All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
     And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
     Beside the ruin'd tower.
The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
     My own dear Genevieve!
She lean'd against the armèd man,
The statue of the armèd Knight;
She stood and listen'd to my lay,
     Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
She loves me best whene'er I sing
     The songs that make her grieve.
I play'd a soft and doleful air;
I sang an old and moving story—
An old rude song, that suited well
     That ruin wild and hoary.
She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she knew I could not choose
     But gaze upon her face.
I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And that for ten long years he woo'd
     The Lady of the Land.
I told her how he pined: and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another's love,
     Interpreted my own.
She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes, and modest grace;
And she forgave me, that I gazed
     Too fondly on her face!
But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
And that he cross'd the mountain-woods,
     Nor rested day nor night;
That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once
     In green and sunny glade—
There came and look'd him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a Fiend,
     This miserable Knight!
And that, unknowing what he did,
He leap'd amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
     The Lady of the Land;—
And how she wept and clasp'd his knees;
And how she tended him in vain—
And ever strove to expiate
     The scorn that crazed his brain;—
And that she nursed him in a cave;
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest leaves
     A dying man he lay;—
His dying words—but when I reach'd
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faltering voice and pausing harp
     Disturb'd her soul with pity!
All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrill'd my guileless Genevieve;
The music and the doleful tale,
     The rich and balmy eve;
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,
     Subdued and cherish'd long!
She wept with pity and delight,
She blush'd with love and virgin shame;
And like the murmur of a dream,
     I heard her breathe my name.
Her bosom heaved—she stepp'd aside,
As conscious of my look she stept—
Then suddenly, with timorous eye
     She fled to me and wept.
She half enclosed me with her arms,
She press'd me with a meek embrace;
And bending back her head, look'd up,
     And gazed upon my face.
'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful art,
That I might rather feel, than see,
     The swelling of her heart.
I calm'd her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride;
And so I won my Genevieve,
     My bright and beauteous Bride.
 

Poems by This Author

Answer to a Child's Question by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove
Christabel [excerpt] by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Beneath the lamp the lady bowed
Constancy to an Ideal Object by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Since all that beat about in Nature's range
Fragment 3: Come, come thou bleak December wind by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Come, come thou bleak December wind
Frost at Midnight by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The frost performs its secret ministry
Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
Ne Plus Ultra by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Sole Positive of Night!
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
It is an ancient mariner
This Lime Tree Bower My Prison by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Well, they are gone, and here must I remain
What Is an Epigram? by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
What is an Epigram? A dwarfish whole
Work Without Hope by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair


Further Reading

Poems About Love
Paradise Lost, Book IV, Lines 639–652
by John Milton
A Ditty
by Sir Philip Sidney
A Drinking Song
by W. B. Yeats
A Parisian Roof Garden in 1918
by Natalie Clifford Barney
Action Poem
by Helen Hoyt
Amour Honestus
by Edward Hirsch
an endnote and love song:
by Erín Moure
Answer to a Child's Question
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
As I Walked Out One Evening
by W. H. Auden
Credo
by Matthew Rohrer
Dear Tiara
by Sean Thomas Dougherty
Dependants
by Paul Farley
El Beso
by Angelina Weld Grimké
Elegy in Joy [excerpt]
by Muriel Rukeyser
Epithalamium
by Matthew Rohrer
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I Built a Fire
by Natalie Clifford Barney
I Love You
by Sara Teasdale
I think I should have loved you presently (Sonnet IX)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
In Passing
by Stanley Plumly
Invitation to Love
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
It Was Raining In Delft
by Peter Gizzi
June Light
by Richard Wilbur
Losing It
by Margaret Gibson
Lullaby
by W. H. Auden
Midwinter Day [Excerpt]
by Bernadette Mayer
Miss Sally on Love
by Shara McCallum
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)
by William Shakespeare
Ode, Aubade
by Greg Wrenn
poem I wrote sitting across the table from you
by Kevin Varrone
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
by E. E. Cummings
Sonnets on Love XIII
by Jean de Sponde
syntax
by Maureen N. McLane
The Love Unfeigned
by Geoffrey Chaucer
To Dorothy
by Marvin Bell
True Love
by Barry Gifford
True Love
by Robert Penn Warren
Two Loves
by Lord Alfred Douglas
Undressing You
by Witter Bynner
What Is True
by Ben Kopel
What Was Told, That
by Jalalu'l-din Rumi
When You are Old
by W. B. Yeats
Who Shall Doubt
by George Oppen
Whom You Love
by Joseph O. Legaspi
Wild Nights – Wild Nights! (249)
by Emily Dickinson
Yours
by Daniel Hoffman
Poems About Love
Monna Innominata [I loved you first]
by Christina Rossetti
Monna Innominata [I wish I could remember]
by Christina Rossetti
A Birthday
by Christina Rossetti
A Line-storm Song
by Robert Frost
A Negro Love Song
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Darling, You Are the World's Fresh Ornament
by Laura Cronk
Fons
by Pura López-Colomé
In a Boat
by D. H. Lawrence
Let Us Live and Love (5)
by Gaius Valerius Catullus
Love
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Love in a Life
by Robert Browning
Love's Philosophy
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Lovers' Infiniteness
by John Donne
Manners
by Michael Blumenthal
Meeting at Night
by Robert Browning
My love is as a fever, longing still
by Christopher Bursk
No, Love Is Not Dead
by Robert Desnos
San Antonio
by Naomi Shihab Nye
She Walks in Beauty
by George Gordon Byron
Slow Waltz Through Inflatable Landscape
by Christian Hawkey
The Buried Life
by Matthew Arnold
The Definition of Love
by Andrew Marvell
The Ecstasy
by Phillip Lopate
The Face of All the World (Sonnet 7)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Forms of Love
by George Oppen
The Kiss
by Stephen Dunn
The Look
by Sara Teasdale
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
by Edward Lear
The Passionate Freudian to His Love
by Dorothy Parker
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
by Christopher Marlowe
The White Rose
by John Boyle O'Reilly
To Anthea Who May Command Him Any Thing
by Robert Herrick
When I Heard at the Close of Day
by Walt Whitman
Wooing Song
by Giles Fletcher