Spiritual Love Poems and Readings
“The Wedding Vow”
by Rebecca W.
You are not the air that I breathe,
You are the sweet scent that drifts upon it
You are not the sounds that I hear,
You are the music of my life
You are not the food that I need,
You are the nourishment of my soul
You are not my will to survive
You are my reason for living
It is with you that I experience the wonders of the world
It is with you that I triumph over the challenges in my path
It is your partnership that will lead me to the fulfillment of my dreams
It is your friendship that guides me as I learn and grow.
It is your patience and wisdom that calms my restless nature
It is through you that I know my true self
I do not take you for granted, I cherish you
I do not need you, I choose you
I choose you today in witness of all the people who love us
I choose you tomorrow in the privacy of our hearts
I choose you in strength and weakness
I choose you in health and in sickness
I choose you in joy and sorrow
I will choose you, over all others,
every day for all the days of my life
“Sonnet From The Portuguese XLIII”
by Elizabeth Barrett Browing (1806-1861)
“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.”
“This Day I Married My Best Friend”
“This day I married my best friend
…the one I laugh with as we share life’s wondrous zest,
as we find new enjoyments and experience all that’s best.
…the one I live for because the world seems brighter
as our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter.
…the one I love with every fiber of my soul.
We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.”
“Today I Married My Best Friend”
by Rachel Elizabeth Cooper (b.1977)
“Today I married my best friend,
Our bond complete, it hath no end,
We share one soul, we share one heart,
A perfect time – a perfect start.
With these rings we share together,
Love so close to last forever,
This special day – two special hearts,
Let nothing keep this love apart.”
“Prayer of Love”
“Our prayer for you is this:
That you will always remember the qualities
that attracted you to each other when you first met
and how you felt as your feelings of attraction
turned into respect, admiration and finally love.
That you will work hard to turn your feelings of love
into acts of love so that nothing and no one can divide you.
That you will always have kind and loving hearts
that are quick to ask for forgiveness when you are wrong
as well as to forgive when your partner is wrong.
That your love might grow to hear all things,
believe all things, and hope for all things, endure all things.
we pray you place your marriage in God’s hands,
and that your love increases and overflows,
beyond anything you can yet imagine.”
by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
“The fountains mingle with the rivers
And the rivers with the oceans,
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother,
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?”
“What We Would Wish For You”
by Marie April Gismondi
“I cannot say what we would wish for you and your marriage.
All of your dreams in life are your own and shall be fluid,
ebbing and flowing from shore to shore
as you discover the nature of each success and disappointment.
We cannot wish for you to know no sorrows in the years ahead,
for to never know sorrow would mean
that you would never be blessed with anything worth while.
We cannot wish for you a life without struggles,
for that would mean a life without achievement.
Yet we can wish that all the roads you travel
and the feelings experienced along the way
shall make your marriage stronger through the seasons.
That your home and your togetherness
shall forever remain a place of sanctuary and renewal
That you share more joys than sorrows
And that your relationship continues to grow and endure and inspire
Today we wish nothing more or less
than all that you hope and dream for yourselves.
And that it last for a lifetime.”
“Foundations Of A Marriage”
by Regina Hill
“Love, Trust, and Forgiveness are the foundations of marriage. In marriage, many days will
bring happiness, while other days may be sad. But together, two hearts can overcome
In marriage, all of the moments won’t be exciting or romantic, and sometimes worries and
anxiety will be overwhelming. But together, two hearts that accept will find comfort together.
Recollections of past joys, pains, and shared feelings will be the glue that holds everything
together during even the worst and most insecure moments.
Reaching out to each other as a friend, and becoming the confidant and companion that the
other one needs, is the true magic and beauty of any two people together.
It’s inspiring in each other a dream or a feeling, and having faith in each other and not
giving up… even when all the odds say to quit.
It’s allowing each other to be vulnerable, to be himself or herself, even when the opinions or
thoughts aren’t in total agreement or exactly what you’d like them to be.
It’s getting involved and showing interest in each other, really listening and being available,
the way any best friend should be.
Exactly three things need to be remembered in a marriage if it is to be a mutual bond of
sharing, caring, and loving throughout life:
Love, Trust, and Forgiveness.”
by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)
“Then Almitra spoke again and said, “And what of Marriage, master?”
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
“Blessing For A Marriage”
by James Dillet Freeman
“May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may
life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another – not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know
your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the
mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering
over it. So let it be with you and you.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another,
and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!”
and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to
take the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another’s presence – no more
physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when
you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another!”
by St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
“Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, Grant that we may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
From “Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom”
by John O’Donohue
“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.”
“To Be One With Each Other”
by George Eliot (1819-1880)
“What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other
in all labour, to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?”
From “Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith”
by Frederick Buechner
“They say they will love, comfort, honor each other to the end of their days. They say they will cherish each other and be faithful to each other always. They say they will do these things not just when they feel like it, but even — for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health — when they don’t feel like it at all. In other words, the vows they make could hardly be more extravagant. They give away their freedom. They take on themselves each other’s burdens. They bind their lives together… The question is, what do they get in return?
They get each other in return… There will always be the other to talk to, to listen to… There is still someone to get through the night with, to wake into the new day beside. If they have children, they can give them, as well as each other, roots and wings. If they don’t have children, they each become the other’s child.
They both still have their lives apart as well as a life together. They both still have their separate ways to find. But a marriage made in heaven is one where a man and a woman become more richly themselves together than the chances are either of them could ever have managed to become alone.”
“Traditional Pagan Blessing”
by Ed Fitch
“Above you are the stars, below you are the stones.
As time passes, remember…
Like a star should your love be constant,
Like the earth should your love be firm.
Possess one another, yet be understanding.
Have patience with each other,
For storms will come, and they will go quickly.
Be free in giving of affection and of warmth.
Have no fear, and let not the ways or words of the
Unenlightened give you unease.
For the Old Gods are with you,
Now and always!”
“Traditional Irish Blessing”
“May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.”
“The Blessing Of The Apaches”
“Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness for you,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.”
“Blessing of the Apache”
Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead
and through all the years,
May happiness be your companion
and your days together be good and long upon the earth.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect,
and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to the tenderness,
gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.
When frustration, difficulties and fear
assail your relationship,
as they threaten all relationships at one time or another,
remember to focus on what is right between you,
not only the part which seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out the storms
when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives
remembering that even if you lose sight of it,
for a moment the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes responsibility
for the quality of your life together,
it will be marked by abundance and delight.”
“May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries
And the breeze blow new strength into your being,
And all of the days of your life may you walk
Gently through the world and know its beauty.”
“Eskimo Love Song”
“You are my husband [wife]
My feet shall run because of you
My feet dance because of you
My heart shall beat because of you
My eyes see because of you
My mind thinks because of you
And I shall love because of you.”
“Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love”
by Edmund O’Neill (b.1929)
“Marriage is a commitment to life,
the best that two people can find and bring out in each other.
It offers opportunities for sharing and growth
that no other relationship can equal.
It is a physical and an emotional joining
that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love,
marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships.
A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend,
confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.
And there may come times when one partner
is heartbroken or ailing,and the love of the other
may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.
Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger,
even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid.
It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences,
and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.
When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage,
they create a spirit unique unto themselves
which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.
Marriage is a promise,
a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other
and takes a lifetime to fulfil.”
“Navajo Wedding Blessing”
“Now you have lit a fire and that fire should not go out.
The two of you now have a fire that represents love,
understanding, and a philosophy of life.
It will give you heat, food, warmth and happiness.
The new fire represents a new beginning –
a new life and a new family.
The fire is to be kept burning; you are meant to stay together.
You have lit this fire for life, until only old age separates you.”
“Traditional Shoshone Love Poem”
“Fair is the white star of twilight,
and the sky clearer at the day’s end;
But she is fairer, and she is dearer, She, my heart’s friend
Fair is the white star of twilight, and the moon roving to the sky’s end.
But she is fairer, better worth loving, She, my heart’s friend.”
“God in heaven above please protect the ones we love.
We honour all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together.
We honour mother-earth –
and ask for our marriage to be abundant
and grow stronger through the seasons;
We honour fire –
and ask that our union be warm
and glowing with love in our hearts;
We honour wind –
and ask we sail though life safe
and calm as in our father’s arms;
We honour water –
to clean and soothe our relationship –
that it may never thirst for love;
With all the forces of the universe you created,
we pray for harmony and true happiness
as we forever grow young together.
by Leo Buscaglia
“In discussing love, it would be well to consider the
One cannot give what he does not possess.
To give love you must possess love.
One cannot teach what he does not understand.
To teach love you must comprehend love.
One cannot know what he does not study..
To study love you must live in love.
One cannot appreciate what he does not recognize.
To recognize love you must be receptive to love.
One cannot have doubt about that which he wishes to
trust. To trust love you must be convinced of love.
One cannot admit what he does not yield to.
To yield to love you must be vulnerable to love.
One cannot live what he does not dedicate himself to.
To dedicate yourself to love you must be forever growing in
“The Day of Your Wedding”
“Together you share the joy of a deep commitment
and the sacred trust.
You have given each other the most precious gift of love.
Treasure it, nurture it, and encourage it
with all the honesty you used in creating it.
You are sharing something rare and beautiful.
Always speak the truth, and listed attentively,
so that you may understand each other’s thoughts
Inspire each other by sharing your accomplishments.
Say “I love you” often to retain the warmth between you.
Remember to laugh a lot, even when you’re angry
After all, you’re each other’s best friend.
Stand together and for each other always:
be content in mind and spirit.
Make each day a blessing
and a fulfillment of your dreams.”
“Your Love is Eternal”
(This is wonderful for people with children. There is a spot left blank to fill in how many they have)
“Your love for each other is bright and full of life-
Like a beacon in the darkest of nights-
Always there to guide you never losing your way-
Your love for each other is like a mountain,
strong and never ending-
Peaks and valleys intertwined as new beginnings-
Your love for each other is like the warmth of a fire-
Giving comfort on a cold night-
Your love for each other has nurtured a garden
bringing forth such beauty and fragrance-
With ____ of the most beautiful flowers in center bloom-
Your love for each other is like a gift-
Picked out thoughtfully and given freely-
Your love for each other is for a lifetime-
Being true to oneself is to always be true to each other-
Your love for each other is like no other-
Your hopes and dreams belong to you-
You will grow and learn with patience, respect and kindness-
That what you share with each other today
only gets better with time-
Like the finest of wines
or a beautiful painting with the most vibrant of colors-
Your love is Eternal”
by Rajender Krishan
This simple word
uttered with a gesture of folded hands
is among the finest salutations,
mankind has ever been able to vocalize.
It simply means:
I honor the place in you
In which the entire Universe dwells
That place of Love and Light
And of Truth and of Peace
When you are in that place in you
And I am in that place in me
We are One.
(translation/adaptation by Sarah Ban Breathnach)
“Pray that your journey be long,
full of many summer mornings
when with much pleasure and much joy
you anchor in harbors never seen before;
Browse through Phoenician markets,
to purchase exquisite treasures-
mother-of-pearl and coral, ebony and amber
and sensual perfumes of all kinds-
as much as you desire.
Visit many Egyptian cities, content
to sit at the feet of sages, eager
and open to receive learning.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is your destiny.
But do not hurry the journey at all; be patient.
Better that it lasts for many years-
longer than you can even imagine.
So that finally, when you reach this
sacred isle, you will be wise,
abundantly fulfilled by all you have gained along the way;
no longer expecting Ithaka to make you wealthy,
no longer needing Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka has given you the journey,
the chance to discover who you have always been.
Without Ithaka as your inspiration, you
never would have set out in search of Wholeness.
And should you find her poor, Ithaka did not deceive you.
Authentic as you have become, full of wisdom,
beauty and grace, enriched and enlightened by all you have experienced
You will finally understand what all of life’s Ithakas truly mean.”
“I Am Love”
“Some say I can fly on the wind, yet I haven’t any wings.
Some have found me floating on the open sea, yet I cannot swim.
Some have felt my warmth on cold nights, yet I have no flame.
And though you cannot see me,
I lay between two lovers at the hearth of fireplaces.
I am the twinkle in your child’s eyes.
I am hidden in the lines of your mother’s face.
I am your father’s shield as he guards your home.
And yet Some say I am stronger than steel, yet I am as fragile as a tear.
Some have never searched for me, yet I am around them always.
Some say I die with loss, yet I am endless.
And though you cannot hear me, I dance on the laughter of children.
I am woven into the whispers of passion.
I am in the blessings of Grandmothers.
I embrace the cries of newborn babies.
And yet Some say I am a flower, yet I am also the seed.
Some have little faith in me, yet I will always believe in them.
Some say I cannot cure the ill, yet I nourish the soul.
And though you cannot touch me, I am the gentle hand of the kind.
I am the fingertips that caress your cheek at night.
I am the hug of a child.
I am love….”
“Two Happy Lovers…”
by Pablo Neruda
“Two happy lovers make one bread,
a single moon drop in the grass.
Walking, they cast two shadows that flow together;
waking, they leave one sun empty in their bed.
Of all the possible truths, they chose the day;
they held it, not with ropes but with an aroma.
They did not shred the peace; they did not shatter words;
their happiness is a transparent tower.
The air and wine accompany the lovers.
The night delights them with its joyous petals.
They have a right to all the carnations.
Two happy lovers, without an ending, with no death,
they are born, they die, many times while they live:
they have the eternal life of the Natural.”
“Aztec Wedding Prayer”
“I know not whether thou has been absent:
I lie down with thee, I rise up with thee,
In my dreams thou art with me.
When sweet sounds tremble in my ears,
I know it is thou moving within my heart”
“Looking For Your Face”
by The 13th century Sufi Poet, Jelaludden Rumi
“From the beginning of my life I have been looking for your face, but today I have seen it. Today I have seen the charm, the beauty, the unfathomable grace of the face that I was looking for. Today I have found you, and those who laughed and scorned me yesterday are sorry that they were not looking as I did. I am bewildered by the magnificence of your beauty, and wish to see you with a hundred eyes. My heart has burned with passion and has searched forever for this wondrous beauty that I now behold. I am ashamed to call this love human, and afraid of God to call it divine. Your fragrant breath, like the morning breeze, has come to the stillness of the garden. You have breathed new life into me. I have become your sunshine, and also your shadow. My soul is screaming in ecstasy. Every fiber of my being is in love with you. Your effulgence has lit a fire in my heart, and you have made radiant for me the earth and sky. My arrow of love has arrived at the target. I am in the house of mercy, and my heart is a place of prayer.”
“Commitment Poem of the Pueblo Indian”
“Before we met, you and I were halves unjoined except in the wide rivers of our minds. We were each other’s distant shore, the opposite wings of a bird, the other half of a seashell. We
did not know the other then, did not know our determination to keep alive the cry of one riverbank to the other. We were apart, Yet connected in our ignorance of each other, like two apples sharing a common tree. Remember?
I knew you existed long before you understood my desire to join myfreedom to yours. Our paths collided long enough for our indecision
to be swallowed up by the greater need of love. When you came to me, the sun surged towards the earth and moon escaped from darkness to bless the union of two spirits, so alike that the creator had designed them for life’s endless circle.
Beloved partner, keeper of my heart’s odd secrets, clothed in summer blossoms so the icy hand of winter never touches us. I thank your patience. Our joining is like a tree to earth, a cloud to sky and even more. We are the reason the world can laugh on its battlefields and rise from the ashes of its selfishness to hear me say, in this time, this place, this way – I loved you best of all.”
Poem by Mawlawi Rumi
“May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcome
as the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.”
By Pablo Neruda
“I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close it is your eyes that close as I fall asleep.”
From “The Divine Comedy”
by Dante Alligeri
“The love of God, unutterable and perfect,
Flows into a pure soul the way that light
Rushes into a transparent object.
The more love that it finds, the more it gives
Itself; so that, as we grow clear and open,
The more complete the joy of loving is.
And the more souls who resonate together,
The greater the intensity of their love,
For, mirror-like, each soul reflects the others.”
“When you were children, you talked like children, But now that you’ve grown, you should be done with childish things and put them away. When you were children, you looked into a mirror that gave only a blurred reflection of reality. But with love and maturity, you shouldn’t be afraid to look into that mirror and see each other face to face. Be swift like the wind in loving each other. Be brave like the sea in loving each other. Be gentle like the breeze in loving each other. Be patient like the sun who waits and watches the four changes of the earth in loving each other. Be wise like the roaring of the thunder clouds and lightning in loving each other. Be shining like the morning dawn in loving each other. Be proud like the tree who stands without bending in loving each other. Be brilliant like the rainbow colors in loving each other. Now, forever, forever, there will be no more loneliness because your worlds are joined together with the world. Forever, forever.”
Thoughts In a Garden
By R. Gerhardt
This is a special place, a place where people have brought beautiful living plants, here to establish them, to nurture and care for them ,that they may forever surround us with the beauty we now see. And into this place where we stand, you have brought something beautiful — the relationship that is becoming your marriage. Here you are declaring it and pledging it, promising to establish and nurture it. We are aware of the special beauty between the two of you, just as we are aware of the special beauty of this place. We are with you now in this appropriate place to celebrate your relationship as it is and as it is yet to be, and in doing so, we ask only that you remember how your life together will have the same seasons and needs as this garden. There will be growth like spring and loss like fall; there will be giving as the blossoming flower, and rest as the seed beneath the snow. All the seasons will be yours, but remember, too, that gardens are not must happenings. The more wonderful the garden, the more skilled the gardener. So you will have to care deeply for the life that is yours together, and nurture it. You will have to appreciate your differences and cultivate them. You will have to take care of yourself, if for no other reason than out of love for the other. And you will need the support of family and friends to reach full growth. As you caringly chose this place to declare your marriage, so remember its lessons for your life together through the seasons that are yours to share. And may those seasons bring you and yours joy and happiness.
Love me because I try to touch life
within the framework of uncertainty.
Love in me the shadows of my indecision
as I strive to gain knowledge.
Love in me the silence of my hurts
and the noise of my confusions.
Love me for the feeling of my heart
not the fears of my mind.
Love me in my search for the truth
though I may stumble upon fallacy.
Love me as I pursue my dreams
sometimes retarded by illusions.
Love me as I grow to know myself
even during the times of stagnation.
Love me because I seek God’s harmony
not man’s discord.
Love me for my body that I wish to share
with affection, wrapping you in warmth.
Love me because we are different
as we are the same.
Love me that our time together will be spent
in growing, kindling the world with understanding.
Love me not with expectations
but with hope.
I will love you the same.
Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself
be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?
The aggrieved and the injured say, “Beauty is kind and gentle.
Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us.”
And the passionate say, “Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.
Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us.”
The tired and the weary say, “Beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow.”
But the restless say, “We have heard her shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions.”
At night the watchmen of the city say, “Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east.”
And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say,
“We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset.”
In winter say the snow-bound, “She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills.”
And in the summer heat the reapers say,
“We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves,
and we saw a drift of snow in her hair.”
All these things have you said of beauty,
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.
People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
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