When silence flees before the voice of Love,
Of what expression does that god approve?
Is dulcet song or flowing verse his choice,
Or stately prose, made regal by his voice?
Speaks Love in couplets, or in epics grand?
And is Love humble, or does he command?
There is no language that Love does not speak:
To-day commanding and to-morrow meek,
One hour laconic and the next verbose,
With hope triumphant and with doubt morose,
His varying moods all forms of speech employ.
To give expression to his painful joy,
To voice the phases of his joyful pain,
He rings the changes on the poet’s strain.
Yet not in epic, epigram or verse
Can Love the passion of his heart rehearse.
All speech, all language, is inadequate,
There are no words with Love commensurate.