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  • 2/8/2011

What poets say about love

part 6


Her very frowns are fairer far

Than smiles of other maidens are.

        Hartley Coleridge—Song. She is not Fair.   76


Alas! they had been friends in youth;

But whispering tongues can poison truth,

And constancy lives in realms above;

And life is thorny, and youth is vain;

And to be wroth with one we love

Doth work like madness in the brain.

        Coleridge—Christabel. Pt. II.   77


All thoughts, all passions, all delights,

  Whatever stirs this mortal frame,

All are but ministers of Love,

  And feed his sacred flame.

        Coleridge—Love. St. 1.   78


I have heard of reasons manifold

  Why love must needs be blind,

But this is the best of all I hold—

  His eyes are in his mind.

        Coleridge—To a Lady. St. 2.   79


He that can’t live upon love deserves to die in a ditch.

        Congreve.   80


Say what you will, ’tis better to be left

Than never to have loved.

        Congreve—Way of the World. Act II. Sc. 1.   81


If there’s delight in love, ’tis when I see

The heart, which others bleed for, bleed for me.

        Congreve—Way of the World. Act III. Sc. 3.   82


I know not when the day shall be,

  I know not when our eyes may meet;

What welcome you may give to me,

  Or will your words be sad or sweet,

It may not be ’till years have passed,

  ’Till eyes are dim and tresses gray;

The world is wide, but, love, at last,

  Our hands, our hearts, must meet some day.

        Hugh Conway—Some Day.   83


How wise are they that are but fools in love!

        How a man may choose a Good Wife. Act I. 1. Attributed to Joshua Cooke in Dict. of Nat. Biog.   84


A mighty pain to love it is,

And ’tis a pain that pain to miss;

But, of all pains, the greatest pain

Is to love, but love in vain.

        Abraham Cowley—Trans. of Anacreontic Odes. VII. Gold. (Anacreon’s authorship doubted.)   85


Our love is principle, and has its root

In reason, is judicious, manly, free.

        Cowper—The Task. Bk. V. L. 353.   86


Better to love amiss than nothing to have loved.

        Crabbe—The Struggles of Conscience. Tale 14.   87


Heaven’s great artillery.

        Crashaw—Flaming Heart. L. 56.   88


Love’s great artillery.

        Crashaw—Prayer. L. 18.   89


Mighty Love’s artillery.

        Crashaw—Wounds of the Lord Jesus. L. 2.   90


And I, what is my crime I cannot tell,

Vnless it be a crime to haue lou’d too well.

        Crashaw—Alexias.   91


Poor love is lost in men’s capacious minds,

In ours, it fills up all the room it finds.

        John Crowne—Thyestes.   92


Amor, ch’al cor gentil ratto s’apprende.

  Love, that all gentle hearts so quickly know.

        Dante—Inferno. V. 100.   93


Amor ch’ a nullo amato amar perdona.

  Love, which insists that love shall mutual be.

        Dante—Inferno. V. 103.   94


  We are all born for love.  *  *  *  It is the principle of existence and its only end.

        Benj. Disraeli—Sybil. Bk. V. Ch. IV.   95


He who, being bold

For life to come, is false to the past sweet

Of mortal life, hath killed the world above.

For why to live again if not to meet?

And why to meet if not to meet in love?

And why in love if not in that dear love of old?

        Sydney Dobell—Sonnet. To a Friend in Bereavement.   96


Give, you gods,

Give to your boy, your C?sar,

The rattle of a globe to play withal,

This gewgaw world, and put him cheaply off;

I’ll not be pleased with less than Cleopatra.

        Dryden—All for Love. Act II. Sc. 1.   97


Love taught him shame, and shame with love at strife

Soon taught the sweet civilities of life.

        Dryden—Cymon and Iphigenia. L. 134.   98


How happy the lover,

  How easy his chain,

  How pleasing his pain,

How sweet to discover

  He sighs not in vain.

        Dryden—King Arthur. IV. 1. Song.   99


Fool, not to know that love endures no tie,

And Jove but laughs at lovers’ perjury.

        Dryden—Palamon and Arcite. Bk. II. L. 75. Amphitron. Act I. Sc. 2.   100

Other Links:

What poets say about love: part 3

Sweeney among the Nightingales

What poets say about love: part 4

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