Do you love me? By Rumi

A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love yourself more
than you love me?

The beloved replied,
I have died to myself
and I live for you.

I’ve disappeared from myself
and my attributes.
I am present only for you.

I have forgotten all my learning,
but from knowing you
I have become a scholar.

I have lost all my strength,
but from your power
I am able.

If I love myself
I love you.
If I love you
I love myself.


First Love’s Recollections by John Clare

First love will with the heart remain
When it its hopes are by,
As frail rose blossoms still retain
Their fragrance when they die;
And joy’s first dreams will haunt the mind
With the scenes ‘mid which they sprung,
As Summer leaves the stems behind
On which Spring’s blossoms clung.

I dare not call thee dear!
I’ve lost that right too long,
Yet once again I vex thine ear
With memory’s idle song.
I felt a pride to speak thy name
But now that pride is gone;
And burning blushes speak my shame,
That thus I love thee on.

How loth to part! how fond to meet
Had we two used to be!
At sunset with what happy feet
I hasten’d unto thee.
Scarce three days past, once ere we met
In Spring, nay, wintry weather;
Now three years’ suns have risen and set,
Nor found us once together.

Thy face was so familiar grown,
Thyself so often nigh;
A moment’s memory when alone
Would bring thee to mine eye;
But now my very dreams forget
That witching look to trace;
Though there thy beauty lingers yet
It wears a stranger face.

When last thy gentle cheek I prest,
And heard thee feign adieu,
I little thought a seeming jest
Would prove a word so true.
Such fate as this hath oft befel
E’en brighter hopes than ours;
Spring bids full many buds to swell
That ne’er can grow into flowers.

Love’s Messengers by Mary Ainge DeVere

Who will tell him? Who will teach him?
Have you voices, merry birds?
Then be voice for me, and reach him
With a thousand pleading words.
Sing my secret, east and west,
Till his answer be confessed!

Roses, when you see him coming,
Light of heart and strong of limb,
Make your lover-bees stop humming;
Turn your blushes round to him—
Blush, dear flowers, that he may learn,
How a woman’s heart can burn!

Wind—oh, wind—you happy rover!
Oh that I were half as free—
Leave your honey-bells and clover,
Go and seek my love for me.
Find, kiss, clasp him, make him know
It is I who love him so!

The Great Adventurer by Anonymous

Over the mountains
And over the waves,
Under the fountains
And under the graves;
Under floods that are deepest,
Which Neptune obey;
Over rocks that are steepest
Love will find out the way.

When there is no place
For the glow-worm to lie;
When there is no space
For receipt of a fly;
When the midge dares not venture
Lest herself fast she lay;
If Love come, he will enter
And will find out his way.

You may esteem him
A child for his might;
Or you may deem him
A coward from his flight;
But if she whom love doth honour
Be conceal’d from the day,
Set a thousand guards upon her,
Love will find out the way.

Some think to lose him
By having him confined;
And some do suppose him,
Poor thing, to be blind;
But if ne’er so close ye wall him,
Do the best that you may,
Blind love, if so ye call him,
Will find out his way.

You may train the eagle
To stoop to your fist;
Or you may inveigle
The phoenix of the east;
The lioness, ye may move her
To give o’er her prey;
But you’ll ne’er stop a lover:
He will find out his way.

Love, Hope, Desire, And Fear by Percy Bysshe Shelley

And many there were hurt by that strong boy,
His name, they said, was Pleasure,
And near him stood, glorious beyond measure
Four Ladies who possess all empery
In earth and air and sea,
Nothing that lives from their award is free.
Their names will I declare to thee,
Love, Hope, Desire, and Fear,
And they the regents are
Of the four elements that frame the heart,
And each diversely exercised her art
By force or circumstance or sleight
To prove her dreadful might
Upon that poor domain.
Desire presented her [false] glass, and then
The spirit dwelling there
Was spellbound to embrace what seemed so fair
Within that magic mirror,
And dazed by that bright error,
It would have scorned the [shafts] of the avenger
And death, and penitence, and danger,
Had not then silent Fear
Touched with her palsying spear,
So that as if a frozen torrent
The blood was curdled in its current;
It dared not speak, even in look or motion,
But chained within itself its proud devotion.
Between Desire and Fear thou wert
A wretched thing, poor heart!
Sad was his life who bore thee in his breast,
Wild bird for that weak nest.
Till Love even from fierce Desire it bought,
And from the very wound of tender thought
Drew solace, and the pity of sweet eyes
Gave strength to bear those gentle agonies,
Surmount the loss, the terror, and the sorrow.
Then Hope approached, she who can borrow
For poor to-day, from rich tomorrow,
And Fear withdrew, as night when day
Descends upon the orient ray,
And after long and vain endurance
The poor heart woke to her assurance.
—At one birth these four were born
With the world’s forgotten morn,
And from Pleasure still they hold
All it circles, as of old.
When, as summer lures the swallow,
Pleasure lures the heart to follow–
O weak heart of little wit!
The fair hand that wounded it,
Seeking, like a panting hare,
Refuge in the lynx’s lair,
Love, Desire, Hope, and Fear,
Ever will be near.

Love’s Horizon by Roger Casement

Love is the salt sea’s savour,
Love is the palm-tree’s sheen,
Love is the sky of the evening,
That softly sets between.

Love is the ocean’s purple,
Love is the mountain’s crest,
Love is the Golden Eagle
That hither builds his nest.

The wind that lists at morning,
The first song of the bird,
The leaves that stir so lightly
Before a limb has stirred :

These are my love’s harbingers
By gathering music drawn.
Oh! Wake my love and own them,
Thou life voice of the Dawn

Heart Disease by James B. Burnet M.D.

I list, as thy heart and ascending aorta

Their volumes of valvular harmony pour,

And my soul, from that muscular music has caught a

New life, ‘mid its dry anatomical lore.

‘ ‘ Oh ! rare is the sound, when thy ventricles throb
In a systolic symphony, measured and slow,
While the auricles answer with rhythmical sob
As they murmur a melody wondrously low.

“Oh ! thy cornea, love, has the radiant light
Of the sparkle that laughs in the icicle’s sheen.
And thy crystalline lens, like a diamond bright,
Through the quivering frame of thine iris is seen.

“And thy retina, spreading its lustre of pearl,
Like a far-away nebula, distantly gleams
From a vault of black cellular mirrors, that hurl
From their hexagon angles the silvery beams.

” Oh ! the flash of those orbs is enslaving me still.
As they roll ‘neath thy palpebræ, dimly translucent,
Obeying, in silence, the magical will
Of the oculo-motor — pathetic — abducent.

‘ ‘ Oh ! sweet is thy voice, as it sighingly swells
From thy daintily quivering chordre vocales,
Or rings in clear tones from the echoing cells
Of the antrum, the ethmoid, and sinus frontales.

In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 27 by Lord Alfred Tennyson

I envy not in any moods

         The captive void of noble rage,

         The linnet born within the cage,

That never knew the summer woods:

I envy not the beast that takes

         His license in the field of time,

         Unfetter’d by the sense of crime,

To whom a conscience never wakes;

Nor, what may count itself as blest,

         The heart that never plighted troth

         But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;

Nor any want-begotten rest.

I hold it true, whate’er befall;

         I feel it, when I sorrow most;

         ‘Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all.

There is a Gentle Thought by Dante Alighieri

There is a gentle thought that often springs
to life in me, because it speaks of you.
Its reasoning about love’s so sweet and true,
the heart is conquered, and accepts these things.
‘Who is this’ the mind enquires of the heart,
‘who comes here to seduce our intellect?
Is his power so great we must reject
every other intellectual art?
The heart replies ‘O, meditative mind
this is love’s messenger and newly sent
to bring me all Love’s words and desires.
His life, and all the strength that he can find,
from her sweet eyes are mercifully lent,
who feels compassion for our inner fires.’

The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.