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Poems About Love

Table of Contents

  1. Three Measures by Amos Russel Wells
  2. The Lover's Thanksgiving by Anonymous
  3. Some Day a Love Song by Anonymous
  4. Herin is Love by
  5. What Wondrous Love Is This by American Folk Hymn
  6. Sonnet 14 - If Thou Must Love Me, Let it be for Nought by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  7. Cupid's Warning by Hannah Flagg Gould
  8. Where Love Has Been by Amos Russel Wells
  9. Love's Trial Balance by Anonymous
  10. A Song of the Silent Souls by Anonymous
  11. The Letter by Emily Dickinson
  12. I had no time to hate, because by Emily Dickinson
  13. I meant to find her when I came by Emily Dickinson
  14. If you were coming in the fall by Emily Dickinson
  15. Proof by Emily Dickinson
  16. The moon is distant from the sea by Emily Dickinson
  17. Water is taught by thirst; by Emily Dickinson
  18. A Memory by William Stanley Braithwaite
  19. "The Starry Midnight Whispers" by Bliss Carman
  20. XIX. The The Lady's Sonnet. Twilight. by Christopher Pearse Cranch
  21. XX. The The Lady's Sonnet. Midnight. by Christopher Pearse Cranch
  22. If. by Laurence Dunbar
  23. For Katrina's Sun Dial by Henry Van Dyke
  24. Love by George Herbert
  25. My true love hath my heart by Sir Philip Sidney
  26. Light by Francis Bourdillon
  27. Love by Rupert Brooke
  28. The Way That Lovers Use by Rupert Brooke
  29. Bond and Free by Robert Frost
  30. A Sister's Love by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  31. Red Carnations by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  32. Upon the Sand by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  33. The Common Lot by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  34. What Shall We Do? by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  35. But One by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  36. An Answer by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  37. The Trio by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  38. Creation by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  39. Time and Love by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  40. The Speech of Silence by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  41. Love's Coming by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  42. She Came and Went by James Russell Lowell
  43. Desolation by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  44. New and Old by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  45. Love's Language by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  46. My Heritage by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  47. Abou Ben Adhem by Leigh Hunt
  48. Loving Words by Anonymous
  49. Little Things by Anonymous
  50. Loving and Forgiving by Charles Swain
  51. A Woman's Love by Ruby Archer
  52. The Shell and the Heart by Ruby Archer
  53. Love Is All by Ruby Archer
  54. My Empire by Ruby Archer
  55. Is Loving Like This? by Ruby Archer
  56. Man and Dog and Horse and Tree by Annette Wynne
  57. Hearts Were Made to Give Away by Annette Wynne
  58. Hope is like a harebell by Christina Georgina Rossetti
  59. Greatness Is Goodness by Evander A. Crewson
  60. Love's Millionaire by Florence May Alt

Famous, Sad, funny, for her, for him, i love you
  1. Christian Love

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    A breath of heaven to mortals given,
    A glow of holy fire,
    And all who breathe it taste of heaven,
    And after heaven aspire.

    The air of heaven is fill'd with love,
    This chords on every string,
    This makes the harmony above,
    And sacred is the spring.

    No joy would mortals find below,
    Without this One delight.
    But grief, with all its train of wo,
    If love was out of sight.

    Still blasting storms, and winds may blow,
    O'er man's frail life below,
    Yet hallow'd love, thy sacred glow,
    Shall breath in storms of wo.

  2. Three Measures

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Psalm 103:11-13

    Of all things far I love the best
    The distance from the east to west;
    For by that space, and all within,
    God's mercy parts me from my sin.

    And best I love, of all things high,
    The space between the earth and sky;
    For by that height beyond all ken
    God's love exceeds the love of men.

    I love, of deep things undeflled,
    A father's pity for his child;
    For by that depth so far, so clear,
    God pities all that faint and fear,

    O Father, Father, endless kind,
    I thank Thee for my human mind,
    But chief of all my praise shall be
    That mind cannot encompass Thee!

  3. The Lover's Thanksgiving

    by Anonymous

    I'm glad for every shining star,
    The gleams of glittering skies,
    And that their brightest sparkles are
    In Jenny's eyes.

    I'm glad for summer's drowsy hum,
    Dear zephyrs from the south.
    And that their sweetest breathings come
    From Jenny's mouth.

    I'm glad for beauty's towers tall,
    For poetry and art.
    And that the centre of it all
    Is Jenny's heart.

  4. Some Day a Love Song

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Some day I'll sing, with golden words,
    A love song to my wife,
    Surpassing violins and birds,
    A song of love and life.

    The song shall spring from deepest earth,
    And leap to loftiest sky.
    All praise of beauty and of worth
    Shall fling their banners high.

    The song shall touch the tender heart
    And thrill the ardent mind,
    All charms of nature and of art
    Deliciously combined.

    But since I cannot sing you now
    That worthy song of bliss,
    Dear wife! I print upon your brow
    This dumb, adoring kiss!

  5. Herin is Love


    Oh wond'rous love! the Father gave
    His only Son to seek and save
    Poor sinners that were lost;
    Our souls were His peculiar care,
    All our iniquities he bare
    Himself upon the cross.

    And did the Saviour bleed for me,
    Expire upon the accursed tree,
    To expiate my guilt?
    For me was wounded, bruis'd, and torn,
    His sacred temples pierc'd with thorns,
    His precious blood was spilt!

    The sorrows of Gethsamane,
    The agonies of Calvary,
    For sinners were endured;
    But the affliction, grief, and pain,
    The blessed Saviour did sustain,
    Salvation hath procured!

    Oh! may the Lord for ever be
    The source of my felicity,
    His laws be my delight;
    And may His holy spirit rest
    For evermore within my breast,
    And guide my steps aright!

    “33When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”

    – Luke 23:34
  6. What Wondrous Love Is This

    by American Folk Hymn

    What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
    What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
    What wondrous love is this
    That caused the Lord of bliss
    To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
    To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

    When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
    When I was sinking down, sinking down,
    When I was sinking down
    Beneath God’s righteous frown,
    Christ laid aside His crown for my soul for my soul,
    Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

    To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing;
    To God and to the Lamb I will sing;
    To God and to the Lamb,
    Who is the great I AM,
    While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
    While millions join the theme, I will sing

    And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
    And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
    And when from death I’m free
    I’ll sing His love for me,
    And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
    And through eternity I’ll sing on.

    “33When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”

    – Luke 23:34
  7. Sonnet 14 - If Thou Must Love Me, Let it be for Nought

    by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    If thou must love me, let it be for nought
    Except for love's sake only. Do not say
    'I love her for her smile—her look—her way
    Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
    That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
    A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'—
    For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
    Be changed, or change for thee,—and love, so wrought,
    May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
    Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,—
    A creature might forget to weep, who bore
    Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
    But love me for love's sake, that evermore
    Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

  8. Cupid's Warning

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    "TAKE heed! take heed!
    They will go with speed;
    For I've just new-strung my bow!
    My quiver is full; and if oft I pull,
    Some arrow may hit, you know,
    You know, you know,
    Some arrow may hit, you know."

    "Oh! pull away,"
    Did the maiden say,
    "For who is the coward to mind
    A shaft that's flung by a boy so young,
    When both of his eyes are blind,
    Are blind, are blind,
    When both of his eyes are blind?

    His bow he drew;
    And the shafts they flew,
    Till the maiden was heard to cry,
    "Oh! take the dart from my aching heart,
    Dear Cupid, or else I die!
    I die, I die,
    Dear Cupid, or else I die!"

    He said, and smiled,
    "I am but a child,
    And should have no skill to find,
    E'en with both my eyes, where the dart now lies;
    Then you know, fair maid, I'm blind,
    I'm blind, I'm blind,
    You know fair maid, I'm blind!"

  9. Where Love Has Been

    by Amos Russel Wells

    With happy heart I tread the ways
    Of this world of hate and sin.
    And everywhere I whisper praise
    That there true lovers have been.

    Not only lo some dim retreat,
    Where the branches that bend above,
    And the mossy banks, for lovers meet,
    Seem Cupld's palace of love,

    But sometimes on the brick-paved walk
    Of a city's seething street,
    The air yet thrills with lovers talk,
    And the brick with lovers' feet.

    For where our thronging human rare
    Most ceaselessly comes and goes,
    Most sure am I that blessed place
    Some touch of a lover knows.

    And humdrum shops, and factories,
    And the bustling market square,
    And railroad stations,—spots like these,
    All vulgar and hot, and bare,—

    Some lovers, I have faith to hold,
    Have hallowed each homely place,
    And changed its pewter all to gold,
    And its homeliness all to grace.

    And thus I walk with listening ear,
    Wherever I chance to be,
    If some sweet echo I may hear,
    Or some lingering love-light see.
    And so God bless the lovers dear,
    As they bless this world for me!

  10. Love's Trial Balance

    by Anonymous

    He who hath never been in love
    Hath half his powers still to prove.
    He knoweth not how keen to see
    His love-enlightened eyes may be,
    How gay his wit, how bright his tongue,
    His soul how strong, his heart how young.

    He who hath never been in love
    Hath half his folly still to prove.
    He knoweth not the silliness
    His tongue is able to express,
    What jealousy, what license bold,
    What pettiness, his heart may hold.

    He who hath never been in love,
    Hath half his delights are still to prove.
    He knoweth not the subtle charm
    Of tender hand, of clasping arm,
    Nor half the joys that leap and start
    From woman's eyes and mouth and heart.

    He who hath never been in love
    Hath half his torments still to prove.
    He knoweth not what frets absurd
    Uncoil from careless look and word,
    Nor how his peace may be undone
    Before two wills are bound in one.

    He who hath never been in love,—
    How to the dullard can I prove
    That all the folly lovers show
    Is naught to that new power they know,
    And all the torments that annoy
    Are merest motes within their joy?

  11. A Song of the Silent Souls

    by Anonymous

    Some can talk, sagacious, tender,
    Strong discourse and rare;
    Others fill the room with splendor
    Just by being there.

    Some can drive the world to duty
    By a brandished knife
    Others by the silent beauty
    Of a loving life

    Some are praised to highest heaven
    Through a brilliant hour;
    Others as a quiet leaven
    Wield eternal power.

    Fine are speech and valiant action
    Where the triumph rolls;
    But—the endless satisfaction
    Of the silent souls!

  12. The Letter

    by Emily Dickinson

    "Going to him! Happy letter! Tell him —
    Tell him the page I didn't write;
    Tell him I only said the syntax,
    And left the verb and the pronoun out.
    Tell him just how the fingers hurried,
    Then how they waded, slow, slow, slow;
    And then you wished you had eyes in your pages,
    So you could see what moved them so.

    "Tell him it wasn't a practised writer,
    You guessed, from the way the sentence toiled;
    You could hear the bodice tug, behind you,
    As if it held but the might of a child;
    You almost pitied it, you, it worked so.
    Tell him — No, you may quibble there,
    For it would split his heart to know it,
    And then you and I were silenter.

    "Tell him night finished before we finished,
    And the old clock kept neighing 'day!'
    And you got sleepy and begged to be ended —
    What could it hinder so, to say?
    Tell him just how she sealed you, cautious,
    But if he ask where you are hid
    Until to-morrow, — happy letter!
    Gesture, coquette, and shake your head!"

  13. I had no time to hate, because

    by Emily Dickinson

    I had no time to hate, because
    The grave would hinder me,
    And life was not so ample I
    Could finish enmity.

    Nor had I time to love; but since
    Some industry must be,
    The little toil of love, I thought,
    Was large enough for me.

  14. I meant to find her when I came

    by Emily Dickinson

    I meant to find her when I came;
    Death had the same design;
    But the success was his, it seems,
    And the discomfit mine.

    I meant to tell her how I longed
    For just this single time;
    But Death had told her so the first,
    And she had hearkened him.

    To wander now is my abode;
    To rest, — to rest would be
    A privilege of hurricane
    To memory and me.

  15. If you were coming in the fall

    by Emily Dickinson

    If you were coming in the fall,
    I'd brush the summer by
    With half a smile and half a spurn,
    As housewives do a fly.

    If I could see you in a year,
    I'd wind the months in balls,
    And put them each in separate drawers,
    Until their time befalls.

    If only centuries delayed,
    I'd count them on my hand,
    Subtracting till my fingers dropped
    Into Van Diemen's land.

    If certain, when this life was out,
    That yours and mine should be,
    I'd toss it yonder like a rind,
    And taste eternity.

    But now, all ignorant of the length
    Of time's uncertain wing,
    It goads me, like the goblin bee,
    That will not state its sting.

  16. Proof

    by Emily Dickinson

    That I did always love,
    I bring thee proof:
    That till I loved
    I did not love enough.

    That I shall love alway,
    I offer thee
    That love is life,
    And life hath immortality.

    This, dost thou doubt, sweet?
    Then have I
    Nothing to show
    But Calvary.

  17. The moon is distant from the sea

    by Emily Dickinson

    The moon is distant from the sea,
    And yet with amber hands
    She leads him, docile as a boy,
    Along appointed sands.

    He never misses a degree;
    Obedient to her eye,
    He comes just so far toward the town,
    Just so far goes away.

    Oh, Signor, thine the amber hand,
    And mine the distant sea, —
    Obedient to the least command
    Thine eyes impose on me.

  18. Water is taught by thirst;

    by Emily Dickinson

    Water is taught by thirst;
    Land, by the oceans passed;
    Transport, by throe;
    Peace, by its battles told;
    Love, by memorial mould;
    Birds, by the snow.

  19. A Memory

    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    My heart to thee an answer makes, O long, slow whisper of the sea,
    Whose charm of mournful music wakes A dream, a memory.

    Touched hands, met lips, and soft fair speech — Soul's silence to the past replies,
    When love and hope illumined each, Within a girl's blue eyes.

  20. "The Starry Midnight Whispers"

    by Bliss Carman

    The starry midnight whispers,
    As I muse before the fire
    On the ashes of ambition
    And the embers of desire,

    "Life has no other logic,
    And time no other creed,
    Than:'I for joy will follow.
    Where thou for love dost lead!"

  21. XIX. The The Lady's Sonnet. Twilight.

    by Christopher Pearse Cranch

    I know not why I chose to seem so cold
    At parting from you; for since you are gone
    I see you still — I hear each word, each tone;
    And what I hid from you I wish were told.
    I, who was proud and shy, seem now too bold
    To write these lines — and yet must write to own
    I would unsay my words, now I'm alone.
    From my dark window out upon the wold
    I look. 'Twas through yon pathway to the west
    I watched you going, while the sunset light
    Went with you — and a shadow seemed to fall
    Upon my heart. And now I cannot rest
    Till I have written; for I said, 'To-night
    I'll send your answer.' Now I've told you all.

  22. XX. The The Lady's Sonnet. Midnight.

    by Christopher Pearse Cranch

    I waited through the night, while summer blew
    The breath of roses through my darkened room.
    The whispering breeze just stirred the leafy gloom
    Beyond the window. On the lawn the dew
    Lay glistening in the starlight. No one knew
    I did not sleep, but waited here my doom
    Or victory. I saw the light-house loom
    Across the bay. The silence grew and grew,
    And hour by hour kept pace with my suspense.
    Each rustling noise, each passing footstep seemed
    The coming messenger I hoped yet feared.
    At last a knock — a throb — a pause intense —
    Your letter came. I read as if I dreamed.
    Almost too great to bear my bliss appeared!

  23. If.

    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    If life were but a dream, my Love,
    And death the waking time;
    If day had not a beam, my Love,
    And night had not a rhyme, —
    A barren, barren world were this
    Without one saving gleam;
    I'd only ask that with a kiss
    You'd wake me from the dream.

    If dreaming were the sum of days,
    And loving were the bane;
    If battling for a wreath of bays
    Could soothe a heart in pain, —
    I'd scorn the meed of battle's might,
    All other aims above
    I'd choose the human's higher right,
    To suffer and to love!

  24. For Katrina's Sun Dial

    by Henry Van Dyke

    Time is
    Too slow for those who wait,
    Too swift for those who fear,
    Too long for those who grieve,
    Too short for those who rejoice,
    But for those who love, time is

  25. Love

    by George Herbert

    Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
    Guilty of dust and sin.
    But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
    From my first entrance in,
    Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
    If I lack'd anything.

    "A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here:"
    Love said, "You shall be he."
    "I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
    I cannot look on Thee."
    Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
    "Who made the eyes but I?"

    "Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
    Go where it doth deserve."
    "And know you not," says Love, "Who bore the blame?"
    "My dear, then I will serve."
    "You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
    So I did sit down and eat.

  26. My true love hath my heart

    by Sir Philip Sidney

    My true love hath my heart, and I have his,
    By just exchange one for the other given.
    I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
    There never was a better bargain driven.
    His heart in me keeps him and me in one;
    My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides;
    He loves my heart, for once it was his own;
    I cherish his, because in me it bides.
    His heart his wound received from my sight;
    For as from me on him his hurt did light
    So still methought in me his hurt did smart:
    Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss;
    My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

  27. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

    by Francis William Bourdillon

    The night has a thousand eyes.
    And the day but one;
    Yet the light of the bright world dies
    With the dying sun.

    The mind has a thousand eyes.
    And the heart but one:
    Yet the light of a whole life dies
    When love is done.

  28. In the Crowd

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    I walk the city square with thee.
    The night is loud; the pavements roar.
    Their eddying mirth and misery
    Encircle thee and me.

    The street is full of lights and cries.
    The crowd but brings thee close to me.
    I only hear thy low replies;
    I only see thine eyes.

  29. Let Us Love One Another

    by Charles Swain

    Let us love one another,—not long may we stay;
    In this bleak world of mourning some droop while 't is day,
    Others fade in their noon, and few linger till eve:
    Oh! there breaks not a heart but leaves some one to grieve;
    And the fondest, the purest, the truest that met,
    Have still found the need to forgive and forget!
    Then, ah! though the hopes that we nourished decay,
    Let us love one another as long as we stay.

    II. There are hearts, like the Ivy, though all be decayed,
    That it seemed to clasp fondly in sunlight and shade;
    No leaves droop in sadness, still gaily they spread,
    Undimmed 'midst the blighted, the lonely, and dead:
    But the mistletoe clings to the oak, not in part,
    But with leaves closely round it—the root in its heart;
    Exists but to twine it,—imbibe the same dew,—
    Or to fall with its loved oak, and perish there too.

    III. Thus, let's love one another 'midst sorrows the worst,
    Unaltered and fond, as we loved at the first;
    Though the false wing of pleasure may change and forsake,
    And the bright urn of wealth into particles break,
    There are some sweet affections that wealth cannot buy,
    That cling but still closer when sorrow draws nigh,
    And remain with us yet, though all else pass away;
    Thus, let's love one another as long as we stay.

  30. The Old Thorn

    by Charles Swain

    Thou art gray, old Thorn, and leafless—
    Leafless, though the Spring be near;
    But my love hath sat beside thee,
    And each branch of thine is dear!

    Thou art small, green cot, and humble;
    Little in thy looks to cheer;
    But my true love dwells within thee,
    And each stone of thine is dear.

    Love makes all things sweet and holy,
    All things bright, however drear;
    All things high, however lowly;&mdash
    What were Life were Love not here?

  31. What Is Love?

    by Peter Burn

    'Tis a modest, blushing flower,
    Growing in affection's bower,
    Yielding balm in sorrow's hour,
    When friendships cease;
    Rainbow-like, amid the shower,
    It whispers peace.

    Like a streamlet, too, it flows,
    Giving joy where'er it goes,
    Cold and frozen souls it thaws
    By its powers;
    Making hearts, o'ergrown with woes,
    Bloom like flowers.

  32. What Need of Words

    by Charles Swain

    What need of words when lovers meet?
    What need of sighs and glances sweet?
    As long as faithful hearts can beat,
    So long—so well—I'll love thee;
    Though other eyes may glance around,
    The chord by which the heart is bound
    No prying eye as yet hath found—
    None know how much I love thee.

    Why should I speak, or thou reply?
    I ask not words when thou art nigh;
    Oh! more than life, or earth, or sky,
    I dearly, dearly love thee;
    Thou need'st not speak—my heart appears,
    As it had eyes, and tongue, and ears;
    And, like the music of the spheres,
    I hear it say—"thou lov'st me!"

  33. Procrastination

    by Charles Swain

    Alas! how neglectful,
    Unfeeling we tread!
    How careless, forgetful,
    Of benefits fled!
    When the hopes we have tasted
    Are lost, we deplore,
    And sigh for time wasted
    We ne'er may see more!
    Still day after day,
    Whilst angels lamenting
    Drop tears on our way.

    Could man read Time's pages,
    Record every scene!
    He'd find, through Life's stages
    How oft he had been
    Too full of inventions
    To satisfy thought—
    Too rife with intentions
    That dwindled to nought!
    Still taxing tomorrow,
    Still wasting to day—
    Whilst angels in sorrow
    Dropped tears on his way.

  34. True Loveliness

    by Charles Swain

    She who thinks a noble heart
    Better than a noble mien—
    Honors virtue more than art,
    Though 'tis less in fashion seen—
    Whatsoe'er her fortune be,
    She's the bride—the wife—for me!

    She who deems that inward grace
    Far surpasses outward show,
    She who values less the face
    Than that charm the soul can throw,—
    Whatsoe'er her fortune be,
    She's the bride—the wife—for me!

    She who knows the heart requires
    Something more than lips of dew—
    That when Love's brief rose expires,
    Love itself dies with it too—
    Whatsoe'er her fortune be,
    She's the bride—the wife—for me!

  35. A Contrast

    by Charles Swain

    As quiet as a star at eve,
    With little to attract about her;
    Yet she's the one all hearts receive—
    And home is scarcely home without her.

    To every living creature kind,
    Her patient sympathy revealing;
    But she leaves those she loves to find
    Her hidden worth—her deeper feeling.

    So unassuming day by day,
    So calm—retiring—still we found her;
    We knew not till she passed away,
    How much she filled the circle round her.

    The last to own or feel annoy—
    The first to pleasure those about her;
    Her presence brought a nameless joy,
    And home's no longer home without her!

  36. Life

    by Charles Swain

    Life's not our own—'tis but a loan—
    To be repaid;
    Soon the dark Comer's at the door,
    The debt is due—the dream is o'er—
    Life's but a shade.

    Thus all decline—that bloom or shine—
    Both star and flower;
    'Tis but a little odor shed—
    A light gone out—a spirit fled—
    A funeral hour!

    Then let us show a tranquil brow
    Whate'er befalls;
    That we upon life's latest brink
    May look on Death's dark face—and think
    An angel calls!

  37. The Lilies of the Field

    by Charles Swain

    I love the lilies of the field
    Whose grace adorns my way,
    For they remind me of a form
    More beautiful than they!
    I love the wild rose, bending meek,
    At summer evening's close;—
    But there is yet a fonder cheek,
    Where blooms a richer rose!

    I love the hour when shadows sleep,
    When twilight walks the dew,
    But, oh! there is an eye more deep;
    Yet soft as twilight's too:
    I love to watch Night's starry brow,
    Above the darkness shine,
    'T is heavenly sweet, as one I know,
    Whose love makes life divine!

  38. The Angel of the Storm

    by Charles Swain

    The Angel rose—and from her wing
    Shook tempest o'er the heaving tide:
    I marked the sea convulsive fling
    Its stormy billows wild and wide;
    Complaining all the weary day,
    Till came the stars, with peace and rest;
    Then calmness, like a blessing, lay,
    With heaven's own image, on its breast!

    Oh! thus, amidst the clouds of care,
    When tempests o'er our pathway roll—
    When doubts and fears, like billows, tear
    And 'whelm the sad and sinking soul—
    As sets the sun of life, may light,
    Calm in the faith of ages, shine!
    And may our spirit, in thy sight,
    Reflect, O God, thy grace divine!

  39. Darkness Upon the Sea

    by Charles Swain

    Darkness upon the sea,
    Wildly the billow rolls;
    Star of Eternity,
    Shine thou upon our souls:
    We from our homes are far—
    Perils surround our way,
    Shine thou eternal star—
    Save us, we pray!

    Dear is our distant land,
    Home and its hopes divine
    Send thine almighty hand—
    Star of life, shine!
    Thou, that canst calm the sea,
    Wild as the billows rave;
    Star of Eternity,
    Light thou,—and save!

  40. Ever Complaining

    by Charles Swain

    Ever complaining,
    Nothing is right;
    Daylight is dreary—
    Wearisome night:
    Ever rejecting,
    Quick to destroy,
    The little that's left
    For our life to enjoy!

    Shame on the nature
    Thankless and vain,
    Shame on the temper
    Eager to pain!
    Hearts that in selfishness
    Only are cast,
    Darkening the present
    With clouds of the past!

    Sad that the summer
    Of life should be spent
    In blighting the roses
    For happiness sent;
    Sad that affection
    So often should grieve
    Over natures that seem
    Only born to deceive!

  41. A Moment

    by Charles Swain

    'Tis the breath of a moment—which no one regarded—
    That holdeth the key to each secret of life;
    'Tis "a moment" that oft our long watching rewardeth,
    And calms the dark waters of sorrow and strife:
    Its breath may seem nothing,—and yet't is extending
    A power the sublimest our being can know,
    A moment may yield us a bliss without ending—
    A moment consign us to darkness and woe!

    Its circle may flash with a beauty that ages
    May crown as immortal, and hallow its birth;
    A moment may question the wisdom of sages,
    And change the whole system and science of earth.
    A moment—the soul of the painter can feel it—
    It thrills thro' his frame with a spirit like fire;
    A moment—oh! once let the gifted reveal it,
    And heaven is short of the height 't twould aspire.

    Go ask of the hero when victory soundeth What glory a moment of time may command;
    Ask the home-seeking sailor, while fast his heart boundeth,
    How sweet is the moment he views his own land:
    Ask the lover, when whisper to whisper replieth
    In accents that tremble lest lips be o'erheard;
    And oh! they will tell you each moment that dieth
    Hath crowded eternity oft in a word!

  42. Despair

    by Charles Swain

    I had a dream of many lands,
    A voyage fleet and far,
    Beyond the waste and desert sands—
    The light of sun or star:
    I saw a fearful shape arise,
    The spirit of Despair;
    His awful head gloomed 'mid the skies,
    And clouds his footstool were!

    The scars and furrows myriad years
    Had branded on his head,
    Were channels old of human tears
    That from all time were shed:
    His shadowy hands, from east to west,
    Obscured the troubled air;
    And nations saw in dread their guest,
    And, shrieking, breathed Despair!

    The billows backward raged and roared,
    One spring the Tempest took,
    And flashed around his lightning-sword,
    Whilst hills and forests shook:
    And, Nature, to whose gentle breast
    All human griefs repair,
    Could find no home for the oppressed—
    No refuge 'gainst "Despair!"

  43. I Will Not Give My Heart Away

    by Charles Swain

    I will not give my heart away;
    I am too proud, I don't deny it;
    And so, whatever you may say,
    I will not give it—you must buy it!
    It is not gold—it is not land—
    Nor name, nor fame, nor high degree;
    But if, indeed, you wish my hand,
    I'll tell you what the price shall be!

    And first, the House,—I'd have it good;
    And furnished nobly, of the best!—
    Its inward worth well understood,
    Its soundness equal to the test!
    I'd have it warm in every part;
    In every trial, firm as well;
    If that House is to be your Heart,
    And in that Heart I am to dwell!

    Oh! some with counterfeits will try,
    Before with Love's true gold they'll part;
    They think, but once deceive the eye,
    'Tis easy to deceive the heart!
    But with no counterfeits, though new,
    And bravely gilt, will I be caught;
    Though glittering brighter than the true,
    With no such coin will I be bought.

    Give me the heart that's rich in worth,
    Although in worldly riches poor;
    The want of fortune upon earth
    Is not the worst want we endure!
    The want of feeling—temper—trust—
    The want of truth, when hearts are sought,
    Gold, linked to these, is worse than dust,
    With no such gold will I be bought.

    No: 'tis not gold—it is not land—
    Nor name, nor fame, nor high degree;
    But if, indeed, you wish my hand,
    I've told you what the price shall be.

  44. Independence

    by Charles Swain

    Ye depend on one another
    For each comfort ye enjoy;—
    There is nought the heart can foster
    That the heart may not destroy!
    To every mind that ponders,
    To every heart that feels,
    There's not a day but something
    This hidden truth reveals!
    Thus—thus throughout creation
    The links of life had birth;
    Ye speak of Independence,—
    There is no such thing on earth!

    The seed of friendship blooms not;
    No leaf can it impart,
    Until it finds a welcome
    In some congenial heart!
    The light of Love can warm not
    Till found some kindred shrine,
    And then it springs immortal,
    And shows itself divine!—
    Thus—thus throughout creation
    The links of life had birth:
    Ye speak of Independence,—
    There is no sujh thing on earth!—

  45. Time to Me

    by Charles Swain

    Time to me this truth hath taught, 'T is a truth that's worth revealing;—
    More offend from want of thought, Than from any want of feeling.
    If advice we would convey, There's a time we should convey it;
    If we've but a word to say, There's a tone in which to say it!

    Many a beauteous flower decays, Though we tend it e'er so much;
    Something secret on it preys, Which no human aid can touch!
    So, in many a lovely breast, Lies some canker-grief concealed;
    That if touched, is more oppressed! Left unto itself—is healed!

    Oft, unknowingly, the tongue Touches on a chord so aching,
    That a word, or accent, wrong, Pains the heart almost to breaking.
    Many a tear of wounded pride, Many a fault of human blindness,
    Had been soothed, or turned aside, By a quiet voice of kindness!

    Time to me this truth hath taught, 'Tis a truth that's worth revealing;—
    More offend from want of thought, Than from any want of feeling.

  46. When Life Hath Sorrow Found

    by Charles Swain

    When life hath sorrow found Fond words may falter,
    But hearts that love hath bound Time cannot alter.
    No, though in grief we part, Meet in dejection,
    Tears but expand the heart, Ripen affection.
    When life hath sorrow found Fond words may falter,
    But hearts that love hath bound Time cannot alter.

    When o'er a distant sea, When griefs are nearest,
    Still will I think of thee, Still love thee, dearest.
    Tired Hope may, like the rose, Fade 'neath time's fleetness,
    Yet yield each blast that blows Half its own sweetness.
    When life hath sorrow found Fond words may falter,
    But hearts that love hath bound Time cannot alter.

  47. Life

    by Charles Swain

    Love's a song, and Life's the singer,
    Hope sits listening to the strain,
    'Till old Time, that discord bringer,
    Jars the music of the twain.
    Love, and Life, and Time, together
    Rarely yet were friendly found;
    If Love heralds sunny weather,
    Time to other duties bound,
    Buries life half under ground:—
    Oh, the lot of Life how sad!

    Why should Time thus fail to cherish
    All that lends existence worth?
    Wherefore should Love droop and perish
    As but doomed to woe on earth?
    Love, and Life, and Time, together
    Better friends we trust may be;
    If Time's of inconstant feather,
    Love and Hope should still agree:—
    Life is lost between the three!
    Oh, the lot of Life how sad!

  48. Loving and Forgiving

    by Charles Swain

    Oh, loving and forgiving—
    Ye angel-words of earth,
    Years were not worth the living
    If ye too had not birth!
    Oh, loving and forbearing—
    How sweet your mission here;
    The grief that ye are sharing
    Hath blessings in its tear.

    Oh, stern and unforgiving
    Ye evil words of life,
    That mock the means of living
    With never-ending strife.
    Oh, harsh and unrepenting—
    How would ye meet the grave,
    If Heaven, as unrelenting,
    Forbore not, nor forgave!

    Oh, loving and forgiving—
    Sweet sisters of the soul,
    In whose celestial living
    The passions find control!
    Still breathe your influence o'er us
    Whene'er by passion crost.
    And, angel-like, restore us
    The paradise we lost.

  49. Love's Confession

    by Charles Swain

    If there seemed coldness in my glance,
    Oh, could thy heart not read
    I did but feign indifference,
    That thou the more might'st plead!
    If I confessed a doubt upon
    The love I found so true,
    Oh! 't was not that I wished thee gone,
    But that thou more wouldst woo!

    'T was sweet to have a thousand fears,
    And each by thee removed;
    'T was bliss—'twas music to my ears—
    To love and be beloved!
    And thus to prove thee o'er and o'er,
    My fond complaints grew bold;
    But never did I love thee more
    Than when thou deem'dst me cold!

  50. A Sigh

    by Charles Swain

    Nothing that lives can bloom
    Long upon earth;
    Meteors, that realms illume,
    Die in their birth!
    All that the soul admires—
    All that the heart desires—
    From heart and soul expires;
    Leaving but dearth!

    Stars, as they light the hours
    Steal them away!—
    Suns which unfold the flowers
    Bring them decay!—
    Even Morn's beams of light
    Fresh on their heavenly flight,
    Shine but to speed the Night!—
    Nothing can stay!—

    So, for a little while,
    Time passes on—
    Flowers that our hopes beguile
    Fade one by one!
    All that our love can say,
    Of those who blessed our way,
    Is—that they passed their day—
    Lived—and are gone!

  51. The Snow

    by Charles Swain

    The silvery snow!—the silvery snow!—
    Like a glory it falls on the fields below;
    And the trees with their diamond branches appear
    Like the fairy growth of some magical sphere;
    While soft as music, and wild and white,
    It glitters and floats in the pale moonlight,
    And spangles the river and fount as they flow;
    Oh! who has not loved the bright, beautiful snow!

    The silvery snow, and the crinkling frost—
    How merry we go when the Earth seems lost;
    Like spirits that rise from the dust of Time,
    To live in a purer and holier clime!—
    A new creation without a stain—
    Lovely as Heaven's own pure domain
    But, ah! like the many fair hopes of our years,
    It glitters awhile—and then melts into tears.

  52. What is That We Take From Earth?

    by Charles Swain

    What is that we take from earth
    When the spirit leaves its clay?
    What is there of mortal birth
    Worthy to be borne away?
    Is it state, or power, or fame,
    Gold or rank, we need above?
    Oh! there's nought worth heaven's claim
    Save that gift of heaven—love!
    Love, which fills the world with light,
    When the sun hath set afar;
    Love which joins us in our flight
    To that land where angels are!

    From all nature doth it draw
    Beauty to adorn its shrine;
    By some spiritual law
    Making earthly things divine.
    It the inner soul inspires,
    It the purer life reveals;
    And eternity requires
    To express the faith it feels!
    Love, 'tis love, fills earth with light,
    When the sun hath set afar;
    Love, which joins us in our flight
    To that world where angels are!

    Yes, 'mid all that God hath made
    There is one surpassing spell;
    In its strength are saints arrayed,
    In its glory angels dwell.
    It is this which still outspeeds
    Sight and space, and time and breath,
    It is this the spirit needs
    When immortal over death!
    Sweetness which outblooms the May,
    Brightness which outshines the star;
    This, 'tis this, we bear away
    To that land where angels are!

  53. Pride

    by Charles Swain

    Through Pride may show some nobleness,
    When Honor's its ally,
    Yet there is such a thing on earth,
    As holding heads too high!
    The sweetest bird builds near the ground,
    The loveliest flower springs low;
    And we must stoop for happiness,
    If we its worth would know.

    Like water that encrusts the rose,
    Still hardening to its core,
    So Pride encases human hearts
    Until they feel no more.
    Shut up within themselves they live,
    And selfishly they end
    A life, that never kindness did
    To kindred, or to friend!

    Whilst Virtue, like the dew of heaven,
    Upon the heart descends,
    And draws its hidden sweetness out
    The more—as more it bends!
    For there's a strength in lowliness,
    Which nerves us to endure,—
    A heroism in distress,
    Which renders victory sure!

    The humblest being born is great,
    If true to his degree;
    His virtue illustrates his state,
    Whate'er that state may be!&mdash
    Thus let us daily learn to love
    Simplicity and worth;—
    For not the Eagle, but the Dove,
    Brought Peace unto the earth!

  54. The Sun of Life

    by Charles Swain

    Fortune is the sun of life,
    All is warm and bright then;
    Every step with pleasure rife,
    Time is all delight then!—
    Love is glancing 'neath its ray,
    All is fair and fond then;
    Life is just a summer day—
    Not a care beyond then!

    Poverty's the night of life,
    All is dark and drear then;
    Every step with sorrow rife,
    Every day's a fear then!—
    Friendship, like a star above,
    Glimmers high and cold then:
    Love—alas! the hopes of love—
    Scorned, as soon as told then!

  55. God Made the Heart

    by Charles Swain

    God made the heart with every chord
    Responsive to his love;
    To cheer, to bless, and keep his word—
    Like angel hearts above!

    'Twas made to feel for others' woe,
    Life's sorrows to beguile;
    To soothe the tears the wretched know,
    And bid the mourner smile.

    'T was made to be the charm of earth,
    Where all affections meet;
    Where every human bliss hath birth,
    And every hope is sweet.

    'T was formed the weak and sad to aid,
    To bid misfortune flee;
    If Man ne'er marred what God had made,
    How heavenly earth would be!

  56. False as Water

    by Charles Swain

    Flow on thou, faithless stream,
    That maketh all things seem
    As deep within thy heart;
    Fern, bell, and drooping tree,
    Behold themselves in thee;
    And yet thou canst depart.
    Alas! thy little span
    But mimics faithless man!
    Like thee too he can stray—
    Like thee a charm reveal
    Reflect—but never feel—
    And singing pass away.

    Flow on! thou canst not touch
    The wounded heart so much
    As man's inconstant breath;
    Thy false tongue ne'er deceives
    Like his, who loves, and leaves;
    Takes life, and brings us death!
    What though within thy face
    Our very looks we trace;
    Thy falsehood's not so deep
    As his, whose lips can sigh,
    Yet leave the heart to die,—
    And, till it dies, to weep!

  57. The Sweetest of All

    by Charles Swain

    Oh! sweet comes the grace of the young dewy morning,
    As queen-like she steps from her cloud pillared hall;
    And lovely the rose-bud its wild home adorning,
    But Love's modest bloom is the sweetest of all.

    And sweet is the glimpse of the moon o'er the ocean,
    Whose rays, like a blessing, upon our path fall;
    But the light that awakens the heart's first emotion,
    Oh! Love's stolen glance is the sweetest of all.

    There s music in Nature, like deeper revealings
    Of memories passed which her voice would recall,
    There are tones that like angels may visit our feelings,
    But Love's whispered word is the sweetest of all.

  58. Childhood's Heart

    by Charles Swain

    Childhood's heart its grief displayeth,
    Like a shade at morning cast,
    Every moment it decayeth;
    In an hour, or two, 't is past!
    But the grief of Age still lieth
    Like the shade of closing day—
    Lengthening—deepening—till it dieth
    In the grave of night away!

    Youthful friendship quickly bloometh,
    Quickly fades, and blooms again;—
    But the friends which Age entombeth,
    Age shall seek, and mourn in vain.
    Firmly Manhood's foot is planted,
    Full of independent glow;—
    Age soon finds his room is wanted:
    Blest are they who soonest go!

  59. Trifles

    by Charles Swain

    Trifles even are divine,
    If affection wreathe them round;
    As the constant eglantine
    Twines its blossoms o'er the ground:
    As o'er stone and rock it flings
    Grace and bloom in every part,
    So doth Love o'er trifling things
    Wreathe the tendrils of the heart.

    As those lights, which round the sun
    Dark and cold and distant fall,
    Snatch a glory as they run
    From that orb which quickens all—
    So the dark and cold of earth,
    Soon as Love illumes their sphere,
    Snatch a ray of heavenly birth—
    Love can every thing endear!

  60. Though the Leaves of the Rose

    by Charles Swain

    Though the leaves of the rose
    Should decline one by one,
    Love, you say, will cling to them—
    Still cherish them on:
    But unchanged 'midst decay,
    If true love should appear,
    I am sorry to say
    There's a deal not sincere!
    A deal not sincere!

    When the bloom of the rose
    Nothing more can renew,
    The love that adored
    Can abandon it too!
    The sweet shrine of self
    Is the object we view;
    If true love be constant—
    Where find ye the true?
    Where find ye the true?

  61. The Sun That Warms

    by Charles Swain

    The Sun that warms the fading flower,
    May cheer, not change, its doom;
    May stay its fate for one brief hour,
    But ne'er restore its bloom!
    So when the withered heart receives
    The light of love too late,
    Its charm awhile the wreck relieves,
    But cannot change its fate!

    That heart, if yesterday caressed,
    Perchance had 'scaped decay!
    That smile, which yesterday had blest,
    Comes all in vain to-day!
    Then, oh! Love's vow of honor keep—
    Nor let Affection wait;
    For vain repentance—vain to weep,
    When kindness comes too late!

  62. A Morn of Love

    by Charles Swain

    The sun arose, 'mid clouds withdrawn,
    In golden haze, in amber-mist;
    The mountains in the gradual dawn
    Blushed as the god their foreheads kissed.

    The spirit of the morning threw
    A holiness where er we trod;
    And every drop of perfect dew
    Enshrined an image of the god.

    Oh! thus, I sighed, as bears the dew
    The presence of yon orb divine,
    So shrines my heart a form as true,
    And that blest form, dear maid, is thine.

    In sweet confusion stood she by,
    With modest air, abashed and meek;
    The blushes of the eastern sky
    Had left their throne to grace her cheek.

    Still not in these spoke Hope alone,
    But in her eyes where Truth was born:
    Oh! never heart of man had known
    So fair a love, so sweet a morn!

  63. Alone at Eve

    by Charles Swain

    Alone at eve, when all is still—
    And memory turns to other years,
    How oft our weary hearts we fill
    With feeling's dark and bitter tears:
    The friendships of our youthful day—
    The hopes, which time could ne'er fulfil,
    And voices that have passed away,
    Return at eve—when all is still!—

    When all is still except the breast
    That wakes to long remembered woe;
    Of parted hopes, and hearts oppressed,
    And loved ones buried long ago!—
    Yet solace may our spirits find,—
    A star to light the darkest ill;
    There's One the broken heart can bind—
    Alone at eve—when all is still!

  64. Hope On

    by Charles Swain

    Better hope—and fall
    From its service weary,
    Than not hope at all
    In a world uncheery:
    Better still, though grieved,
    Hope—and die deceived,
    Hopeless life is dreary!

    Better hope—and see
    Constant friendship never,
    Than not hope and be
    Without friendship ever—
    Better far to miss
    Something of life's bliss
    Than from all to sever!

    Better to forgive:
    Still, of all things, making
    Something bright to give
    Hearts less cause for aching:
    Though the night hath set,
    There sa morning yet
    Midst the angels waking.

  65. The Way to Succeed

    by Peter Burn

    Ready and steady and willing to do,
    Taking the duty that opens to view,
    Turning not back, once your hand's to the plough,
    That is the way to succeed.
    Rise to the need! Do and succeed!
    Noble the worker if noble his deed;
    Holding to purpose where evils impede,
    That is the way to succeed.

    Taking, whilst others are waiting the tide,
    Setting disasters and failures aside,
    Braving the dangers which others have shied,
    That is the way to succeed.
    Rise to the need! etc.

    Living the maxims in youth we have read:
    Up with the lark, and as early to bed;
    Hitting the nail that we strike on the head—
    That is the way to succeed.
    Rise to the need! etc.

    Acting whilst other men grumble and plot;
    Making the best that we can of our lot;
    Striking the iron-bar when it is hot—
    That is the way to succeed.
    Rise to the need! etc.

    Upward and onward! unhinder'd in flight,
    Donned with true armour life's battle to fight,
    Sounding the battle-cry—God and the Right!
    That is the way to succeed.
    Rise to the need! etc.

  66. "Nothing to Do."

    by Peter Burn

    "Nothing to do," is labour enough,
    To the man of heart, the man of brain;
    Better for him, the world to rough,
    To toil in hunger, to toil in pain,
    Than idly live, with an aimless aim,
    Playing out life in a gainless game.

    Labour is rest to the man of soul,
    The man who treasures the gift of Time;
    "Nothing to do," is a sluggard's goal;
    A life of ease is a life of crime;
    A play with Time is a game of loss,
    A staking our all on a gamester's toss.

    "Nothing to do," can never be said;
    While it is day, there is work to be done!
    Work for the pen, and work for the spade—
    Work for all workers under the sun;
    The call to work is a common call,
    A call to be answered by one and by all.

    Answer the call with a love and a will,
    Be it to heart, or be it to brain;
    Be it to battle and conquer an ill,
    Be it to comfort a brother in pain;
    Whatever it be, to the front of the van!
    There is something to do; to thy name—be a man!

  67. Withered Leaves

    by Peter Burn

    I watch the leaves as they fade and fall
    And form a heap by my garden wall.

    I think of my loss in days "to be,"
    My garden's wealth but a leafless tree.

    I loved those leaves in their day of birth:
    I love them now in the lap of earth.

    Withered leaves! They are beautiful yet,
    Though nipt by the frost, and dash'd by the wet!

    Mine eyes feast not on the world of green,
    Death holds its revels where life has been.

    Snow, sleet, and hail, and a sunless sky!
    These, these are mine, till the by and by.

    I wait the hour. My heart has rest;
    Seasons are faithful to His behest.

    Through leaden sky, and through leafless tree,
    I see the summer that is to be.

  68. Hope On, Hope Ever

    by Peter Burn

    Sow afresh! be not dishearten'd,
    Though thy works have suffered blight—
    Though the glorious sky has darken'd,
    When it look'd most fair and bright:
    Sow afresh! be up and doing!
    Let the earth receive the grain!
    Thou shalt have the joy of knowing,
    Life has not been spent in vain.

    Start afresh, desponding brother!
    Enter life's eventful field!
    Haply this, thy new endeavour,
    May a plenteous harvest yield:
    Start afresh! all fears forsaking!
    Soon the clouds will disappear;
    Form with prayer each undertaking,
    Then thy Father's smile will cheer.

    Labour on, still praying, hoping,
    Working out some honest plan,
    Through the darkness onward groping,—
    Such must be the life of man:
    Battling ever with obstruction,
    Pressing onward to the goal,
    Are the means to gain distinction,
    And bespeak a noble soul.

  69. Time is Precious

    by Peter Burn

    Ye careless souls, be wise,
    Of Time's swift course beware;
    For, like the meteor's glare,
    As soon as seen, it dies.

    To life fresh power give:
    Spend not your lives in ease,
    Each passing moment seize,
    And in the future live.

    Awake from lethargy!
    Behold, time swiftly flies,
    Like lightning o'er the skies,
    Into eternity.

  70. On Hearing A Bird Singing In A Cage

    by Peter Burn

    Poor little thing, how can'st thou sing,
    Confin'd within the cage,
    Whilst other birds on bush and tree,
    In happy sport engage?
    Is it because thy home looks bright,
    That thou cans't sing with heart so light?
    Is it because thy master's kind,
    That thou dost such contentment find?
    Poor little thing, I pity thee—
    'Tis poor redress for Liberty?

    Perhaps, poor bird, thou'st never heard
    The music of the leaves,
    Nor felt the zephyr's soothing breath,
    On balmy summer eves;
    This may have been a liberal home,
    And thus have checked the wish to roam;
    With food and water always nigh,
    Content to live, content to die;
    Yet still, poor bird, I pity thee,
    Thou hast not tasted Liberty.

    Yet I confess in great distress,
    Man oft resembles thee—
    He rests within earth's gaudy cage,
    Whilst other souls are free;
    The present world is all to him,
    Beyond his prison all is dim,
    Bound—strongly bound by nature's chains,
    His spirit never freedom gains;—
    Oh, how delighted he would be,
    Could he but taste Christ's Liberty.

  71. My All And In All Is Christ

    by Peter Burn

    What the sun is to the flower,
    What the flower to the bee,
    The all-mighty loving Saviour,
    Is all this, and more, to me.

    What the dew is to the ivy,
    What the ivy to the tree,
    The all-mighty, loving Saviour,
    Is all this, and more, to me.

    What the showers are to rivers,
    What the rivers to the sea,
    The all-mighty, loving Saviour,
    Is all this, and more, to me.

  72. The Wisdom of Reserve

    by Peter Burn

    If, my youthful brother.
    Thou art low and poor,
    Tell't not to another,
    He may pass thy door:
    If thou would'st have prosperity,
    Conceal from men thy poverty.

    Should'st thou, youthful brother,
    Find misfortunes rife
    Tell't not to another,
    Bear alone the strife:
    With reproof thy friend may grieve thee,
    And in thy distress may leave thee.

    Act thou thus, my brother:
    When life's ills descend,
    Trust not to another,
    On thyself depend;
    And thou wilt soon successful be,
    Then men will praise and honour thee.

  73. The Joy of Hope

    by Peter Burn

    When lonely and dejected,
    When weary and oppress'd,
    I love to think of heaven,
    That place of joy and rest;
    I love when trials meet me,
    And waves of trouble roll,
    To think upon the pleasures
    Which there await my soul.

    The path I tread is dreary,
    My lot, alas! is poor;
    But heaven's promised to me
    Why should I wish for more?
    This life is but a vapour,
    Which vanisheth away,
    Earth's pleasures are as flowers,
    They wither and decay.

    But, oh! the joys of heaven
    Are not like those of earth,
    They're real and enduring,
    No tongue can speak their worth;
    No mortal eye is able
    To picture aught so fair;
    No blight, no death, no sorrow,
    Are known to enter there.

  74. Freely Receive, Freely Give,

    by Peter Burn

    Repay each act of kindness,
    Return each look of love,
    And not to others' goodness
    Ungrateful let us prove;
    But like the little flower,
    In thanks for what is done,
    Give sweetness for the shower,
    And beauty for the sun.

    If we derive a pleasure
    From that which we receive,
    Let us the self-same measure
    To others freely give;
    Our joy will be the sweeter,
    If we thus practise love,
    The world will be the better,
    And God our works approve.

  75. Complain Not

    by Peter Burn

    Softly, softly, do not murmur
    At thy humble, lowly lot,
    Discontent will make thee poorer—
    They are rich who covet not;
    What though many trials meet thee,
    What though friends no longer greet thee,
    What though men are ever slighting—shunning thee because thou'rt poor,
    This should not distress thee, pilgrim—does not heaven contain thy store!

    O my poor, afflicted brother,
    Let me kindly counsel thee:
    Be it still thy chief endeavour
    To possess tranquillity;
    Trials come to all in turn—
    Man is unto trouble born—
    Christ was poor, despised, forsaken, and the path of sorrow trod,
    And must we expect a portion better than the Son of God?

  76. Nature's Parables

    by Peter Burn

    On the highest hills
    Lies the whitest snow;
    In the smallest rills
    Clearest waters flow;
    In the loneliest dells
    Are the fairest bowers;
    Sweetest perfume dwells
    In the meekest flowers.

    Much may you and I
    Learn, dear friend, from this;
    We must seek on high
    For the purest bliss;
    And must tread the earth
    With an humble mind,
    If we much of worth
    Would desire to find.

  77. Builders

    by Peter Burn

    We each and all are builders,
    Of station, fortune, life!
    The minutes, as they meet us,
    With great results are rife;
    On self depends the future,
    Its sorrow or its joy,
    God gives the loaded present,
    And bids us it employ.

    We each and all are builders!
    Say, shall our structure stand,
    Resting on Rock-foundation
    Or on the shifting sand?
    Shall we be idle dreamers—
    That what befalls us must?
    Or active men and women,
    Who to their doings trust?

    We each and all are builders!
    O wisely then attend
    To callings, duties, promptings—
    Our lives on these depend;
    There lie both stone and mortar
    On time's deep-border'd shelves,
    And God, the Master-Builder
    Helps those who help themselves.

  78. Now

    by Peter Burn

    Work to-day, wait not to-morrow!
    To the golden now attend;
    Future joy and future sorrow
    On the present hour depend:
    Disappointment waits the sluggard,
    Coming night reproves our play,
    Let us ever upward, onward,
    Let us work while it is day.

    Much of life is lost in fretting,
    We the future clothe with care:
    Better far, the past forgetting,
    We moved on to brave and dare;
    Seasons gone, are gone for ever,
    View them not with fond regret;
    Fill the present with endeavour,
    Great results may bless us yet.

    Courage! courage! fainting brother,
    Fortune, honour may be won!
    Faith shall aid us in our labour—
    Hear her voice, "It shall be done!"
    Things which tell us of obstruction,
    Shall depart before our tread;
    If we will them to destruction,
    They shall be to us as dead.

  79. A Heart Snare

    by Peter Burn

    Why doth the heart brood o'er the past—
    The past of many sorrows?
    Why doth it looks of fondness cast
    O'er scenes where mem'ries rise and blast
    To-days, and coming morrows?

    It fondly seeks for balm and joy,
    But thorns grow with our flowers;
    There's nought on earth without alloy,
    The ways of life perplex—annoy—
    The breeze unrobes our bowers.

    Behind the clouds are sunny rays,
    Behind our griefs are pleasures;
    Pleasures which live, while life decays,
    The heart to these a visit pays,
    And proves them precious treasures.

  80. "Bear and Forbear"

    by Peter Burn

    "Bear and forbear," is a motto worth learning,
    Hatred and malice are foes at the best;
    Those who are failing its wisdom discerning,
    Reap for their folly a life of unrest.

    "Bear and forbear," may be hard for the present—
    Men are but human, and self will intrude;
    Crucify self, and the fruit shall be pleasant;
    It shall be neither unlovely nor crude.

    "Bear and forbear!" we have all of us failings—
    He is unborn who perfection can boast;
    Sad that the erring should glory in railings—
    Sad that the loudest have failings the most.

    "Bear and forbear," is a motto worth learning;
    Be it engraven deep, deep on thine heart;
    To this mark of knowledge be ever attaining;
    Thou shalt be honour'd in doing thy part.

  81. "Whatsoever A Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap."

    by Peter Burn

    We are daily busy sowing
    Living seeds, and they are growing—
    Growing, whether good or ill:
    Soon the time will come for reaping;
    Will it be a time of weeping?
    Or, shall joy our bosoms fill?

    We are daily busy sowing,
    And too oft no thought bestowing—
    Heedless of the NOW or THEN;
    Heedless of our spirits' sowings;—
    O, what madness stamps our doings!
    This is not the work of men!

    O that quicken'd souls were ours!
    And that "good seed" filled the furrows—
    Fill'd the furrows of the heart;
    Then a harvest fair would meet us,
    And a song of praise would greet us
    In the hour when we depart

  82. "Love Is The Fulfilling Of The Law"

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    When cares oppress and wound the heart,
    What sweet relief does love impart;
    Can aught beneath the radiant sun,
    Inspire such charms as love hath done.

    Love! yes, 'twas love that bled for all,
    That paid the ransom from the fall;
    When no kind arm was stretch'd to save,
    Our Savior's life in love He gave.

    There is a charm in love's command,
    That follows where the christian band
    Unite in praises to their King,
    While notes of joy tune every string.

    The joys of love survive the tomb,
    'Tis like an ever-green in bloom;
    When outward beauty fades away,
    Love lights the soul to realms of day.

    Then fear not age, with silvery hair,
    For mental worth shines then most fair;—
    'Tis then the graces most conspire,
    To set it forth in meek attire.

  83. The Fortunate Isles

    by Joaquin Miller

    You sail and you seek for the Fortunate Isles,
    The old Greek Isles of the yellow bird's song?
    Then steer right on through the watery miles,
    Straight on, straight on, and you can't go wrong.
    Nay, not to the left, nay, not to the right;
    But on, straight on, and the Isles are in sight,
    The Fortunate Isles, where the yellow birds sing
    And life lies girt with a golden ring.

    These Fortunate Isles, they are not far;
    They lie within reach of the lowliest door;
    You can see them gleam by the twilight star;
    You can hear them sing by the moon's white shore,
    Nay, never look back! Those leveled gravestones,
    They were landing steps; they were steps unto thrones
    Of glory for souls that have sailed before
    And have set white feet on the fortunate shore.

    And what are the names of the Fortunate Isles?
    Why, Duty and Love and a large content.
    Lo! there are the isles of the watery miles
    That God let down from the firmament;
    Lo! Duty and Love, and a true man's trust;
    Your forehead to God and your feet in the dust;
    Lo! Duty and Love, and a sweet babe's smiles,
    And there, O friend, are the Fortunate Isles.

  84. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

    by Francis William Bourdillon

    The night has a thousand eyes,
    And the day but one;
    Yet the light of the bright world dies
    With the dying sun.

    The mind has a thousand eyes,
    And the heart but one:
    Yet the light of a whole life dies
    When love is done.

  85. If We Understood

    by Anonymous

    Could we but draw back the curtains
    That surround each other's lives,
    See the naked heart and spirit,
    Know what spur the action gives,
    Often we should find it better,
    Purer than we judged we should,
    We should love each other better,
    If we only understood.

    Could we judge all deeds by motives,
    See the good and bad within,
    Often we should love the sinner
    All the while we loathe the sin;
    Could we know the powers working
    To o'erthrow integrity,
    We should judge each other's errors
    With more patient charity.

    If we knew the cares and trials,
    Knew the effort all in vain,
    And the bitter disappointment,
    Understood the loss and gain—
    Would the grim, eternal roughness
    Seem—I wonder—just the same?
    Should we help where now we hinder,
    Should we pity where we blame?

    Ah! we judge each other harshly,
    Knowing not life's hidden force;
    Knowing not the fount of action
    Is less turbid at its source;
    Seeing not amid the evil
    All the golden grains of good;
    Oh! we'd love each other better,
    If we only understood.

  86. True Love

    by Phoebe Cary

    I think true love is never blind, But rather brings an added light, An inner vision quick to find The beauties hid from common sight.

    No soul can ever clearly see Another's highest, noblest part; Save through the sweet philosophy And loving wisdom of the heart.

    Your unanointed eyes shall fall On him who fills my world with light; You do not see my friend at all; You see what hides him from your sight.

    I see the feet that fain would climb; You but the steps that turn astray; I see the soul, unharmed, sublime; You, but the garment and the clay.

    You see a mortal, weak, misled, Dwarfed ever by the earthly clod; I see how manhood, perfected, May reach the stature of a god.

    Blinded I stood, as now you stand, Till on mine eyes, with touches sweet, Love, the deliverer, laid his hand, And lo! I worship at his feet!

  87. Attraction

    But I will cast my fate with love, and trust
    Her honeyed heart that guides the pollened bee

    - John Charles McNeill
    by John Charles McNeill

    He who wills life wills its condition sweet,
    Having made love its mother, joy its quest,
    That its perpetual sequence might not rest
    On reason's dictum, cold and too discreet;

    For reason moves with cautious, careful feet,
    Debating whether life or death were best,
    And why pale pain, not ruddy mirth, is guest
    In many a heart which life hath set to beat.

    But I will cast my fate with love, and trust
    Her honeyed heart that guides the pollened bee
    And sets the happy wing-seeds fluttering free;

    And I will bless the law which saith, Thou must!
    And, wet with sea or shod with weary dust,
    Will follow back and back and back to thee!

  88. Trifles

    by John Charles McNeill

    What shall I bring you, sweet?
    A posy prankt with every April hue:
    The cloud-white daisy, violet sky-blue,
    Shot with the primrose sunshine through and through?

    Or shall I bring you, sweet,
    Some ancient rhyme of lovers sore beset,
    Whose joy is dead, whose sadness lingers yet,
    That you may read, and sigh, and soon forget?

    What shall I bring you, sweet?
    Was ever trifle yet so held amiss
    As not to fill love's waiting heart with bliss,
    And merit dalliance at a long, long kiss?

  89. The Wife

    by John Charles McNeill

    They locked him in a prison cell,
    Murky and mean.
    She kissed him there a wife's farewell
    The bars between.
    And when she turned to go, the crowd,
    Thinking to see her shamed and bowed,
    Saw her pass out as calm and proud
    As any queen.

    She passed a kinsman on the street,
    To whose sad eyes
    She made reply with smile as sweet
    As April skies.
    To one who loved her once and knew
    The sorrow of her life, she threw
    A gay word, ere his tale was due
    Of sympathies.

    She met a playmate, whose red rose
    Had never a thorn,
    Whom fortune guided when she chose
    Her marriage morn,
    And, smiling, looked her in the eye;
    But, seeing the tears of sympathy,
    Her smile died, and she passed on by
    In quiet scorn.

    They could not know how, when by night
    The city slept,
    A sleepless woman, still and white,
    The watches kept;
    How her wife-loyal heart had borne
    The keen pain of a flowerless thorn,
    How hot the tears that smiles and scorn
    Had held unwept.

  90. Fraternity

    by William Henry Dawson

    Fraternity is that feeling toward mankind—
    Without regard to rank, or wealth, or place—
    Which makes a brother easy quite to find,
    And sees God's image in that brother's face.

    Sometimes the image is so badly scarred;
    Almost beyond the recognition mark;
    Its life by sinfulness so badly marred
    That all the good combined is but a spark,

    Yet the sweet spirit of fraternity,
    Acknowledging the fatherhood of God,
    Fails not His likeness in that soul to see,
    And lifts it from beneath the chastening rod.

    The man who thinks himself without a friend;
    Who bitterest dregs from sorrow's cup has drained;
    Who'd gladly welcome death if 'twould but end
    The hell on earth which sinfulness has gained—

    To him fraternity extends its hand
    And says "my fellow trav'ler, look above;
    Let me assist you on your feet to stand.
    You are God's child, and God is love."

  91. The Three Laws

    by Anonymous

    Love is the golden law,
    Sunnily dear;
    Justice, the silver law,
    Cold, calm, and clear;
    Anger, the iron law,
    Harshly severe

    Anger's an iron lance
    Mighty to slay;
    Justice, a silver scale,
    Faultless alway;
    Love is a golden ring,
    Joining for aye!

  92. Mail of Grace

    by Ruby Archer

    Take notice how the farmer
    Rounds off a stack of hay.
    The storm no opposition finds,
    The wind no sharp delay.

    A tender heart in mail of grace
    Invulnerably armed;
    The tempest by, the patient hay
    Inscrutable, unharmed.

  93. Kind Hearts

    by Anonymous

    Kind hearts are the gardens,
    Kind thoughts are the roots,
    Kind words are the blossoms,
    Kind deeds are the fruits;
    Love is the sweet sunshine
    That warms into life,
    For only in darkness
    Grow hatred and strife.

  94. Friendship

    by Henry David Thoreau

    I think awhile of Love, and while I think,
    Love is to me a world,
    Sole meat and sweetest drink,
    And close connecting link
    Tween heaven and earth.

    I only know it is, not how or why,
    My greatest happiness;
    However hard I try,
    Not if I were to die,
    Can I explain.

    I fain would ask my friend how it can be,
    But when the time arrives,
    Then Love is more lovely
    Than anything to me,
    And so I'm dumb.

    For if the truth were known, Love cannot speak,
    But only thinks and does;
    Though surely out 'twill leak
    Without the help of Greek,
    Or any tongue.

    A man may love the truth and practise it,
    Beauty he may admire,
    And goodness not omit,
    As much as may befit
    To reverence.

    But only when these three together meet,
    As they always incline,
    And make one soul the seat,
    And favorite retreat,
    Of loveliness;

    When under kindred shape, like loves and hates
    And a kindred nature,
    Proclaim us to be mates,
    Exposed to equal fates

    And each may other help, and service do,
    Drawing Love's bands more tight,
    Service he ne'er shall rue
    While one and one make two,
    And two are one;

    In such case only doth man fully prove
    Fully as man can do,
    What power there is in Love
    His inmost soul to move

    * * * * *

    Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side,
    Withstand the winter's storm,
    And spite of wind and tide,
    Grow up the meadow's pride,
    For both are strong

    Above they barely touch, but undermined
    Down to their deepest source,
    Admiring you shall find
    Their roots are intertwined

  95. The Rain Outside

    by Margaret E. Sangster

    You close beside me, and outside, the rain,
    Which, stealing through the darkness of the night,
    Seems tapping out with fingers softly light,
    A world-old song upon my window pane—
    A song of happiness with a refrain
    That throbs in suffering. You hold me tight,
    Your eyes, that search my own, are warmly bright,
    Your lips touch mine again, and yet again!

    Ah, what though years must pass, though you and I
    May live our lives, quite silently, apart?
    Whenever rain comes, when the day is through,
    And, tapping on my casement, seems to sigh,
    A dream will blossom, fragrant, in my heart,
    A dream of youth eternal, and of—you.

  96. Love

    by Rupert Brooke

    Love is a breach in the walls, a broken gate,
    Where that comes in that shall not go again;
    Love sells the proud heart's citadel to Fate.
    They have known shame, who love unloved. Even then,
    When two mouths, thirsty each for each, find slaking,
    And agony's forgot, and hushed the crying
    Of credulous hearts, in heaven—such are but taking
    Their own poor dreams within their arms, and lying
    Each in his lonely night, each with a ghost.
    Some share that night. But they know, love grows colder,
    Grows false and dull, that was sweet lies at most.
    Astonishment is no more in hand or shoulder,
    But darkens, and dies out from kiss to kiss.
    All this is love; and all love is but this.

  97. The Way That Lovers Use

    by Rupert Brooke

    The way that lovers use is this;
    They bow, catch hands, with never a word,
    And their lips meet, and they do kiss,
    —So I have heard.

    They queerly find some healing so,
    And strange attainment in the touch;
    There is a secret lovers know,
    —I have read as much.

    And theirs no longer joy nor smart,
    Changing or ending, night or day;
    But mouth to mouth, and heart on heart,
    —So lovers say.

  98. Bond and Free

    by Robert Frost

    Love has earth to which she clings
    With hills and circling arms about—
    Wall within wall to shut fear out.
    But Thought has need of no such things,
    For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings.

    On snow and sand and turf, I see
    Where Love has left a printed trace
    With straining in the world’s embrace.
    And such is Love and glad to be.
    But Thought has shaken his ankles free.

    Thought cleaves the interstellar gloom
    And sits in Sirius’ disc all night,
    Till day makes him retrace his flight,
    With smell of burning on every plume,
    Back past the sun to an earthly room.

    His gains in heaven are what they are.
    Yet some say Love by being thrall
    And simply staying possesses all
    In several beauty that Thought fares far
    To find fused in another star.

  99. A Sister's Love

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    She knelt beside her brother’s grave,
    The day was near its close;
    And where the cool, tall grasses wave,
    She lay a fresh-cut rose.
    Then, from a silver waiter near,
    She drew a wreath of white,
    Besprinkled with the twilight’s tear,
    O’ershaded with the night,
    And placed them on the green-kept mound.
    I watched her kneeling there,
    Her face bent on the sacred ground,
    In attitude of prayer;
    And while a bird sang soft his hymn,
    Down-looking from above,
    We saw unveiled a picture dim—
    A statue true of love.

  100. Red Carnations

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    One time in Arcadie's fair bowers
    There met a bright immortal band,
    To choose their emblems from the flowers
    That made an Eden of that land.

    Sweet Constancy, with eyes of hope,
    Strayed down the garden path alone
    And gathered sprays of heliotrope,
    To place in clusters at her zone.

    True Friendship plucked the ivy green,
    Forever fresh, forever fair.
    Inconstancy with flippant mien
    The fading primrose chose to wear.

    One moment Love the rose paused by;
    But Beauty picked it for her hair.
    Love paced the garden with a sigh
    He found no fitting emblem there.

    Then suddenly he saw a flame,
    A conflagration turned to bloom;
    It even put the rose to shame,
    Both in its beauty and perfume.

    He watched it, and it did not fade;
    He plucked it, and it brighter grew.
    In cold or heat, all undismayed,
    It kept its fragrance and its hue.

    "Here deathless love and passion sleep,"
    He cried, "embodied in this flower.
    This is the emblem I will keep."
    Love wore carnations from that hour.

  101. Upon the Sand

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    All love that has not friendship for its base,
    Is like a mansion built upon the sand.
    Though brave its walls as any in the land,
    And its tall turrets lift their heads in grace;
    Though skilful and accomplished artists trace
    Most beautiful designs on every hand,
    And gleaming statues in dim niches stand,
    And fountains play in some flow'r-hidden place:

    Yet, when from the frowning east a sudden gust
    Of adverse fate is blown, or sad rains fall
    Day in, day out, against its yielding wall,
    Lo! the fair structure crumbles to the dust.
    Love, to endure life's sorrow and earth's woe,
    Needs friendship's solid masonwork below.

  102. The Common Lot

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    It is a common fate—a woman's lot—
    To waste on one the riches of her soul,
    Who takes the wealth she gives him, but cannot
    Repay the interest, and much less the whole.

    As I look up into your eyes, and wait
    For some response to my fond gaze and touch,
    It seems to me there is no sadder fate
    Than to be doomed to loving overmuch.

    Are you not kind? Ah, yes, so very kind—
    So thoughtful of my comfort, and so true.
    Yes, yes, dear heart; but I, not being blind,
    Know that I am not loved, as I love you.

    One tenderer word, a little longer kiss,
    Will fill my soul with music and with song;
    And if you seem abstracted, or I miss
    The heart-tone from your voice, my world goes wrong.

    And oftentimes you think me childish—weak—
    When at some thoughtless word the tears will start;
    You cannot understand how aught you speak
    Has power to stir the depths of my poor heart.

    I cannot help it, dear,—I wish I could,
    Or feign indifference where I now adore;
    For if I seemed to love you less you would,
    Manlike, I have no doubt, love me the more.

    'Tis a sad gift, that much applauded thing,
    A constant heart; for fact doth daily prove
    That constancy finds oft a cruel sting,
    While fickle natures win the deeper love.

  103. What Shall We Do?

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Here now, forevermore, our lives must part.
    My path leads there, and yours another way.
    What shall we do with this fond love, dear heart?
    It grows a heavier burden day by day.

    Hide it? In all earth's caverns, void and vast,
    There is not room enough to hide it, dear;
    Not even the mighty storehouse of the past
    Could cover it, from our own eyes, I fear.

    Drown it? Why, were the contents of each ocean
    Merged into one great sea, too shallow then
    Would be its waters, to sink this emotion
    So deep it could not rise to life again.

    Burn it? In all the furnace flames below,
    It would not in a thousand years expire.
    Nay! it would thrive, exult, expand, and grow,
    For from its very birth it fed on fire.

    Starve it? Yes, yes, that is the only way.
    Give it no food, of glance, or word, or sigh,
    No memories, even, of any bygone day;
    No crumbs of vain regrets—so let it die.

  104. But One

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    The year has but one June, dear friend,
    The year has but one June;
    And when that perfect month doth end,
    The robin's song, though loud, though long,
    Seems never quite in tune.

    The rose, though still its blushing face
    By bee and bird is seen,
    May yet have lost that subtle grace—
    That nameless spell the winds know well—
    Which makes its gardens queen.

    Life's perfect June, love's red, red rose,
    Have burned and bloomed for me.
    Though still youth's summer sunlight glows;
    Though thou art kind, dear friend, I find
    I have no heart for thee.

  105. An Answer

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    If all the year was summer time,
    And all the aim of life
    Was just to lilt on like a rhyme—
    Then I would be your wife.

    If all the days were August days,
    And crowned with golden weather,
    How happy then through green-clad ways
    We two could stray together!

    If all the nights were moonlit nights,
    And we had naught to do
    But just to sit and plan delights,
    Then I would wed with you.

    If life was all a summer fete,
    Its soberest pace the "glide,"
    Then I would choose you for my mate,
    And keep you at my side.

    But winter makes full half the year,
    And labor half of life,
    And all the laughter and good cheer
    Give place to wearing strife.

    Days will grow cold, and moons wax old,
    And then a heart that's true
    Is better far than grace or gold—
    And so, my love, adieu!
    I cannot wed with you.

  106. The Trio

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    We love but once. The great gold orb of light
    From dawn to eventide doth cast his ray;
    But the full splendor of his perfect might
    Is reached but once throughout the livelong day.

    We love but once. The waves, with ceaseless motion,
    Do day and night plash on the pebbled shore;
    But the strong tide of the resistless ocean
    Sweeps in but one hour of the twenty-four.

    We love but once. A score of times, perchance,
    We may be moved in fancy's fleeting fashion—
    May treasure up a word, a tone, a glance,
    But only once we feel the soul's great passion.

    We love but once. Love walks with death and birth
    (The saddest, the unkindest of the three);
    And only once while we sojourn on earth
    Can that strange trio come to you or me.

  107. Creation

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    The impulse of all love is to create.
    God was so full of love, in his embrace
    He clasped the empty nothingness of space,
    And low! the solar system! High in state
    The mighty sun sat, so supreme and great
    With this same essence, one smile of its face
    Brought myriad forms of life forth; race on race
    From insects up to men.

    Through love, not hate,
    All that is grand in nature or in art
    Sprang into being. He who would build sublime
    And lasting works, to stand the test of time
    Must inspiration draw from his full heart.
    And he who loveth widely, well and much,
    The secret holds of the true master touch.

  108. Change

    Time and Love

    Time flies. The swift hours hurry by
    And speed us on to untried ways;
    New seasons ripen, perish, die,
    And yet love stays.
    The old, old love—like sweet at first,
    At last like bitter wine—
    I know not if it blest or curst,
    Thy life and mine.

    Time flies. In vain our prayers, our tears
    We cannot tempt him to delays;
    Down to the past he bears the years,
    And yet love stays.
    Through changing task and varying dream
    We hear the same refrain,
    As one can hear a plaintive theme
    Run through each strain.

    Time flies. He steals our pulsing youth,
    He robs us of our care-free days;
    He takes away our trust and truth,
    And yet love stays.
    O Time! take love! When love is vain,
    When all its best joys die—
    When only its regrets remain—
    Let love, too, fly.

  109. The Speech of Silence

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    The solemn Sea of Silence lies between us;
    I know thou livest, and thou lovest me;
    And yet I wish some white ship would come sailing
    Across the ocean, bearing word from thee.

    The dead-calm awes me with its awful stillness.
    No anxious doubts or fears disturb my breast;
    I only ask some little wave of language,
    To stir this vast infinitude of rest.

    I am oppressed with this great sense of loving;
    So much I give, so much receive from thee,
    Like subtle incense, rising from a censer,
    So floats the fragrance of thy love round me.

    All speech is poor, and written words unmeaning;
    Yet such I ask, blown hither by some wind,
    To give relief to this too perfect knowledge,
    The Silence so impresses on my mind.

    How poor the love that needeth word or message,
    To banish doubt or nourish tenderness;
    I ask them but to temper love's convictions
    The Silence all too fully doth express.

    Too deep the language which the spirit utters;
    Too vast the knowledge which my soul hath stirred.
    Send some white ship across the Sea of Silence,
    And interrupt its utterance with a word.

  110. Love's Coming

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    She had looked for his coming as warriors come,
    With the clash of arms and the bugle's call;
    But he came instead with a stealthy tread,
    Which she did not hear at all.

    She had thought how his armor would blaze in the sun,
    As he rode like a prince to claim his bride:
    In the sweet dim light of the falling night
    She found him at her side.

    She had dreamed how the gaze of his strange, bold eye
    Would wake her heart to a sudden glow:
    She found in his face the familiar grace
    Of a friend she used to know.

    She had dreamed how his coming would stir her soul,
    As the ocean is stirred by the wild storm's strife:
    He brought her the balm of a heavenly calm,
    And a peace which crowned her life.

  111. She Came and Went

    by James Russell Lowell

    As a twig trembles, which a bird
    Lights on to sing, then leaves unbent,
    So is my memory thrilled and stirred;—
    I only know she came and went.

    As clasps some lake, by gusts unriven,
    The blue dome’s measureless content,
    So my soul held that moment’s heaven;—
    I only know she came and went.

    As, at one bound, our swift spring heaps
    The orchards full of bloom and scent,
    So clove her May my wintry sleeps;—
    I only know she came and went.

    An angel stood and met my gaze,
    Through the low doorway of my tent;
    The tent is struck, the vision stays;—
    I only know she came and went.

    Oh, when the room grows slowly dim,
    And life’s last oil is nearly spent,
    One gush of light these eyes will brim,
    Only to think she came and went.

  112. Desolation

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    I think that the bitterest sorrow or pain
    Of love unrequited, or cold death's wo,
    Is sweet, compared to that hour when we know
    That some grand passion is on the wane;

    When we see that the glory, and glow, and grace
    Which lent a splendor to night and day,
    Are surely fading, and showing the gray
    And dull groundwork of the commonplace

    When fond expressions on dull ears fall,
    When the hands clasp calmly without one thrill,
    When we cannot muster by force of will
    The old emotions that came at call.

    When the dream has vanished we fain would keep,
    When the heart, like a watch, runs out of gear,
    And all the savor goes out of the year,
    Oh, then is the time—if we can—to weep!

    But no tears soften this dull, pale wo,
    We must sit and face it with dry, sad eyes.
    If we seek to hold it, the swifter joy flies—
    We can only be passive, and let it go.

  113. New and Old

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    I and new love, in all its living bloom,
    Sat vis-a-vis, while tender twilight hours
    Went softly by us, treading as on flowers.
    Then suddenly I saw within the room
    The old love, long since lying in its tomb.
    It dropped the cerecloth from its fleshless face
    And smiled on me, with a remembered grace
    That, like the noontide, lit the gloaming's gloom.

    Upon its shroud there hung the grave's green mould,
    About it hung the odor of the dead;
    Yet from its cavernous eyes such light was shed
    That all my life seemed gilded, as with gold;
    Unto the trembling new love "Go," I said,
    "I do not need thee, for I have the old."

  114. Love's Language

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    How does Love speak?
    In the faint flush upon the telltale cheek,
    And in the pallor that succeeds it; by
    The quivering lid of an averted eye—
    The smile that proves the patent to a sigh
    Thus doth Love speak.

    How does Love speak?
    By the uneven heart-throbs, and the freak
    Of bounding pulses that stand still and ache,
    While new emotions, like strange barges, make
    Along vein-channels their disturbing course;
    Still as the dawn, and with the dawn's swift force—
    Thus doth Love speak.

    How does Love speak?
    In the avoidance of that which we seek—
    The sudden silence and reserve when near—
    The eye that glistens with an unshed tear—
    The joy that seems the counterpart of fear,
    As the alarmed heart leaps in the breast,
    And knows, and names, and greets its godlike guest—
    Thus doth Love speak.

    How does Love speak?
    In the proud spirit suddenly grown meek—
    The haughty heart grown humble; in the tender
    And unnamed light that floods the world with splendor;
    In the resemblance which the fond eyes trace
    In all fair things to one beloved face;
    In the shy touch of hands that thrill and tremble;
    In looks and lips that can no more dissemble—
    Thus doth Love speak.

    How does Love speak?
    In the wild words that uttered seem so weak
    They shrink ashamed to silence; in the fire
    Glance strikes with glance, swift flashing high and higher,
    Like lightnings that precede the mighty storm;
    In the deep, soulful stillness; in the warm,
    Impassioned tide that sweeps through throbbing veins,
    Between the shores of keen delight and pains;
    In the embrace where madness melts in bliss,
    And in the convulsive rapture of a kiss—
    Thus doth Love speak.

  115. My Heritage

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    I into life so full of love was sent,
    That all the shadows which fall on the way
    Of every human being, could not stay,
    But fled before the light my spirit lent.

    I saw the world through gold and crimson dyes:
    Men sighed and said, "Those rosy hues will fade
    As you pass on into the glare and shade!"
    Still beautiful the way seems to mine eyes.

    They said, "You are too jubilant and glad;
    The world is full of sorrow and of wrong.
    Full soon your lips shall breathe forth sighs—not song!"
    The day wears on, and yet I am not sad.

    They said, "You love too largely, and you must
    Through wound on wound, grow bitter to your kind."
    They were false prophets; day by day I find
    More cause for love, and less cause for distrust.

    They said, "Too free you give your soul's rare wine;
    The world will quaff, but it will not repay."
    Yet in the emptied flagons, day by day,
    True hearts pour back a nectar as divine.

    Thy heritage! Is it not love's estate?
    Look to it, then, and keep its soil well tilled.
    I hold that my best wishes are fulfilled
    Because I love so much, and cannot hate.

  116. Abou Ben Adhem

    by Leigh Hunt

    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:—
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the presence in the room he said,
    "What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
    "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
    And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

  117. The Tryst

    by Mary E. Tucker

    I waited full two hours, or more,
    Beneath the old pine tree,
    Where oft I've lingered twilight hours,
    Watching, my Love, for thee.

    I waited till the shadows grew
    Like giants, grim and grey;
    I waited till night's coming chased
    The shadows far away.

    I waited for, I knew not what;
    But, oh, I waited there,
    Hoping, perchance, some ray to find,
    To lighten my despair.

    A year ago last May, I sat
    Beneath the old pine-tree;
    My tryst was not a broken one,
    For, Love, you came to me.

    I waited, and my spirit called
    Thy spirit, Love, to me;
    No tryst was ever broken there
    Beneath the old pine-tree.

  118. Love, and Hate

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    Although a thousand leagues two hearts divide,
    That love has joined, the gulf is not so great
    As that twixt two, who, dwelling side by side
    Behold between, the black abyss of Hate.

  119. Silence

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    O many and vain, Belovéd,
    The words I spoke to you
    In those first wondering hours
    When love was new!

    Now we have wandered together
    Into a mystic land,
    Now we are silent, Belovéd,
    Because we understand.

  120. Loving Words

    by Anonymous

    Loving words will cost but little,
    Journeying up the hill of life;
    But they make the weak and weary
    Stronger, braver for the strife.
    Do you count them only trifles?
    What to earth are sun and rain?
    Never was a kind word wasted,
    Never was one said in vain.

    When the cares of life are many,
    And its burdens heavy grow,
    For the ones who walk beside you;
    If you love them, tell them so.
    What you count of little value
    Has an almost magic power,
    And beneath their cheering sunshine
    Hearts will blossom like a flower.

    So, as up life's hill we journey,
    Let us scatter, all the way,
    Kindly words, to be as sunshine
    In the dark and cloudy day.
    Grudge no loving word or action,
    As along through life you go;
    To the ones who Journey with you,
    If you love them, tell them so.

  121. Little Things

    by Anonymous

    A cup of water timely brought,
    An offered easy chair,
    A turning of the window-blind,
    That all may feel the air;
    An early flower bestowed unasked,
    A light and cautious tread,
    A voice to softest whispers hushed
    To spare an aching head—
    Oh, things like these, though little things,
    The purest love disclose,
    As fragrant atoms in the air
    Reveal the hidden rose.

  122. Loving and Forgiving

    by Charles Swain

    Oh, loving and forgiving—
    Ye angel-words of earth,
    Years were not worth the living
    If ye too had not birth!
    Oh, loving and forbearing—
    How sweet your mission here;
    The grief that ye are sharing
    Hath blessings in its tear.

    Oh, stern and unforgiving
    Ye evil words of life,
    That mock the means of living
    With never-ending strife.
    Oh, harsh and unrepenting—
    How would ye meet the grave,
    If Heaven, as unrelenting,
    Forbore not, nor forgave!

    Oh, loving and forgiving—
    Sweet sisters of the soul,
    In whose celestial living
    The passions find control!
    Still breathe your influence o'er us
    Whene'er by passion crost.
    And, angel-like, restore us
    The paradise we lost.

  123. A Woman's Love

    by Ruby Archer

    "Let me look into your eyes
    For mine image." "Is it there?"
    "Yes." "Look deeper—scan my heart.
    Do you find it?" "Yes, more fair.
    Now look you for yours in mine,"
    And her gaze went up and through.
    But she made reply—"Ah, no!
    You I see, and only you."

  124. The Shell and the Heart

    by Ruby Archer

    Even as the shell doth glow
    To myriad tints of beauty
    Only upon that side
    Not buried in the sand
    But yielded to the magic
    Of the sun,—
    So will the heart take on
    Its fairest hues of joy—
    The radiance of being—
    Turned to that light ineffable
    Of love.

  125. Love Is All

    by Ruby Archer

    Would you be a monarch
    Worshipped on a throne,
    With no hand to clasp your own?
    No—for love is all.

    Would you be a Midas,
    Opulent of gold,
    Only paltry dross to hold?
    No—for love is all.

    Would you be a peasant,
    Laboring through life,
    With your dearest for your wife?
    Yes—for love is all.

  126. My Empire

    by Ruby Archer

    I care not for the many,
    If but my few are kind;
    How poor are they who never joy
    Apart from crowds can find.

    Not fair to eyes my features;
    But sorrow I control,
    If what beyond the vision lies
    Be lovely to your soul.

    Tho' poor my lips in music,
    The heart sings low and sweet;
    And you may prove that harmony
    Full-chorded and complete.

    My brow aches not in crowning,
    I reign all thrones above,
    Possession have I beyond price—
    The empire of your love.

    To love and to be loved again—
    What more has life to give?
    O fools—to scorn this highest joy,
    And yet lay claim to live!

  127. Is Loving Like This?

    by Ruby Archer

    Rhythmical meeting of fingers,
    Perfect according of thought,
    Feeling of presence that lingers,
    All with a fine meaning fraught.

    Brain in a sweet measure ringing,
    Heart in a rapture of pain,
    Arms that lie heavy in clinging,
    Bounty that gives but to gain.

    Eyes with a warm languor gleaming,
    Lips that must kiss, ah—must kiss,—
    This is the love of my dreaming.
    Tell me, is loving like this?

  128. Man and Dog and Horse and Tree

    by Annette Wynne

    Man and dog and horse and tree,
    All are valued friends to me;
    Who loves one and leaves the rest
    Hardly chooses for the best;
    I choose all—so let me be
    Friend to man, dog, horse and tree.

  129. Hearts Were Made to Give Away

    by Annette Wynne

    Hearts were made to give away
    On Valentine's good day;
    Wrap them up in dainty white,
    Send them off the thirteenth night.
    Any kind of heart that's handy—
    Hearts of lace, and hearts of candy,
    Hearts all trimmed with ribbands fine
    Send for good St. Valentine.
    Hearts were made to give away
    On Valentine's dear day.

  130. Love is like a rose

    by Christina Georgina Rossetti

    Hope is like a harebell trembling from its birth,
    Love is like a rose the joy of all the earth;
    Faith is like a lily lifted high and white,
    Love is like a lovely rose the world’s delight;
    Harebells and sweet lilies show a thornless growth,
    But the rose with all its thorns excels them both.

    So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    – 1 Corinthians 13:13
  131. Greatness Is Goodness

    by Evander A. Crewson

    Down along the vale of years
    A Lincoln or Grady sometimes appears,
    With grandest qualities in man combined,
    Kind in heart and great in mind.

    So great in mind, so kind in heart,
    That dignity bears but little part;
    We love him because we understand
    Goodness and greatness go hand in hand.

    Though mid stars his name be lined,
    His love grows deeper for all mankind;
    Though with jewels his crown be set,
    That he is our friend we never forget.

    Counting it all, the heart is the gate,
    And only through love can greatness be great;
    The greatest of names we have written above
    On fame's blazing scroll are written by love.

  132. Love's Millionaire

    by Florence May Alt

    Within my little cottage
    Are peace and warmth and light;
    And loving welcome waiting
    When I come home at night.
    The polished kettle's steaming,
    The snowy cloth is spread—
    And close against my shoulder
    There leans a smooth brown head!
    Her eyes are lit with laughter
    (They light the world for me)—
    "For how much would you sell me?
    Now tell me, sir!" cries she.
    'Tis then I answer, somehow,
    Between a smile and tear,
    "Not for all the gold in Klondike!
    The gold in Klondike, dear!"

    When the cosy tea is over,
    With many a frolic fond,
    I sit and read my paper;
    And from the room beyond
    I hear the clink china,
    The tread of nimble feet,
    And broken bits of singing
    That somehow ripple sweet.
    I hear a rush and rustle
    Behind my easy-chair;
    Short, chubby arms enclasp me
    And choke me unaware!
    Into my arms is tumbled
    A crinkled, golden head,
    A ball of fluffy whiteness
    That ought to be in bed.
    She asks her mother's question—
    I kiss the answer clear;
    "Not for all the gold Klondike;
    The gold in Klondike, dear!"

    In dim and dusky office
    I dig my bits of gold;
    I suffer not with hunger,
    Nor perish with the cold.
    My nuggets needs by tiny
    (I dig them with a pen),
    But the Yukon's golden gravel
    I leave for other men.
    My treasure lies exhaustless,
    My claim is staked with care;
    What is all the gold in Klondike,
    Since I'm love's millionaire?

How do I love thee? Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day? Annabel Lee A Red, Red Rose She Walks in Beauty If Thou Must Love Me, Let it be for Nought

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