Love Poetry

Be inspired by this love poetry by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that asks what love is and that expresses feelings of love we all experience.

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  1. Love's Language
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    How does Love speak?
    In the faint flush upon the tell-tale 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 barques, 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 alarmed heart leaps in the breast,
    And knows, and names, and greets its god-like 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 splendour,
    In the resemblance which the fond eyes trace
    In all fair things to one beloved 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 to 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.

  2. In Faith
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    When the soft sweet wind o' the south went by,
    I dwelt in the light of a dark brown eye;
    And out where the robin sang his song,
    We lived and loved, while the days were long.

    In the sweet, sweet eves, when the moon swung high,
    We wandered under the starry sky;
    Or sat in the porch, and the moon looked through
    The latticed wall, where the roses grew.

    My lips, that had known no lover's kiss,
    You taught the art, till they thrilled in bliss;
    And the moon, and the stars, and the roses knew
    That the heart you won was pure and true.

    But true hearts weary men, maybe,
    For you grew weary of love, and me.
    Over the porch the dead vines hang,
    And a mourning dove sobs where the robin sang.

    In a warmer clime does another sigh
    Under the light of your dark brown eye?
    Did you follow the soft sweet wind o' the south,
    And are you kissing a redder mouth?

    Lips may be redder, and eyes more bright;
    The face may be fairer you see to-night;
    But never, love, while the stars shall shine,
    Will you find a heart that is truer than mine.

    Sometime, perhaps, when south winds blow,
    You will think of a love you used to know;
    Sometime, perhaps, when a robin sings,
    Your heart will go back to olden things.

    Sometime you will weary of this world's arts,
    Of deceit and change and hollow hearts,
    And, wearying, sigh for the "used to be,"
    And your feet will turn to the porch, and me.

    I shall watch for you here when days grow long;
    I shall list for your step through the robin's song;
    I shall sit in the porch where the moon looks through,
    And a vacant chair will wait - for you.

    You may stray, and forget, and rove afar,
    But my changeless love, like the polar star,
    Will draw you at length o'er land and sea -
    And I know you will yet come back to me.

    The years may come, and the years may go,
    But sometime again, when south winds blow,
    When roses bloom, and the moon swings high,
    I shall live in the light of your dark brown eye.

  3. The Way Of It
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    This is the way of it, wide world over,
    One is beloved, and one is the lover,
    One gives and the other receives.
    One lavishes all in a wild emotion,
    One offers a smile for a life's devotion,
    One hopes and the other believes,
    One lies awake in the night to weep
    And the other drifts off in a sweet sound sleep.

    One soul is aflame with a godlike passion,
    One plays with love in an idler's fashion,
    One speaks and the other hears.
    One sobs "I love you" and wet eyes show it,
    And one laughs lightly, and says "I know it,"
    With smiles for the other's tears.
    One lives for the other and nothing beside,
    And the other remembers the world is wide.

    This is the way of it, sad earth over,
    The heart that breaks is the heart of the lover,
    And the other learns to forget.
    "For what is the use of endless sorrow?
    Though the sun goes down, it will rise to-morrow;
    And life is not over yet."
    Oh! I know this truth, if I know no other,
    That passionate Love is Pain's own mother.

  4. Only A Simple Rhyme
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Only a simple rhyme of love and sorrow,
    Where "blisses" rhymed with "kisses," "heart", with "dart."
    Yet, reading it, new strength I seemed to borrow,
    To live on bravely, and to do my part.

    A little rhyme about a heart that’s bleeding -
    Of lonely hours, and sorrow’s unrelief.
    I smiled at first; but there came with the reading,
    A sense of sweet companionship in grief.

    The selfishness of my own woe forsaking,
    I thought about the singer of that song.
    Some other breast felt this same weary aching,
    Another found the summer days too long.

    The few sad lines, my sorrow so expressing,
    I read, and on the singer, all unknown,
    I breathed a fervent, though a silent, blessing,
    And seemed to clasp his hand within my own.

    And though fame pass him, and he never know it,
    And though he never sings another strain,
    He has performed the mission of the poet,
    In helping some sad heart to bear its pain.

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