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  • 12/29/2011

What poets say about love

part 22


Thy fatal shafts unerring move;

I bow before thine altar, Love!

        Smollett””Roderick Random. Ch. XL. St. 1.      391

  Love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave.

        Song of Solomon. VIII. 6.            392

  Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.

        Song of Solomon. VIII. 7.            393

And when my own Mark Antony

  Against young Cæsar strove,

And Rome’s whole world was set in arms,

  The cause was,””all for love.

        Southey””All for Love. Pt. II. St. 26.      394

Cupid “the little greatest god.”‌

        Southey””Commonplace Book. 4th Series. P. 462.         395

They sin who tell us Love can die:

With life all other passions fly,

All others are but vanity,

In Heaven Ambition cannot dwell,

Nor Avarice in the vaults of Hell.

        Southey””Curse of Kehama. Mount Meru. St. 10.          396

Together linkt with adamantine chains.

        Spenser””Hymn in Honour of Love. Phrase used by Drummond””Flowers of Sion. Belvoir, in Harleian Miscellany. IV. 559. Phineas Fletcher””Purple Island. Ch. XII. 64. (1633). Manilius. Bk. I. 921. Marini””Sospetto d’Herode. Sts. 14 and 18, Crashaw’s trans. Shelley””Revolt of Islam. III. 19.          397

To be wise and eke to love,

Is granted scarce to gods above.

        Spenser””Shepheard’s Calendar. March.             398

  Love is the emblem of eternity: it confounds all notion of time: effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end.

        Madame de Staël””Corinne. Bk. VIII. Ch. II.    399

  Where we really love, we often dread more than we desire the solemn moment that exchanges hope for certainty.

        Madame de Staël””Corinne. Bk. VIII. Ch. IV.   400

  L’amour est l’histoire de la vie des femmes; c’est un épisode dans celle des hommes.

  Love is the history of a woman’s life; it is an episode in man’s.

        Madame de Staël””De l’influence des passions. Works. III. P. 135. (Ed. 1820).           401

Sweetheart, when you walk my way,

Be it dark or be it day;

Dreary winter, fairy May,

  I shall know and greet you.

For each day of grief or grace

Brings you nearer my embrace;

Love hath fashioned your dear face,

  I shall know you when I meet you.

        Frank L. Stanton””Greeting.        402

To love her was a liberal education.

        Steele””Of Lady Elizabeth Hastings. In The Tatler. No. 49. Augustine Birrell in Obiter Dicta calls this “the most magnificent compliment ever paid by man to a woman.”‌            403

  I who all the Winter through,

  Cherished other loves than you

And kept hands with hoary policy in marriage-bed and pew;

  Now I know the false and true,

  For the earnest sun looks through,

And my old love comes to meet me in the dawning and the dew.

        Stevenson. Poem written 1876.    404

  And my heart springs up anew,

  Bright and confident and true,

And the old love comes to meet me, in the dawning and the dew.

        Stevenson. Poem written 1876.    405

Just like Love is yonder rose,

Heavenly fragrance round it throws,

Yet tears its dewy leaves disclose,

And in the midst of briars it blows

    Just like Love.

        Viscount Strangford””Just like Love. Trans. of Poems of Camoens.      406

Why so pale and wan, fond lover,

  Prithee, why so pale?

Will, when looking well can’t move her,

  Looking ill prevail?

  Prithee, why so pale?

        Sir John Suckling””Song. St. 1.   407

Love in its essence is spiritual fire.

        Swedenborg””True Christian Religion. Par. 31.              408

In all I wish, how happy should I be,

Thou grand Deluder, were it not for thee?

So weak thou art that fools thy power despise;

And yet so strong, thou triumph’st o’er the wise.

        Swift””To Love.   409

Love, as is told by the seers of old,

Comes as a butterfly tipped with gold,

  Flutters and flies in sunlit skies,

Weaving round hearts that were one time cold.

        Swinburne””Song.            410

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