Poems by William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare's name is synonymous with many of the famous lines he wrote in his plays and prose. Yet his poems are not nearly as recognizable to many as the characters and famous monologues from his many plays.

In Shakespeare's era (1564-1616), it was not profitable but very fashionable to write poetry. It also provided credibility to his talent as a writer and helped to enhance his social standing. It seems writing poetry was something he greatly enjoyed and did mainly for himself at times when he was not consumed with writing a play. Because of their more private nature, few poems, particularly long-form poems, have been published.

The two longest works that scholars agree were written by Shakespeare are entitled Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. Both dedicated to the Honorable Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, who seems to have acted as a sponsor and encouraging benefactor of Shakespeare's work for a brief time.

Both of these poems contain dozens of stanzas and comment on the depravity of unwanted sexual advances, showing themes throughout of guilt, lust, and moral confusion. In Venus and Adonis, an innocent Adonis must reject the sexual advances of Venus. Conversely in The Rape of Lucrece, the honorable and virtuous wife Lucrece is raped a character overcome with lust, Tarquin. The dedication to Wriothesley is much warmer in the second poem, suggesting a deepening of their relationship and Shakespeare's appreciation of his support.

A third and shorter narrative poem, A Lover's Complaint, was printed in the first collection of Shakespeare's sonnets. Most scholars agree now that it was also written by Shakespeare, though that was contested for some time. The poem tells the story of a young woman who is driven to misery by a persuasive suitor's attempts to seduce her. It is not regarded by critics to be his finest work.

Another short poem, The Phoenix and the Turtle, despairs the death of a legendary phoenix and his faithful turtle dove lover. It speaks to the frailty of love and commitment in a world where only death is certain.

There are 152 short sonnets attributed to Shakespeare. Among them, the most famous ones are Sonnet 29, Sonnet 71, and Sonnet 55. As a collection, narrative sequence of his Sonnets speaks to Shakespeare's deep insecurity and jealousy as a lover, his grief at separation, and his delight in sharing beautiful experiences with his romantic counterparts. However, few scholars believe that the sequence of the sonnets accurately depicts the order in which they were written. Because Shakespeare seemed to write primarily for his own private audience, dating these short jewels of literature has been next to impossible.

Within the sonnets Shakespeare seems to have two deliberate series: one describing his all consuming lust for a married woman with a dark complexion (the "dark lady"), and one about his confused love feelings for a handsome young man (the "fair youth"). This dichotomy has been widely studied and debated and it remains unclear as to if the subjects represented real people or two opposing sides to Shakespeare's own personality.

Though some of Shakespeare's poetry was published without his permission in his lifetime, in texts such as "The Passionate Pilgrim," the majority of the sonnets were published in 1609 by Thomas Thorpe. Before that time, it appears that Shakespeare would only have shared his poetry with a very close inner-circle of friends and loved ones. Thorpe's collection was the last of Shakespeare's non-dramatic work to be printed before his death.

Critics have praised the sonnets as being profoundly intimate and meditating on the values of love, lust, procreation, and death. Now a day, Shakespeare is ranked as all-time most popular English poets on history, along with Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Walt Whitman.

Name
Name
A Fairy Song
A Lover's Complaint
A Madrigal
All The World's A Stage
Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene II [The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne]
Aubade
Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Winda
Bridal Song
Dirge
Dirge Of The Three Queens
Fairy Land I
Fairy Land II
Fairy Land III
Fear No More
From The Rape Of Lucrece
From Venus And Adonis
Full Fathom Five
Hark! Hark! The Lark
Helen's Soliloqy (All's Well That Ends Well)
It Was A Lover And His Lass
Juliet's Soliloquy
Love
Not From The Stars Do I My Judgment Pluck (Sonnet 14)
Not Marble Nor The Guilded Monuments (Sonnet 55)
Now The Hungry Lion Roars
Now, My Co-Mates And Brothers In Exile
O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming? (Twelfth Night, Act Ii, Scene Iii)
O Never Say That I Was False Of Heart
Orpheus With His Lute Made Trees
Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day? (Sonnet 18)
Sigh No More
Silvia
Some Say That Ever "Gainst That Season Comes (Hamlet, Act I, Scene I)
Sonet Liv
Song of the Witches: "Double, double toil and trouble"
Sonnet 1: From Fairest Creatures We Desire Increase
Sonnet 10: For Shame, Deny That Thou Bear'st Love To Any
Sonnet 100: Where Art Thou, Muse, That Thou Forget'st So Long
Sonnet 101: O Truant Muse, What Shall Be Thy Amends
Sonnet 102: My Love Is Strengthened, Though More Weak In Seeming
Sonnet 103: Alack, What Poverty My Muse Brings Forth
Sonnet 104: To Me, Fair Friend, You Never Can Be Old
Sonnet 105: Let Not My Love Be Called Idolatry
Sonnet 106: When In The Chronicle Of Wasted Time
Sonnet 107: Not Mine Own Fears, Nor The Prophetic Soul
Sonnet 108: What's In The Brain That Ink May Character
Sonnet 109: O, Never Say That I Was False Of Heart
Sonnet 11: As Fast As Thou Shalt Wane, So Fast Thou Grow'st
Sonnet 110: Alas, 'Tis True, I Have Gone Here And There
Sonnet 111: O, For My Sake Do You With Fortune Chide
Sonnet 112: Your Love And Pity Doth Th' Impression Fill
Sonnet 113: Since I Left You, Mine Eye Is In My Mind
Sonnet 114: Or Whether Doth My Mind, Being Crowned With You
Sonnet 115: Those Lines That I Before Have Writ Do Lie
Sonnet 116: Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds
Sonnet 118: Like As To Make Our Appetite More Keen
Sonnet 119: What Potions Have I Drunk Of Siren Tears
Sonnet 12: When I Do Count The Clock That Tells The Time
Sonnet 120: That You Were Once Unkind Befriends Me Now
Sonnet 121:Tis Better To Be Vile Than Vile Esteemed
Sonnet 122: Thy Gift, Thy Tables, Are Within My Brain
Sonnet 123: No, Time, Thou Shalt Not Boast That I Do Change
Sonnet 125: Were'T Aught To Me I Bore The Canopy
Sonnet 126: O Thou, My Lovely Boy, Who In Thy Power
Sonnet 128: How Oft, When Thou, My Music, Music Play'st
Sonnet 129: Th' Expense Of Spirit In A Waste Of Shame
Sonnet 13: O, That You Were Your Self! But, Love, You Are
Sonnet 130: My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun
Sonnet 131: Thou Art As Tyrannous, So As Thou Art
Sonnet 132: Thine Eyes I Love, And They, As Pitying Me
Sonnet 133: Beshrew That Heart That Makes My Heart To Groan
Sonnet 134: So, Now I Have Confessed That He Is Thine
Sonnet 135: Whoever Hath Her Wish, Thou Hast Thy Will
Sonnet 136: If Thy Soul Check Thee That I Come So Near
Sonnet 137: Thou Blind Fool, Love, What Dost Thou To Mine Eyes
Sonnet 138: When My Love Swears That She Is Made Of Truth
Sonnet 139: O, Call Not Me To Justify The Wrong
Sonnet 14: Not From The Stars Do I My Judgement Pluck
Sonnet 140: Be Wise As Thou Art Cruel; Do Not Press
Sonnet 141: In Faith, I Do Not Love Thee With Mine Eyes
Sonnet 142: Love Is My Sin, And Thy Dear Virtue Hate
Sonnet 143: Lo, As A Careful Huswife Runs To Catch
Sonnet 144: Two Loves I Have, Of Comfort And Despair
Sonnet 145: Those Lips That Love's Own Hand Did Make
Sonnet 146: Poor Soul, The Centre Of My Sinful Earth
Sonnet 147: My Love Is As A Fever, Longing Still
Sonnet 148: O Me! What Eyes Hath Love Put In My Head
Sonnet 149: Canst Thou, O Cruel, Say I Love Thee Not
Sonnet 15: When I Consider Every Thing That Grows
Sonnet 150: O From What Power Hast Thou This Powerful Might
Sonnet 151: Love Is Too Young To Know What Conscience Is
Sonnet 152: In Loving Thee Thou Know'st I Am Forsworn
Sonnet 153: Cupid Laid By His Brand And Fell Asleep
Sonnet 154: The Little Love-God Lying Once Asleep
Sonnet 16: But Wherefore Do Not You A Mightier Way
Sonnet 17: Who Will Believe My Verse In Time To Come
Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?
Sonnet 19: Devouring Time Blunt Thou The Lion's Paws
Sonnet 2: When Forty Winters Shall Besiege Thy Brow
Sonnet 20: A Woman's Face With Nature's Own Hand Painted
Sonnet 21: So Is It Not With Me As With That Muse
Sonnet 22: My Glass Shall Not Persuade Me I Am Old
Sonnet 23: As An Unperfect Actor On The Stage
Sonnet 24: "mine Eye Hath Played The Painter And Hath Stelled"
Sonnet 25: Let Those Who Are In Favour With Their Stars
Sonnet 26: Lord Of My Love, To Whom In Vassalage
Sonnet 27: Weary With Toil, I Haste Me To My Bed
Sonnet 28: How Can I Then Return In Happy Plight
Sonnet 30: When To The Sessions Of Sweet Silent Thought
Sonnet 31: Thy Bosom Is EndearÈD With All Hearts
Sonnet 32: If Thou Survive My Well-Contented Day
Sonnet 33: Full Many A Glorious Morning Have I Seen
Sonnet 34: Why Didst Thou Promise Such A Beauteous Day
Sonnet 35: No More Be Grieved At That Which Thou Hast Done
Sonnet 36: Let Me Confess That We Two Must Be Twain
Sonnet 37: As A Decrepit Father Takes Delight
Sonnet 38: How Can My Muse Want Subject To Invent
Sonnet 39: O, How Thy Worth With Manners May I Sing
Sonnet 4: Unthrifty Loveliness, Why Dost Thou Spend
Sonnet 40: Take All My Loves, My Love, Yea, Take Them All
Sonnet 41: Those Pretty Wrongs That Liberty Commits
Sonnet 42: That Thou Hast Her, It Is Not All My Grief
Sonnet 43: When Most I Wink, Then Do Mine Eyes Best See
Sonnet 44: If The Dull Substance Of My Flesh Were Thought
Sonnet 45: The Other Two, Slight Air And Purging Fire
Sonnet 46: Mine Eye And Heart Are At A Mortal War
Sonnet 47: Betwixt Mine Eye And Heart A League Is Took
Sonnet 48: How Careful Was I, When I Took My Way
Sonnet 49: Against That Time, If Ever That Time Come
Sonnet 5: Those Hours, That With Gentle Work Did Frame
Sonnet 50: How Heavy Do I Journey On The Way
Sonnet 51: Thus Can My Love Excuse The Slow Offence
Sonnet 52: So Am I As The Rich Whose BlessÈD Key
Sonnet 53: What Is Your Substance, Whereof Are You Made
Sonnet 54: O, How Much More Doth Beauty Beauteous Seem
Sonnet 55: Not Marble, Nor The Gilded Monuments
Sonnet 56: Sweet Love, Renew Thy Force, Be It Not Said
Sonnet 57: Being Your Slave, What Should I Do But Tend
Sonnet 58: That God Forbid, That Made Me First Your Slave
Sonnet 59: If There Be Nothing New, But That Which Is
Sonnet 6: Then Let Not Winter's Ragged Hand Deface
Sonnet 60: Like As The Waves Make Towards The Pebbled Shore
Sonnet 61: Is It Thy Will Thy Image Should Keep Open
Sonnet 62: Sin Of Self-Love Possesseth All Mine Eye
Sonnet 63: Against My Love Shall Be As I Am Now
Sonnet 64: When I Have Seen By Time's Fell Hand Defaced
Sonnet 65: Since Brass, Nor Stone, Nor Earth, Nor Boundless Sea
Sonnet 66: Tired With All These, For Restful Death I Cry
Sonnet 67: Ah, Wherefore With Infection Should He Live
Sonnet 69: Those Parts Of Thee That The World's Eye Doth View
Sonnet 7: Lo In The Orient When The Gracious Light
Sonnet 70: That Thou Art Blamed Shall Not Be Thy Defect
Sonnet 71: No Longer Mourn For Me When I Am Dead
Sonnet 72: O, Lest The World Should Task You To Recite
Sonnet 73: That Time Of Year Thou Mayst In Me Behold
Sonnet 74: But Be Contented When That Fell Arrest
Sonnet 75: So Are You To My Thoughts As Food To Life
Sonnet 76: Why Is My Verse So Barren Of New Pride?
Sonnet 77: Thy Glass Will Show Thee How Thy Beauties Wear
Sonnet 78: So Oft Have I Invoked Thee For My Muse
Sonnet 79: Whilst I Alone Did Call Upon Thy Aid
Sonnet 8: Music To Hear, Why Hear'st Thou Music Sadly?
Sonnet 81: Or I Shall Live Your Epitaph To Make
Sonnet 82: I Grant Thou Wert Not Married To My Muse
Sonnet 83: I Never Saw That You Did Painting Need
Sonnet 84: Who Is It That Says Most, Which Can Say More
Sonnet 85: My Tongue-Tied Muse In Manners Holds Her Still
Sonnet 86: Was It The Proud Full Sail Of His Great Verse
Sonnet 87: Farewell! Thou Art Too Dear For My Possessing
Sonnet 88: When Thou Shalt Be Disposed To Set Me Light
Sonnet 89: Say That Thou Didst Forsake Me For Some Fault
Sonnet 9: Is It For Fear To Wet A Widow's Eye
Sonnet 90: Then Hate Me When Thou Wilt; If Ever, Now
Sonnet 91: Some Glory In Their Birth, Some In Their Skill
Sonnet 92: But Do Thy Worst To Steal Thyself Away
Sonnet 93: So Shall I Live, Supposing Thou Art True
Sonnet 94: They That Have Power To Hurt And Will Do None
Sonnet 95: How Sweet And Lovely Dost Thou Make The Shame
Sonnet 96: Some Say Thy Fault Is Youth, Some Wantonness
Sonnet 97: How Like A Winter Hath My Absence Been
Sonnet 98: From You Have I Been Absent In The Spring
Sonnet 99: The Forward Violet Thus Did I Chide
Sonnet C
Sonnet Ci
Sonnet Cii
Sonnet Ciii
Sonnet Civ
Sonnet Cix
Sonnet Cl
Sonnet Clii
Sonnet Cliii
Sonnet Cliv
Sonnet Cv
Sonnet Cvi
Sonnet Cvii
Sonnet Cviii
Sonnet Cx
Sonnet Cxi: O, For My Sake Do You With Fortune Chide
Sonnet Cxii
Sonnet Cxiii
Sonnet Cxiv
Sonnet Cxix
Sonnet Cxl
Sonnet Cxli
Sonnet Cxlii
Sonnet Cxliii
Sonnet Cxliv
Sonnet Cxlix
Sonnet Cxlv
Sonnet Cxlvi
Sonnet Cxlvii
Sonnet Cxlviii
Sonnet Cxv
Sonnet Cxvi: Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds
Sonnet Cxvii
Sonnet Cxviii
Sonnet Cxx
Sonnet Cxxi
Sonnet Cxxii
Sonnet Cxxiii
Sonnet Cxxix
Sonnet Cxxv
Sonnet Cxxvi
Sonnet Cxxviii
Sonnet Cxxxi
Sonnet Cxxxii
Sonnet Cxxxiii
Sonnet Cxxxiv
Sonnet Cxxxix
Sonnet Cxxxv
Sonnet Cxxxvi
Sonnet Cxxxviii
Sonnet I: From Fairest Creatures We Desire Increase
Sonnet Ii: When Forty Winters Shall Besiege Thy Brow
Sonnet Iii: Look In Thy Glass, And Tell The Face Thou Viewest
Sonnet Iv: Unthrifty Loveliness, Why Dost Thou Spend
Sonnet Ix
Sonnet L
Sonnet Li
Sonnet Lii
Sonnet Liii
Sonnet Lix
Sonnet Lv
Sonnet Lvi
Sonnet Lvii
Sonnet Lviii
Sonnet Lxix
Sonnet Lxv
Sonnet Lxvi
Sonnet Lxx
Sonnet Lxxi
Sonnet Lxxii
Sonnet Lxxiii
Sonnet Lxxiv
Sonnet Lxxix
Sonnet Lxxv
Sonnet Lxxvi
Sonnet Lxxvii
Sonnet Lxxviii
Sonnet Lxxx
Sonnet Lxxxi
Sonnet Lxxxii
Sonnet Lxxxiii
Sonnet Lxxxiv
Sonnet Lxxxix
Sonnet Lxxxv
Sonnet Lxxxvi
Sonnet Lxxxvii
Sonnet Lxxxviii
Sonnet V: Those Hours, That With Gentle Work Did Frame
Sonnet Vi
Sonnet Vii
Sonnet Viii
Sonnet X
Sonnet Xc
Sonnet Xci
Sonnet Xciii
Sonnet Xciv: They That Have Power To Hurt And Will Do None
Sonnet Xcix
Sonnet Xcv
Sonnet Xcvi
Sonnet Xcvii
Sonnet Xcviii
Sonnet Xi
Sonnet Xii
Sonnet Xiii
Sonnet Xiv
Sonnet Xix: Devouring Time, Blunt Thou The Lion's Paws
Sonnet Xl
Sonnet Xli
Sonnet Xlii
Sonnet Xliii
Sonnet Xliv
Sonnet Xlix
Sonnet Xlv
Sonnet Xlvi
Sonnet Xlvii
Sonnet Xlviii
Sonnet Xv: When I Consider Everything That Grows
Sonnet Xvi
Sonnet Xvii
Sonnet Xviii: Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?
Sonnet Xx
Sonnet Xxi
Sonnet Xxii
Sonnet Xxiii
Sonnet Xxiv
Sonnet Xxix: When, In Disgrace With Fortune And Men's Eyes
Sonnet Xxvi
Sonnet Xxvii
Sonnet Xxviii
Sonnet Xxx: When To The Sessions Of Sweet Silent Thought
Sonnet Xxxi
Sonnet Xxxii: If Thou Survive My Well-Contented Day
Sonnet Xxxiii
Sonnet Xxxiv
Sonnet Xxxix
Sonnet Xxxv
Sonnet Xxxvi
Sonnet Xxxvii
Sonnet Xxxviii: How Can My Muse Want Subject To Invent
Sonnets Cx: Alas, 'Tis True I Have Gone Here And There
Sonnets Cxlvi: Poor Soul, The Centre Of My Sinful Earth
Sonnets Cxvi: Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds
Sonnets I
Sonnets Ii
Sonnets Iii
Sonnets Iv
Sonnets Ix
Sonnets Liii: What Is Your Substance, Whereof Are You Made
Sonnets Lx: Like As The Waves Make Towards The Pebbl'D Shor
Sonnets To The Sundry Notes Of Music
Sonnets Vi
Sonnets Vii
Sonnets Viii
Sonnets X
Sonnets Xciv: They That Have Power To Hurt And Will Do None
Sonnets Xi
Sonnets Xii
Sonnets Xiii
Sonnets Xiv
Sonnets Xix: Devouring Time, Blunt Thou The Lion's Paws
Sonnets Xv
Sonnets Xvi
Sonnets Xvii
Sonnets Xviii
Sonnets Xviii: Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?
Sonnets Xx
Sonnets Xxix: When, In Disgrace With Fortune And Men's Eyes
Sonnets Xxv: Let Those Who Are In Favour With Their Stars
Sonnets Xxx: When To The Sessions Of Sweet Silent Thought
Sonnets Xxxiii: Full Many A Glorious Morning Have I Seen
Speech: "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears"
Spring And Winter
St. Crispin's Day Speech: From Henry V
Take, O Take Those Lips Away
That Time Of Year Thou Mayst In Me Behold (Sonnet 73)
The Blossom
The Canakin Clink Pub Song (From 'Othello')
The Dark Lady Sonnets (127 - 154)
The Passionate Pilgrim
The Phoenix And The Turtle
The Procreation Sonnets (1 - 17)
The Quality Of Mercy
The Rival Poet Sonnets (78 - 86)
To Be, Or Not To Be (Hamlet, Act Iii, Scene I)
Twelve O'Clock - Fairy Time
Under The Greenwood Tree
When In Disgrace With Fortune And Men's Eyes (Sonnet 29)
When That I Was And A Little Tiny Boy
When To The Sessions Of Sweet Silent Thought (Sonnet 30)
Where The Bee Sucks (from The Tempest)
William Shakespeare Epitaph
Winter
Witches Chant (From Macbeth)