We love but once. The great gold orb of light
   From dawn to eventide doth cast his ray;
But the full splendor of his perfect might
   Is reached but once throughout the livelong day.

We love but once. The waves, with ceaseless motion,
   Do day and night plash on the pebbled shore;
But the strong tide of the resistless ocean
   Sweeps in but one hour of the twenty-four.

We love but once. A score of times, perchance,
   We may be moved in fancy's fleeting fashion--
May treasure up a word, a tone, a glance,
   But only once we feel the soul's great passion.

We love but once. Love walks with death and birth
   (The saddest, the unkindest of the three);
And only once while we sojourn on earth
   Can that strange trio come to you or me.

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

Back to Poem Index