The most romantic love poems


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I SAW the worthless and the vile,
    By Pleasure's light surrounded,
And wond'ringly I mark'd the while,
    Their joy and bliss unbounded.

For Friendship's clasp was warm for them,
    And Love's sweet smiles unshrouded;
And fav'ring Fortune's talisman
    Preserv'd their sky unclouded.

And I beheld the proud,-- the free,--
    A passing homage render;
And lofty genius bend the knee
    Before their painted splendour.

Their footsteps, ev'n in Honours halls
    Were hail'd with courteous greeting,
And welcom'd at the festivals
    Where princely men were meeting.

No word of bitterness, or strife,
     A hostile mood revealing,
Came o'er the sunshine of their life
    To freeze the fount of feeling;

While purer spirits pin'd away
    By mental suff'ring faded,
'Twas theirs to keep a thornless way,
    With hearts and minds degraded.

"What spell of pow'r is theirs," I cried,
    "To blind the worlds discerning?"--
"'Tis gold !--'tis gold "--stern Truth replied,
    With shame and sorrow burning!--

Eliza Acton (1799 - 1859)

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