with our talk again.


by Walter de la Mare | |

Old Susan

 When Susan's work was done, she'd sit 
With one fat guttering candle lit, 
And window opened wide to win 
The sweet night air to enter in; 
There, with a thumb to keep her place 
She'd read, with stern and wrinkled face.
Her mild eyes gliding very slow Across the letters to and fro, While wagged the guttering candle flame In the wind that through the window came.
And sometimes in the silence she Would mumble a sentence audibly, Or shake her head as if to say, "You silly souls, to act this way!" And never a sound from night I'd hear, Unless some far-off cock crowed clear; Or her old shuffling thumb should turn Another page; and rapt and stern, Through her great glasses bent on me, She'd glance into reality; And shake her round old silvery head, With--"You!--I thought you was in bed!"-- Only to tilt her book again, And rooted in Romance remain.


by Alexander Pushkin | |

O sing fair lady when with me...

 O sing, fair lady, when with me
Sad songs of Georgia no more:
They bring into my memory
Another life, a distant shore.
Your beautiful, your cruel tune Brings to my memory, alas, The steppe, the night - and with the moon Lines of a far, unhappy lass.
Forgetting at the sight of you That shadow fateful, shadow dear, I hear you singing - and anew I picture it before me, here.
O sing, fair lady, when with me Sad songs of Georgia no more: They bring into my memory Another life, a distant shore.
(A Georgian Romance) Translated by: Genia Gurarie, 10/29/95 Copyright retained by Genia Gurarie.
email: egurarie@princeton.
edu http://www.
princeton.
edu/~egurarie/ For permission to reproduce, write personally to the translator.


by Craig Raine | |

The Onion Memory

 Divorced, but friends again at last,
we walk old ground together
in bright blue uncomplicated weather.
We laugh and pause to hack to bits these tiny dinosaurs, prehistoric, crenelated, cast between the tractor ruts in mud.
On the green, a junior Douglas Fairbanks, swinging on the chestnut's unlit chandelier, defies the corporation spears-- a single rank around the bole, rusty with blood.
Green, tacky phalluses curve up, romance A gust--the old flag blazes on its pole.
In the village bakery the pastry babies pass from milky slump to crusty cadaver, from crib to coffin--without palaver.
All's over in a flash, too silently.
.
.
Tonight the arum lilies fold back napkins monogrammed in gold, crisp and laundered fresh.
Those crustaceous gladioli, on the sly, reveal the crimson flower-flesh inside their emerald armor plate.
The uncooked herrings blink a tearful eye.
The candles palpitate.
The Oistrakhs bow and scrape in evening dress, on Emi-tape.
Outside the trees are bending over backwards to please the wind : the shining sword grass flattens on its belly.
The white-thorn's frillies offer no resistance.
In the fridge, a heart-shaped jelly strives to keep a sense of balance.
I slice up the onions.
You sew up a dress.
This is the quiet echo--flesh-- white muscle on white muscle, intimately folded skin, finished with a satin rustle.
One button only to undo, sewn up with shabby thread.
It is the onion, memory, that makes me cry.
Because there's everything and nothing to be said, the clock with hands held up before its face, stammers softly on, trying to complete a phrase-- while we, together and apart, repeat unfinished festures got by heart.
And afterwards, I blunder with the washing on the line-- headless torsos, faceless lovers, friends of mine.


by Oscar Wilde | |

HELAS!

 To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which can 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?


by Robert William Service | |

Cinderella

 Cinderella in the street
In a ragged gown,
Sloven slippers on her feet,
Shames our tidy town;
Harsh her locks of ashen grey,
Vapour vague her stare,
By the curb this bitter day
Selling papers there.
Cinderella once was sweet, Fine and lily fair, Silver slippers on her feet, Ribands in her hair; Solid men besought her hand, Tart was she as quince, Living in a fairy land, Waiting for a Prince.
Days went by and years went by, Wistful wan was she; Heedless of a mother's sigh, Of a lover's plea; On her lips a carol gay, In her heart a dream - Soon the Prince would come her way, Gallant and agleam.
Then at last she learned the truth, How her hope was vain; Gone her beauty, gone her youth, Leaving want and pain.
See! she's waiting all alone; Hark! you hear her cry Papers by the cold curb-stone, Begging you to buy.
Winter winds are waxing chill, Clouds rack overhead; Cinderella will be ill, Bye and bye be dead.
Yet she kept her vision clear, To Romance was true, Holding him forever dear Whom she never knew.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Cinderellas of to-day Take no chance of loss; When a good guy comes your way, Nail him to the cross.
Let some ordinary cuss Your coy heart convince; Never miss the nuptial bus Waiting for a Prince.


by Robert William Service | |

The Lottery

 "Young fellow, listen to a friend:
Beware of wedlock - 'tis a gamble,
It's MAN who holds the losing end
In every matrimonial scramble.
" "Young lady, marriage mostly is A cruel cross of hope's concealing.
A rarity is wedded bliss And WOMAN gets the dirty dealing.
" .
.
.
Such my advice to man and maid, But though they harken few will take it.
The parson plies his merry trade The marriage seems much what you make it.
If Pa or Ma had counsel sought Of me whose locks today are hoary, And feared to tie the nuptial knot - Would I be here to tell the story? Nay, lad and lass, don't flout romance, Nor heed this cynical old sinner; Like bold Columbus take a chance, And may your number be a winner.
Far be it from me to advise, But in the marital relation The safest bet is Compromise And Mutual Consideration.


by Robert William Service | |

Dark Glasses

 Sweet maiden, why disguise
The beauty of your eyes
 With glasses black?
Although I'm well aware
That you are more than fair,
 Allure you lack.
For as I stare at you I ask if brown or blue Your optics are? But though I cannot see, I'm sure that each must be Bright as a star.
That may be green or grey, 'Tis very hard to say, Or violet; The lovelight in their glow Alas, I'll never know, To my regret.
In some rhyme-book I've read, A lady bard has said, And deemed it true, Men will not bite the necks Of sweeties who wear specs,-- Young man, would you? But though they balk romance, Columbus took a chance, And so would I; Even with orbs unseen I'd fain make you my queen And you en-sky.
Alas I see you go, And I will never know Your pupils tint; So o'er a lonely drink I force myself to think: Damsel, you squint!


by Robert William Service | |

Confetti In The Wind

 He wrote a letter in his mind
 To answer one a maid had sent;
He sought the fitting word to find,
 As on by hill and rill he went.
By bluebell wood and hawthorn lane, The cadence sweet and silken phrase He incubated in his brain For days and days.
He wrote his letter on a page Of paper with a satin grain; It did not ring, so in a rage He tore it up and tried again.
Time after time he drafted it; He polished it all through the night; He tuned and pruned till bit by bit He got it right.
He took his letter to the post, Yet long he held it in his hand.
Strangely his mood had veered, almost Reversed,--he could not understand.
The girl was vague, the words were vain; April romance had come to grief .
.
.
He tore his letter up again,-- Oh blest relief!


by Robert William Service | |

Bindle Stiff

 When I was brash and gallant-gay
Just fifty years ago,
I hit the ties and beat my way
From Maine to Mexico;
For though to Glasgow gutter bred
A hobo heart had I,
And followed where adventure led,
Beneath a brazen sky.
And as I tramped the railway track I owned a single shirt; Like canny Scot I bought it black So's not to show the dirt; A handkerchief held all my gear, My razor and my comb; I was a freckless lad, I fear, With all the world for home.
Yet oh I thought the life was grand And loved my liberty! Romance was my bed-fellow and The stars my company.
And I would think, each diamond dawn, "How I have forged my fate! Where are the Gorbals and the Tron, And where the Gallowgate?" Oh daft was I to wander wild, And seek the Trouble Trail, As weakly as a wayward child, And darkly doomed to fail .
.
.
Aye, bindle-stiff I hit the track Just fifty years ago .
.
.
Yet now .
.
.
I drive my Cadillac From Maine to Mexico.


by Robert William Service | |

Romance

 In Paris on a morn of May
I sent a radio transalantic
To catch a steamer on the way,
But oh the postal fuss was frantic;
They sent me here, they sent me there,
They were so courteous yet so canny;
Then as I wilted in despair
A Frenchman flipped me on the fanny.
'Twas only juts a gentle pat, Yet oh what sympathy behind it! I don't let anyone do that, But somehow then I didn't mind it.
He seemed my worry to divine, With kindly smile, that foreign mannie, And as we stood in waiting line With tender touch he tapped my fanny.
It brought a ripple of romance Into that postal bureau dreary; He gave me such a smiling glance That somehow I felt gay and cheery.
For information on my case The postal folk searched nook and cranny; He gently tapped, with smiling face, His reassurance on my fanny.
So I'll go back to Tennessee, And they will ask: "How have you spent your Brief holiday in gay Paree?" But I'll not speak of my adventure.
Oh say I'm spectacled and grey, Oh say I'm sixty and a grannie - But say that morn of May A Frenchman flipped me on the fanny!


by Robert William Service | |

Causation

 Said darling daughter unto me:
"oh Dad, how funny it would be
If you had gone to Mexico
A score or so of years ago.
Had not some whimsey changed your plan I might have been a Mexican.
With lissome form and raven hair, Instead of being fat and fair.
"Or if you'd sailed the Southern Seas And mated with a Japanese I might have been a squatty girl With never golden locks to curl, Who flirted with a painted fan, And tinkled on a samisan, And maybe slept upon a mat - I'm very glad I don't do that.
"When I consider the romance Of all your youth of change and chance I might, I fancy, just as well Have bloomed a bold Tahitian belle, Or have been born .
.
.
but there - ah no! I draw the line - and Esquimeaux.
It scares me stiff to think of what I might have been - thank God! I'm not.
" Said I: "my dear, don't be absurd, Since everything that has occurred, Through seeming fickle in your eyes, Could not a jot be otherwise.
For in this casual cosmic biz The world can be but what it is; And nobody can dare deny Part of this world is you and I.
Or call it fate or destiny No other issue could there be.
Though half the world I've wandered through Cause and effect have linked us two.
Aye, all the aeons of the past Conspired to bring us here at last, And all I ever chanced to do Inevitably led to you.
To you, to make you what you are, A maiden in a Morris car, IN Harris tweeds, an airedale too, But Anglo-Saxon through and through.
And all the good and ill I've done In every land beneath the sun Magnificently led to this - A country cottage and - your kiss.
"


by Robert William Service | |

Weary Waitress

 Her smile ineffably is sweet,
 Devinely she is slim;
Yet oh how weary are her feet,
 How aches her every limb!
Thank God it's near to closing time,
 --Merciful midnight chime.
Then in her mackintosh she'll go Up seven flights of stairs, And on her bed her body throw, Too tired to say her prayers; Yet not too sleepy to forget Her cheap alarm to set.
She dreams .
.
.
That lonely bank-clerk boy Who comes each day for tea,-- Oh how his eyes light up with joy Her comeliness to see! And yet he is too shy to speak, Far less to touch her cheek.
He dreams .
.
.
If only I were King I'd make of her my Queen.
If I were laureate I'd sing Her loveliness serene.
--How wistfully romance can haunt A city restaurant! For as I watch that pensive pair There stirs within my heart From Arcady an April air That shames the sordid mart: A sense of Spring and singing rills, --Love mid the daffodils.


by Robert William Service | |

Susie

 My daughter Susie, aged two,
 Apes me in every way,
For as my household chores I do
 With brooms she loves to play.
A scrubbing brush to her is dear; Ah! Though my soul it vex, My bunch of cuteness has, I fear, Kitchen complex.
My dream was that she might go far, And play or sing or dance; Aye, even be a movie star Of glamour and romance.
But no more with such hope I think, For now her fondest wish is To draw a chair up to the sink And wash the dishes.
Yet when you put it to a test In ups and downs of life, A maiden's mission may be best To make a good house-wife; To bake, to cook, to knit, to lave: And so I pray that Sue Will keep a happy hearth and have A baby too.


by Robert William Service | |

Katie Drummond

 My Louis loved me oh so well
 And spiered me for his wife;
He would have haled me from the hell
 That was my bawdy life:
The mother of his bairns to be,
 Daftlike he saw in me.
But I, a hizzie of the town Just telt him we must part; Loving too well to drag him down I tore him from my heart: To save the honour of his name I went back to my shame.
They say he soared to starry fame, Romance flowed from his pen; A prince of poets he became, Pride of his fellow men: My breast was pillow for his head, Yet naught of his I've read.
Smoking my cutty pipe the while, In howths of Leith I lag; * My Louis lies in South Sea isle As I a sodden hag Live on .
.
.
Oh Love, by men enskied The day you went--I died.
*R.
L.
S.


by Andrei Voznesensky | |

RUSSIAN-AMERICAN ROMANCE

  In my land and yours they do hit the hay 
 and sleep the whole night in a similar way.
There's the golden Moon with a double shine.
It lightens your land and it lightens mine.
At the same low price, that is for free, there's the sunrise for you and the sunset for me.
The wind is cool at the break of day, it's neither your fault nor mine, anyway.
Behind your lies and behind my lies there is pain and love for our Motherlands.
I wish in your land and mine some day we'd put all idiots out of the way.
© Copyright Alec Vagapov's translation


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

The Romance Of Patrolman Casey

 There was a young patrolman who
 Had large but tender feet;
They always hurt him badly when
 He walked upon his beat.
(He always took them with him when He walked upon his beat.
) His name was Patrick Casey and A sweetheart fair had he; Her face was full of freckles—but Her name was Kate McGee.
(It was in spite of freckles that Her name was Kate McGee.
) “Oh, Pat!” she said, “I’ll wed you when Promotion comes to you!” “I’m much-obliged,” he answered, and “I’ll see what I can do.
” (I may remark he said it thus— “Oi’ll say phwat Oi kin do.
”) So then he bought some new shoes which Allowed his feet more ease— They may have been large twelves.
Perhaps Eighteens, or twenty-threes.
(That’s rather large for shoes, I think— Eighteens or twenty-threes!) What last they were I don’t know, but Somehow it seems to me I’ve heard somewhere they either were A, B, C, D, or E.
(More likely they were five lasts wide— A, B plus C, D, E.
) They were the stoutest cowhide that Could be peeled off a cow.
But he was not promoted So Kate wed him anyhow.
(This world is crowded full of Kates That wed them anyhow.
)


by Andrew Barton Paterson | |

Australian Scenery

 The Mountains 
A land of sombre, silent hills, where mountain cattle go 
By twisted tracks, on sidelings deep, where giant gum trees grow 
And the wind replies, in the river oaks, to the song of the stream below.
A land where the hills keep watch and ward, silent and wide awake As those who sit by a dead campfire, and wait for the dawn to break, Or those who watched by the Holy Cross for the dead Redeemer's sake.
A land where silence lies so deep that sound itself is dead And a gaunt grey bird, like a homeless soul, drifts, noiseless, overhead And the world's great story is left untold, and the message is left unsaid.
The Plains A land as far as the eye can see, where the waving grasses grow Or the plains are blackened and burnt and bare, where the false mirages go Like shifting symbols of hope deferred -- land where you never know.
Land of plenty or land of want, where the grey Companions dance, Feast or famine, or hope or fear, and in all things land of chance, Where Nature pampers or Nature slays, in her ruthless, red, romance.
And we catch a sound of a fairy's song, as the wind goes whipping by, Or a scent like incense drifts along from the herbage ripe and dry -- Or the dust storms dance on their ballroom floor, where the bones of the cattle lie.


by Andrew Barton Paterson | |

The Plains

 A land, as far as the eye can see, where the waving grasses grow 
Or the plains are blackened and burnt and bare, where the false mirages go 
Like shifting symbols of hope deferred - land where you never know.
Land of the plenty or land of want, where the grey Companions dance, Feast or famine, or hope or fear, and in all things land of chance, Where Nature pampers or Nature slays, in her ruthless, red, romance.
And we catch a sound of a fairy's song, as the wind goes whipping by, Or a scent like incense drifts along from the herbage ripe and dry - Or the dust storms dance on their ballroom floor, where the bones of the cattle lie.


by Robert Louis Stevenson | |

Romance

 I WILL make you brooches and toys for your delight 
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night.
I will make a palace fit for you and me, Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.
I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room, Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom, And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.
And this shall be for music when no one else is near, The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear! That only I remember, that only you admire, Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

The Tree In Pamelas Garden

 Pamela was too gentle to deceive 
Her roses.
"Let the men stay where they are," She said, "and if Apollo's avatar Be one of them, I shall not have to grieve.
" And so she made all Tilbury Town believe She sighed a little more for the North Star Than over men, and only in so far As she was in a garden was like Eve.
Her neighbors—doing all that neighbors can To make romance of reticence meanwhile— Seeing that she had never loved a man, Wished Pamela had a cat, or a small bird, And only would have wondered at her smile Could they have seen that she had overheard.