The Best Poems And Poetry Excerpts For Weddings

The Best Poems And Poetry Excerpts For Weddings

  • 24 November, 2023
  • Deadtree Publishing

Love’s Philosophy

By Percy Byshe Shelley

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 

   And the waves clasp one another; 

No sister-flower would be forgiven 

   If it disdained its brother; 

And the sunlight clasps the earth 

   And the moonbeams kiss the sea: 

What is all this sweet work worth 

   If thou kiss not me? 


Featured in The Poetry Of Percy Bysshe Shelley 



Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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 candle-light.

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.


Featured in Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Sonnets from the Portuguese 



The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

By Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love, 

And we will all the pleasures prove, 

That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields, 

Woods, or steepy mountain yields. 


And we will sit upon the Rocks, 

Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks, 

By shallow Rivers to whose falls 

Melodious birds sing Madrigals. 


And I will make thee beds of Roses 

And a thousand fragrant posies, 

A cap of flowers, and a kirtle 

Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle; 


A gown made of the finest wool 

Which from our pretty Lambs we pull; 

Fair lined slippers for the cold, 

With buckles of the purest gold; 


A belt of straw and Ivy buds, 

With Coral clasps and Amber studs: 

And if these pleasures may thee move, 

Come live with me, and be my love. 


The Shepherds’ Swains shall dance and sing 

For thy delight each May-morning: 

If these delights thy mind may move, 

Then live with me, and be my love.


Featured in The Renaissance Poets - Volume 1



Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds

By William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wand'ring bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me prov'd,

I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.


Featured in The Sonnet



Sonnet 18 

By William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 
Thou art 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 dimm'd; 
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st; 
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


Featured in The Sonnet



She Walks in Beauty

By Lord Byron

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. 


One shade the more, one ray the less, 

Had half impaired the nameless grace 

Which waves in every raven tress, 

Or softly lightens o’er her face; 

Where thoughts serenely sweet express, 

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. 


And on that cheek, and o’er that brow, 

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, 

The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 

But tell of days in goodness spent, 

A mind at peace with all below, 

A heart whose love is innocent!


Featured in The Romantics - Volume 1



“Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art”

By John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art— 

         Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night 

And watching, with eternal lids apart, 

         Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, 

The moving waters at their priestlike task 

         Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, 

Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask 

         Of snow upon the mountains and the moors— 

No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, 

         Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast, 

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, 

         Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, 

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, 

And so live ever—or else swoon to death.


Featured in The Poetry Of John Keats



“Hope” is the thing with feathers

By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -


And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -


I’ve heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of me.


Featured in The Poetry Of Emily Dickinson 



A Red, Red Rose

By Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose 

   That’s newly sprung in June; 

O my Luve is like the melody 

   That’s sweetly played in tune. 


So fair art thou, my bonnie lass, 

   So deep in luve am I; 

And I will luve thee still, my dear, 

   Till a’ the seas gang dry. 


Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear, 

   And the rocks melt wi’ the sun; 

I will love thee still, my dear, 

   While the sands o’ life shall run. 


And fare thee weel, my only luve! 

   And fare thee weel awhile! 

And I will come again, my luve, 

   Though it were ten thousand mile.


Featured in The Poetry Of Robert Burns



A Birthday

By Christina Georgina Rossetti 

My heart is like a singing bird 

                  Whose nest is in a water'd shoot; 

My heart is like an apple-tree 

                  Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit; 

My heart is like a rainbow shell 

                  That paddles in a halcyon sea; 

My heart is gladder than all these 

                  Because my love is come to me. 


Raise me a dais of silk and down; 

                  Hang it with vair and purple dyes; 

Carve it in doves and pomegranates, 

                  And peacocks with a hundred eyes; 

Work it in gold and silver grapes, 

                  In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys; 

Because the birthday of my life 

                  Is come, my love is come to me. 


Featured in The Poetry Of Christina Georgina Rossetti


The First Kiss Of Love

By George Gordon Byron

Away with your fictions of flimsy romance; 
Those tissues of falsehood which folly has wove! 
Give me the mild beam of the soul-breathing glance, 
Or the rapture which dwells on the first kiss of love. 

Ye rhymers, whose bosoms with phantasy glow, 
Whose pastoral passions are made for the grove; 
From what blest inpiration your sonnets would flow, 
Could you ever have tasted the first kiss of love! 

If Apollo should e'er his assistance refuse, 
Or the Nine be desposed from your service to rove, 
Invoke them no more, bid adieu to the muse, 
and try the effect of the first kiss of love. 

I hate you, ye cold compositions of art! 
Though prudes may condemn me, and bigots reprove, 
I court the effusions that spring from the heart, 
Which throbes with delight to the first kiss of love. 

Your shepherds, your flocks, those fantastical themes, 
Perhapes may amuse, yet they never can move: 
Arcadia displays but a region of dreams: 
What are visions like these to the first kiss of love? 

Oh! cease to affirm that man, since his birth, 
From Adam till now, has with wretchedness strove, 
Some portion of paradise still is on earth, 
And Eden revives in the first kiss of love. 

When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past- 
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove- 
The dearest rememberance will still be the last, 
Our sweetest memorial the first kiss of love. 


Featured in The Romantics - Volume 1



He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven

By William Butler Yeats

HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 


Featured in W.B. Yeats - The Voice Of Ireland



A Daydream 

By Emily Bronte

On a sunny brae alone I lay
One summer afternoon;
It was the marriage-time of May,
With her young lover, June.

From her mother's heart seemed loath to part
That queen of bridal charms,
But her father smiled on the fairest child
He ever held in his arms.

The trees did wave their plumy crests,
The glad birds carolled clear;
And I, of all the wedding guests,
Was only sullen there!

There was not one, but wished to shun
My aspect void of cheer;
The very gray rocks, looking on,
Asked, "What do you here?"

And I could utter no reply;
In sooth, I did not know
Why I had brought a clouded eye
To greet the general glow.

So, resting on a heathy bank,
I took my heart to me;
And we together sadly sank
Into a reverie.

We thought, "When winter comes again,
Where will these bright things be?
All vanished, like a vision vain,
An unreal mockery!

"The birds that now so blithely sing,
Through deserts, frozen dry,
Poor spectres of the perished spring,
In famished troops will fly.

"And why should we be glad at all?
The leaf is hardly green,
Before a token of its fall
Is on the surface seen!"

Now, whether it were really so,
I never could be sure;
But as in fit of peevish woe,
I stretched me on the moor,

A thousand thousand gleaming fires
Seemed kindling in the air;
A thousand thousand silvery lyres
Resounded far and near:

Methought, the very breath I breathed
Was full of sparks divine,
And all my heather-couch was wreathed
By that celestial shine!

And, while the wide earth echoing rung
To that strange minstrelsy
The little glittering spirits sung,
Or seemed to sing, to me:

"O mortal! mortal! let them die;
Let time and tears destroy,
That we may overflow the sky
With universal joy!

"Let grief distract the sufferer's breast,
And night obscure his way;
They hasten him to endless rest,
And everlasting day.

"To thee the world is like a tomb,
A desert's naked shore;
To us, in unimagined bloom,
It brightens more and more!

"And, could we lift the veil, and give
One brief glimpse to thine eye,
Thou wouldst rejoice for those that live,
BECAUSE they live to die."

The music ceased; the noonday dream,
Like dream of night, withdrew;
But Fancy, still, will sometimes deem
Her fond creation true.


Featured in The Poetry Of Emily Bronte


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