Wedding Ceremony Readings from Classic Love Poems

Wedding Ceremony Readings from Classic Love Poems

By B. Murray. Mar 25, 2012

If you are having a secular wedding ceremony, or your officiant allows for non-religious readings, classic love poems are perfect for wedding readings!


Ceremony Readings from Classic Love Poems


"Hope is the Thing with Feathers" by Emily Dickenson

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 chilliest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity

It asked a crumb of me.


"Give All to Love" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Give all to love;

Obey thy heart;

Friends, kindred, days,

Estate, good-fame,

Plans, credit, and the Muse,--

Nothing refuse.

'Tis a brave master;

Let it have scope:

Follow it utterly,

Hope beyond hope:

High and more high

It dives into noon,

With wing unspent,

Untold intent;

But it is a God,

Knows its own path

And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;

It requireth courage stout.

Souls above doubt,

Valor unbending,

It will reward,--

They shall return

More than they were,

And ever ascending.


"Debt" by Jesse Rittenhouse

My debt to you, Beloved,

Is one I cannot pay

In any coin of any realm

On any reckoning day;

For where is he shall figure

The debt, when all is said,

To one who makes you dream again

When all the dreams were dead?

Or where is the appraiser

Who shall the claim compute,

Of one who makes you sing again

When all the songs were mute?


"You're The One For Me" by Dallas Fisher

You're the one for me.

Your eyes are like fire on a cold winter's day

Your soul burns within me

Your touch blossoms my innermost passions

And your voice melts my heart.

You're the one for me.

You are the key to unlocking

My most sacred fantasies.

You're the one for me,

The one that wakens me

When I'm at my deepest sleep

With your passionate ways,

The one that rivets me with

Your beautiful, unique face.

You're the one for me.

You are the one that I want to share

My life, my love with for all eternity.

I will love you always and forever.

You're the one for me


"Married Love" (a Chinese love poem), by Kuan Tao-Sheng

You and I

Have so much love

That it

Burns like a fire,

In which we bake a lump of clay

Molded into a figure of you

And a figure of me.

Then we take both of them,

And break them into pieces,

And mix the pieces with water,

And mold again a figure of you,

And a figure of me.

I am in your clay.

You are in my clay.

In life we share a single quilt.

In death we will share one bed.


"Touched By An Angel" by Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage

exiles from delight

live coiled in shells of loneliness

until love leaves its high holy temple

and comes into our sight

to liberate us into life.

Love arrives

and in its train come ecstasies

old memories of pleasure

ancient histories of pain.

Yet if we are bold,

love strikes away the chains of fear

from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity

In the flush of love's light

we dare be brave

And suddenly we see

that love costs all we are

and will ever be.

Yet it is only love

which sets us free.


"Love's Philosophy" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river,

And the rivers with the ocean,

the winds of heaven mix forever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single,

All things by a law of divine

In another's being mingle -

Why not I with thine?

See, the mountains kiss high heaven,

And the waves clasp one another,

No sister flower could be forgiven

If it disdained its brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth,

And the moonbeams kiss the sea -

What are all these kissings worth,

If thou kiss not me?


Hindu Marriage Poem

You have become mine forever.

Yes, we have become partners.

I have become yours.

Hereafter, I cannot live without you.

Do not live without me.

Let us share the joys.

We are word and meaning, unite.

You are thought and I am sound.

May the nights be honey-sweet for us.

May the mornings be honey-sweet for us.

May the plants be honey-sweet for us.

May the earth be honey-sweet for us.


"Never Marry But For Love" by William Penn

Never marry but for love;

but see that thou lovest what is lovely.

He that minds a body and not a soul

has not the better part of that relationship,

and will consequently lack

the noblest comfort of a married life.

Between a man and his wife nothing ought rule but love.

As love ought to bring them together, so it is the best way

to keep them well together.

A husband and wife that love one another

show their children that they should do so too.

Others visibly lose their authority in their families by

their contempt of one another, and teach their children to be

unnatural by their own examples.

Let not enjoyment lessen, but augment, affection;

it being the basest of passions to like

when we have not, what we slight when we possess.

Here it is we ought to search out our pleasure,

where the field is large and full of variety,

and of an enduring nature; sickness,

poverty or disgrace being not able to

shake it because it is not under

the moving influences of worldly contingencies.

Nothing can be more entire and without reserve;

nothing more zealous, affectionate and sincere;

nothing more contented than such a couple,

nor greater temporal felicity

than to be one of them.


"The Indian Serenade" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I arise from dreams of thee

In the first sweet sleep of night,

When the winds are breathing low,

And the stars are shining bright:

I arise from dreams of thee,

And a spirit in my feet

Hath led me--who knows how?

To thy chamber window, Sweet!

The wandering airs they faint

On the dark, the silent stream--

The Champak odours fail

Like sweet thoughts in a dream;

The nightingale's complaint,

It dies upon her heart;--

As I must on thine,

Oh, beloved as thou art!

Oh lift me from the grass!

I die! I faint! I fail!

Let thy love in kisses rain

On my lips and eyelids pale.

My cheek is cold and white, alas!

My heart beats loud and fast;--

Oh! press it to thine own again,

Where it will break at last.


"Away From You" by Sarah Brightman

Away from you there is no music,

There is no sunlight,

The world is gray.

Away from you

The clocks are frozen,

And time's a traveler

Who's lost his way.

I'm half alive

Until the moment

The door swings open

and you walk through,

Now my soul is afloat

On a melody of music

That I could feel such joy

I never knew.

And so you see

Why I can never be

Away from you.


"See What Flowers Are At My Feet" by John Keats

See what flowers are at my feet,

What soft incense hangs upon the boughs,

Wherewith the seasonable mouth endows

The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;

White hawthorne, fast-fading violets

And the coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,

The murmurous haunts of summer eves.