On Love’s Renewal by Walter de la Mare

‘A poem’, says mr. Robert Frost, ‘begins in delight and ends in wisdom. The figure is the same for love.’. And again, ‘For me the initial delight is the surprise of remembering something I didn’t know I knew.’
In the same fashion, we may fall in love as it were with an already familiar object: with a tree because of a bird that is in it; with a butterfly perched just like that (and we like this) on a stone in the hot sunshine;
with life itself merely because the evening star is shining.
But as with tree, butterfly, or life, the fall always concerns Celia herself, nothing but Celia, and all that she is, or what she thinks she is, or what we think she is.
As the elect fall in love with Truth, the imaginitive with reality, Apollo with Daphne, the saints with the divine, the egocentric with themselves.
Moreover – renewed delight – we may fall in love again and again, though still with the same object. The first sight may be followed by many others, all but as potent as itself. For after all, ‘Cupid is winged and doth range’ what may prove to be an inexhaustible countryside; wood valley, hill and dale.
There are as many countries not only of the mind but of the heart as there are Celias; though only one of them is home.


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