|If the fine thought of Love has lost its moving charm in our world today, then our souls can turn to a higher Ideal, a nobler Reality that belonged to an antique time...a time when lovers spoke in priceless gifts of holy confidence and poets reminded us that Love touches heaven's skirts even as it walks on the common earth...|
|You have lifted my very soul up into the light of your soul, and I am not ever likely to mistake it for the common daylight.
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning
|Your soul was pure and true,
The good stars met in your horoscope,
Made you of spirit, fire and dew-
|But if you wish me to love you, could you but see how much I do love you, you would be proud and content. All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you...
-Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
|Downstairs Malcolm and Keith were quarelling about the light haired beauty with her big dark eyes. Come on, Keith, trade valentines with me?
Why? Keith asked suspiciously.
Cause yours matches the Little Colonels, and I want to be her partner for dinner. Shes the prettiest girl here.
But I dont want to trade, answered Keith. I want to take her myself.
Ill give you the pick of any six stamps in my album if you will.
Dont want your old stamps, declared Keith stoutly. Id rather have the Little Colonel for my partner.
I think you might trade, coaxed Malcolm. Its mean not to when Im the oldest. Ill give you that Chinese puzzle youve been wanting so long if you will. Keith shook his head...
Keith took Lloyd to dinner, and his grandmother heard him apologizing all the way down for having frightened her just minutes before with the bear he and Malcolm had hidden in the guest room. The little Queen of Hearts listened smilingly, but her color did not come back until after the archery contest. It was then that Malcolm came up to her with the prize he had won - a tiny silver arrow - and pinned it in the knot of a red velvet heart on her shoulder.
Will you keep it to remember me by? he asked, bashfully.
Of cose! she answered, with a smile that showed all her roguish dimples. Ill keep it foevah and evah to remembah how neah I came to bein eaten up by yo beah.
-Two Little Knights of Kentucky, Annie Fellows Johnston
|Will you come back, darlin? Never heed the pain and blightin,
Never trouble that youre wounded, that you bear the scars of fightin;
Heres the luck o Heaven to you,
Heres the hand of love will brew you
The cup of peace - ah, darlin, will you come back home?
-Embers, A Lover's Diary by Gilbert Parker
|Elizabeth's spirits soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. "How could you begin?" said she. "I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning, but what could set you off in the first place?"
"I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun."
-Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
|King Mongkut: It is always surprising how small a part of life is taken up by meaningful moments...Most often, they are over before they start, though they cast light on the future and make the person who originated them...unforgettable. (Gazing at her with deep sadness) You, Anna...have shined such a light.
Anna: (With too much feeling to look at him, looks at music box) I ordered this for the children. (With a forced detachment) A fine example of scientific thinking...because music is mathematical in nature...
King Mongkut: (Interrupting as he touches her wet cheek) Chords constructed from notes in intervals of thirds, et cetera, et cetera...
Anna: (Meeting his unwavering gaze) If science can explain the mystery of something as beautiful as music, why is it unable to posit a solution for a King and a school teacher?
King Mongkut: As tiny feet change, so such a new possibility needs Time. One cannot plow new fields in Siam overnight, even when soil is ripe to do so. (With a tender insistence) Love must also be process of evolution not revolution.
Anna: Everything in Siam has its own time...
King Mongkut: ...Even if King is also wanting it to be different. (His eyes seem to caress every aspect of her) You are much beloved...by our people, Anna Leonowens. (The intensity of the moment would move him to kiss her but he does not) I am wondering if, given circumstances, it is appropriate for King to ask Anna to dance.
Anna: I have danced with a King before, Your Majesty.
King Mongkut: And, I, with an Englishwoman. (He slowly takes her hand and places his arm around her waist. To the gentle waltz they hardly move but gaze into one another's eyes, indulging, treasuring the intimacy) Until now I did not understand how a man could be satisfied with only one woman. (There is tender constraint even as he presses her more closely, she held by the strength of his closeness)
ANNA: I must still go, your Majesty.
KING MONGKUT: This I, too, realize. The River of Life must keep its course. This is but a day...I shall embrace you in the spirit. (She smiles through her tears as he draws her hand to his heart) In love is the gift of patience.
-Adapted from Anna and the King of Siam
|The heart that has truly loved never forgets...
-Thomas Moore, Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
|Though Fate, my girl, may bid us part,
Our souls it cannot, shall not sever;
The heart will seek its kindred heart,
And cling to it as close as ever.
-Thomas Moore, To Julia
|Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
|...Either by thy picture or my love,
Thyself away art present still with me;
For thou not further than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them and they with thee...
-William Shakespeare, Sonnet 47
|I have just been gardening, beloved...My eyes were as moist as my flowers, but I was not weeping. While I busied myself with the garden, I reviewed in thought the lovely flowers of my past happiness. I saw them again fresh and blooming as the first day, and I felt close to you, separated only by a breath...I should have liked to pluck my soul and send it to you, as a nosegay.
-Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo
LIEUTENANT: Watsons as nervous as a rooster, can hardly keep his head between his ears. Hes beginning to realize hes only got four more days before we ship out. (There is a silence. RICHARD stares intently at GEORGINA. She is flustered and tries to pin the left sleeve into the right arm) I think youve got the right sleeve on the wrong arm. (GEORGINA, embarrassed, changes it. He crosses the threshold of the doorway) I dont believe in these war weddings. Watson hadnt any right to ask Barbara to marry him now and take such chances. Suppose hes killed?
GEORGINA: (Without even thinking) Shed feel that he was hers. Shed have the memory of this wedding, and the few happy days they had together, and shed have the proud feeling that she was the wife of a man whod given his life bravely. Shed be giving something to the cause herself, a continuing sacrifice... for the rest of her life.
LIEUTENANT: Sounds like morbid sentiment if you ask me. I think you need to look at the facts a bit more squarely. Watson is being sent to France to take the place of a medical technician serving in the Ambulance Corps - a Corps that was nearly wiped out. Watson will face about the same odds.
GEORGINA: Does Barb know that?
LIEUTENANT: No, and he doesnt want her to know. He asked for the place hes getting before he met Barb. Watson doesnt have any next of kin left now, and he thought that unattached fellows like him should take the bigger risks - less people to mourn for him.
GEORGINA: (With a sudden shock) But now therell be Barb...Cant he be re-assigned...
LIEUTENANT: Too late. Besides, its the principle of the thing now. Hes not the measure of a man to let sentiment stand in the way.
|GEORGINA: Richard, does a pilot face those same kinds of odds?
LIEUTENANT: (With a tease) Oh, Ill only be ducking in and out of the Channel making daring raids over the enemys lines. As old Horatius said, How can men die better than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of their fathers and the temples of their gods? Its more dignified than being killed an inch at a time by doddering old age. (Caught up in a possession of enthusiasm) Georgina, its been the dream of my life to get into the Air Corps. I just hope with all my heart they wont send me home as an instructor.
GEORGINA: (Tears swimming in her eyes...gravely) Richard, would you really count it a joy to die facing fearful odds.'?
LIEUTENANT: If it was for a good cause, yes. But Id rather be killed outright than...
GEORGINA: Than what?
LIEUTENANT: ...Than come back crippled or blinded or...or disfigured. (With intensity) A man wouldnt want to tie the woman he loves to that.
GEORGINA: But shed be eyes to him and feet to him and hands to him - and everything to him if need be. And shed glory in it. I would if I loved a man as Barb loves Watson Tucker.
LIEUTENANT: (With a penetrating gaze) I believe you would. Perhaps it would make a difference to a fellow to know hes got somebody back home whod care for him like that...if something did happen...(He looks at her with a depth of meaning. She lowers her eyes...Then he starts to sing carelessly)
Theres a long, long trail a-winding
Into the land of my dreams,
Where the nightingales are singing
And a white moon beams.
Theres a long, long night of waiting
Until my dreams all come true,
Till the day - when Ill be - going down
That long, long trail with you.
GEORGINA: I like those verses better than what you spouted of Horatius.
LIEUTENANT: (Picking up his hat and turning to leave...With a bemused, almost teasing smile) So do I. (He gives her a mock salute and leaves)
-Adapted from Georginas Service Stars by Annie Fellows Johnston
|I confess that I love him-
I rejoice that I love him-
I thank the maker of Heaven and Earth that gave him me to love-
The exultation floods me.
|Little Margery soon became Ralphs closest confidante in all his glowing plans for the future, which, at that time, were largely concerned with heroic schemes of knightly adventure and valorous vanquishings of dragons and all manner of mysterious creatures...
I will pray for thee when thou goest forth to mortal combat, even as Lady Margaret prayed for Sir Adam when he went to the Holy Land.
Wilt thou give me some token of thine on which I may swear fealty to thee? he asked earnestly. If I should have to suffer years of weary imprisonment like Richard the Lionheart did, a talisman would keep me from all harm and bring me back to England, though I may be old and gray.
1 will give it to thee now, she said tugging at a metal crucifix suspended around her neck. It belonged to Sir Adam himself. Lady Margaret gave it to him just before he left," she said proudly as she hung it round his neck. "But Ralph, I should not need the cross to know thee, though thou wert gone many years and were old and gray.
Ralph bent on one knee and pressed the crucifix to his lips. By this token thou art my lady, and none other will I have...
-Edith Robinson, A Little Puritan Cavalier
|In our orchard I saw you picking dewy fruit with your mother. I had just turned twelve years old... I could reach the brittle branches even from the ground: how I saw you! how I fell in love! How an awful madness swept me away!
|IVANHOE: Thou art no Christian, Rebecca, and to thee are unknown those high feelings which swell the bosom of a noble maiden when her lover hath done some deed of emprize which sanctions his flame. Chivalry! why, maiden, she is the nurse of pure and high affection, the stay of the oppressed, the redresser of grievances, the curb of the power of the tyrant. Nobility were but an empty name without her, and liberty finds the best protection in her lance and her sword.
REBECCA: How little you know this heart, Sir Knight, to imagine that cowardice or meanness of soul must needs be its guests because I am a Jewish maiden and have dared to question your fantastic chivalry! I am sprung from a race whose courage was distinguished in the defence of their own land but who warred not, save at the command of the Deity, or in defending their country from oppression. Would to heaven that the shedding of mine own blood could redeem the captivity of Judah! Then you would see whether the daughter of a Jew dared not to die as bravely as the vainest Christian maiden.
|IVANHOE: If I have spoke too harsh against thee, maiden, it is because thou didst censure chivalry which is our noble descent. Thou hast brought back life to me by thy healing hands, and for that I am well indebted. Thou art not fair as my bright lady-love, but thy dark beauty would move many a Knight to noble deed for thee and fill many a Knight's dream to content... (He lays down as though exhausted)...many a Knight... (REBECCA slowly moves towards his couch)
REBECCA: He sleeps. Alas! is it a crime that my heart feels each word he speaks with tender and bright affection? Is it treachery to my race that I should look upon this Gentile with love and want only to caress those fair features which his proud and noble spirit forsakes not even in sleep? And my father! - oh, evil is it with his daughter, when his grey hairs are not remembered because of the golden locks of this youth! Am I an unnatural child to forget the desolation of Judah, and look upon the comeliness of this stranger? But I will tear this folly from my heart, though every fibre bleed as I rend it away!
-Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
|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.
-Lord Byron, She Walks in Beauty
|"It is a long way to Ireland...Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?"
I could risk no sort of answer by this time: my heart was full.
"Because," he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you-especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly."
-Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
|My very dear Sarah,
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days -perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more...
I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence...and so if I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name...
But, O Sarah! if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights...always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by...
Confederate soldier Major Sullivan Ballou wrote this letter to his beloved wife on July 14, 1861, seven days before he was killed in battle.
|Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle
Why not I with thine?
-Percy Bysshe Shelley
|My spirits were excited, and with pleasure and ease I talked to him...There was no harassing restraint, no repressing of glee and vivacity with him; for with him I was at perfect ease, because I knew I suited him: all I said or did seemed either to console or revive him. Delightful consciousness! It brought to life and light my whole nature: in his presence I thoroughly lived, and he lived in mine.
-Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
|ROSALIND: There is a man haunts this forest that abuses our young plants with carving Rosalind on their barks; If I could meet that fancy-monger, I would give him some good counsel, for he seems to have the quotidian of love upon him.
ORLANDO: I am he that is so love-shakd; I pray you tell me your remedy.
ROSALIND: There is none of my uncles marks upon you; he taught me how to know a man in love.
ORLANDO: What were his marks?
ROSALIND: A lean cheek, which you have not; a blue eye and sunken, which you have not; an unquestionable spirit, which you have not; a beard neglected, which you have not; but I pardon you for that. Your hose should be ungartered, your sleeve unbuttoned, your shoe untied, and every thing about you demonstrating a careless desolation. But you are no such man; you are rather point-device in your accoutrements, as loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other.
ORLANDO: I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate he.
ROSALIND: But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?
ORLANDO: Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.
ROSALIND: Love is merely a madness. Yet I profess curing it by counsel.
ORLANDO: Did you ever cure any so?
ROSALIND: Yes, one; and in this manner. He was to imagine me his love, his mistress; and I set him every day to woo me; at which time would I, being but a moonish youth, would now like him, now loathe him, then entertain him, then foreswear him; now weep for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor from his mad humor of love to a living humor of madness; and thus I cured him; and this way will I take upon me to wash your heart, that there shall not be one spot of love int I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind
-As You Like It, William Shakespeare
|I would live in your love as the sea-grasses live in the sea,
Borne up by each wave as it passes, drawn down by each wave that recedes;
I would empty my soul of the dreams that have gathered in me,
I would beat with your heart as it beats,
I would follow your soul as it leads.
|MISS BELMONT: Hello Willie. What are you doing up there this late? Its almost dark.
WIlLIAM: Ive been waiting for you. Theres something I want to ask you. Ive wanted to ask you for an awful long time. Whenever I had the opportunity I never had the courage. Whenever I had the courage, I never had the opportunity. But now Ive got both. (He jumps to the ground)
MISS BELMONT: What is it, Willie?
WILLIAM: (Building up bravely) Miss Belmont, will you marry me? (MISS BELMONT is stunned to silence) I dont expect you to give me an answer right away It isnt as if I just met you. I remember the first day you came to be my governess. You were wearing a blue gown with silver lace. And you had a matching hat and umbrella. You gave me my first spelling lesson
MISS BELMONT: William, I think youre the sweetest, dearest child
WILLIAM: Oh, I know Im not as handsome as some of the boys around town, but Ill always love you and Ill be true to you and I wont go out with other girls, not even Bonnie Johnson, though she is pretty.
MISS BELMONT: Willie, arent you a bit young to be thinking about getting married?
WILLIAM: Of course, Im not in any particular hurry, but I am almost eight and I have finished my third Reader and I've three pounds two shillings saved in my piggy bank...
-Young William's Courtship
|Here, to this conquering host of charms
I now give up my spell-bound heart,
Nor blush to yield even Reason's arms,
When thou her bright-eyed conqueror art.
Thus to the wind all fears are given;
Henceforth those eyes alone I see,
Where Hope, as in her own blue heaven,
Sits beckoning me to bliss and thee!
-Thomas Moore, To Weave A Garland For The Rose
|You have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes...
-The Song of Songs
|Together they stole back through the house to the deserted drawing-room. The fire had died down, only a few sparks remaining. Conway noiselessly lighted the gas a little in the hall and sent a dim ray up the stairway.
"We must go up very softly," whispered Althea. She put out her hand. "Good-night."
"All right, you go first," murmured Conway. His voice had all the tenderness of a lover. "Good-night, good-night, liebste Freundin - sweetest friend." He took her hand in his, and brushed the hair out of her eyes with the intimate protecting touch given to a child, and smiled at her with the relief a man feels when he has saved a woman from a compromising circumstance. Yes, they had passed a danger. He looked as if he must kiss her, but he did not. "Sleep well."
"Oh, I shall," said Althea. She bent over, slid off her slippers, and stole up the stairs, turning back when she neared the top to wave a last adieu. He watched her until she had gained the upper flight, then turned out the light and went up himself. His tone and his look had been the tone and the look of a lover, but he had said no lover's word. During all his work he had felt her presence headily near him; through the thrill of it he had wondered -
Under the inherently impulsive nature was the cool stratum of reason that makes the man. He must think this thing out for himself...
-Paying Guests by Mary Stewart Cutting
|When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
-Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Her name was Katherine Bridges; she was twenty-five. She had blue flashing eyes and freckled cheeks...Considering herself responsible for Chips accident, she bicycled alone every day to visit him - he wondering vaguely what this world was coming to.
She believed that women ought to be admitted to universities; she even thought they ought to have the vote. What could you do with such a person, Chips thought. His recovery consisted of afternoons spent facing the sunlight and the green-brown majesty of the Gable and listening to the chatter of - well, yes, Chips had to admit it - a very beautiful girl.
He had never met anyone like her. He had always thought that the modern type of nineties woman would repel him; and here she was, making him positively look forward to the glimpse of her safety bicycle careering along the lake. And she had never met anyone like him. She had always thought that middle-aged men who read the Times and disapproved of Shaw and Ibsen were terrible bores; yet here he was, claiming her interest and attention. She liked him, initially, because he had gentle and quiet manners, because his opinions dated from those utterly impossilbe seventies and even earlier - yet were, for all that, so thoroughly honest; and because - because his eyes were brown and he looked charming when he smiled. Of course I shall call you Chips, too, she said, when she learned that was his nickname at school.
Within a week of the accident they were head over heels in love; before Chips could walk without a stick, they considered themselves engaged; and they were married a week before the beginning of the autumn term.
-Goodbye Mr. Chips, James Hilton
I have been thinking, staring at your picture and this blank piece of paper, and wondering how I am ever to say there what I have in me here - not wishing to say anything at all, but just to be! I feel that I am living now only because you love me: and that my life will have run out, like this penful of ink, when that use in me is past. But not yet, Beloved, oh, not yet! Nothing is finished that we have to do and be -hardly begun! I will not call even this 'midsummer, however much it seems so: it is still only spring.
Every day your love binds me more deeply than I knew the day before: so that no day is the same now, but each one a little happier than the last. My own, you are my very own! And yet, true as that is, it is not so true as that I am your own. It is less absolute, I mean; and must be so, because I cannot very well take possession of anything when I am given over heart and soul out of my own possession: there isnt enough identity left in me, I am yours so much, so much!
-From an English Womans Love Letters, 1900
|"You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since - on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the street. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and eveywhere, and will but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me..."
-Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
|Two hours later she was still re-reading it, this letter in which was Malcolm Conway's heart. He had written in the night watches, when the soul of a man may know itself and speak unhindered. His words wrapped around her heart with tenderly passionate possession. That masterful joy that still spoke an inner humility - those simple words that could be said to but one alone in this life... There were warm tears in her eyes, and a tremor on her lips. Ah, how quickly love can grow to starry heights, when the word of a man sets it springing!...
-Paying Guests by Mary Stewart Cutting
|Haply I think on thee, - and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
-William Shakespeare, Sonnet 29
|...I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name,
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame,
Angels affect us oft, and worship'd be.
|BROWNING: (Quickly lays aside his hat, and crossing to the sofa, ardently takes her hand in both of his) Dear Miss Barrett - at last! (Raises her hand to his lips) At last!
ELIZABETH: (Still all nerves, and overcome by the ardour and unconventionality of his manner) I - I've had to put off the pleasure of meeting you much longer than I wished...
BROWNING: (Still holding her hand) Would you ever have received me if I hadn't been so tiresomely insistent? (Throws a quick glance round the room) Wonderful! You may think, Miss Barrett, that this is the first time I've been here. You're quite wrong, you know! This room is as familiar to me as my very own study!
ELIZABETH: (Laughing, and now more at her ease) I can't believe Mr. Kenyon described my poor little room to you in detail!
BROWNING: (Seating himself beside her) I dragged all the details I possibly could out of him...Directly after I had read your brave and lovely verses I was greedy for anything and everything I could get about you.
ELIZABETH: (Smilingly) You frighten me, Mr. Browning! I fear I do not live up to Mr. Kenyon's description.
BROWNING: All he said about you, personally, was quite beside the point, because I knew it already - and better than he...
ELIZABETH: Do my poor writings give me so hopelessly away?
BROWNING: Hopelessly - utterly - entirely - to me!
ELIZABETH: (Smilingly) You frighten me again!
BROWNING: Why? Because I am myself to you?
ELIZABETH: (With suppressed amusement) In your writing you are never yourself. You do nothing but play-act. It's always somebody else speaking through you.
BROWNING: Ah, but you see, if I wrote about myself - my hopes and fears, hates and loves - my poems would be intolerably dull.
ELIZABETH: (Laughingly, vivaciously) Since we are pledged to nothing but the truth, I won't contradict you - until I know you better!
BROWNING: (With a laugh) Bravo!
ELIZABETH: (Ardently) Oh, but your poems, with their greathearted acceptance of life - you can't imagine what they mean to me! (Fiercely) Oh, why can't the public know an eagle for an eagle before it must spread its wings and fly away from us for good?
BROWNING: You always understand me, then?
ELIZABETH: Well...not quite always. Sometimes there are passages that puzzle me...(She picks up a book) In your "Sordello", for example...(She opens the book and hands it to him)
BROWNING: (Taking the book) Oh, "Sordello!" I've done my best to forget it. However - (He reads the passage to himself, smiling. The smile fades; he passes his hand over his brow and reads it again. She watches him, covertly smiling. He mutters) Extraordinary! (He rises and goes to the window and reads the passage a third time. ELIZABETH has some difficulty in suppressing her amusement. He turns to her with an expression of humorous chagrin)
BROWNING: Well, Miss Barrett - when that passage was written, only God and Robert Browning understood it. Now only God understands it.
-Adapted from the Barretts of Wimpole Street by Rudolph Besier
|If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.
|All my soul follows you.
Love encircles you-
And I live in being yours.