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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 William Shakespeare |

All the Worlds a Stage

 All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school.
And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress' eyebrow.
Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth.
And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part.
The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound.
Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Written by William Shakespeare |

Sonnet XIX

 Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O, carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men.
Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong, My love shall in my verse ever live young.

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

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

shakespeare is a chauvinist
 (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)
the rest began to rock
shakespeare's pedestal

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)

 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 |

Fear No More

 Fear no more the heat o' the sun; 
Nor the furious winter's rages, 
Thou thy worldly task hast done, 
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages; 
Golden lads and girls all must, 
As chimney sweepers come to dust.
Fear no more the frown of the great, Thou art past the tyrant's stroke: Care no more to clothe and eat; To thee the reed is as the oak: The sceptre, learning, physic, must All follow this, and come to dust.
Fear no more the lightning-flash, Nor the all-dread thunder-stone; Fear not slander, censure rash; Thou hast finished joy and moan; All lovers young, all lovers must Consign to thee, and come to dust.
No exorciser harm thee! Nor no witchcraft charm thee! Ghost unlaid forbear thee! Nothing ill come near thee! Quiet consummation have; And renowned be thy grave!

Written by William Shakespeare |

Sonnet III

 I have a hoard of treasure in my breast;
The grange of memory steams against the door,
Full of my bygone lifetime's garnered store -
Old pleasures crowned with sorrow for a zest,
Old sorrow grown a joy, old penance blest,
Chastened remembrance of the sins of yore
That, like a new evangel, more and more
Supports our halting will toward the best.
Ah! what to us the barren after years May bring of joy or sorrow, who can tell? O, knowing not, who cares? It may be well That we shall find old pleasures and old fears, And our remembered childhood seen thro' tears, The best of Heaven and the worst of Hell.

Written by William Shakespeare |

The Phoenix and the Turtle

 Let the bird of loudest lay,
On the sole Arabian tree,
Herald sad and trumpet be,
To whose sound chaste wings obey.
But thou, shrieking harbinger, Foul pre-currer of the fiend, Augur of the fever's end, To this troop come thou not near.
From this session interdict Every fowl of tyrant wing, Save the eagle, feather'd king: Keep the obsequy so strict.
Let the priest in surplice white, That defunctive music can, Be the death-defying swan, Lest the requiem lack his right.
And thou, treble-dated crow, That thy sable gender mak'st With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st, 'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.
Here the anthem doth commence: Love and constancy is dead; Phoenix and the turtle fled In a mutual flame from hence.
So they lov'd, as love in twain Had the essence but in one; Two distincts, division none: Number there in love was slain.
Hearts remote, yet not asunder; Distance, and no space was seen 'Twixt the turtle and his queen; But in them it were a wonder.
So between them love did shine, That the turtle saw his right Flaming in the phoenix' sight: Either was the other's mine.
Property was thus appall'd, That the self was not the same; Single nature's double name Neither two nor one was call'd.
Reason, in itself confounded, Saw division grow together; To themselves yet either-neither, Simple were so well compounded.
That it cried how true a twain Seemeth this concordant one! Love hath reason, reason none If what parts can so remain.
Whereupon it made this threne To the phoenix and the dove, Co-supreme and stars of love; As chorus to their tragic scene.
Beauty, truth, and rarity.
Grace in all simplicity, Here enclos'd in cinders lie.
Death is now the phoenix' nest; And the turtle's loyal breast To eternity doth rest, Leaving no posterity:-- 'Twas not their infirmity, It was married chastity.
Truth may seem, but cannot be: Beauty brag, but 'tis not she; Truth and beauty buried be.
To this urn let those repair That are either true or fair; For these dead birds sigh a prayer.

Written by William Shakespeare |

Sonnet 100: Where art thou Muse that thou forgetst so long

 Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem,
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, resty Muse, my love's sweet face survey If time have any wrinkle graven there; If any, be a satire to decay, And make time's spoils despisèd everywhere.
Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life; So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife.

Written by William Shakespeare |

Sonnet VIII

 As Daniel, bird-alone, in that far land,
Kneeling in fervent prayer, with heart-sick eyes
Turned thro' the casement toward the westering skies;
Or as untamed Elijah, that red brand
Among the starry prophets; or that band
And company of Faithful sanctities
Who in all times, when persecutions rise,
Cherish forgotten creeds with fostering hand:
Such do ye seem to me, light-hearted crew,
O turned to friendly arts with all your will,
That keep a little chapel sacred still,
One rood of Holy-land in this bleak earth
Sequestered still (our homage surely due!)
To the twin Gods of mirthful wine and mirth.

Written by William Shakespeare |


 WHO is Silvia? What is she? 
 That all our swains commend her? 
Holy, fair, and wise is she; 
 The heaven such grace did lend her, 
That she might admired be.
Is she kind as she is fair? For beauty lives with kindness: Love doth to her eyes repair, To help him of his blindness; And, being help'd, inhabits there.
Then to Silvia let us sing, That Silvia is excelling; She excels each mortal thing Upon the dull earth dwelling: To her let us garlands bring.

Written by William Shakespeare |

Sonnet CLI

 Love is too young to know what conscience is;
Yet who knows not conscience is born of love?
Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,
Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove:
For, thou betraying me, I do betray
My nobler part to my gross body's treason;
My soul doth tell my body that he may
Triumph in love; flesh stays no father reason;
But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee
As his triumphant prize.
Proud of this pride, He is contented thy poor drudge to be, To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.
No want of conscience hold it that I call Her 'love' for whose dear love I rise and fall.

Written by William Shakespeare |

Sonnet V

 Not undelightful, friend, our rustic ease
To grateful hearts; for by especial hap,
Deep nested in the hill's enormous lap,
With its own ring of walls and grove of trees,
Sits, in deep shelter, our small cottage - nor
Far-off is seen, rose carpeted and hung
With clematis, the quarry whence she sprung,
O mater pulchra filia pulchrior,
Whither in early spring, unharnessed folk,
We join the pairing swallows, glad to stay
Where, loosened in the hills, remote, unseen,
From its tall trees, it breathes a slender smoke
To heaven, and in the noon of sultry day
Stands, coolly buried, to the neck in green.