Love Theme (NPM, 4.8.22)

Elizabeth I, When I Was Fair and Young

When I was fair and young, then favor graced me. 
Of many was I sought their mistress for to be. 
But I did scorn them all and answered them therefore: 
Go, go, go, seek some other where; importune me no more. 

How many weeping eyes I made to pine in woe, 
How many sighing hearts I have not skill to show, 
But I the prouder grew and still this spake therefore: 
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. 

Then spake fair Venus’ son, that proud victorious boy, 
Saying: You dainty dame, for that you be so coy, 
I will so pluck your plumes as you shall say no more: 
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. 

As soon as he had said, such change grew in my breast 
That neither night nor day I could take any rest. 
Wherefore I did repent that I had said before: 
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.

A. E. Housman, When I Was One-and-Twenty

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.”
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.

William Butler Yeats, A Drinking Song

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

William Butler Yeats, For Anne Gregory

“Never shall a young man, 
Thrown into despair 
By those great honey-coloured 
Ramparts at your ear, 
Love you for yourself alone 
And not your yellow hair.” 

“But I can get a hair-dye 
And set such colour there, 
Brown, or black, or carrot, 
That young men in despair 
May love me for myself alone 
And not my yellow hair.” 

“I heard an old religious man 
But yesternight declare 
That he had found a text to prove 
That only God, my dear, 
Could love you for yourself alone 
And not your yellow hair.”

Emily Dickinson, 249

Wild Nights—Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile—the Winds—
To a Heart in port—
Done with the Compass—
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden—
Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor—Tonight—
In Thee!

Snowflakes falling, Ramona, as I sit at Six North Cafe in Ballwin, in between classes on this Friday Eighth  of April, filling Moleskine pages, rereading poems, pondering my tears during films I’ve shown my students (today, Tsotsi), remembering just now that even Thich Nhat Hanh fell in love (of course, with a nun).  It’s not covered in the books I picked, but I know where I can find that story and pass it on to you, if you want.

(The title above was spurred by a song by a friend’s band from 1988.)

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