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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. Herein is Love by E. N. S.
  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 Amos Russel Wells
  10. A Song of the Silent Souls by Amos Russel Wells
  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
  61. Love's Lesson by Jean Blewett
  62. Love's Tendril by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  63. The Prison and the Angel by Henry Van Dyke
  64. Firelight by J. R. Eastwood
  65. Love's Secret by William Blake
  66. Query by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  67. If Love Were King by Freeman E. Miller
  68. Reconciled by Freeman E. Miller
  69. Love Your Enemies by Helen M. Johnson
  70. Love and Friendship by Emily Brontë
  71. Love by Elizabeth Ann Armstrong
  72. Home is Where There's One to Love Us by Charles Swain
  73. What Is Love? by Peter Burn
  74. Let Us Love One Another by Charles Swain
  75. True Loveliness by Charles Swain
  76. The Patch by Joseph Warren Gardiner
  77. The Greatness of Love by Thomas Cogswell Upham
  78. Love by Lizzie F. Baldy
  79. Love by E. F. Hayward
  80. Christian Love by Eliza Wolcott
  81. Love is the Fulfilling of the Law by Eliza Wolcott
  82. Love by James Russell Lowell
  83. A Kiss by John Boyle O'Reilly
  84. Forever by John Boyle O'Reilly
  85. Love Was True to Me by John Boyle O'Reilly
  86. Mother o' Mine by Rudyard Kipling
  87. Charity by John B. Tabb
  88. Who Is My Neighbor? by Elizabeth Hedge Webster

  1. 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.

  2. Love is the Fulfilling of the Law

    by Eliza 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.

  3. Herein is Love

    by E. N. S.

    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!

    10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

    – 1 John 4:10

    33And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34Then said Jesus, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

    – Luke 23:33-34
  4. Christian Love

    by Elizabeth Kautz

    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.

  5. 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
  6. 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!

  7. Priceless

    by Henry Lyman Koopman

    Love cannot be bought,
    Neither hath it price;
    It seeks not, and is given unsought,
    A glad self-sacrifice.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Love's Trial Balance

    by Amos Russel Wells

    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. 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?

  12. Love's Lesson

    by Jean Blewett

    One lesson let us bear in mind—
    Be very gentle with our own,
    Be to their faults a little blind,
    Nor wound them by a look or tone.

    Put self behind! turn tender eyes;
    Keep back the words that hurt and sting;
    We learn, when sorrow makes us wise,
    Forbearance is the grandest thing.

    Be patient lest some day we turn
    Our eyes on loved one fast asleep,
    And whisper, as we lean and yearn,
    "How often I have made you weep!

    "Some loved you not and words let fall
    That must have pierced your gentle breast,
    But I, who loved you best of all,
    Hurt you far more than all the rest."

    One lesson let us keep in mind—
    To hold our dear ones close and fast,
    Since loyal hearts are hard to find,
    And life and love so soon are past.

  13. Love's Tendril

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    Sweeter far than lyric rune
    Is my baby's cooing tune;
    Brighter than the butterflies
    Are the gleams within her eyes;
    Firmer than an iron band
    Serves the zephyr of her hand;
    Deeper than the ocean's roll
    Sounds her heart-beat in my soul.

  14. Love's Sacrifice

    by Jean Blewett

    "And behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Phariseehouse, brought an alabaster box of ointment and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head."

    The eyes He turned on her who kneeling wept
    Were filled with tenderness and pity rare;
    But looking on the Pharisee, there crept
    A sorrow and a hint of sternness there.

    "Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee,"
    The Master's voice rang clearly out, and stirred,
    With its new note of full authority,
    The list'ning throng, who pressed to catch each word.

    "Master, say on,' self-righteous Simon said,
    And muttered in his beard, 'A sinner, she!"
    Marvelling the while that on the drooping head
    The hand of Jesus rested tenderly.

    "Seest thou this woman, Simon?' Scornful eyes
    Did Simon bend upon the woman's face,
    The while the breath of love's sweet sacrifice
    Rose from the broken box and filled the place.

    Self-righteousness, the slimy thing that grows
    Upon a fellow-creature's frailty,
    That waxes fat on shame of ruined lives,
    Swelled in the bosom of the Pharisee.

    "Into thine house I came at thy request,
    Weary with travel, and thou gavest not
    To me the service due the humblest guest,
    No towel, no water clear and cold was brought

    "To wash my feet; but she, whom you despise,
    Out of the great affection she doth bear
    Hath made a basin of her woman's eyes,
    A towel of her woman's wealth of hair.

    "Thou gavest me no kiss'—O Simon, shame,
    Thus coldly and unlovingly to greet
    The Prince of Peace!—'but ever since I came
    This woman hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

    "He loveth most who hath been most forgiven."
    O Simon, hearken, learn the great truth well,
    No soul on faith's glad wings mounts nearer heaven
    Than that which hath been prisoned deep in hell.

    Methinks I hear her say: "Thou who forgivest
    My many sins, this off'ring, sweet of breath,
    I pour on Thee, dear Lord, while yet thou liv'st,
    For love is ever swift to outrun death.'

    Upon her are the eyes of Jesus turned,
    With gaze which seems to strengthen and to bless.
    Who knows how long the soul of Him hath yearned
    For some such token of rare tenderness?

    The flush of shame flaunts red on Simon's cheeks,
    About the table idle babblings cease,
    A deep, full silence, then the Master speaks:
    "Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace—in peace."

  15. Love's Service

    by Jean Blewett

    Your presence is a psalm of praise,
    And as its measure grandly rings
    God's finger finds my heart and plays
    A te deum upon its strings.
    I never see you but I feel
    That I in gratitude must kneel.

    Your head down-bent, the brow of snow
    Crowned with the shining braids of hair,
    To me, because I love you so,
    Is in itself a tender prayer,
    All faith, all meekness, and all trust—
    "Amen!" I cry, because I must.

    Your clear eyes hold the text apart,
    And shame my love of place and pelf
    With, "Love the Lord with all thine heart,
    And love thy neighbor as thyself!"
    Dear eyes and true,—I sorely need
    More knowledge of your gracious creed.

    About your lips the summer lies—
    Who runs may read each subtle lure
    To draw me nearer to the skies,
    And make me strong, and keep me pure.
    I loathe my worldliness and guile
    Each time your red lips on me smile.

    The benediction of your face—
    Your lifted face—doth make a road
    For white-robed peace and golden grace
    To reach my heart and take its load.
    Dear woman saint, I bow the knee,
    And give God thanks for love and thee!

  16. Woman's Love

    by Frances Anne Kemble

    A maiden meek, with solemn, steadfast eyes,
    Full of eternal constancy and faith,
    And smiling lips, through whose soft portal sighs
    Truth's holy voice, with every balmy breath,
    So journeys she along life's crowded way,
    Keeping her soul's sweet counsel from all sight;
    Nor pomp, nor vanity, lead her astray,
    Nor aught that men call dazzling, fair, or bright:
    For pity, sometimes, doth she pause, and stay
    Those whom she meeteth mourning, for her heart
    Knows well in suffering how to bear its part.
    Patiently lives she through each dreary day,
    Looking with little hope unto the morrow;
    And still she walketh hand in hand with sorrow.

  17. 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."

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. Time and Love

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. If Love Were King

    by Freeman E. Miller

    If Love were king,
    That sacred Love which knows not selfish pleasure,
    But for its children spends its fondest treasure,
    Sad hearts would sing,
    And all the hosts of misery and wrong
    Forget their anguish in the happy song
    That joy would bring.

    If Love were king,
    Gaunt wickedness would hide his loathsome features,
    And virtue would to all the world's sad creatures
    Her treasures fling;
    Till drooping souls would rise above their fate,
    And find sweet flowers for all the desolate
    And sorrowing.

    If Love were king,
    Before the scepter of his might should vanish
    Toil's curse and care, and happiness should banish
    Want's awful sting;
    While laughing plenty from sweet hands would throw
    Delightful raptures over all below,
    And gladness bring.

    If Love were king,
    The nations would eternal sunshine borrow,
    And conquer all the heavy clouds of sorrow
    And every thing
    That binds the race in groans and agony;
    Life's changing seasons would forever be
    Unvaried spring.

    If Love were king!
    O, broken feet that wander worn and weary
    Beneath the crags and awful mountains dreary,
    With rapture cling
    Your anguished arms about him; drink delight
    Upon his perfect bosom soft and white
    And comforting!

  30. 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!

  31. The Greatness of Love

    Thomas Cogswell Upham

    Go, count the sands that form the earth,
    Go, count the drops that make the sea;
    Go, count the stars of heavenly birth,
    And tell me what their number be;
    And thou shalt know love's mystery.

    No measurement hath yet been found,
    No lines nor numbers, that can keep
    The sum of its eternal round,
    The plummet of its endless deep,
    Or heights, to which its glories sweep.

    Yes, measure love, when thou canst tell
    The lands where seraphs have not trod,
    The heights of heaven, the depths of hell,
    And laid thy finite measuring-rod
    On the infinitude of God.

  32. Love Your Enemies

    by Helen M. Johnson

    Arrows dipped in poison flew
    From the fatal bow;
    And they pierced my bosom through,
    And they laid me low.

    Every nerve to anguish strung,
    In distress I cried:
    And the waste around me rung,
    But no voice replied.

    "Cruel was the hand," I said,
    "That could draw the bow:
    Curses rest upon the head
    Of my heartless foe!"

    Turning straightway at the sound,
    In the tangled wood,
    Pale, and bearing many a wound,
    There a stranger stood.

    Mournfully on me he gazed,
    Not a word he said:
    But one hand the stranger raised,
    And I saw it bled.

    Blood was flowing from his side
    And his thorn-pierced brow;
    "Who has wounded thee?" I cried,
    And he answered, "Thou!"

    Then I knew the Stranger well,
    And with sobs and tears
    Prostrate at his feet I fell,
    But he soothed my fears.

    "Thou hast wounded me, but live,—
    And my blessing take:
    Henceforth wilt thou not forgive
    Freely for my sake?"

    Resting in his fond embrace,
    Eased of every woe,—
    Then I said, with smiling face,
    "Jesus, bless my foe!"

  33. Love and Friendship

    by Emily Brontë

    Love is like the wild rose-briar,
    Friendship like the holly-tree—
    The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
    But which will bloom most constantly?

    The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
    Its summer blossoms scent the air;
    Yet wait till winter comes again
    And who will call the wild-briar fair?

    Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
    And deck thee with the holly’s sheen,
    That when December blights thy brow
    He still may leave thy garland green.

  34. 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.

  35. Home is Where There's One to Love Us

    by Charles Swain

    Home's not merely four square walls,
    Though with pictures hung and gilded;
    Home is where Affection calls,—
    Filled with shrines the Heart hath builded!
    Home!—go watch the faithful dove,
    Sailing 'neath the heaven above us;
    Home is where there's one to love!
    Home is where there's one to love us!

    Home's not merely roof and room,—
    It needs something to endear it;
    Home is where the heart can bloom,—
    Where there's some kind lip to cheer it!
    What is home with none to meet,—
    None to welcome, none to greet us?
    Home is sweet,—and only sweet,—
    Where there's one we love to meet us!

  36. 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.

  37. Love

    by Elizabeth Ann Armstrong

    Love called and lo! I came to blossom on the tree of life.
    The fruit of two united hearts with love and longing rife,
    To draw forth care and tenderness, in life a place to fill,
    To grow into a perfect soul of reason and free will

    Love is the sweet and crowning glory of this life on earth,
    From love's undying source came the mystery of birth.
    Love's perfect plan remains unchanged it ever longs to give
    Its tribune to the future of something that will live.

    Warmed by love's sacred flame the humblest eot becomes a shrine,
    Where sweet and tender memories like tendrils round it twine,
    Without love's ties this life would be of very little worth,
    But with love's power home can become the dearest spot on earth.

    Love is a wondrous symphony, the music of the spheres,
    Nature's sweetest song where perfect harmony appears.
    The page of life is truly a great and wondrous scroll
    On which to write love's melodies—the music of the soul.

  38. Love

    by Lizzie F. Baldy

    Love, sweetest thought that ever came
    To stir the human soul;
    And love, the saddest, if thy fame
    Blend not with God's control.
    Far backward through the vale of years
    We see a mother's love;
    While looking through the mist of tears
    An angel smiles above.

    Oh! mother, with thy mighty love,
    So tender, true, and strong;
    From thy sweet thoughts we never rove,
    You ever pray no wrong
    May compass round our wayward feet
    Wherever we may stray;
    Yet you have joined the heavenly fleet
    Far up God's holy way.

    Oh! love, how sweet thy echoes are,
    When infant tongues are thine;
    We bring our treasures from afar
    To cast them at his shrine;
    For baby's king, and who shall dare
    Invade this monarch's realm;
    He guides us with his fingers fair,
    Our hearts are but the helm.

    Yet there are other loves than these,
    Though not so pure and sweet;
    We brought them down life's rugged ways
    Until our bleeding feet
    Refused to hear the breaking heart
    Bowed beneath sorrow's cross;
    And oh! how sad, when love departs,
    We find our gold is dross.

    Perhaps, our Father, looking through
    The changing scene of years,
    That come to us in life, He knew
    That in this vale of tears
    If he had given to our hearts
    The human love we crave,
    We ne'er had sought the higher arts
    That live beyond the grave.

    Oh! Father, Saviour, God in one,
    Thy love is with us all;
    And while this earthly race we run,
    It watcheth, lest we fall.
    Oh! love so great that human ken
    Can never fathom half;
    It caused a God to die for men,
    And sorrow's cup to quaff.

    Then if the cross he bids us bear
    Seems greater than our strength,
    We know a crown is waiting there,
    And robe, whose snowy length
    Hath never known the dust of earth;
    Where, in those streets of gold,
    We'll wander, with the loved of earth,
    And with the friends of old.

  39. Love

    by E. F. Hayward

    Take the perfume of the rose,
    Take the gentlest breeze that blows,
    Take the sweetest of your dreams,
    Take the sparkling mountain streams,
    Take the honey from a flower,
    Take the warm midsummer shower,
    Take the songs the angels sing,
    Take the clearest bells that ring,
    Take the sweetest voice you've heard,
    Take the warble of a bird,
    Take the brightest star that shines,
    Take the odor of the pines,
    Take the joy of lover's kiss,
    Take a peep at perfect bliss,
    Take the sparkle of a gem,
    Take, I say, take all of them;
    Everything I've named above,
    And they spell the one word, "LOVE."

  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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!"

  45. 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!

  46. A Song of the Silent Souls

    by Amos Russel Wells

    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!

  47. 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!"

  48. I had no time to hate

    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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. "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!"

  56. 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.

  57. 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!

  58. 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!

  59. 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

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. "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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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!

  66. 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?

  67. 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.

  68. 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."

  69. 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!

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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."

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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!

  93. 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.

  94. Hope is like a harebell

    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
  95. 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.

  96. The Prison and the Angel

    by Henry Van Dyke

    Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul;
    Love is the only angel who can bid the gates unroll;
    And when he comes to call thee, arise and follow fast;
    His way may lie through darkness, but it leads to light at last.

  97. Firelight

    by J. R. Eastwood

    I gave the wealth of love for dross
    Of falsehood, and I suffered loss:
    For who shall tell the worth of love,
    The light on earth from heaven above?

    I sit and think of this, and see
    The buried past that used to be:
    And, in the dusk, the dying fire
    Is flaming, ready to expire.

    Love that is true is like the light
    Of sun and stars, for ever bright:
    Love that is filse is like the fire,
    The flames that flash and then expire.

    And love that sells itself for gold
    Is dear to buy, and cheap to hold:
    And love that gives itself for love
    Is light on earth from heaven above.

  98. Query

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    Is she the sage who will not sip
    The cup love presses to her lip?
    Or she who drinks the mad cup dry,
    And turns with smiling face—to die?

  99. Reconciled

    by Freeman E. Miller

    We meet again beyond the barren past,
    Beyond the pride, the sorrows and the tears;
    And yearnings leave the strife and hate of years
    To flood our souls with perfect peace at last!
    Our hearts forget the wrong so deep and vast,
    The wounding words and all the cruel woe,
    Till joy is all our bounding bosoms know,
    And life is glad with happiness at last.

    Love, deathless and forgiving, crowns with bays
    The future and our hopes, as full of grace,
    As youth had fondly dreamed in other days,
    When first we knew how sweet was her embrace.
    God's endless purpose guides the feet of men;
    Beyond our pride we meet in love again!

  100. The Patch

    Joseph Warren Gardiner

    When I see, beside the way,
    The little urchin there at play,
    With a patch on either knee,
    What is it that impresses me?
    Memory of a mother dear,
    Laid long since upon her bier,
    Who, when I was young and small,
    Darned and mended for us all.

    Patiently, with thread and thimble,
    Eyes yet clear and fingers nimble,
    While we nestled close in bed,
    Through the patch the needle sped.
    Hence the patch so comely, neat,
    On little trousers knee or seat,
    Speaks to me of comfort near,
    Of a home and mother dear.

    New clothes fit and trim may be
    Worn by urchins whom we see;
    Rags may flutter on the street,
    Shoeless boys or shod may meet;
    Still to us no sign they give,
    Save that poor or rich they live,
    Boys who wear the neat patch prove
    A mother's care, a mother's love.

  101. Love

    James Russell Lowell

    True Love is but a humble, low-born thing,
    And hath its food served up in earthen ware;
    It is a thing to walk with, hand in hand,
    Through the every-dayness of this work-day world,
    Baring its tender feet to every roughness,
    Yet letting not one heart-beat go astray
    From Beauty’s law of plainness and content;
    A simple, fire-side thing, whose quiet smile
    Can warm earth’s poorest hovel to a home;
    Which, when our autumn cometh, as it must,
    And life in the chill wind shivers bare and leafless,
    Shall still be blest with Indian-summer youth
    In bleak November, and, with thankful heart,
    Smile on its ample stores of garnered fruit,
    As full of sunshine to our aged eyes
    As when it nursed the blossoms of our spring.
    Such is true Love, which steals into the heart
    With feet as silent as the lightsome dawn
    That kisses smooth the rough brows of the dark,
    And hath its will through blissful gentleness,—
    Not like a rocket, which, with savage glare,
    Whirrs suddenly up, then bursts, and leaves the night
    Painfully quivering on the dazed eyes;
    A love that gives and takes, that seeth faults,
    Not with flaw-seeking eyes like needle-points,
    But, loving kindly, ever looks them down
    With the o’ercoming faith of meek forgiveness;
    A love that shall be new and fresh each hour,
    As is the golden mystery of sunset,
    Or the sweet coming of the evening-star,
    Alike, and yet most unlike, every day,
    And seeming ever best and fairest now;
    A love that doth not kneel for what it seeks,
    But faces Truth and Beauty as their peer,
    Showing its worthiness of noble thoughts
    By a clear sense of inward nobleness,
    A love that in its object findeth not
    All grace and beauty, and enough to sate
    Its thirst of blessing, but, in all of good
    Found there, it sees but Heaven-granted types
    Of good and beauty in the soul of man,
    And traces, in the simplest heart that beats,
    A family-likeness to its chosen one,
    That claims of it the rights of brotherhood.
    For Love is blind but with the fleshly eye,
    That so its inner sight may be more clear;
    And outward shows of beauty only so
    Are needful at the first, as is a hand
    To guide and to uphold an infant’s steps:
    Great spirits need them not; their earnest look
    Pierces the body’s mask of thin disguise,
    And beauty ever is to them revealed,
    Behind the unshapeliest, meanest lump of clay,
    With arms outstretched and eager face ablaze,
    Yearning to be but understood and loved.

  102. A Kiss

    John Boyle O'Reilly

    Love is a plant with double root,
    And of strange, elastic power:
    Men’s minds are divided in naming the fruit,
    But a kiss is only the flower.

  103. Forever

    John Boyle O'Reilly

    Those we love truly never die,
    Though year by year the sad memorial wreath,
    A ring and flowers, types of life and death,
    Are laid upon their graves.

    For death the pure life saves,
    And life all pure is love; and love can reach
    From heaven to earth, and nobler lessons teach
    Than those by mortals read.

    Well blest is he who has a dear one dead:
    A friend he has whose face will never change—
    A dear communion that will not grow strange;
    The anchor of a love is death.

    The blessed sweetness of a loving breath
    Will reach our cheek all fresh through weary years.
    For her who died long since, ah! waste not tears,
    She’s thine unto the end.

    Thank God for one dead friend,
    With face still radiant with the light of truth,
    Whose love comes laden with the scent of youth,
    Through twenty years of death.

  104. Love is Dreaming

    John Boyle O'Reilly

    Life is a certainty,
    Death is a doubt;
    Men may be dead
    While they’re walking about.
    Love is as needful
    To being as breath;
    Loving is dreaming,
    And waking is death.

  105. Love Was True to Me

    John Boyle O'Reilly

    Love was true to me,
    True and tender;
    I who ought to be
    Love’s defender,
    Let the cold winds blow
    Till they chilled him;
    Let the winds and snow
    Shroud him—and I know
    That I killed him.

    Years he cried to me
    To be kinder;
    I was blind to see
    And grew blinder.
    Years with soft hands raised
    Fondly reaching,
    Wept and prayed and praised,
    Still beseeching.

    When he died I woke,
    God! how lonely,
    When the gray dawn broke
    On one only.
    Now beside Love’s grave
    I am kneeling;
    All he sought and gave
    I am feeling.

  106. Mother o' Mine

    by Rudyard Kipling

    If I were hanged on the highest hill,
    Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
    I know whose love would follow me still,
    Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

    If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
    Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
    I know whose tears would come down to me,
    Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

    If I were damned of body and soul,
    I know whose prayers would make me whole,
    Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

  107. Charity

    by John B. Tabb

    If but the world would give to love
    The crumbs that from its table fall,
    'T were bounty large enough for all
    The famishing to feed thereof.

    And Love, that still the laurel wins
    Of Sacrifice, would lovelier grow,
    And round the world a mantle throw
    To hide its multitude of sins.

  108. Who Is My Neighbor?

    by Elizabeth Hedge Webster

    Who is my neighbor? Not the one
    Who best may please my selfish heart;
    Nor yet the wise and good alone
    Who in my love and joy bear part.
    Perchance the poor, the low, or vile
    My steps may pass and kindness need;
    Such is my neighbor as myself to love,
    The naked clothe, the hungry feed.

    If I my neighbor as myself do love,
    I'll treat him as I would that he,
    Our places changed, would do by me,
    As careful, tender, just, and free;
    I'd love to feel his kindness flow
    In patient words and gentle deeds
    When burdened I would feel the glow
    From heavenly charity proceeds.

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