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~ By Walt Whitman ~

I do not offer the old smooth prizes,
But offer rough new prizes,
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.
However sweet the laid-up stores,
However convenient the dwellings,
You shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port,
And however calm the waters,
You shall not anchor there.
However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you
You are permitted to receive it but a little while
Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before you,
The long brown path before you,
leading wherever you choose.
Say only to one another:
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law:
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

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~ By Christina Rossetti ~

What is the beginning? Love.
What the course. Love still.
What the goal. The goal is Love.
On a happy hill
Is there nothing then but Love?
Search we sky or earth
There is nothing out of Love
Hath perpetual worth;
All things flag but only Love,
All things fail and flee;
There is nothing left but Love
Worthy you and me.

Touched By An Angel

~ By Maya Angelou ~

Angel Blessing Love, CeramonyWe, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

‘Til Death Do Us Part

~ By Carol D. Bos ~

I hope it is decades before death parts us
But I don’t know what God has in mind
I pray that he’ll let us be happy always
But I can’t comprehend plans divine.

It may be that turmoil will dot our landscape
With it’s gray skies and swirling intrusion
It may be that joy will fill both our hearts
And we’ll think pain is just an illusion.

But I think it’s likely we’ll see some of each
As we walk on this pathway together
I promise you now: I will give all I have
From my mouth you’ll not hear the word “Never.”

With so much uncertainty, crime, and abuse
That exists, everywhere, all around us
More than ever we need to hold fast to the truth
Of our marriage…Life will not confound us.

Time together is fleeting; it is too scarce to waste
My goal is to make my life-mission
A beautiful tapestry highlighting “us”
Sewn with threads from our human condition.

I want to explore the full spectrum of life
Before we’re too close to its leaving
I want to embrace vast explosions of joy
That make both our hearts strong and heaving.

I know I will love you for all of my life
No matter the time we are given.
I’m your till death parts us-left all alone-
Until God reunites us in heaven.

Sudden Light

~ By Dante Gabriel Rossetti ~

Hearts intertwined in love I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell;
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

You have been mine before,
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow’s soar
Your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall, – – I knew it all of yore.

Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time’s eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death’s despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?

Sonnet lxix

~ By Pablo Neruda~

Maybe nothingness is to be without your presence,
without you moving, slicing the noon
like a blue flower, without you walking
later through the fog and the cobbles,

without the light you carry in your hand,
golden, which maybe others will not see,
which maybe no one knew was growing
like the red beginnings of a rose.

In short, without your presence: without your coming
suddenly, incitingly, to know my life,
gust of a rosebush, wheat of wind:

since then I am because you are,
since then you are, I am, we are,
and through love I will be, you will be, we’ll be.

Sonnet cxvi

~ By William Shakespeare ~

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh, no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests.. and is never shaken.
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love is not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out.. even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Sonnet 18

~ By William Shakespeare ~

Wedding couple embraceShall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate…
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Somewhere I Have Never Traveled

~ By E.E. Cummings ~

Couple at the sea in loveSomewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, I and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

She Walks In Beauty

~ Lord Byron ~

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

The Passionate Shepard to His Love

~ By Christopher Marlowe ~

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant poises,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The shepherd’s swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

True Love

Bride and Groom portriat~ By Author Unknown ~

True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny.
True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear,
True love gives with open heart
And true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds,
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.

My Love

Linda Lee Elrod ~

When I met you, I had no idea
how much my life
was about to be changed…
but then, how could I have known?

A love like ours happens
once in a lifetime.
You were a miracle to me,
the one who was everything
I had ever dreamed of,
the one I thought existed
only in my imagination.

And when you came into my life,
I realized that what I
had always thought
was happiness
couldn’t compare to the joy
loving you brought me.

You are a part of everything
I think and do and feel,
and with you by my side,
I believe that anything is possible.
(this day) gives me a chance
to thank you for the miracle of you…
you are, and always will be,
the love of my life.

Marriage

~ By Mary Weston Fordham ~

The die is cast, come weal, come woe,
Two lives are joined together,
For better or for worse, the link
Which naught but death can sever.
The die is cast, come grief, come joy
Come richer, or come poorer,
If love but binds the mystic tie,
Blest is the bridal hour.

Love’s Philosophy

~by Percy Bysshe Shelley~

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single:
All things by a law divine
In another’s being mingle–
Why not I with thine?

See, the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower could be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;–
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

Love Lives

~ By John Clare ~

Love lives beyond
The tomb, the earth, which fades like dew.
I love the fond,
The faithful, and the true
Love lives in sleep,
The happiness of healthy dreams
Eve’s dews may weep,
But love delightful seems.

‘Tis heard in Spring
When light and sunbeams, warm and kind,
On angels’ wing
Bring love and music to the mind.

And where is voice,
So young, so beautiful and sweet
As nature’s choice,
Where Spring and lovers meet?

Love lives beyond
The tomb, the earth, the flowers, and dew.
I love the fond,
The faithful, young and true.

Love

~ By Roy Croft ~

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.

In Love Made Visible

~ By Mary Swenson ~

In love are we made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed

With love’s alertness
we recognize
the soundless whimper
of the soul
behind the eyes
A shaft opens
and the timid thing
at last leaps to surface
with full-spread wing

The fingertips of love discover
more than the body’s smoothness
They uncover a hidden conduit
for the transfusion
of empathies that circumvent
the mind’s intrusion

In love we are set free
Objective bone
and flesh no longer insulate us
to ourselves alone
We are released
and flow into each other’s cup
Our two frail vials pierced
drink each other up

If Thou Must Love Me

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say,
‘I love her for her smile – her look – her way
Of speaking gently,- for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’ –
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee – and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.

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 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.

Hindu Marriage Poem

You have become mine forever.
Yes, we have become partners.
I have become yours.
Hereafter, I cannot live without you.
Do not live without me.
Let us share the joys.
We are word and meaning, unite.
You are thought and I am sound.

May the nights be honey-sweet for us.
May the mornings be honey-sweet for us.
May the plants be honey-sweet for us.
May the earth be honey-sweet for us.

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity
It asked a crumb of me.

Fidelity

wedding kissMan and woman are like the earth,
that brings forth flowers in summer, and love,
but underneath is rock.

Older than flowers,
older than ferns,
older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.

Excerpt From 100 Love Sonnets

~ 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 that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Bridal Song

~John Ford~

Comforts lasting,
loves increasing,
Like soft hours
never ceasing:

Plenty’s pleasure,
peace complying,
Without jars,
or tongues envying;

Hearts by holy union wedded,
More than theirs by custom bedded;

Fruitful issues;
life so graced,

No
t
by
age
to
be
def
ace
d,
Bu
ddi
ng,
as
the
yea
r
ens
u’th
,
Eve
ry
spri
ng
ano
ther

you
th:
All
wh
at
tho
ugh
t
can

add

bes
ide
Cr
ow
n
this

bri
deg
roo
m
and

this

bri
de!

A New Beginning

~ Gwen Frostic ~

On this earth there is a oneness
A rhythmic flow through everything that lives
The things with roots and stems and leaves
The things with shells and fins and furs
The things with wings with which to fly
The things that crawl and those that walk
Each thing must eat and breath and rest
Each thing must seek and each is sought for
Each has a birth, a purpose to fulfill
To each an end and then a new beginning.