The most romantic love poems


The Shepherdess's Reply to the Passionate Shepherd

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If all the world and Love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love.

But time drives flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage, and rocks grow cold;
Then Philomel becometh dumb,
The rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring: but sorrow's fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy bed of roses,
Thy cup, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten;--
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

The belt of straw and ivy-buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs,--
All these in me no means can move,
To come to thee, and be thy love.

What should we talk of dainties, then,
Of better meat than's fit for men?
These are but vain: that's only good
Which God hath bless'd and sent for food.

But could youth last, and love still breed;
Had joys no date, nor age no need;
Then those delights my mind might move,
To live with thee, and be thy love.

Sir Walter Raleigh (1552 – 1618)


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