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Full Online Book HomePoemsWhat Lover Best His Love Doth Prove And Show?
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What Lover Best His Love Doth Prove And Show? Post by :akeni Category :Poems Author :Helen Hunt Jackson Date :September 2011 Read :2229

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What Lover Best His Love Doth Prove And Show?

I.


What lover best his love doth prove and show?
The one whose words are swiftest, love to state?
The one who measures out his love by weight
In costly gifts which all men see and know?
Nay! words are cheap and easy: they may go
For what men think them worth: or soon or late,
They are but air. And gifts? Still cheaper rate
Are they at which men barter to and fro
Where love is not!_

_One thing remains. Oh, Love,
Thou hast so seldom seen it on the earth,
No name for it has ever sprung to birth;
To give one's own life up one's love to prove,
Not in the martyr's death, but in the dearth
Of daily life's most wearing daily groove.


II.

And unto him who this great thing hath done,
What does Great Love return? No speedy joy!
That swift delight which beareth large alloy
Is guerdon Love bestowed on him who won
A lesser trust: the happiness begun
In happiness, of happiness may cloy,
And, its own subtle foe, itself destroy.
But steadfast, tireless, quenchless as the sun
Doth grow that gladness which hath root in pain.
Earth's common griefs assail this soul in vain.
Great Love himself, too poor to pay such debt,
Doth borrow God's great peace which passeth yet
All understanding. Full tenfold again
Is found the life, laid down without regret!


(The end)
Helen Hunt Jackson's poem: What Lover Best His Love Doth Prove And Show?

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