Classic Readings

Sonnet CXVI by William Shakespeare


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh, no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests.. and is never shaken.
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love is not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out.. even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

"Sonnet from the Portuguese, XLIII" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

"’Til Death do us Part" by Carol D. Bos


I hope it is decades before death parts us

But I don’t know what God has in mind

I pray that he’ll let us be happy always

But I can’t comprehend plans divine.

It may be that turmoil will dot our landscape

With it’s gray skies and swirling intrusion
It may be that joy will fill both our hearts

And we’ll think pain is just an illusion.

But I think it’s likely we’ll see some of each
As we walk on this pathway together
I promise you now: I will give all I have
From my mouth you’ll not hear the word “Never.”

With so much uncertainty, crime, and abuse That exists, everywhere, all around us
More than ever we need to hold fast to the truth Of our marriage...Life will not confound us.

Time together is fleeting; it is too scarce to waste My goal is to make my life-mission
A beautiful tapestry highlighting “us”
Sewn with threads from our human condition.

I want to explore the full spectrum of life Before we’re too close to its leaving
I want to embrace vast explosions of joy
That make both our hearts strong and heaving.

I know I will love you for all of my life No matter the time we are given.
I’m your till death parts us-left all alone- Until God reunites us in heaven. 

"Love" by Roy Croft


I love you
Not only for what you are, But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,

But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart

And passing over

All the foolish, weak things

That you can't help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out

Into the light
All the beautiful belongings

That no one else had looked

Quite far enough to find.
I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life

Not a tavern
But a temple.
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.
I love you
Because you have done

More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good.
And more than any fate

Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself. 

"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe


Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle,
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs,
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The shepherds’ swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.

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