The Most Romantic Lines in Literature

Like Robin Williams’ character, Professor John Keating, muses in Dead Poets Society: “Language was invented for one reasons, boys, to woo women. And in that endeavor, laziness will not do.” Nowadays we can just say that language was invented to woo the human soul. Here is a small collection of verses and classic quotes for the hopeless romantic in all of us.

The modern poem

“I think of you only when…

    -I am bored

    -I am lonely

    -I have too much red wine

    -I hear “Box of Stones”

    -I cry like a baby

    -I write a sad song

    -I feel a bit better

    -I lay down my head

    -I turn off the light

Shit,

I guess I think about you a lot”

- “Only When…”, John the Ghost

The classic…

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:”

- “Sonnet XVIII,” Shakespeare

The great Dickinson…

“If you were coming in the fall,

I’d brush the summer by

With half a smile and half a spurn,

As housewives do a fly.”

- “If You Were Coming In The Fall,” Emily Dickinson

The eerie yet beautiful…

“It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name Annabel Lee;--

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.”

- “Annabel Lee,” Edgar Allan Poe

From the master…

“Doubt that the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt that truth be a liar, but never doubt that I love.”

-Hamlet, Shakespeare

A sweet short one…

“Before you kissed me only winds of heaven

Had kissed me, and the tenderness of rain-

Now you have come, how can I care for kisses

like theirs again?...”

- “The Kiss,” Sara Teasdale

Austen puts it best…

“If I loved you less I might be able to talk about it more.”

-Emma, Jane Austen

From the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature…

“Dile que sí, aunque te este muriendo de miedo, aunque después te arrepientas, porque de todos modos te vas a arrepentir toda la vida si le contestas que no.”

-Gabriel García Márquez

And the cheesiest one of all…

The largely worn out and by this point, poem-turned-joke, the “roses are red, violets are blue” poem actually comes from an extensive epic by Sir Edmund Spencer titled, “The Faerie Queene”. The poem tells the story of several knights on a quest. The original verses go like this:

“In a fresh Fountain, far from all Mens View,

She bath'd her Breast, the boiling Heat t' allay;

She bath'd with Roses red, and Violets blue,

And all the sweetest Flowers that in the Forest grew.”

- Excerpt from The Faerie Queene, Sir Edmund Spencer