By turning over in my thoughts the contents of your last letters, I have put myself into a great agony, not knowing how to understand them, whether to my disadvantage as I understand them, whether to my disadvantage as I understood some others, or not; I beseech you now, with the greatest earnestness, to let me know your whole intention, as to the love between us two. For I must of necessity obtain this answer of you, having been above a whole year struck with the dart of love, and not yet sure whether I shall fail, or find a place in your heart and affection. This uncertainty has hindered me of late from naming you my mistress, since you only love me with an ordinary affection; but if you please to do the duty of a true and loyal mistress, and to give up yourself, body and heart, to me, who will be, as I have been your most loyal servant (if your rigour does not forbid me) I promise you that not only the name shall be given you, but also that I will take you for my mistress, casting off all others that are in competition with you, out of my thoughts and affection, and serving you only. I beg you to give an in tire answer to this my rude letter, that I may know on what and how far I may depend. But if it does not please you to answer me in writing, let me know some place where I may have it by word of mouth, and I will go thither with all my heart. No more for fear of tiring you. Written by the hand of him, who would willingly remain yours.
All men, I believe, are under a necessity of paying tribute, at some time or other, to Love, and it is vain to strive to avoid it.
I was a philosopher, yet this tyrant of the mind triumphed over all my wisdom; his darts were of greater force than all my reasoning, and with a sweet constraint he led me whither he pleased. Heaven, amidst an abundance of blessings with which I was intoxicated, threw in a heavy affliction. I became a most signal example of its vengeance; and the more unhappy, because having deprived me of the means of accomplishing my satisfaction, it left me to the fury of my criminal desires.
I will tell you, my dear friend, the particulars of my story, and leave you to judge whether I deserved so severe a correction. I had always an aversion for those light women whom it is a reproach to pursue; I was ambitious in my choice, and wished to find some obstacles, that I might surmount them with the greater glory and pleasure.
There was in Paris a young creature, (ah! Philintus!) formed in a prodigality of Nature, to show mankind a finished composition; dear Heloise! the reputed niece of one Fulbert a canon. Her wit and her beauty would have fired the dullest and most insensible heart; and her education was equally admirable. Heloise was a mistress of the most polite arts. You may easily imagine that this did not a little help to captivate me.
I saw her; I loved her; I resolved to endeavour to gain her affections.
The thirst of glory cooled immediately in my heart, and all my passions were lost in this new one. I thought of nothing but Heloise; every thing brought her image to my mind. I was pensive, restless; and my passion was so violent as to admit of no restraint.
I was always vain and presumptive; I flattered myself already with the most bewitching hopes. My reputation had spread itself every where; and could a virtuous lady resist a man that had confounded all the learned of the age? I was young;—could she show an infallibility to those vows which my heart never formed for any but herself? My person was advantageous enough and by my dress no one would have suspected me for a Doctor; and dress you know, is not a little engaging with women. Besides, I had wit enough to write a billet doux, and hoped, if ever she permitted my absent self to entertain her, she would read with pleasure those breathings of my heart.
Filled with these notions, I thought of nothing but the means to speak to her. Lovers either find or make all things easy.
By the offices of common friends I gained the acquaintance of Fulbert. And, can you believe it, Philintus? he allowed me the privilege of his table, and an apartment in his house. I paid him, indeed, a considerable sum; for persons of his character do nothing without money. But what would I not have given!
You my dear friend, know what love is; imagine then what a pleasure it must have been to a heart so inflamed as mine to be always so near the dear object of desire! I would not have exchanged my happy condition for that of the greatest monarch upon earth.
I saw Heloise, I spoke to her: each action, each confused look, told her the trouble of my soul. And she, on the other side, gave me ground to hope for every thing from her generosity.
Fulbert desired me to instruct her in philosophy; by this means I found opportunities of being in private with her and yet I was sure of all men the most timorous in declaring my passion.
As I was with her one day, alone, Charming Heloise, said I, blushing, if you know yourself, you will not be surprised with what passion you have inspired me with. Uncommon as it is, I can express it but with the common terms;—I love you, adorable Heloise! Till now I thought philosophy made us masters, of all our passions, and that it was a refuge from the storms in which weak mortals are tossed and shipwrecked; but you have destroyed my security, and broken this philosophic courage. I have despised riches; honour and its pageantries could never raise a weak thought in me; beauty alone hath fired my soul. Happy, if she who raised this passion kindly receives the declaration; but if it is an offence.
No, replied Heloise; she must be very ignorant of your merit who can be offended at your passion. But, for my own repose, I wish either that you had not made this declaration, or that I were at liberty not to suspect your sincerity.
Ah, divine Heloise, said I, flinging myself at her feet, I swear by yourself—I was going on to convince her of the truth of my passion, but heard a noise, and it was Fulbert.
There was no avoiding it, but I must do a violence to my desire, and change the discourse to some other subject. After this I found frequent opportunities to free Heloise from those suspicions which the general insincerity of men had raised in her; and she too much desired what I said were truth, not to believe it. Thus there was a most happy understanding between us.
The same house, the same love, united our persons and our desires.
How many soft moments did we pass together! We took all opportunities to express to each other our mutual affections, and were ingenious in contriving incidents which might give us a plausible occasion for meeting. Pyramus and Thisbe’s discovery of the crack in the wall was but a slight representation of our love and its sagacity. In the dead of night, when Fulbert and his domestics were in a sound sleep, we improved the time proper to the sweets of love. Not contenting ourselves, like those unfortunate loves, with giving insipid kisses to a wall, we made use of all the moments of our charming interviews.
In the place where we met we had no lions to fear, and the study of philosophy served us for a blind. But I was so far from making any advances in the sciences that I lost all my taste of them; and when I was obliged to go from the sight of my dear mistress to my philosophical exercises, it was with the utmost regret and melancholy.
Love is incapable of being concealed; a word, a look, nay silence, speaks it.
My scholars discovered it first: they saw I had no longer that vivacity thought to which all things were easy: I could now do nothing but write verses to sooth my passion. I quitted Aristotle and his dry maxims, to practise the precepts of the more ingenious Ovid. No day passed in which I did not compose amorous verses. Love was my inspiring Apollo.
My songs were spread abroad, and gained me frequent applauses. Those whom were in love as I was took a pride in learning them; and, by luckily applying my thoughts and verses, have obtained favours which, perhaps, they could not otherwise have gained. This gave our amours such an eclat, that the loves of Heloise and Abelard were the subject of all conversations.
– Letters of Abelard and Heloise by Pierre Bayle –
It being impossible that I could live without seeing Heloise, I endeavoured to engage her servant, whose name was Agaton, in my interest. She was brown, well shaped, a person superior to the ordinary rank; her features regular, and her eyes sparkling; fit to raise love in any man whose heart was not prepossessed by another passion.
I met her alone, and intreated her to have pity on a distressed lover. She answered, she would undertake any thing to serve me, but there was a reward.—At these words I opened my purse and showed the shining metal, which lays asleep guards, forces away through rocks, and softens the hearts of the most obdurate fair.
You are mistaken, said she, smiling, and shaking her head—you do not know me. Could gold tempt me, a rich abbot takes his nightly station, and sings under my window: he offers to send me to his abbey, which, he says, is situate in the most pleasant country in the world. A courtier offers me a considerable sum of money, and assures me I need have no apprehensions; for if our amours have consequences, he will marry me to his gentleman, and give him a handsome employment. To say nothing of a young officer, who patroles about here every night, and makes his attacks after all imaginable forms. It must be Love only which could oblige him to follow me; for I have not like your great ladies, any rings or jewels to tempt him: yet, during all his siege of love, his feather and his embroidered coat have not made any breach in my heart. I shall not quickly be brought to capitulate, I am too faithful to my first conqueror—and then she looked earnestly on me.
I answered, I did not understand her discourse.
She replied, For a man of sense and gallantry you have a very slow apprehension; I am in love with you Abelard. I know you adore Heloise, I do not blame you; I desire only to enjoy the second place in your affections. I have a tender heart as well as my mistress; you may without difficulty make returns to my passion. Do not perplex yourself with unfashionable scruples; a prudent man ought to love several at the same time; if one should fail, he is not then left unprovided.
You cannot imagine, Philintus, how much I was surprised at these words. So entirely did I love Heloise that without reflecting whether Agaton spoke any thing reasonable or not, I immediately left her. When I had gone a little way from her I looked back, and saw her biting her nails in the rage of disappointment, which made me fear some fatal consequences.
She hastened to Fulbert, and told him the offer I had made her, but I suppose concealed the other part of the story. The Canon never forgave this affront. I afterwards perceived he was more deeply concerned for his niece than I at first imagined.
Let no lover hereafter follow my example, A woman rejected is an outrageous creature. Agaton was day and night at her window on purpose to keep me at a distance from her mistress, and so gave her own gallants opportunity enough to display their several abilities.
I was infinitely perplexed what course to take; at last I applied to Heloise singing-master. The shining metal, which had no effect on Agaton, charmed him; he was excellently qualified for conveying a billet with the greatest dexterity and secrecy. He delivered one of mine to Heloise, who, according to my appointment was ready at the end of a garden, the wall of which I scaled by a ladder of ropes.
I confess to you all my failings, Philintus. How would my enemies, Champeaux and Anselm, have triumphed, had they seen the redoubted philosopher in such a wretched condition?
Well—I met my soul’s joy, my Heloise.
– Letters of Abelard and Heloise by Pierre Bayle –
I cannot heed the words they say,
The lights grow far away and dim,
Amid the laughing men and maids
My eyes unbidden seek for him.
I hope that when he smiles at me
He does not guess my joy and pain,
For if he did, he is too kind
To ever look my way again.
I have a secret in my heart
No ears have ever heard,
And still it sings there day by day
Most like a caged bird.
And when it beats against the bars,
I do not set it free,
For I am happier to know
It only sings for me.
I wrote his name along the beach,
I love the letters so.
Far up it seemed and out of reach,
For still the tide was low.
But oh, the sea came creeping up,
And washed the name away,
And on the sand where it had been
A bit of sea-grass lay.
A bit of sea-grass on the sand,
Dropped from a mermaid’s hair,
Ah, had she come to kiss his name
And leave a token there?
What am I that he should love me,
He who stands so far above me,
What am I?
I am like a cowslip turning
Toward the sky,
Where a planet’s golden burning
Breaks the cowslip’s heart with yearning,
What am I that he should love me,
What am I?
O dreams that flock about my sleep,
I pray you bring my love to me,
And let me think I hear his voice
Again ring free.
And if you care to please me well,
And live to-morrow in my mind,
Let him who was so cold before,
To-night seem kind.
I plucked a daisy in the fields,
And there beneath the sun
I let its silver petals fall
One after one.
I said, “He loves me, loves me not,”
And oh, my heart beat fast,
The flower was kind, it let me say
“He loves me,” last.
I kissed the little leafless stem,
But oh, my poor heart knew
The words the flower had said to me,
They were not true.
I sent my love a letter,
And if he loves me not,
He shall not find my love for him
In any line or dot.
But if he loves me truly,
He’ll find it hidden deep,
As dawn gleams red thro’ chilly clouds
To eyes awaked from sleep.
The world is cold and gray and wet,
And I am heavy-hearted, yet
When I am home and look to see
The place my letters wait for me,
If I should find one letter there,
I think I should not greatly care
If it were rainy or were fair,
For all the world would suddenly
Seem like a festival to me.
I hid three words within my heart,
That longed to fly to him,
At dawn they woke me with a start,
They sang till day was dim.
And now at last I let them fly,
As little birds should do,
And he will know the first is “I”,
The others “Love” and “You”.
Across the twilight’s violet
His curtained window glimmers gold;
Oh happy light that round my love
Oh happy book within his hand,
Oh happy page he glorifies,
Oh happy little word beneath
But oh, thrice happy, happy I
Who love him more than songs can tell,
For in the heaven of his heart
Verily I am overwhelmed by the tokens of love you have vouchsafed to me. I shall never be able to show you my gratitude, but shall always be your debtor. I love and I am loved. Is there any bliss approaching mine? I count myself the happiest of mortals, and even of the gods. Ah! most beautiful one! The tenderness you have shown me compels me to love you, and makes me despise the favours of good and the caprices of bad fortune. Time will bring no change in my love. I would abandon for you all ties—family, relations, women, even wife and children had I any. My passion intoxicates me. I can no longer think—words fail. I commit myself to your keeping; do with me as you will. I can scarcely keep my heart within bounds; it strives perpetually to burst away and thank you for its captivity, for it loves to be the slave of one who treats it so generously. I fear I shall lose it altogether, but as I cannot live without a heart, for pity’s sake, Madame, give me yours in return, for without one or the other I shall die. Do not put off my seeing you this evening, I beseech you. You have convinced me so deeply that you love me, that I have never loved you so much before. You have never appeared to me so altogether lovely. With crossed hands and bended knees I thank you for all you have vouchsafed unto me. Suffer me therefore to see you again to-day, and do not put me off. I should die.
The Prince went away to-day at eight o’clock. He is angry because you wished to remain with your mother. All goes wonderfully well. Farewell.
I cannot forbear trying to share with you my lively sorrow—perhaps I need to console yours—but, indeed, I cannot imagine any true consolation for those who love and are separated, and so I find my only pleasure in abandoning myself to all manner of sadness.
Believe me, my dear master, I am entirely absorbed by the thought of our separation and the distance that divides us—I wish only that you would feel something of what your absence makes me suffer—but no, I would not have you realising how it is with me—for I wish to spare you the chagrin such knowledge and pity would give you. Yet I must admit that the first grief of a heart hitherto tranquil is very cruel—I feel overburdened, but I will not complain. My deep tenderness for you in some sort consoles me in my violent grief that would be insupportable if I did not recall that my present misfortune is owing to past happiness. Nay, I’ll not complain, yet my present situation is frightful—I’ll not regret the peace that preceded it because there is nothing on earth that I care about, save being loved by you.
I flatter myself that I shall always enjoy this happiness—at least I shall occupy myself with nothing but trying to please you, and I swear to you, my dear master, a fidelity as durable as my attachment is violent. I can add nothing to the force of this expression, truly not knowing how to write what I feel. My sensations are so new to me that while acknowledging their power, I cannot define them. I beg you to explain to your own heart all the embarrassment of mine and often to tell yourself that you are, of all the men in the world, the most tenderly loved.
I add to these sentiments an esteem that must fetter a love whose only merit is its purity. Do not forget, I implore you, your poor little wife, and remember that I am, even more than I have admitted, in a state that merits pity. I swear that if I were only thinking of myself, death would seem the best way out, for surely in Glory I shall always have a formidable rival—at best we shall share your heart—when Glory commands you will risk your life whether I permit or not. Reflect on that, my dear master, recalling too that my sole hope lies in your safety, that you alone can make me happy.
I can talk of nothing but myself to-day, for I think of nothing but you—all else is to me insupportable. I embrace you with all my heart and would purchase with half my life a favourable reception for this letter.
The moments seem to me centuries. I cannot watch the daylight without raging. Why do not the hours shut up into moments? What would I not give for twelve o’clock to strike? Be sure to have ready de l’eau de la reine d’Hongrie, for fear my rapture may make me swoon away. What! I shall embrace to-night the loveliest of women. I shall kiss her charming mouth. I shall worship her eyes, those eyes that enslave me. I shall hear from her very lips that she loves me. I shall have the joy of embracing her knees; my tears will chase down her incomparable cheeks. I shall hold in my arms the most beautiful body in the world. Verily, Madame, I shall die of joy. But so long as I have time to tell thee that I die thy slave, I care for naught beside.
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I am the happiest man in the world. If it be true that you love me as you say, and your love will last always, where is the bliss to equal mine? I fear my joy will be too apparent, that everyone will see in my eyes it can only emanate from you. I will restrain myself as much as I can; but “when the heart is so proud the eyes play the traitor.” Your eyes, more than I dared hope, declared to me last evening the feelings of your heart. I am so overjoyed that I am hardly able to express myself. I hope to tell you this evening all I am not writing.
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I beg pardon that my paper is not [finer], but I am forc’d to write from a coffee-house where I am attending about business. There is a dirty crowd of busy faces all around me, talking politics and managing stocks; while all my ambition, all my wealth, is love! Love, which animates my heart, sweetens my humour, enlarges my soul, and affects every action of my life. ‘Tis to my lovely charmer I owe, that many noble ideas are continually affixed to my words and actions; ’tis the naturall effect of that generous passion, to create some similitude in the admirer, of the object admired. Thus, my dear, am I every day to improve from so sweet a companion. Look up, my fair one, to that Heaven which made thee such, and join with me to implore its influence on our tender innocent hours, and beseech the Author of love, to blesse the rites he has ordain’d, and mingle with our happinesse a just sense of our transient condition, and a resignation to His will, which only can regulate our minds to a steddy endeavour to please [Him and] each other. I am for ever your faithful ser’nt.
I have remembered beauty in the night,
Against black silences I waked to see
A shower of sunlight over Italy
And green Ravello dreaming on her height;
I have remembered music in the dark,
The clean swift brightness of a fugue of Bach’s,
And running water singing on the rocks
When once in English woods I heard a lark.
But all remembered beauty is no more
Than a vague prelude to the thought of you.
You are the rarest soul I ever knew,
Lover of beauty, knightliest and best;
My thoughts seek you as waves that seek the shore,
And when I think of you, I am at rest.
No mortal was ever so happy as I when, on arriving here, I found your letter. I am now in your good graces, and am losing all the weak suspicions that tore my heart in twain. Do not doubt my love; God be my witness, I have never loved as I love you. Were you to see me now you would exclaim, “Is it possible that any man can be so downcast?” My dejection is wholly the result of absence from you. My noble travelling companion* could tell you of the state in which he sees me daily, though you may be sure that I hide from him the cause. You may not believe it, but on the word of a man of honour, I am often so overcome that I am near swooning away; and yesterday evening, when I was out walking, and thinking of the many days that I must pass before seeing you, I became so agitated that it brought on a palpitation of the heart, and I was obliged to return home. I know not what would have happened had not my servant brought me a cordial, and even then it was a long time before I recovered. Were it not for your dear letter, I should have utterly broken down. Your medicine is excellent for my malady; send me some oftener…I am ready to cast at your feet my life, my honour, my future, my fortune. I have forsworn all other women for you; if you doubt this, name anyone you would like me to abandon, and I will never speak to her again. Adieux emable Brune. La poste pars, il faux finir. Je vous embrasse les jenous.
[* Probably Prince Ernest Augustus, youngest son of the Duke of Hanover.]
[A room in a private house. A maiden sitting before a fire meditating.]
Now have I fully fixed upon my part.
Good-bye to dreams; for me a life of art!
Beloved art! Oh, realm serene and fair,
Above the mean and sordid world of care,
Above earth’s small ambitions and desires!
Art! art! the very word my soul inspires!
From foolish memories it sets me free.
Not what has been, but that which is to be
Absorbs me now. Adieu to vain regret!
The bow is tensely drawn – the target set.
[A knock at the door.]
Who knocks upon my door?
A VOICE OUTSIDE
‘Tis I, your fate!
Thou dost deceive, not me, but thine own self.
My fate is not a wandering, vagrant elf.
My fate is here, within this throbbing heart
That beats alone for glory, and for art.
[Another knock at door.]
Pray, let me in; I am so faint and cold.
[Door is pushed ajar. Enter CUPID, who approaches the fire with outstretched hands.]
Methinks thou art not faint, however cold,
But rather too courageous, and most bold;
Surprisingly ill-mannered, sir, and rude,
Without an invitation to intrude
Into my very presence.
CUPID (warming his hands)
But, you see,
Girls never mind a little chap like me.
They’re always watching for me on the sly,
And hoping I will call.
Indeed, not I!
My heart has listened to a sweeter voice,
A clarion call that gives command – not choice.
And I have answered to that call, ‘I come’;
To other voices shall my ears be dumb.
To art alone I consecrate my life –
Art is my spouse, and I his willing wife.
CUPID (slowly, gazing in the grate)
Art is a sultan, and you must divide
His love with many another ill-fed bride.
Now I know one who worships you alone.
I will not listen! for the dice is thrown
And art has won me. On my brow some day
Shall rest the laurel wreath –
CUPID (sitting down and looking at MAID critically)
Just let me say
I think sweet orange blossoms under lace
Are better suited to your type of face.
MAID (ignoring interruption)
I yet shall stand before an audience
That listens as one mind, absorbed, intense,
And with my genius I shall rouse its cheers,
Still it to silence, soften it to tears,
Or wake its laughter. Oh, the play! the play!
The play’s the thing! My boy, THE PLAY!!
CUPID (suddenly clapping his hands)
I know a splendid role for you to take,
And one that always keeps the house awake –
And calls for pretty dressing. Oh, it’s great!
Well, well, what is it? Wherefore make me wait?
CUPID (tapping his brow, thoughtfully)
How is it those lines run – oh, now I know;
You make a stately entrance – measured – slow –
To stirring music, then you kneel and say
Something about – to honour and obey –
For better and for worse – till death do part.
Be still, you foolish boy; that is not ART.
She needs great skill who takes the role of wife
In God’s stupendous drama human life.
MAID (suddenly becoming serious)
So I once thought! Oh, once my very soul
Was filled and thrilled with dreaming of that role.
Life seemed so wonderful; it held for me
No purpose, no ambition, but to be
Loving and loved. My highest thought of fame
Was some day bearing my dear lover’s name.
Alone, I ofttimes uttered it aloud,
Or wrote it down, half timid, and all proud
To see myself lost utterly in him:
As some small star might joy in growing dim
When sinking in the sun; or as the dew,
Forgetting the brief little life it knew
In space, might on the ocean’s bosom fall
And ask for nothing – only to give all.
Now, THAT’S the talk – it’s music to my ear
After that stuff on ‘art’ and a ‘career.’
I hope she’ll keep it up.
MAIDEN (continuing her reverie)
Again my dream
Shaped into changing pictures. I would seem
To see myself in beautiful array
Move down the aisle upon my wedding day;
And then I saw the modest living-room
With lighted lamp, and fragrant plants in bloom,
And books and sewing scattered all about,
And just we two alone.
CUPID (in glee aside)
There’s not a doubt
I’ll land her yet!
My dream kaleidoscope
Changed still again, and framed love’s dearest hope –
The trinity of home; and life was good
And all its deepest meaning understood.
[Sits lost in a dream. Behind scenes a voice sings a lullaby, ‘Beautiful Land of Nod.’ CUPID in ecstasy tiptoes about and clasps his hands in delight.]
Another scene! a matron in her prime,
I saw myself glide peacefully with time
Into the quiet middle years, content
With simple joys the dear home circle lent.
My sons and daughters made my diadem;
I saw my happy youth renewed in them.
The pain of growing old lost all its sting,
For Love stood near – in Winter, as in Spring.
[CUPID tiptoes to door and makes a signal. MAIDEN starts up dramatically.]
‘Twas but a dream! I woke all suddenly.
The world had changed! And now life means to me
My art – the stage – excitement and the crowd –
The glare of many foot-lights – and the loud
Applause of men, as I cry in rage,
‘Give me the dagger!’ or creep down the stage
In that sleep-walking scene. Oh, art like mine
Will send the chills down every listener’s spine!
And when I choose, salt tears shall freely flow
As in the moonlight I cry, ‘Romeo! Romeo!
Oh, wherefore art thou, Romeo?’
Ay, ’tis done
My dream of home life.
It is but begun.
The heart but once can dream a dream so fair,
And so henceforth love thoughts I do forswear;
Since faith in love has crumbled to the dust,
In fame alone, I put my hope and trust.
[CUPID at the door beckons excitedly. Enter lover with outstretched arms.]
Here’s one who will explain yourself to you
And make that old sweet dream of love come true.
Fix up your foolish quarrel; time is brief –
So waste no more of it in doubt or grief.
[The lovers meet and embrace.]
CUPID (in doorway)
Warm lip to lip, and heart to beating heart,
The cast is made – My Lady has her part.
A soul immortal, Time, God everywhere,
Without, within -how can a heart despair,
Or talk of failure, obstacles, and doubt?
(What proofs of God? The little seeds that sprout,
Life, and the solar system, and their laws.
Nature? Ah, yes; but what was Nature’s cause?)
All mighty words are short: God, life, and death,
War, peace, and truth, are uttered in a breath.
And briefly said are love, and will, and time;
Yet in them lies a majesty sublime.
Love is the vast constructive power of space;
Time is the hour which calls it into place;
Will is the means of using time and love,
And bringing forth the heart’s desires thereof.
The way is love, the time is now, and will
The patient method. Let this knowledge fill
Thy consciousness, and fate and circumstance,
Environment, and all the ills of chance
Must yield before the concentrated might
Of those three words, as shadows yield to light.
Go, charge thyself with love; be infinite
And opulent with thy large use of it:
‘Tis from free sowing that full harvest springs;
Love God and life and all created things.
Learn time’s great value; to this mandate bow,
The hour of opportunity is Now,
And from thy will, as from a well-strung bow,
Let the swift arrows of thy wishes go.
Though sent into the distance and the dark,
The dawn shall prove thy arrows hit the mark.
The approach of the time, which I have so long expected, rejoices me so much, that it seems almost ready come. However, the entire accomplishment cannot be till the two persons meet, which meeting is more desired by me than any thing in this world; for what joy can be greater upon earth, than to have the company of her who is my dearest friend? Knowing likewise that she does the same on her part, the thinking on which gives great pleasure. You may judge what an effect the presence of that person must have on me, whose absence has made a greater wound in my heart than either words or writing can express, and which nothing can cure, but her return; I beg you, dear mistress, to tell your father from me, that I desire him to hasten the appointment by two days, that he may be in court before the old term, or at farthest on the day prefixed; for otherwise I shall think, he will not do the lover’s turn, as he said he would, nor answer my expectation. No more at present, for want of time; hoping shortly that by word of mouth I shall tell you the rest of my sufferings from your absence. Written by the hand of the secretary, who wishes himself at present privately with you, and who is, and always will be,
Your royal and most assured servant,
H. no other (AB) seeks Rex.
Romantic, imaginative, feminine… Luisa Beccaria represents the contemporary female dreamer. Constant inspiration drawn from poetry, art and nature aids Luisa in creating a bespoke beauty, able to free the dreaming spirit of every woman. Since its debut during the ’80s, the Luisa Beccaria aesthetic and style has been taking shape through beautiful dresses shown among art galleries to enchanted gardens. For more info, click here.
Oh, Dearest: I have danced and I have danced till I am tired! I am dropping with sleep, but I must just touch you and say good-night. This was our great day of publishing, dearest, ours: all the world knows it; and all admire your choice! I was determined they should. I have been collecting scalps for you to hang at your girdle. All thought me beautiful: people who never did so before. I wanted to say to them, “Am I not beautiful? I am, am I not?” And it was not for myself I was asking this praise. Beloved, I was wearing the magic rose—what you gave me when we parted: you saying, alas, that you were not to be there. But you were! Its leaves have not dropped nor the scent of it faded. I kiss you out of the heart of it. Good-night: come to me in my first dream!
How does Love speak?
In the faint flush upon the tell-tale cheek,
And in the pallor that succeeds it; by
The quivering lid of an averted eye –
The smile that proves the parent of a sigh:
Thus doth Love speak.
How does Love speak?
By the uneven heart-throbs, and the freak
Of bounding pulses that stand still and ache
While new emotions, like strange barges, make
Along vein-channels their disturbing course,
Still as the dawn, and with the dawn’s swift force:
Thus doth Love speak.
How does Love speak?
In the avoidance of that which we seek
The sudden silence and reserve when near;
The eye that glistens with an unshed tear;
The joy that seems the counterpart of fear,
As the alarmed heart leads in the breast,
And knows, and names, and greets its godlike guest:
Thus doth Love speak.
How does Love speak?
In the proud spirit suddenly grown meek,
The haughty heart grown humble; in the tender
And unnamed light that floods the world with splendour;
In the resemblance which the fond eyes trace
In all fair things to one beloved face;
In the shy touch of hands that thrill and tremble;
In looks and lips that can no more dissemble:
Thus doth Love speak.
How does Love speak?
In wild words that uttered seem so weak
They shrink ashamed to silence; in the fire
Glance strikes with glance, swift flashing high and higher,
Like lightnings that precede the mighty storm
In the deep, soulful stillness; in the warm,
Impassioned tide that sweeps thro’ throbbing veins,
Between the shores of keen delights and pains;
In the embrace where madness melts in bliss,
And in the convulsive rapture of a kiss:
Thus doth Love speak.