Spanning seven centuries, this ambitious and revelatory collection turns the traditional chronology of anthologies on its head, listing poems according to their first individual appearance in the language rather than by poet.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-datetranslations by award-winning translators."
The Penguin Book of English Verse Preface
Anonymous 'Ich am of Irlande'
Anonymous 'Maiden in the morë lay'
Anonymous 'Al night by the rosë, rosë'
Anonymous 'Bitwenë March and Avëril'
Anonymous 'Erthë tok of erthe'
Anonymous 'Gold and al this worldës wyn'
Anonymous 'Gloria mundi est'
Anonymous 'Love me broughte'
Anonymous (The Dragon Speaks)
Geoffrey Chaucer from The Parliament of Fowls
(Catalogue of the Birds)
Geoffrey Chaucer from The Boke of Troilus
Anonymous 'When Adam dalf and Eve span'
William Langland from The Vision of Piers Plowman
(Gluttony in the Ale-house)
Geoffrey Chaucer from The Canterbury Tales
from The General Prologue 'Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote'
from The General Prologue (The Prioress)
from The Knight's Tale (The Temple of Mars)
from The Knight's Tale (Saturn)
from The Milleres Tale (Alysoun)
from The Wife of Bath's Prologue 'My fourthe housbonde was a revelour'
from The Pardoner's Tale 'Thise riotoures thre of whiche I telle'
Anonymous from Patience
(Jonah and the Whale)
Anonymous from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
(Gawain Journeys North)
Geoffrey Chaucer Envoy to Scogan
John Gower from Confessio Amantis
(The Rape of Lucrece)
Thomas Hoccleve from The Complaint of Hoccleve
'Aftir that hervest inned had hise sheves'
Charles of Orleans (Ballade) ('In the forest of Noyous Hevynes')
Charles of Orleans (Roundel) ('Take, take this cosse, attonys, atonys, my hert!')
Charles of Orleans (Roundel) ('Go forth myn hert wyth my lady')
Anonymous 'Adam lay y-bownden'
Anonymous 'I syng of a mayden'
Anonymous 'The merthe of alle this londe'
Anonymous (Christ Triumphant)
Anonymous (Holly against Ivy)
Anonymous 'Ther is no rose of swych vertu'
John Skelton from Phyllyp Sparowe
'Whan I remembre agayn'
Robert Henryson from The Testament of Cresseid
'O ladyis fair of Troy and Greece, attend'
William Dunbar Lament, When He Wes Seik
William Dunbar 'Done is a battell on the dragon blak'
William Dunbar 'In to thir dirk and drublie dayis'
Gavin Douglas/Virgil from The Aeneid
from Book I (Aeolus Looses the Winds)
from The Proloug of the Sevynt Buik of Eneados
Anonymous (the Corupus Christi Carol)
Anonymous 'Farewell, this world! I take my leve for evere'
Anonymous 'Draw me nere, draw me nere'
Anonymous 'Westron wynde when wyll thow blow'
John Skelton from A Goodly Garlande or Chapelet of Laurell
(The Garden of the Muses: Iopas' Song)
To Maystres Isabell Pennell
John Skelton from Speke Parott
William Cornish 'Pleasure it is'
Myles Coverdale from The Bible
Psalm 137: Super flumina
Sir Thomas Wyatt/Petrarch 'The longe love that in my thought doeth harbar'
Sir Thomas Wyatt/Petrarch 'Who so list to hount I knowe where is an hynde'
Sir Thomas Wyatt 'They fle from me that sometyme did me seke'
Sir Thomas Wyatt 'My lute awake! Perfourme the last'
Sir Thomas Wyatt 'Forget not yet the tryde entent'
Sir Thomas Wyatt/Alamanni 'Myne owne John Poyntz, sins ye delight to know'
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey An Excellent Epitaffe of Syr Thomas Wyat
Anne Askew The Balade whych Anne Askewe made and sange whan she was in Newgate
from Tottel's Songes and Sonettes
Sir Thomas Wyatt/Seneca (Chorus from Thyestes) ('Stond who so list upon the Slipper toppe')
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey 'O happy dames, that may embrace'
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey 'Alas, so all thinges nowe doe holde their peace'
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey/Virgil from Certayn bokes of Virgiles Aenaeis
(Aeneas searches for his wife)
from The Geneva Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ('To all things there is an appointed time')
Robert Weever 'Of Youth He Singeth'
Barnabe Googe Commynge Home-warde out of Spayne
Barnabe Googe An Epytaphe of the Death of Nicolas Grimoald
Arthur Golding/Ovid from The First Four Books of Ovid
(Proserpine and Dis)
(Daphne and Apollo)
Arthur Golding/Ovid from The Fifteen Books of Ovid
Alexander Scott 'To luve unluvit it is ane pane'
Anonymous 'Christ was the word that spake it'
Edmund Spenser from The Shepheardes Calender (Roundelay)
Edmund Spenser Iambicum Trimetrum
Jasper Heywood/Seneca (Chorus from Hercules Furens)
Thomas Watson My Love is Past
Anonymous A New Courtly Sonet, of the Lady Greensleeves
Chidiock Tichborne 'My prime of youth is but a froste of cares'
Anonymous 'Constant Penelope, sends to thee carelesse Ulisses'
Anonymous/Theocritus from Sixe Idillia . . . chosen out of . . . Theocritus
Sir Philip Sidney 'My true love hath my hart, and I have his'
Sir Walter Raleigh 'As you came from the holy land'
Mark Alexander Boyd Sonet ('Fra banc to banc fra wod to wod I rin')
Sir Henry Lee 'His Golden lockes, Time hath to Silver turn'd'
Edmund Spenser from The Faerie Queene
from Book II, Canto XII (The Bower of Blisse Destroyed)
from Book III, Canto VI (The Gardin of Adonis)
from Book III, Canto XI (Britomart in the House of the Enchanter Busyrane)
Sir Philip Sidney from Astrophil and Stella
1. 'Loving in truth, and faine in verse my love to show'
31. 'With how sad steps, ô Moone, thou climb'st the skies'
33. 'I might, unhappie word, ô me, I might'
Thomas Campion 'Harke, al you ladies that do sleep'
Sir John Harrington/Ariosto from Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (Astolfo flies by Chariot to the Moon)
John Lyly from Midas
'Pan's Syrinx was a Girle indeed'
Samuel Daniel from Delia
45. 'Care-charmer sleepe, sonne of the Sable night'
Henry Constable 'Deere to my soule, then leave me not forsaken'
Sir Walter Raleigh The Lie
from The Phoenix Nest
Anonymous 'Praisd be Dianas faire and harmles light'
Thomas Lodge The Sheepheards Sorrow, Being Disdained in Love
Barnabe Barnes from Parthenophil and Parthenophe (Sestina)
('Then, first with lockes disheveled, and bare')
Sir Philip Sidney from The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia
'Yee Gote-heard Gods, that love the grassie mountaines'
William Shakespeare from Love's Labours Lost
'When Dasies pied, and Violets blew'
Anonymous 'Weare I a Kinge I coude commande content'
Edmund Spenser from Amoretti
Sonnet LXVII. ('Lyke as a huntsman after weary chace')
Sonnet LXVIII. ('Most glorious Lord of lyfe that on this day')
Robert Southwell S. J. Decease Release
Robert Southwell S.J. New Heaven, New Warre
Robert Southwell S.J. The Burning Babe
George Peele from The Old Wives Tale
'When as the Rie reach to the chin'
'Gently dip: but not too deepe'
Edmund Spenser Prothalamion
Sir John Davies In Cosmum
Sir John Davies from Orchestra, or a Poeme of Dauncing
('The speach of Love persuading men to learn Dancing')
Anonymous 'Since Bonny-boots was dead, that so divinely'
William Alabaster Of the Reed That the Jews Set in Our Saviour's Hand
William Alabaster Of His Conversion
Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester 'Forsaken woods, trees with sharpe storms opprest'
Sir Philip Sidney 'When to my deadlie pleasure'
Sir Philip Sidney 'Leave me ô Love, which reachest but to dust'
Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke Psalm 58 ('And call yee this to utter what is just')
Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke from Psalm 139 ('Each inmost peece in me is thine')
Christopher Marlowe from Hero and Leander
'His bodie was as straight as Circes wand'
Anonymous 'Hark, all ye lovely saints above'
Christopher Marlowe/Ovid from All Ovids Elegies
Book I, Elegia 5 ('In summers heat and mid-time of the day')
Book III, Elegia 13 ('Seeing thou art faire, I barre not thy false playing')
John Donne On His Mistris
Michael Drayton from Idea
5. 'Nothing but No and I, and I and No'
Alexander Hume from Of the Day Estivall
'O perfite light, quhik schaid away'
George Peele from David and Fair Bethsabe
'Hot sunne, coole fire, tempered with sweet aire'
Samuel Daniel from Musophilus
Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke from Caelica
Sonnet XLV. ('Absence, the noble truce')
Sonnet LXXXIV. ('Farewell sweet boy, complaine not of my truth')
Sonnet LXXXV. ('Love is the Peace, whereto all thoughts doe strive')
Sonnet XCIX. ('Downe in the depth of mine iniquity')
Sonnet C. ('In Night when colours all to blacke are cast')
from Englands Helicon
Anonymous The Sheepheeards Description of Love
Christopher Marlowe The Passionate Sheepheard to his Love
Sir Walter Ralegh The Nimphs Reply to the Sheepheard
Thomas Nashe from Summers Last Will and Testament
'Fayre Summer droops, droope men and beasts therefore'
'Adieu, farewell earths blisse'
Anonymous (A Lament for Our Lady's Shrine at Walsingham)
Anonymous 'Fine knacks for ladies, cheape choise brave and new'
Anonymous 'Thule, the period of cosmography'
John Holmes 'Thus Bonny-boots the birthday celebrated'
William Shakespeare from Twelfth Night
'When that I was and a little tiny boy'
William Shakespeare (The Phoenix and Turtle)
Thomas Campion/Catulus 'My sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love'
Thomas Campion 'Followe thy faire sunne unhappy shaddowe'
Thomas Campion/Propertius 'When thou must home to shades of under ground'
Anonymous 'The lowest trees have tops, the Ant her gall'
Thomas Campion 'Rose-cheekt Lawra come'
Anonymous 'Weepe you no more sad fountaines'
Anonymous The Passionate Mans Pilgrimage
Nicholas Breton from A Solemne Long Enduring Passion
'Wearie thoughts doe waite upon me'
Ben Jonson/Catullus from Volpone
'Come my Celia, let us prove'
Anonymous 'Ay me, alas, heigh ho, heigh ho!'
Ben Jonson from Epicoene
'Still to be neat, still to be dresst'
Edmund Spenser from Two Cantos of Mutabilitie
(Nature's Reply to Mutabilitie)
William Shakespeare from Sonnets
18. 'Shall I compare thee to a Summers day?'
55. 'Not marble, nor the guilded monuments'
60. 'Like as the waves make towards the pibled shore'
66. 'Tyr'd with all these for restfull death I cry'
73. 'That time of yeeare thou maist in me behold'
94. 'They that have powre to hurt, and will doe none'
107. 'Not mine owne feares, nor the prophetick soule'
116. 'Let me not to the marriage of true mindes'
124. 'Yf my deare love were but the childe of state'
129. 'Th'expence of Spirit in a waste of shame'
138. 'When my love sweares that she is made of truth'
144. 'Two loves I have of comfort and dispaire'
William Shakespeare from Cymbeline
'Feare no more the heate o'th'Sun'
Anonymous (Inscription in Osmington Church, Dorset)
Anonymous (Inscription in St. Mary Magdalene Church, Milk Street, London)
John Davies of Hereford The Author Loving These Homely Meats
from The Authorized Version of the Bible
2 Samuel 1:19-27 David lamenteth the death of Jonathan
Job 3:3-26 Job curseth the day, and services of his birth
Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 The Creator is to be remembered in due time
George Chapman/Homer from The Iliads of Homer
from The Third Booke (Helen and the Elders on the Ramparts)
from The Twelfth Booke (Sarpedon's Speech to Glaucus)
Anonymous A Belmans Song
William Shakespeare from The Winter's Tale
'When Daffadils begin to peere'
'Lawne as white as driven Snow'
William Shakespeare from The Tempest
'Come unto these yellow sands'
'Full fadom five they Father lies'
John Webster from The White Divel
'Call for the Robin-Red-brest and the wren'
George Chapman/Epictetus Pleasd with thy Place
Thomas Campion 'Never weather-beaten Saile'
William Fowler 'Ship-broken men whom stormy seas sore toss'
John Webster from The Dutchesse of Malfy
'Hearke, now every thing is still'
Sir John Harington Of Treason
Anonymous (Tom o' Bedlam's Song)
Ben Jonson from Epigrammes
XIV. To William Camden
XLV. On My First Sonne
LIX. On Spies
CSVIII. Inviting a Friend to Supper
CI. On Gut
Ben Jonson from The Forrest To Heaven
William Drummond of Hawthornden Sonnet ('How many times Nights silent Queene her Face')
William Browne from Britannia's Pastorals