Love's Language

          How does Love speak?
In the faint flush upon the telltale cheek,
And in the pallor that succeeds it; by
The quivering lid of an averted eye--
The smile that proves the parent to a sigh
          Thus does 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 alarme'd heart leaps 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 splendor;
In the resemblance which the fond eyes trace
In all fair things to one belove'd 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 the 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 through 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 does Love speak.

Poems of passion by Ella Wheeler
Chicago : Belford, Clarke & Co, 1883.


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