by Richard Lovelace
Sweet serene sky-like flower,
Haste to adorn her bower;
From thy long cloudy bed
Shoot forth thy damask head!
New-startled blush of Flora,
The grief of pale Aurora,
Who will contest no more,
Haste, haste to strew her floor!
Vermilion ball that’s given
From lip to lip in heaven,
Love’s couch’s coverlet,
Haste, haste to make her bed!
Dear offspring of pleased Venus
And jolly plump Silenus,
Haste, haste to deck the hair
Of the only sweetly fair!
See! rosy is her bower,
Her floor is all this flower;
Her bed a rosy nest
By a bed of roses pressed.
But early as she dresses,
Why fly you her bright tresses?
Ah! I have found, I fear, –
Because her cheeks are near.
How Do I Love Thee
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise,
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints -I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
A Gift from the Sea
by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
One recognizes the truth of Saint Exupery’s line: Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. For in fact, man and woman are not only looking outward in the same direction, they are working outward. Here one forms ties, roots, a firm base….Here one makes oneself part of the community of men, of human society. Here the bonds of marriage are formed. For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually, in this stage, many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm. The web is fashioned of love. Yes, but many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow-growing devotion and, playing through these, a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language too, a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day to day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction.
“Look to this day,
For it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the varieties
And realities of your existence;
The bliss of growths
The glory of action,
The splendor of beauty;
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes
Every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.
Such is the salvation of the dawn.”