When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
That I did always love,
I bring thee proof:
That till I loved
I did not love enough.
That I shall love alway,
I offer thee
That love is life,
And life hath immortality.
This, dost thou doubt, sweet?
Then have I
Nothing to show
Don’t seek, my friend, we cannot say
what end’s in store for you, for me:
don’t trust in vague astrology,
Better to shoulder what will be,
whether you soon will die, or stay
to watch the shore exhaust the sea.
So drink some wine while your hours flee,
put small trust in posterity,
and prune your hopes; but pluck the day.
I and The Bird
I, and the bird,
And the wind together,
Sang a supplication
In the winter weather.
The bird sang for sunshine,
And the trees for winter fruit,
And for love in the spring time
When the thickets shoot.
And I sang for patience
When the teardrops start;
Clean hands and clear eyes,
And a faithful heart.
—Arthur C. Benson.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“Do you wish the world were better?
Let me tell you what to do:
Set a watch upon your actions,
Keep them always straight and true;
Rid your mind of selfish motives;
Let your thoughts be clean and high.
You can make a little Eden
Of the sphere you occupy.
Do you wish the world were wiser?
Well, suppose you make a start,
By accumulating wisdom
In the scrapbook of your heart:
Do not waste one page on folly;
Live to learn, and learn to live.
If you want to give men knowledge
You must get it, ere you give.
Do you wish the world were happy?
Then remember day by day
Just to scatter seeds of kindness”
“As you pass along the way;
For the pleasures of the many
May be ofttimes traced to one,
As the hand that plants an acorn
Shelters armies from the sun.”