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Best Famous Romantic Poems

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

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by William Lisle Bowles | |

VII. At a Village in Scotland....

 O NORTH! as thy romantic vales I leave, 
And bid farewell to each retiring hill, 
Where thoughtful fancy seems to linger still, 
Tracing the broad bright landscape; much I grieve 
That mingled with the toiling croud, no more 
I shall return, your varied views to mark, 
Of rocks winding wild, and mountains hoar, 
Or castle gleaming on the distant steep.
Yet not the less I pray your charms may last, And many a soften'd image of the past Pensive combine; and bid remembrance keep To cheer me with the thought of pleasure flown, When I am wand'ring on my way alone.

by Alec Derwent (A D) Hope | |


 This was the gods' god, 
The leashed divinity, 
Divine divining rod 
And Me within the me.
By mindlight tower and tree Its shadow on the ground Throw, and in darkness she Whose weapon is her wound Fends off the knife, the sword, The Tiger and the Snake; It stalks the virgin's bed And bites her wide awake.
Her Bab-el-Mandeb waits Her Red Sea gate of tears: The blood-sponge god dilates, His rigid pomp appears; Sets in the toothless mouth A tongue of prophecy.
It speaks in naked Truth Indifference for me Love, a romantic slime That lubricates his way Against the stream of Time.
And though I win the day His garrisons deep down Ignore my victory, Abandon this doomed town, Crawl through a sewer and flee.
A certain triumph, of course, Bribes me with brief joy: Stiffly my Wooden Horse Receive into your Troy.

by Robert William Service | |

The God Of Common-Sense

 My Daddy used to wallop me for every small offense:
"Its takes a hair-brush back," said he, "to teach kids common-sense.
" And still to-day I scarce can look a hair-brush in the face.
Without I want in sympathy to pat a tender place.
For Dad declared with unction: "Spare the brush and spoil the brat.
" The dear old man! What e'er his faults he never did do that; And though a score of years have gone since he departed hence, I still revere his deity, The God of Common-sense.
How often I have played the ass (Man's universal fate), Yet always I have saved myself before it was too late; How often tangled with a dame - you know how these things are, Yet always had the gumption not to carry on too far; Remembering that fancy skirts, however high they go, Are not to be stacked up against a bunch of hard-earned dough; And sentiment has little weight compared with pounds and pence, According to the gospel of the God of Common-sense.
Oh blessing on that old hair-brush my Daddy used to whack With such benign precision on the basement of my back.
Oh blessings on his wisdom, saying: "Son, don't play the fool, Let prudence be your counselor and reason be your rule.
Don't get romantic notions, always act with judgment calm, Poetical emotions ain't in practice worth a damn/ let solid comfort be your goal, self-interest your guide.
" Then just as if to emphasize, whack! whack! the brush he plied.
And so I often wonder if my luck is Providence, or just my humble tribute to the God of Common-sense.

More great poems below...

by Thomas Warton | |

While Summer Suns Oer the Gay Prospect Playd

 While summer suns o'er the gay prospect play'd,
Through Surrey's verdant scenes, where Epsom spread
'Mid intermingling elms her flowery meads,
And Hascombe's hill, in towering groves array'd,
Rear'd its romantic steep, with mind serene,
I journey'd blithe.
Full pensive I return'd; For now my breast with hopeless passion burn'd, Wet with hoar mists appear'd the gaudy scene, Which late in careless indolence I pass'd; And Autumn all around those hues had cast Where past delight my recent grief might trace.
Sad change, that Nature a congenial gloom Should wear, when most, my cheerless mood to chase, I wish'd her green attire, and wonted bloom!

by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Flossie Cabanis

 From Bindle's opera house in the village
To Broadway is a great step.
But I tried to take it, my ambition fired When sixteen years of age, Seeing "East Lynne" played here in the village By Ralph Barrett, the coming Romantic actor, who enthralled my soul.
True, I trailed back home, a broken failure, When Ralph disappeared in New York, Leaving me alone in the city -- But life broke him also.
In all this place of silence There are no kindred spirits.
How I wish Duse could stand amid the pathos Of these quiet fields And read these words.

by Robert Louis Stevenson | |

Come My Beloved Hear From Me

 COME, my beloved, hear from me
Tales of the woods or open sea.
Let our aspiring fancy rise A wren's flight higher toward the skies; Or far from cities, brown and bare, Play at the least in open air.
In all the tales men hear us tell Still let the unfathomed ocean swell, Or shallower forest sound abroad Below the lonely stars of God; In all, let something still be done, Still in a corner shine the sun, Slim-ankled maids be fleet of foot, Nor man disown the rural flute.
Still let the hero from the start In honest sweat and beats of heart Push on along the untrodden road For some inviolate abode.
Still, O beloved, let me hear The great bell beating far and near- The odd, unknown, enchanted gong That on the road hales men along, That from the mountain calls afar, That lures a vessel from a star, And with a still, aerial sound Makes all the earth enchanted ground.
Love, and the love of life and act Dance, live and sing through all our furrowed tract; Till the great God enamoured gives To him who reads, to him who lives, That rare and fair romantic strain That whoso hears must hear again.

by William Topaz McGonagall | |

The Castle of Mains

 Ancient Castle of the Mains,
With your romantic scenery and surrounding plains,
Which seem most beautiful to the eye,
And the little rivulet running by,
Which the weary traveller can drink of when he feels dry.
And the heaven's breath smells sweetly there, And scented perfumes fill the air, Emanating from the green trees and beautiful wild flowers growing there.
There the people can enjoy themselves And wile away the time, By admiring the romantic scenery In the beautiful sunshine; And pull the little daisy, As they carelessly recline Upon the grassy green banks, Which is most charming to see, Near by the Castle of the Mains, Not far from Dundee.
Then there's the old burying-ground, Most solemn to see, And the silent dead reposing silently Amid the shady trees, In that beautiful fairy dell Most lovely to see, Which in the summer season Fills the people's hearts with glee, To hear the birds singing and the humming of the bee.

by William Topaz McGonagall | |

Loch Ness

 Beautiful Loch Ness,
The truth to express,
Your landscapes are lovely and gay,
Along each side of your waters, to Fort Augustus all the way,
Your scenery is romantic.
With rocks and hills gigantic.
Enough to make one frantic, As they view thy beautiful heathery hills, And their clear crystal rills, And the beautiful woodlands so green, On a fine summer day.
From Inverneaa all the way.
Where the deer and the doe together doth play; And the beautiful Falls of Foyers with its cystal spray, As clear as the day, Enchanting and gay, To the traveller as he gazes thereon, That he feels amazed with delight, To see the water falling from such a height, That his heed feels giddy with the scene, As he views the Falls of Foyers and the woodlands so green, That he exclaims in an ecstasy of delight - Oh, beautiful Loch Ness! I must sincerely confess, That you are the most beautiful to behold, With your lovely landscapes and water so cold.
And as he turns from the scene, he says with a sigh- Oh, beautiful Loch Ness! I must bid you good-bye.

by William Topaz McGonagall | |

Beautiful Village of Penicuik

 The village of Penicuik, with its neighbouring spinning mills,
Is most lovely to see, and the Pentland Hills;
And though of a barren appearance and some parts steep,
They are covered with fine pasture and sustain flocks of sheep.
There, tourists while there should take a good look, By viewing the surrounding beauties of Penicuik; About three miles south-west is the romantic locality Of Newhall, which is most fascinating and charming to see.
Then about half a mile above Newhall the River Esk is seen, Which sparkles like crystal in the sun's sheen; And on the Esk there's a forking ridge forming a linn Betwixt two birch trees, which makes a noisy din.
And on a rocky protuberance close by is Mary Stuart's bower Where Scotland's ill-starred Queen spent many an hour, Which is composed of turf and a nice round seat Commanding a full view of the linn- the sight is quite a treat.
Then there's Habbie's Howe, where the beauties of summer grow, Which cannot be excelled in Scotland for pastoral show; Tis one of the most beautiful landscapes in fair Scotland, For the scenery there is most charming and grand.
Then ye tourists to the village of Penicuik haste away, And there spend the lovely summer day By climbing the heathy, barren Pentland Hills, And drink the pure water from their crystal rills.

by William Topaz McGonagall | |

Bonnie Callander

 Chorus --

Bonnie Helen, will you go to Callander with me
And gaze upon its beauties and romantic scenery
Dear Helen, it will help to drive all sorrow away;
Therefore come, sweet Helen, and let's have a holiday.
Callander is a pretty little town most lovely to see, Situated in the midst of mountains towering frowningly; And Ben Ledi is the chief amongst them and famous in history, Looking stern and rugged in all its majesty.
Chorus And as for Bracklinn Falls, they are impressive to sight, Especially the Keltie, which will the visitor's heart delight, With its bonnie banks bordered with beautiful trees, And the effect would be sure the spectator to please.
Chorus The hawthorn hedges and the beautiful wild flowers Will help to enliven the scene and while away the hours; And as the spectator gazes upon Keltie waterfall, The rumbling and fumbling of the water does his heart appall.
Chorus As it makes one fearful plunge into a yawning abyss below, Fifty or sixty feet beneath, where it splashes to and fro, And seethes and boils in a great deep pool, And the sweet, fragrant air around it is very cool.
Chorus 'Tis said two lovers met there with a tragic fate.
Alas! poor souls, and no one near to extricate.
The rail of the bridge upon which they were leaning gave way, And they were drowned in the boiling gulf.
Oh, horror and dismay! Chorus The Pass of Leny is most wild and amazing to see, With its beetling crags and towering mountains and romantic scenery; And the brawling Leny, with its little waterfalls, Will repay the visitor for the time occupied any time he calls.
Chorus Then lovers of the picturesque make haste and go away To the pretty little village of Callander without delay, And breathe the fresh air in the harvest time, And revel amongst romantic scenery in the beautiful sunshine.

by Joyce Kilmer | |

Easter Week

 (In memory of Joseph Mary Plunkett)

("Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.
") William Butler Yeats.
"Romantic Ireland's dead and gone, It's with O'Leary in the grave.
" Then, Yeats, what gave that Easter dawn A hue so radiantly brave? There was a rain of blood that day, Red rain in gay blue April weather.
It blessed the earth till it gave birth To valour thick as blooms of heather.
Romantic Ireland never dies! O'Leary lies in fertile ground, And songs and spears throughout the years Rise up where patriot graves are found.
Immortal patriots newly dead And ye that bled in bygone years, What banners rise before your eyes? What is the tune that greets your ears? The young Republic's banners smile For many a mile where troops convene.
O'Connell Street is loudly sweet With strains of Wearing of the Green.
The soil of Ireland throbs and glows With life that knows the hour is here To strike again like Irishmen For that which Irishmen hold dear.
Lord Edward leaves his resting place And Sarsfield's face is glad and fierce.
See Emmet leap from troubled sleep To grasp the hand of Padraic Pearse! There is no rope can strangle song And not for long death takes his toll.
No prison bars can dim the stars Nor quicklime eat the living soul.
Romantic Ireland is not old.
For years untold her youth will shine.
Her heart is fed on Heavenly bread, The blood of martyrs is her wine.

by Czeslaw Milosz | |

Unde Malum

 Where does evil come from?
It comes
from man
always from man
only from man
- Tadeusz Rozewicz
Alas, dear Tadeusz,
good nature and wicked man
are romantic inventions
you show us this way
the depth of your optimism
so let man exterminate
his own species
the innocent sunrise will illuminate
a liberated flora and fauna
where oak forests reclaim
the postindustrial wasteland
and the blood of a deer
torn asunder by a pack of wolves
is not seen by anyone
a hawk falls upon a hare
without witness
evil disappears from the world
and consciousness with it
Of course, dear Tadeusz,
evil (and good) comes from man.

by Czeslaw Milosz | |


 Burning, he walks in the stream of flickering letters, clarinets,
machines throbbing quicker than the heart, lopped-off heads, silk
canvases, and he stops under the sky

and raises toward it his joined clenched fists.
Believers fall on their bellies, they suppose it is a monstrance that shines, but those are knuckles, sharp knuckles shine that way, my friends.
He cuts the glowing, yellow buildings in two, breaks the walls into motley halves; pensive, he looks at the honey seeping from those huge honeycombs: throbs of pianos, children's cries, the thud of a head banging against the floor.
This is the only landscape able to make him feel.
He wonders at his brother's skull shaped like an egg, every day he shoves back his black hair from his brow, then one day he plants a big load of dynamite and is surprised that afterward everything spouts up in the explosion.
Agape, he observes the clouds and what is hanging in them: globes, penal codes, dead cats floating on their backs, locomotives.
They turn in the skeins of white clouds like trash in a puddle.
While below on the earth a banner, the color of a romantic rose, flutters, and a long row of military trains crawls on the weed-covered tracks.

by Edward Lear | |

There was an old person of Putney

There was an old person of Putney,
Whose food was roast spiders and chutney,
Which he took with his tea, within sight of the sea,
That romantic old person of Putney.

by Alan Seeger | |

The Old Lowe House Staten Island

 Another prospect pleased the builder's eye, 
And Fashion tenanted (where Fashion wanes) 
Here in the sorrowful suburban lanes 
When first these gables rose against the sky.
Relic of a romantic taste gone by, This stately monument alone remains, Vacant, with lichened walls and window-panes Blank as the windows of a skull.
But I, On evenings when autumnal winds have stirred In the porch-vines, to this gray oracle Have laid a wondering ear and oft-times heard, As from the hollow of a stranded shell, Old voices echoing (or my fancy erred) Things indistinct, but not insensible.

by Ogden Nash | |

The Romantic Age

 This one is entering her teens,
Ripe for sentimental scenes,
Has picked a gangling unripe male,
Sees herself in bridal veil,
Presses lips and tosses head,
Declares she's not too young to wed,
Informs you pertly you forget
Romeo and Juliet.
Do not argue, do not shout; Remind her how that one turned out.

by Robert Pinsky | |

The Night Game

 Some of us believe
We would have conceived romantic
Love out of our own passions
With no precedents,
Without songs and poetry--
Or have invented poetry and music
As a comb of cells for the honey.
Shaped by ignorance, A succession of new worlds, Congruities improvised by Immigrants or children.
I once thought most people were Italian, Jewish or Colored.
To be white and called Something like Ed Ford Seemed aristocratic, A rare distinction.
Possibly I believed only gentiles And blonds could be left-handed.
Already famous After one year in the majors, Whitey Ford was drafted by the Army To play ball in the flannels Of the Signal Corps, stationed In Long Branch, New Jersey.
A night game, the silver potion Of the lights, his pink skin Shining like a burn.
Never a player I liked or hated: a Yankee, A mere success.
But white the chalked-off lines In the grass, white and green The immaculate uniform, And white the unpigmented Halo of his hair When he shifted his cap: So ordinary and distinct, So close up, that I felt As if I could have made him up, Imagined him as I imagined The ball, a scintilla High in the black backdrop Of the sky.
Tight red stitches.
The bleached Horsehide white: the color Of nothing.
Color of the past And of the future, of the movie screen At rest and of blank paper.
"I could have.
" The mind.
The black Backdrop, the white Fly picked out by the towering Lights.
A few years later On a blanket in the grass By the same river A girl and I came into Being together To the faint muttering Of unthinkable Troubadours and radios.
The emerald Theater, the night.
Another time, I devised a left-hander Even more gifted Than Whitey Ford: A Dodger.
People were amazed by him.
Once, when he was young, He refused to pitch on Yom Kippur.

by Rg Gregory | |

owl power

 they say in the local sanctuary
owls are the stupidest creatures
all this wisdom business is
the mythological media at work
but the shortest nosing into books
tells you even the mythic world
is bamboozled by the creature - no
two cultures being able to agree

the bird was cherished by minerva
hebrews loathed it as unclean
buddhists treasure its seclusion
elsewhere night-hag evil omen

the baker's daughter's silly cry
ungrateful chinese children
the precious life of genghis khan
sweet fodder to the owl's blink

in the end it's the paradox
i'll be what you want romantic fool
that scares elates about the owl
sitting in the dark and seeing all

not true not true the cynics say
the bloody fraudster's almost blind
dead lazy till its stomach rattles
its skill is seeing with its ears

ruthlessness stupidity
(transmogrified to wisdom)
make the perfect pitch for power
so proofed - why give a hoot for gods

by Brooks Haxton | |


 I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am 
 like an owl of the desert.
I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop.
Psalm 102 The pelican in scripture is unclean.
It pukes dead fish onto the hatchlings, and it roosts alone, like Satan on the Tree of Life.
Nobody told me.
I liked pelicans.
I liked owls, too.
I used to lie awake and listen, wanting to become an owl, to fly, to see through darkness, turn my head, and look straight back behind me.
I was happy, as kids go, but I did not belong in human form.
Sparrows peck grain from fresh dung.
In this world rich means filthy.
Leopardi, in his high Romantic musings on the sparrow, does not say the poet is a shitbird, just that, singing by himself, he acts like one, and wishes he could feel more like one, unashamed to do so.
Here, the preacher (burning in his bones with fever, puking half-digested fish, and hooting, sleepless in the ruins like the baleful dead) cries: O Lord, take me not away.

by Louise Bogan | |

Epitaph For A Romantic Woman

 She has attained the permanence 
She dreamed of, where old stones lie sunning.
Untended stalks blow over her Even and swift, like young men running.
Always in the heart she loved Others had lived, -- she heard their laughter.
She lies where none has lain before, Where certainly none will follow after.

by Thomas Hardy | |

The Respectable Burgher on The Higher Criticism

 Since Reverend Doctors now declare 
That clerks and people must prepare 
To doubt if Adam ever were; 
To hold the flood a local scare; 
To argue, though the stolid stare, 
That everything had happened ere 
The prophets to its happening sware; 
That David was no giant-slayer, 
Nor one to call a God-obeyer 
In certain details we could spare, 
But rather was a debonair 
Shrewd bandit, skilled as banjo-player: 
That Solomon sang the fleshly Fair, 
And gave the Church no thought whate'er; 
That Esther with her royal wear, 
And Mordecai, the son of Jair, 
And Joshua's triumphs, Job's despair, 
And Balaam's ass's bitter blare; 
Nebuchadnezzar's furnace-flare, 
And Daniel and the den affair, 
And other stories rich and rare, 
Were writ to make old doctrine wear 
Something of a romantic air: 
That the Nain widow's only heir, 
And Lazarus with cadaverous glare 
(As done in oils by Piombo's care) 
Did not return from Sheol's lair: 
That Jael set a fiendish snare, 
That Pontius Pilate acted square, 
That never a sword cut Malchus' ear 
And (but for shame I must forbear) 
That -- -- did not reappear! .
- Since thus they hint, nor turn a hair, All churchgoing will I forswear, And sit on Sundays in my chair, And read that moderate man Voltaire.

by William Butler Yeats | |

September 1913

 What need you, being come to sense,
But fumble in a greasy till
And add the halfpence to the pence
And prayer to shivering prayer, until
You have dried the marrow from the bone?
For men were born to pray and save:
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.
Yet they were of a different kind, The names that stilled your childish play, They have gone about the world like wind, But little time had they to pray For whom the hangman's rope was spun, And what, God help us, could they save? Romantic Ireland's dead and gone, It's with O'Leary in the grave.
Was it for this the wild geese spread The grey wing upon every tide; For this that all that blood was shed, For this Edward Fitzgerald died, And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone, All that delirium of the brave? Romantic Ireland's dead and gone, It's with O'Leary in the grave.
Yet could we turn the years again, And call those exiles as they were In all their loneliness and pain, You'd cry, 'Some woman's yellow hair Has maddened every mother's son': They weighed so lightly what they gave.
But let them be, they're dead and gone, They're with O'Leary in the grave.

by William Butler Yeats | |

Three Movements

 Shakespearean fish swam the sea, far away from land;
Romantic fish swam in nets coming to the hand;
What are all those fish that lie gasping on the strand?

by George (Lord) Byron | |

On A Distant View Of Harrow

 Ye scenes of my childhood, whose lov'd recollection
Embitters the present, compar'd with the past;
Where science first dawn'd on the powers of reflection,
And friendships were form'd, too romantic to last;

Where fancy, yet, joys to retrace the resemblance
Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied;
How welcome to me your ne'er fading remembrance,
Which rests in the bosom, though hope is deny'd!

Again I revisit the hills where we sported,
The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought;
The school where, loud warn'd by the bell, we resorted,
To pore o'er the precepts by Pedagogues taught.
Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd, As reclining, at eve, on yon tombstone I lay; Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander'd, To catch the last gleam of the sun's setting ray.
I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded, Where, as Zanga, I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown; While, to swell my young pride, such applauses resounded, I fancied that Mossop himself was outshone.
Or, as Lear, I pour'd forth the deep imprecation, By my daughters, of kingdom and reason depriv'd; Till, fir'd by loud plaudits and self-adulation, I regarded myself as a Garrick reviv'd.
Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret you! Unfaded your memory dwells in my breast; Though sad and deserted, I ne'er can forget you: Your pleasures may still be in fancy possest.
To Ida full oft may remembrance restore me, While Fate shall the shades of the future unroll! Since Darkness o'ershadows the prospect before me, More dear is the beam of the past to my soul! But if, through the course of the years which await me, Some new scene of pleasure should open to view, I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me, Oh! such were the days which my infancy knew.

by George (Lord) Byron | |

The Tear

 When Friendship or Love
Our sympathies move;
When Truth, in a glance, should appear,
The lips may beguile,
With a dimple or smile,
But the test of affection's a Tear:

Too oft is a smile
But the hypocrite's wile,
To mask detestation, or fear;
Give me the soft sigh,
Whilst the soultelling eye
Is dimm'd, for a time, with a Tear:

Mild Charity's glow,
To us mortals below,
Shows the soul from barbarity clear;
Compassion will melt,
Where this virtue is felt,
And its dew is diffused in a Tear:

The man, doom'd to sail
With the blast of the gale,
Through billows Atlantic to steer,
As he bends o'er the wave
Which may soon be his grave,
The green sparkles bright with a Tear;

The Soldier braves death
For a fanciful wreath
In Glory's romantic career;
But he raises the foe
When in battle laid low,
And bathes every wound with a Tear.
If, with high-bounding pride, He return to his bride! Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear; All his toils are repaid When, embracing the maid, From her eyelid he kisses the Tear.
Sweet scene of my youth! Seat of Friendship and Truth, Where Love chas'd each fast-fleeting year Loth to leave thee, I mourn'd, For a last look I turn'd, But thy spire was scarce seen through a Tear: Though my vows I can pour, To my Mary no more, My Mary, to Love once so dear, In the shade of her bow'r, I remember the hour, She rewarded those vows with a Tear.
By another possest, May she live ever blest! Her name still my heart must revere: With a sigh I resign, What I once thought was mine, And forgive her deceit with a Tear.
Ye friends of my heart, Ere from you I depart, This hope to my breast is most near: If again we shall meet, In this rural retreat, May we meet, as we part, with a Tear.
When my soul wings her flight To the regions of night, And my corse shall recline on its bier; As ye pass by the tomb, Where my ashes consume, Oh! moisten their dust with a Tear.