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Hearts that have bless'd, that bless thee now,
How long, how fondly, memory dwells
On moments past that led to bliss !
E’er broke the heavenly charm of this,
What is Love? Ask him who lives, what is life? ask him who adores, what is God ?- Thou demandest, what is Love? It is that powerful attraction towards all we conceive, or fear, or hope, beyond ourselves, when we find within our own thoughts the chasm of an insufficient void, and seek to awaken in all things that are, a community with what we experience within ourselves. If we reason, we would be understood ; if we imagine, we would that the airy children of our own brain were born anew within another's; if we feel, we would that another's nerves should vibrate to our own ; that the beams of their eyes should kindle at once and melt into our own ; that lips of motionless ice should not reply to lips quivering and burning with the heart's best blood. This is Love. This is the bond and the sanction which
connects not only man with man, but with every thing that exists. We are born into the world, and there is something within us which, from the instant that we live, more and more thirsts after its likeness. This propensity developes itself with the developement of our nature. We dimly see within our intellectual nature a miniature, as it were, of our entire self, yet deprived of all that we condemn or despise: the ideal prototype of every thing excellent and lovely that we are capable of conceiving as belonging to the nature of man. Not only the portrait of our external being, but an assemblage of the minutest particles of which our nature is composed: a mirror whose surface reflects only the forms of purity and brightness : a soul within our own soul that describes a circle around its proper paradise, which pain, and sorrow, and evil, dare not overleap. To this we eagerly refer all sensations, thirsting that they should resemble and correspond with it. The discovery of its antitype; the meeting with an understanding capable of clearly estimating our own; an imagination which should enter into and seize upon the subtle and delicate peculiarities which we have delighted to cherish and unfold in secret ; with a frame whese nerves, like the chords of two exquisite lyres strung to the accompaniment of one delightful voice, vibrate with the vibrations of our own ; and a combination of all these in such proportion as the type within demands : this is the invisible and unattainable point to which Love tends, and to attain which it
of men to arrest the faintest shadow of that without the possession of which there is no rest nor respite to the heart over which it rules. Hence in solitude, or that deserted state when we are surrounded by human beings, and yet they sympathise not with us, we love the flowers, the grass, the waters, and the sky. In the motion of the very leaves of spring, in the blue air, there is then found a secret correspondence with our heart. There is eloquence in the tongueless wind, and a melody in the flowing brooks and the rustling of the reeds beside them, which, by their inconceivable relation to something within the soul awakens the spirit to breathless rapture, and brings tears of mysterious tenderness to the eyes, like the enthusiasm of patriotic success, or the voice of one beloved singing to you alone. Sterne
that if he were in a desert, he would love some cypress. So soon as this want or power is dead, man becomes a living sepulchre of himself, and what yet survives is the mere husk of what once he was.
Love cannot bear rude passion's blast;
Neglect pales all its fires. When once its brilliancy is past, It struggles, but it cannot last ;
It flickers and expires.
And who that radiant light can blame
If quickly it depart ?
Must live in kindred heart.
Is it a crime in yon sweet flower,
The child of lovelier skies, Because exposed in killing hour To blighting winds, to tempest's power,
It sickens, fades, and dies ?
Ah! had it
Its life had not been done.
Then ye selected, sacred few,
Whose bosoms are Love's shrine,
I LOVE THEE.
Of sweet, star-lighted hours !
Of early jasmine flowers.
I love thee, as I love the last
Rich smile of fading day,
On rapture past away.
I love thee, as I love the tone
Of some soft breathing flute, Whose soul is waked for me alone.
When all beside is mute.
I love thee, as I love the first
Young violet of the spring ; Or the pale lily, April nurs'd,
To scented blossoming.