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  • 1/29/2011

What poets say about love

Part 2


The sweetest joy, the wildest woe is love.

        Bailey—Festus. Sc. Alcove and Garden.   11


How many times do I love, again?

Tell me how many beads there are

      In a silver chain

      Of evening rain

Unravelled from the trembling main

And threading the eye of a yellow star:—

So many times do I love again.

        Thos. Lovell Beddoes—How Many Times.   12


Mein Herz ich will dich fragen,

  Was ist denn Liebe, sag?

“Zwei Seelen und ein Gedanke,

  Zwei Herzen und ein Schlag.”

  My heart I fain would ask thee

    What then is Love? say on.

  “Two souls and one thought only

    Two hearts that throb as one.”

        Von Münch Bellinghausen (Friedrich Halm)—Der Sohn der Wildniss. Act II. Trans. by W. H. Charlton. (Commended by author.) Popular trans. of the play is by Marie Lovell—Ingomar the Barbarian. Two souls with but a single thought, / Two hearts that beat as one.   13


Whoever lives true life, will love true love.

        E. B. Browning—Aurora Leigh. Bk. I. L. 1,096.  14


Love in a shower safe shelter took,

In a rosy bower beside a brook,

And winked and nodded with conscious pride

To his votaries drenched on the other side.

Come hither, sweet maids, there’s a bridge below,

The toll-keeper, Hymen, will let you through.

Come over the stream to me.

        Bloomfield—Glee. St. 1.   15

Love is like fire.  *  *  *  Wounds of fire are hard to bear; harder still are those of love.

        Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen—Gunnar. Ch. IV.   16


Le premier soupir de l’amour

Est le dernier de la sagesse.

  The first sigh of love is the last of wisdom.

        Antoine Bret—Ecole amoureuse. Sc. 7.   17


Much ado there was, God wot;

He woold love, and she woold not,

She sayd, “Never man was trewe;”

He sayes, “None was false to you.”

        Nicholas Breton—Phillida and Corydon.   18


In your arms was still delight,

Quiet as a street at night;

And thoughts of you, I do remember,

Were green leaves in a darkened chamber,

Were dark clouds in a moonless sky.

        Rupert Brooke—Retrospect.   19


There is musick, even in the beauty and the silent note which Cupid strikes, far sweeter than the sound of an instrument.

        Sir Thomas Browne—Religio Medici. Pt. II. Sec. IX.   20

Other Links:

To the Lighthouse

Extract from the Conclusion of a Poem

Lines Written in Early Spring

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