Reading from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet

 Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
 Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
 Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance music
together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a flute are alone though they quiver with the same
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart.
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in  each other’s shadow

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The Yueh- Fu
    I want to be your friend
    for ever and ever.
    When the hills are all flat
    and the rivers are all dry,
    when the trees blossom in winter
    and the snow falls in summer,
    when heaven and earth mix

    not till then will I part from you.

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 The Dalai Lama, from “The Art of Happiness”
The act of acceptance, or acknowledging that change is a natural part of our interactions with others can play a vital role in our relationships. (over time) our relationship may no longer be based on intense passion, the view of the other asthe embodiment of perfection, or the feeling that weare merged with the other, But in exchange for that, we are now in a position to truly begin to know the other, to see the other as he or she is, a separate individual with faults and weaknesses perhaps, but a human being like ourselves. It is only at this point that we can make a genuine commitment, a commitment to the growth of another human being, an act of true love.Table of Contents

“My Antonia,” by Willa Cather

The earth was warm under me, and warm as I crumbled it through my fingers… I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins; as I did not wantto be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness;to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.Table of Contents

From Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s A gift from the Sea
A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free. To touch heavily would be to arrest the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing.
Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back- it does not matter which. Because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it.
The joy of such a pattern is not only the joy of creation or the joy of participation; it is also the joy of living in the moment. Lightness of touch and living in the momentare intertwined. One cannot dance well unless one is completely in time with the music, not leaning back to the last step or pressing forward to the next one. But poised directly on the present step as it comes. Perfect poise is what gives good dancing its sense of ease, of timelessness, of the eternal.Table of Contents

“The Little Prince”  by Antoine de Saint- Exupery
It was then that the fox appeared.
 The Little Prince: Come and play with me.
 The Fox: I can’t play with you, I’m not tamed.
 The Little Prince: What does tamed mean
    The Fox: It means, “to create ties…” If you tame me, we’ll need each other. You’ll be the only boy in the world for me. I’ll be the only fox in the world for you. You’ll see the wheat fields over there, they say nothing to me. Which is sad. But you have hair the color of gold. So it will be wonderful, once you’ve tamed me! The wheat, which is golden, will remind me of you. And I’ll love the sound of the wind in the wheat…Please…tame me. The only things you learn are the things you tame. People haven’t time to learn anything. They buy things ready-made in stores. But since there are no stores where you can buy friends, people no longer have friends. If you want a friend, tame me! You have to be very patient, first you’ll sit down a little ways away from me, over there, in the grass. I’ll watch you out of the corner of my eye, and you won’t say anything. Language is the source of misunderstanding. But day after day, you’ll be able to sit a little closer…
    That was how the little prince tamed the fox. And when the time to leave was near:
    -Ah! The fox said “I shall weep”
    -It’s your own fault. The little Prince said, I never wanted
    to do any harm, but you insisted that I tame you… you
    get nothing out of it!
    -I get something, the fox said, because of the color of the wheat.
    Good bye said the little Prince
    Goodbye said the fox. Here is my secret. It’s quite simple:
    one sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is
    invisible to the eyes. It’s the time you spent taming me that
    makes me so important. People have forgotten this
    truth, but you mustn’t forget it. You become
    responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.

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 Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
    “Pooh, promise you won’t forget about me, ever. Not even when I’m a hundred.” Pooh thought for a little.
           “How old shall I be then? “Ninety-nine.” Pooh nodded. “I promise,” he said.

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Reading, Marianne Williamson
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people do not
feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us, it is in all of us.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically

liberates others.Table of Contents

Rainer Maria Rilke
    Everything that touches us, me and you,
    takes us together like a violin’s bow,
    which draws one voice out of two separate strings.
    Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
    And what musician holds us in his hand?
    Oh sweetest song.
Wild Nights – by Emily Dickinson
    Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
    Were I with thee
    Wild Nights should be
    Our luxury!
    Futile – The Winds-
    To a Heart in port-
    Done with the Compass-
    Done with the Chart!
    Rowing in Eden –
    Ahh, the Sea!
    Might I but moor – Tonight-

In Thee!

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Robert Graves

The far side of your moon is black,
    And glorious grows the vine;
    Ask anything of me you lack,
    But only what is mine.
    Yours is the great wheel of the sun,
    And yours is the unclouded sky;
    Then take my stars, take every one,
    But wear them openly.
    Walking in splendour through the plain
    For all the world to see,
    Since none alive shall view again

The match of you and me.

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  18th Century Chinese Poet, Tu Fu. From “On the River Tchou”
    My boat glides swiftly
    Beneath the wide cloud-ridden sky,
    And as I look into the river
    I can see the clouds drift by the moon,
    My boat seems floating
    On the sky
    And thus I dream
    My beloved is mirrored
    On my heart

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Love Changes Everything by Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Love- love changes everything
    Hands and faces earth and sky
    Love- love changes everything
    How you live and how you die
    Love can make the summer fly
    Or a night seem like a lifetime
    Yes love- love changes everything
    How I tremble at your name
    Nothing in the world will ever be the same
    Love- love changes everything
    Days are longer words mean more
    Love- love changes everything
    Pain is deeper than before
    Love will turn your world around
    And that world will last forever
    Yes love – love changes everything
    Brings you glory brings you shame
    Nothing in the world will ever be the same
    Off into the world we go
    Planning futures shaping years
    Love bursts in and suddenly
    All our wisdom disappears
    Love makes fools of everyone
    All the rules we make are broken
    Yes love- love changes everything
    Live or perish in its flame
    Love will never never let you be the same
    Love will never never let you be the same
    Love changes everything:
    Hands and faces earth and sky!
Reading, by Adrienne Rich:
    If you should pick me at my whim a rose,
    Setting the birds upon the bush in flight,
    How should I know what crimson meaning grows
    Deep in this garden, where such birds alight?
    And how should I believe, the meaning clear,
    That we are children of disordered days?
    That fragmentary world is mended here,
    And in this air a clearer sunlight plays,
    The fleeing hare, the wings that brush the tree,
    All images once separate and alone,
    Become the creatures of a tapestry
    Miraculously stirred and made our own.
    We are the denizens of a living wood
    Where insight blooms anew on every bough,
    And every flower emerges understood
    Out of a pattern unperceived till now.
    From this moment forward we are
    partners in Life’s wondrous
    and joy-filled journey.
    Wherever and whatever life brings,
    I am with you.
    No matter how great or small the distance between us,
    I walk beside you.
    I open my heart and give you
    what is deepest and most tender
    knowing with full faith and trust
    that with you it is secure.
    My Heart is your Heart…
    My Soul is your Soul…
    My Love is your Love
    For in Spirit we are One.

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Marge Piercy, “To Be of Use”
    The people I love the best
    jump into work head-first
    without dallying in the shadows
    and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
    They seem to become natives of that element,
    the black sleek heads of seals
    bouncing like half-submerged balls.
    I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
    who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
    who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
    who do what has to be done, again and again.
    I want to be with people who submerge
    in the task , who go into the fields to harvest
    and work in a row and pass the bags along,
    who are not parlor generals and field deserters
    but move in a common rhythm
    when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
    The work of the world is common as mud.
    botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
    but the thing worth doing well-done
    has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
    Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
    Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
    but you know they were made to be used.
    The pitcher cries for water to carry
    and a person for work that is real.

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The Dance by Wendell Berry

    I would have each couple turn,
    Join and unjoin, be lost
    In the greater turning
    Of other couples, woven
    In the circle of a dance,
    The song of long time flowing
    Over them, so they may return,
    Turn again in to themselves,
    Out of a desire greater than their own,
    Belonging to all, to each,
    To the dance, and to the song
    That moves them through the night.
   Dante’s Vita Nuova
    In quella parte del libro de la mia memoria,
    dinanzi a la quale poco si potrebbe leggere,
    si trova una rubrica la quale dice: Incipit vita nova.
    In that part of my book of memory,
    before which there is little to be read,
    there comes a chapter with the title:
    Incipit vita nova. Here begins a new life.
    From The Grownup by Rainer Maria Rilke
    All this stood upon her and was the world
    and stood upon her with all its fear and grace
    as trees stand, growing straight up, imageless
    yet wholly image,
    and solemn, as if imposed upon a race.
    And she endured it all: bore up under
    the swift-as-flight, the fleeting, the far-gone,
    the inconceivably vast, the still-to-learn,
    serenely as a woman carrying water
    moves with a full jug. Till in the midst of play,
    transfiguring and preparing for the future,
    the first white veil descended, gliding softly
    over her opened face, almost opaque there,
    never to be lifted off again, and somehow
    giving to all her questions just one answer:
    In you, who were a child once, in you.
  The Wild Swans at Coole by W.B. Yeats
    The trees are in their autumn beauty,
    The woodland paths are dry,
    Under the October twilight the water
    Mirrors a still sky;
    Upon the brimming water among the stones
    Are nine-and-fifty swans.
    The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
    Since I first made my count;
    I saw, before I had well finished,
    All suddenly mount
    And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
    Upon their clamorous wings.
    I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
    And now my heart is sore.
    All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
    The first time on this shore,
    The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
    Trod with a lighter tread.
    Unwearied still, lover by lover,
    They paddle in the cold
    Compassionable streams or climb the air;
    Their hearts have not grown old;
    Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
    Attend upon them still.
    But now they drift on the still water,
    Mysterious, beautiful;
    Among what rushes will they build,
    By what lake’s edge or pool
    Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
    To find they have flown away?
   Anniversary by Michael True
    Daily, we say,
    in spite of the ache of it,
    “I marry you” choosing
    in the long journey out
    of the self, uncertainty and
    confusion over loneliness.
    In a history of promises, kept or broken, we will
    to make known the best
    in us: gifts that heal
    and comfort
    like touches in the dark.
    By day, we live the common
    tasks – work, children
    debts, the evening meal.
    At night, turning into or
    away from one another,
    we dream then, our separate worlds,
    of memory and desire,
    reclaiming thus
    our separate selves.
    Each morning,
    faithful as daylight
    at the foot of the bed,
    I marry you.
    VIII from Four of IS 5 by E.E. Cummings
    some ask praise of their fellows
    but I being otherwise
    made compose curves
    and yellows, angles or silences
    (to a less erring end
    myself is sculptor of
    your body’s idiom:
    the musician of your wrists;
    the poet is afraid
    only to mistranslate
    a rhythm in your hair,
    (your fingerprints
    The way you move)
    the painter of your voice-
    beyond these elements
    remarkably nothing is… therefore, lady
    am I content should any
    by me carven thing provoke
    your gesture possibly or
    any painting (for its own
    reason) in your lips
    slenderly should create one least smile
    If a poem should lift to
    me the distinct country of your
    eyes, gifted with green twilight)

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Together by Paul Laraque
    Told by the groom to the bride
    If you are a true woman
    If I am a true man
    You need a true person
    A true pillar for life
    And through to the end
    You can count on me
    We will succeed.
    Lean on me
    Today and tomorrow
    In hard times
    In happy times.
    Together, together
    I will be your pillar.
    When things are great
    When things may not be well
    You a true woman
    Me a true man
    With all other men
    With all other women
    We will succeed
    For life and to the end
    Like This, by Rumi:
    If anyone asks you
    how the perfect satisfaction
    of all our loving
    will look, lift your face
    and say,
    Like this.
    when someone mentions the gracefulness
    of the night sky, climb up on the roof
    and dance and say,
    Like this.
    If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,
    or what “God’s fragrance” means,
    lean your head toward him or her.
    Keep your face there close and say.
    Like this.
    When someone quotes the old poetic image
    about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
    slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
    of your robe.
    Like this.
    If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
    don’t try to explain the miracle.
    Kiss me on the lips, and say.
    Like this. Like this.
    When someone asks what it means
    to “die for love,” point
    If someone asks how tall I am, frown
    and measure with your fingers the space
    between the creases on your forehead.
    This tall.
    The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns.
    When someone doesn’t believe that,
    walk back into my house.
    Like this.
    When lovers laugh,
    they’re telling our story.
    Like this.
    I am a sky where spirits live.
    Stare into this deepening blue,
    while the breeze says a secret
    Like this.
    When someone asks what there is to do,
    light the candle in his hand.
    Like this.
    Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII
    I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
          or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
    I love you as a certain dark things are loved,
    secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
    I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
    hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
    and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
    lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
    I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
    I love you simply, without problems or pride:
    I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
    but this, in which there is no I or you,
    so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,

so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

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(Hawaiian Song)
    Here all seeking is over,
    the lost has been found,
    a mate has been found
    to share the chills of winter-
    now Love asks
    that you be united.
    Here is a place to rest,
    a place to sleep,
    a place in heaven.
    Now two are becoming one,
    the black night is scattered,
    the eastern sky grows bright.
    At last the great day has come!
  Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver
    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    Are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    The world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.

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Ithaka by Constantine P. Cavafy

  – Translated by Edmund Keeley & Philip Sherrard
    As you set out for Ithaka
    hope your road is a long one,
    full of adventure, full of discovery.
    Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
    angry Poseidon- don’t be afraid of them:
    you’ll never find things like that on your way
    as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
    as long as a rare excitement
    stirs your spirit and your body.
    Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
    wild Poseidon- you won’t encounter them
    unless you bring them along inside your soul,
    unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
    Hope your road is a long one.
    May there be many summer mornings when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;
    …Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
    Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
    But don’t hurry the journey at all.
    Better if it lasts for years,
    so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
    wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
    not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
    Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
    Without her you wouldn’t have set out.
    She has nothing left to give you now.
    And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
    Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
    you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
   Eskimo Love Song
    You are my husband, you are my wife
    My feet shall run because of you
    My feet will dance because of you
    My heart shall beat because of you
    My eyes see because of you
    My mind thinks because of you
    And I shall love, because of you.
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from Sonnets from the Portugese
    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
    I love thee to the level of every day’s
    Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints, -I love thee with the breadth,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life! –and, if God chose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.
    Kuan tao-sheng (13th Century Poem)
    You and I
    Have so much love
    That it
    Burns like a fire,
    In which we bake a lump of clay
    Molded into a figure of you
    And a figure of me,
    Then we take both of them,
    And mix the pieces with water,
    And break them into pieces,
    And mold again a figure of you,
    And a figure of me.
    I am in your clay.
    You are in my clay.
    In life we share a single quilt.
    In death we share one bed.
   Love Recognized, by Robert Penn Warren
    There are many things in the world, and you
    Are one of them.
    Many things keep happening and
    You are one of them, and the happening that
    Is you keeps falling like snow
    On the landscape of not-you, hiding hideousness,
    The streets and the world of wrath are choked with snow.
    How many things have become silent? Traffic
    Is throttled. The mayor
    Has been, clearly, remiss, and the city
    Was totally unprepared for such a crisis. Nor
    Was I- yes, why should this happen to me?
    I have always been a law-abiding citizen.
    But you, like snow, like love, keep falling.
    And it is not certain that the world will not be
    Covered in a glitter of crystalline whiteness.
   Rainer Marie Rilke, Letters
    It is a question in marriage, to my feeling, not of creating
    a quick community of spirit by tearing down and
    destroying all boundaries, but rather a good marriage is
    that in which each appoints the other guardian of his
    solitude and shows him this confidence, the greatest in
    his power to bestow… Once the realization is accepted
    that even between the closest human beings infinite
    distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by
    side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance
    between them which makes it possible for each to see the
    other whole against a wide sky!
   Table of ContentsElizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese, XIV

    If thou must love me, let it be for nought
    Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
    ‘I love her for her smile- her look- her way
    Of speaking gently, – for a trick of thought
    That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
    A sense of pleasant ease on such a day
    For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
    Be changed, or change for thee, – and love, so wrought,
    May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
    Thine own dear pity’s wiping wiping my cheeks dry,
    A creature might forget to weep, who bore
    Thy comfort long, and lose thy love, thereby!
    But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
    Thou mayst live on, through love’s eternity.
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from Sonnets from the Portugese
    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
    I love thee to the level of every day’s
    Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints, -I love thee with the breadth,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life! –and, if God chose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.
Song of the Open Road
–  by Walt Whitman
Listen, I will be honest with you…
I do not offer the old smooth prizes
But offer rough new prizes
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand
All that you earn or achieve.
However sweet the laid up stores,
However convenient the dwelling,
you shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port,
However calm the waters,
you shall not anchor there.
However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you,
you are permitted to receive it but a little while.
Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road
Healthy, free, the world before you
The long brown path before you,
Leading wherever you choose.
Say only to one another:
I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money;
I give you myself before preaching and law:
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
Perfect Lovesong, By Neil Hannon (of the Divine Comedy)
Give me your love
And I’ll give you the perfect lovesong
With a divine Beatles bassline
And a big old Beach Boys sound
I’ll match you pound for pound
Like heavy-weights in the final round
We’ll hold onto each other
So we don’t fall down
Give me a wink
And I’ll give you what I think you’re after
With just one kiss I will whisk you away
To where angels often tread
We’ll paint this planet red
We’ll stumble back to our hotel bed
And make love to each other
‘Till we’re half dead
Maybe now you can see
Just what you mean to me
Give me your love
And I’ll give you the perfect lovesong
Give me your word
That you’ll be true to me always come what may
Forever and a day
No matter what other people may say
We’ll hold onto each other

‘Till we’re old and grey

Darest thounow O Soul, by Walt Whitman

Lisel Burns has collected poetry and prose for wedding readings. These can help make an interfaith and nondenominational marriage ceremony inspirational and beautiful.
Click to go to Lisel Burns’ wedding officiant page. Contact Lisel Burns by email here.
Darest thou now O Soul,
Walk out with me toward the unknown region,
Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow?
No map there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.
I know it not O soul,
Nor dost thou, all is a blank before us,
All waits undream’d of in that region, that inaccessible land…
Only you can look into my eyes
and read my thoughts,
my feelings, my emotions…
Only you, by the words you say
and the loving things you do,
can fill me with so much happiness…
Only you can make me love like this…
can make my life complete,
and make me believe
in forever.
A Red, Red Rose
O, my Love’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June.
O, my Love’s like the melodie
That sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in love am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till’ a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the Sands o’ life shall run
Mark Van Doren, “Marriage”
No wandering any more where the feet stumble
Upon a sudden rise, or sink in damp
Marsh grasses. No uncertain following on
With nothing there to follow—a sure bird,
A fence, a farmhouse. No adventuring now
Where motion that is yet not motion dies.
Circles have lost their magic, and the voice
Comes back upon itself… The road is firm.
It runs, and the dust is not too deep, and the end
Never can heave in sight—though one is there.
It runs in a straight silence, till a word
Turns I; then a sentence, and evening falls
At an expected inn, whose barest room
Cannot be lonely if a hand is reached
To touch another hand, the walls forgotten…
Laughter is morning, and the road resumes;
Adventurous, it never will return.
Reading, “Summer’s Rose”
Like summer’s rose did my heart
Brave the creeping autumn chill,
And weather sudden early frosts
And when the time for pruning came,
It clung to frozen thorny branch
And waited for a hand
To pluck it down
And carry it to safe
And warmer places.
Inside at last,
Rich petals fell like tears
Upon the shiny wooden floor-
You cradled them within your palm
And pressed them in a book
For all eternity.
Like summer’s rose does my heart
Lie within it’s hiding place-
One touch from you
And life begins again.
A portion of your soul has been entwined with mine.
A gently kind of togetherness, while separate stand.
As two trees deeply rooted in separate plots of ground,
while their topmost branches come together,
forming a miracle of lace against the heavens.
Namaste, by Ram Daos
In India when people meet and part,
they often say, “NAMASTE.”
Which means I honor the place in you
where the entire universe resides.
I honor the place in you of life,
of life, of truth, of peace.
I honor the place within you where if
you are in that place in you and
I am in that place in me,

there is only one of us.

Adeh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread under my dreams.

Song by John Fletcher
Do not fear to put thy feet
Naked in the river sweet;
Think not leech, or newt, or toad
Will bite thy foot, when thou hast trod:
Nor let the water rising high
As thou wad’st in, make thee cry
And sob; but ever live with me
And not a wave shall trouble thee.


Reading: A Trinity of Roses
If I had a white rose,
I would crush its milky petals
Into the purest lotion
And spread it over our steadfast loyalty
To protect its pristine beauty.
If I had a yellow rose,
I would weave its sunshine petals
Into a blanket of pure gold
And wrap it about our tender friendship
So that nothing could tear it asunder.
If I had a red rose,
I would scatter its ruby petals,
Like drops of precious blood
Over our present and future
To imbue our love with eternal life
And vitality.
For all these three are the true symbols
Of my everlasting commitment to thee.


Sudden Light, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.
You have been mine before,–
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow’s soar
Your neck turned so
Some veil did fall,– I knew it all of yore.
Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time’s eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death’s despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?
Wedding Poem
They say it’s many splendored,
It’s joy and ecstasy.
But love can take a million forms,
It’s steeped in mystery.
It’s silky and elusive,
To confusion it’s conducive,
And enigma shrouds its nature,
It’s a rare and cherished treasure.
And all of the billions living,
How do I find the soul.
Who complements and nurtures me,
And fills my empty holes.
Who shares my deepest secrets,
And gives me comfort when I need it.
Who is warm and sweet and loving,
And brings friendship and compassion.
Who is beautiful and caring,
Funny, smart and trusting,
Who is musical, poetic,
Creative and artistic.
I still can’t say for sure,
How love’s found, how it endures.
But I know it’s real and true,
This I know, ‘cause I’ve found you.
You’ve taught me about love,
I’ve listened and I’ve learned.
And every touch and sweet caress,
I hope to give in turn.
I cherish you my darling,
Every minute, every day.
Let’s travel on forever.
In life, in love, Always.


Love Poem, Kathleen Raine
Yours is the face that the earth turns to me.
Continuous beyond its human features lie
The mountain forms that rest against the sky.
With your eyes, the reflecting rainbow, the sun’s
Sees me; forest and flowers, bird and beast
Know and hold me forever in the world’s thought,
Creation’s deep untroubled retrospect.
When your hand touches mine, it is the earth
That takes me—the deep grass,
And rocks and rivers; the green graves,
And children yet unborn, and ancestors,
In love passed down from hand to hand
Your love comes from the creation of the world,
From heaven’s fingers, streaming through
The clouds
That break with light the surface of the sea.
Here, where I trace your body with my hand,
Love’s presence has no end;
For these, your arms that hold me, are the world’s.
In us, the continents, clouds and oceans meet
Our arbitrary selves, extensive with the night,
Lost, in the heart’s worship, and the body’s sleep.


Reading, Song of Songs, 2:10 – 13; 7:11 – 14
My beloved spoke thus to me,
“Arise, my darling;
My fair one, come away!
For now the winter is past,
The rains are over and gone.
The blossoms have appeared in the land,
The time of pruning has come;
The song of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
The green figs form on the fig tree,
The vines in blossom give off fragrance.
Arise, my darling;
My fair one, come away!
I am my beloved’s
And his desire is for me.
Come my beloved,
Let us go into the open;
Let us lodge among the henna shrubs.
Let us go early to the vineyards;
Let us see if the vine has flowered,
If its blossoms have opened,
If the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give my love to you.
The mandrakes yield their fragrance,
At our doors are all the choice fruits;
Both freshly picked and long-stored
Have I kept, my beloved, for you.







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