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  • 3/14/2011

  What poets say about love

part 11


As love knoweth no lawes, so it regardeth no conditions.

        Lyly—Euphues. P. 84.   191


Love leads to present rapture,—then to pain;

But all through Love in time is healed again.

        Leland—Sweet Marjoram.   192


A warrior so bold, and a virgin so bright,

  Conversed as they sat on the green.

They gazed on each other with tender delight,

Alonzo the Brave was the name of the knight—

  The maiden’s the Fair Imogene.

        M. G. Lewis—Alonzo the Brave and the Fair Imogene. First appeared in his novel Ambrosio the Monk. Found in his Tales of Wonder. Vol. III. P. 63. Lewis’s copy of his poem is in the British Museum.   193


Ah, how skillful grows the hand

That obeyeth Love’s command!

It is the heart and not the brain

That to the highest doth attain,

And he who followeth Love’s behest

Far excelleth all the rest.

        Longfellow—Building of the Ship.   194


Love contending with friendship, and self with each generous impulse.

To and fro in his breast his thoughts were heaving and dashing,

As in a foundering ship.

        Longfellow—Courtship of Miles Standish. Pt. III. L. 7.   195


Like Dian’s kiss, unask’d, unsought,

Love gives itself, but is not bought.

        Longfellow—Endymion. St. 4.   196


Does not all the blood within me

Leap to meet thee, leap to meet thee,

As the springs to meet the sunshine.

        Longfellow—Hiawatha. Wedding Feast. L. 153.   197

O, there is nothing holier, in this life of ours, than the first consciousness of love,—the first fluttering of its silken wings.

        Longfellow—Hyperion. Bk. III. Ch. VI.   198

It is difficult to know at what moment love begins; it is less difficult to know that it has begun.

        Longfellow—Kavanagh. Ch. XXI.   199


I do not love thee less for what is done,

And cannot be undone. Thy very weakness

Hath brought thee nearer to me, and henceforth

My love will have a sense of pity in it,

Making it less a worship than before.

        Longfellow—Masque of Pandora. Pt. VIII. In the Garden. L. 39.   200


That was the first sound in the song of love!

Scarce more than silence is, and yet a sound.

Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings

Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,

And play the prelude of our fate. We hear

The voice prophetic, and are not alone.

        Longfellow—Spanish Student. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 109.   201


I love thee, as the good love heaven.

        Longfellow—Spanish Student. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 146.   202


Love keeps the cold out better than a cloak.

    It serves for food and raiment.

        Longfellow—Spanish Student. Act I. Sc. 5. L. 52.   203


How can I tell the signals and the signs

By which one heart another heart divines?

How can I tell the many thousand ways

By which it keeps the secret it betrays?

        Longfellow—Tales of a Wayside Inn. Pt. III. Student’s Tale. Emma and Eginhard. L. 75.   204


So they grew, and they grew, to the church steeple tops

  And they couldn’t grow up any higher;

So they twin’d themselves into a true lover’s knot,

  For all lovers true to admire.

        Lord Lovel. Old Ballad. History found in Professor Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads. II. 204. Also in The New Comic Minstrel. Pub. by John Cameron, Glasgow. The original version seems to be as given there.   205


Under floods that are deepest,

  Which Neptune obey,

Over rocks that are steepest,

  Love will find out the way.

        Love will find out the way. Ballad in Percy’s Reliques.   206


Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,

  That from the nunnery

Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind

  To war and arms I fly.

. . . . . .

Yet this inconstancy is such

  As you too shall adore:—

I could not love thee, dear, so much,

  Loved I not honour more.

        Lovelace—To Lucasta, on going to the Wars. Given erroneously to Montrose by Scott.   207


True love is but a humble, low born thing,

And hath its food served up in earthenware;

It is a thing to walk with, hand in hand,

Through the every-dayness of this workday world.

        Lowell—Love. L. 1.   208


Not as all other women are

  Is she that to my soul is dear;

Her glorious fancies come from far,

Beneath the silver evening star,

  And yet her heart is ever near.

        Lowell—My Love. St. 1.   209


Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib, und Gesang,

Der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang.

  He who loves not wine, woman, and song,

  Remains a fool his whole life long.

        Attributed to Luther by Uhland in Die Geisterkelter. Found in Luther’s Tischreden. Proverbs at end. Credited to J. H. Voss by Redlich, Die poetischen Beitr?ge zum Waudsbecker Bothen, Hamburg, 1871. P. 67.   210

Other Links:

Pain and Promise

The Middle Way

Three Root Words

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