Treatment of Love in Romantic Poetry

 Treatmet of Love in Romantic Poetry

Love is ever a favourite matter in the romantic poetry. In romantic poetry, as a theme, it is no less distinct. Love, with its passion and pangs, joys and sorrows, is found celebrated. The great romanticists, including Wordsworh, Byron, Shelley and Keats, are found to employ their verses, with no less skill to speak and glorify, this old theme of literature, this theme of love.

Romantic poetry is unconventional, and the romantic poets, too, have made no conventional treatment of the conventional theme of love. thier love poetry is extra-ordinary, unconventional, in its imaginative flight, idealistc spirit and impulsice tone. Love is a passion of sex, but the romantic poets are not concerned with the mrer physical aspects of love. It is not the physical passion of love, but profundity of feeling and the intensity of sensibility, which may be taken as the keynote of all great love poems of the great romantic age.


Romantic poetry is found inspired with a lofty sublime ideal that transcends all material limitations. Its idealism invests all that is gross and earthly with a vision which is both sublime and inspiring. The physical passion of love which is a reality of life, is treated, in an elevated manner, by the romantic imagination. It is turned into something spiritual and holy by the sublime, lofty and idealistic notion of the romantic poets.


This romantic idealization of the earthly passion of love is particularly marked in the love poems of Wordsworth and Shelley. 'She was a phantom of delight' of Wordsworth is a fine sublimation of an earthly woman with her real, physical appearance. In the poet's high imagination, she takes the form of a lovely apparition, made beautiful by all the graceful aspects of nature. The lady is to him something more than a mere earthly creature. She is to him a spirit, still and bright, with something of 'an angelic light.'


The same idealization of love is found dominant is Shelley's Flight of Love and One Word is too Often Profaned. Shelley is an idealist of a high order, and love is to him, a great ideal of lofe. In the above poems, love is glorified and worshipped as a noble spiritual feeling that raises men far above the gross earthly passion. The Fligt of Love speaks of the profundity that the holy passion of love possessses, while One Word is too Often Profaned, brings out the unattainable yet noble yearning of love-

'' The desire of the moth for the star,

Of the night for the morrow,

The devotion to something afar,

From the sphere of our sorrow.''


This noble idealistic sentiment of love also rings in Byron's She Walks in Beauty like the Night, and Keats's Bright Star. Byron idealises his ladylove as the perfect embodiment of beauty and sweetness, of purity and grace. His description of the lady marks his romantic exuberance-

''She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that's best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes.''


Romantic love poetry echoes faithfully the varied moods of love in its own characteristic way. The singularity of ramantic poetry is marked here, as elsewhere. Romantic love poetry is in no way less than the love poems of other ages. This may ave less impulsiveness tan Elizabethan love poetrry, although it has not less profundity and idealism.

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