The most romantic love poems


The Shepherd's Commendation of his Nymph

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What shepherd can express
The favour of her face
To whom, in this distress,
I do appeal for grace?
  A thousand Cupids fly
  About her gentle eye;

From which each throws a dart,
That kindleth soft sweet fire
Within my sighing heart,
Possessed by desire:
  No sweeter life I try
  Than in her love to die!

The lily in the field,
That glories in his white,
For pureness now must yield
And render up his right;
  Heaven pictured in her face
  Doth promise joy and grace.

Fair Cynthia's silver light,
That beats on running streams,
Compares not with her white,
Whose hairs are all sunbeams:
  So bright my Nymph doth shine
  As day unto my eyne!

With this, there is a red,
Exceeds the damask-rose,
Which in her cheeks is spread,
Where every favour grows;
  In sky there is no star,
  But she surmounts it far.

When Phoebus from the bed
Of Thetis doth arise,
The morning, blushing red,
In fair carnation-wise,
  He shows in my Nymph's face,
  As Queen of every grace.

This pleasant lily-white,
This taint of roseate red,
This Cynthia's silver light,
This sweet fair Dea spread,
  These sunbeams in mine eye,
  These beauties, make me die!

Edward de Vere (1550 – 1604)


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