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Never a word so much abused as love


Never a word so much abused as love.

“I am afraid, so stay and share my fear”

a common usage it is clear,

which can be heard in whispers everywhere.


Another meaning, and perhaps

the commonest, is “I give up my dreams,

forget my bold ambition and my hopes,

and, in despair, accept what seems

not best but tolerable.”


Another sense, and these are not

exclusive definitions of the word,

is “You have what I want,

yes, you are what

I need; and hence

to satisfy the want and need in me,

you, I will take”. 

Strange as it may seem to be

this taking is called love.


There is, of course, another way that love

is meant; rarer in use, in practice rarer still.

Its core is giving and its heart is this;

“I feel myself in you; therefore I will

share and dissolve your fears; all that you dream

with you I wish to build, for in such building

we will find

whatever is the best in you and me

and all mankind.

My sole desire shall be

not what I want or need but how I may

enrich for you the progress of each day.”


The rabble of events and life’s exigencies

conspire against love of this kind.

But it may be, and who can say,

if you and I are of a mind

and have the will to bind and stay,

together we may find a way.

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