This is MY favorite love poem ever... It's been for years.
Part of Sonnets for the Portuguese
XIV. "If thou must love me, let it be for nought..."
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
If thou must love me, let it be for noughtExcept for love's sake only. Do not say'I love her for her smile---her look---her wayOf speaking gently,---for a trick of thoughtThat falls in well with mine, and certes broughtA sense of pleasant ease on such a day'---For these things in themselves, Belovèd, mayBe changed, or change for thee,---and love, so wrought,May be unwrought so. Neither love me forThine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,---A creature might forget to weep, who boreThy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!But love me for love's sake, that evermoreThou mayst love on, through love's eternity.
And the winners... *drum roll please*...
Tied for 1st place are Lesley and Sarah :
i carry your heart with me
i carry your heart with me (i carry it inmy heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is doneby only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meantand whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the budand the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
Even After All this time The sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe Me.’ Look What happens With a love like that, It lights the Whole Sky.
-from The Gift by Hafiz of Shira
2nd place is Laura:
A VALEDICTION FORBIDDING MOURNING. by John Donne
AS virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
"Now his breath goes," and some say, "No."
So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.
Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears ;
Men reckon what it did, and meant ;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull sublunary lovers' love
—Whose soul is sense—
cannot admit Of absence, 'cause it doth remove
The thing which elemented it.
But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is, Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.
If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.
And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.
Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.
And 3rd is Harmony:
If not for you, I wouldn’t know
What true love really meant.
I’d never feel this inner peace;
I couldn’t be content.
If not for you, I’d never have
The pleasures of romance.
I’d miss the bliss, the craziness,
Of love’s sweet, silly dance.
I have to feel your tender touch;
I have to hear your voice;
No other one could take your place;
You’re it; I have no choice.
If not for you, I’d be adrift;
I don’t know what I’d do;
I’d be searching for my other half,
Incomplete, if not for you.
By Joanna Fuchs