September, Ted Hughes
Sonnet XLIII, Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The First Day, Christina Rossetti
Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare
Love's Philosophy, Percy Bysshe Shelley
One day I wrote her name upon the strand, Edmund Spenser
She walks in beauty, Lord Byron
If thou must love me
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
"I love her for her smile... her look... her way
Of speaking gently,... for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day"-
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee, - and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,
A creature might forget to weep who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby.
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou may'st love on, through love's eternity.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
We sit late, watching the dark slowly unfold:
No clock counts this.
When kisses are repeated and the arms hold
There is no telling where time is.
It is midsummer: the leaves hang big and still:
We stand; leaves have not timed the summer.
Like an unfortunate King's and his Queen's
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 thee with the 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.
The First Day
I wish I could remember the first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me;
If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or winter for aught I can say.
So unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom yet for many a May.
If only I could recollect it! Such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow.
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much!
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand! - Did one but know!
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou are 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 dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose pssession of that fair thou owest,
Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest;
So long as men can breath, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single:
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high Heaven
Percy Bysshe Shelley
One day I wrote her name
upon the strand
One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away:
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
'Vain Man,' said she, 'thou do'st in vain assay,
A mortal thing so to immortalize,
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eek my name be wiped out likewise.'
'Not so,' quoth I, 'let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name,
Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.'
She walks in beauty
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,