Classic Texts

These are short, famous texts in English from classic sources like the Bible or Shakespeare. Some texts have word definitions and explanations to help you. Some of these texts are written in an old style of English. Try to understand them, because the English that we speak today is based on what our great, great, great, great grandparents spoke before! Of course, not all these texts were originally written in English. The Bible, for example, is a translation. But they are all well known in English today, and many of them express beautiful thoughts.


I Wish I Loved

Monday's Child

The Walrus & the Carpenter

The Grasshopper

The Hare and the Tortoise

The Hare and the Hound


Declaration of Independence

Away in a Manger

For now we see through a glass, darkly



I shall not pass this way again


Rune of St Patrick

The Female of the Species

The Lord is my shepherd

To be, or not to be, that is the question

To every thing there is a season



Consider the lilies of the field

Sonnet On Seeing a Piece of our Heavy Artillery Brought into Action

Song of Solomon

The Sick Rose

The Tiger


I had rather be a toad

What a piece of work is a man

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Weary with toil I haste me to my bed

They that have power to hurt and will do none

Let me not to the marriage of true minds


Meet some of the writers of the texts on these pages.