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 candlelight. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love with a 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.
- by Ella Wheeler Wilcox58
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 parent 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 alarmèd 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 belovèd 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 in 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 delights and pains; In the embrace where madness melts in bliss, And in the convulsive rapture of a kiss-- Thus doth Love speak.
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