Wedding Ceremony Readings from Classic Love Poems
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,
Plans, credit, and the Muse,--
'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,
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,
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
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.
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.