What Love Is

A short love poem about what love is. Poets around the world have been writing about what love is for years. Love so hard to explain in words, but when you are in love the feeling is unlike any other. Ella Wheeler Wilcox expresses her thoughts on love and summarizes it by saying pity the hearts that know not love.

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What Love Is
Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Love is the centre and circumference;
The cause and aim of all things — 'tis the key
To joy and sorrow, and the recompense
For all the ills that have been, or may be.

Love is as bitter as the dregs of sin,
As sweet as clover-honey in its cell;
Love is the password whereby souls get in
To Heaven — the gate that leads, sometimes, to Hell.

Love is the crown that glorifies; the curse
That brands and burdens; it is life and death;
It is the great law of the universe;
And nothing can exist without its breath.

Love is the impulse which directs the world,
And all things know it and obey its power.
Man, in the maelstrom of his passions whirled;
The bee that takes the pollen to the flower;

The earth, uplifting her bare, pulsing breast
To fervent kisses of the amorous sun; —
Each but obeys creative Love's behest,
Which everywhere instinctively is done.

Love is the only thing that pays for birth,
Or makes death welcome. Oh, dear God above,
This beautiful but sad, perplexing earth,
Pity the hearts that know — or know not — Love!

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Another poem about love by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

We Love But Once
Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We love but once. The great gold orb of light
From dawn to eventide doth cast his ray;
But the full splendor of his perfect might
Is reached but once throughout the livelong day.

We love but once. The waves, with ceaseless motion,
Do day and night plash on the pebbled shore;
But the strong tide of the resistless ocean
Sweeps in but one hour of the twenty-four.

We love but once. A score of times, perchance,
We may be moved in fancy’s fleeting fashion -
May treasure up a word, a tone, a glance,
But only once we feel the soul’s great passion.

We love but once. Love walks with death and birth
(The saddest, the unkindest of the three);
And only once while we sojourn on earth
Can that strange trio come, to you or me.

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