Love’s ordering: A paraphrase—Disciple

Love’s ordering: A paraphrase—Disciple

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

Love’s ordering: A paraphrase—Disciple

(The Saviour of the World, Vol III Book IV Poem XLIX)

Say’st , “love is sweet,” young heart,

“A natural law, and light?”

Thou know’st not love: thy poorer part,

The sensible delight

Affection stirs in nerves and blood,—

So fond, so fervent, now;—and now, averted, rude.

Holy is love; hedged round

With fiery “shalt not:” hear

What disabilities do bound

True love; lest it appear,

Condemned in that thou dost allow,

Thou, willing what love ought, to do discern not how.

In word shalt thou not love:

Ah me, all dulcet dreams

And “tender morning visions!” when to prove

Himself the god he seems,

Thy love lifts gates that shut him in

From emprises Olympian, sweet awards to win!

Plainest, “hard the measure,

Ungenial is the law,

That would ban life’s tend’rest pleasure!—”

Nay, then, didst never draw

On dreams of service to reprove

Return thou thought’st too measur’d for unorder’d love?

Nor shall thy facile tongue

Love’s sacred substance spend

On the sweet tale too frequent sung.—

Thou question’st, “to what end?”

Alas, young heart, vows seal the eyes!

What if thou miss some altar, set for sacrifice?

Wouldst know the worth and meed

Of love thou crav’st to speak?

Appraise alone by duteous deed,

Or by refrainings meek.

One further doubt;—dost lay out love

With narrow merchant thought, return in kind to move?

Nay, but love thou in truth,

And not for any hope,

But fervently, in loyal sooth:

Though deed should win no scope,

Yet hath he love’s divinest part

Who truly bears another in his steadfast heart!

1 John iii. 18

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