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The Best of the English Romantics Poets

Updated on April 27, 2012

National Poet's Month is drawing to a close, but it marks a perfect time to remember some of the most beloved poems of all times, especially those coming from the Romantic Era. That age boasted some of the best poetry the world has ever seen, as well as the best remembered and used quotations. Here are some of the best ones. Enjoy!

John Keats
John Keats


A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

The opening to John Keats' epic poem Hyperion is one of the hallmarks of English poetry. However, it's a bit long, so sticking withjust the beginning can be a good idea.

Let Me Count the Ways I Love Thee

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 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.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote her love poems for her husband, Robert Browning, who also wrote his poems for her. Though she was an invalid in poor health for all of their marriage, their loving relationship is immortalized in their works. This is the most famous specimen of them.

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Sonnet 116

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 a star for every wondering bark,
Who's worth unknown though his height be taken.

Alright. Technically it's Shakespeare, and technically Shakespeare isn't a Romantic. But he's the father of the Romantics, so just enjoy the sheer beauty of the words.

Lord Byron
Lord Byron

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes.

Byron's words are famous. How could they not be, with all the mystery and allure they contain? The vivid, creative imagery continues throughout the rest of the poem, so it's definitely worth reading the rest of.

In Memoriam

I hold it true, whate'er befall,
I feel it when I sorrow most,
'Tis better to have loved and lost ,
Than never to have loved at all.

These words, from stanza 27 of Alfred Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam, have become used in every context of loss. It was originally written on the death of one of his dearest friends, and all of it is a beautiful ode to the love of friendship or romance.


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    • collegatariat profile image

      collegatariat 5 years ago

      Thanks for the kind comment busillis22. All of my lit courses have been self-taught, so even with one you've got me beat! The wonder of this kind of writing is that it's beauty can be appreciated by nearly anyone.

    • busillis22 profile image

      busillis22 5 years ago

      This is very nice! This is one of the areas of literature I am the most deficient in. The only period lit course I took in college was Enlightenment-era. Thanks for sharing these!

    • collegatariat profile image

      collegatariat 5 years ago

      It is an amazing poem, and a beautiful one. Thanks for commenting shea duane!

    • collegatariat profile image

      collegatariat 5 years ago

      Thank you europewalker! I love both of the Brownings too.

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 5 years ago

      Lovely hub, Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of my favorite poets.

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

      Sonnet 116 has always been my favorite