Sir Walter Raleigh
What is our life? A play of passion,
Our mirth the music of division,
Our mother's wombs the tiring-houses be,
Where we are dressed for this short comedy.
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is,
That sits and marks still who doth act amiss.
Our graves that hide us from the setting sun
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest,
Only we die in earnest, that's no jest.
William Butler Yeats
I bring you with reverent hands
The books of my numberless dreams,
White woman that passion has worn
As the tide wears the dove-grey sands,
And with heart more old than the horn
That is brimmed from the pale fire of time:
White woman with numberless dreams,
I bring you my passionate rhyme.
RACE of veterans! Race of victors!
Race of the soil, ready for conflict! race of the conquering march!
(No more credulity’s race, abiding-temper’d race;)
Race henceforth owning no law but the law of itself;
Race of passion and the storm.
ONE’S-SELF I sing—a simple, separate Person;
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-masse.
Of Physiology from top to toe I sing;
Not physiognomy alone, nor brain alone, is worthy for the muse—I say the
Form complete is worthier far;
The Female equally with the male I sing.
Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
Cheerful—for freest action form’d, under the laws divine,
The Modern Man I sing.
O is it Love or is it Fame,
This thing for which I sigh?
Or has it then no earthly name
For men to call it by?
I know not what can ease my pains,
Nor what it is I wish;
The passion at my heart-strings strains
Like a tiger in a leash.
Walter de la Mare
When the rose is faded,
Memory may still dwell on
Her beauty shadowed,
And the sweet smell gone.
That vanishing loveliness,
That burdening breath,
No bond of life hath then,
Nor grief of death.
'Tis the immortal thought
Whose passion still
Makes the changing
Oh, thus thy beauty,
Loveliest on earth to me,
Dark with no sorrow, shines
And burns, with thee.
George (Lord) Byron
I would to heaven that I were so much clay,
As I am blood, bone, marrow, passion, feeling -
Because at least the past were passed away -
And for the future - (but I write this reeling,
Having got drunk exceedingly today,
So that I seem to stand upon the ceiling)
I say - the future is a serious matter -
And so - for God's sake - hock and soda water!
Sir Walter Raleigh
WRONG not, sweet empress of my heart,
The merit of true passion,
With thinking that he feels no smart,
That sues for no compassion.
Silence in love bewrays more woe
Than words, though ne'er so witty:
A beggar that is dumb, you know,
May challenge double pity.
Then wrong not, dearest to my heart,
My true, though secret passion;
He smarteth most that hides his smart,
And sues for no compassion.
Now that I know
How passion warms little
Of flesh in the mould,
And treasure is brittle,--
I'll lie here and learn
How, over their ground
Trees make a long shadow
And a light sound.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
FLOW on, ye lays so loved, so fair,
On to Oblivion's ocean flow!
May no rapt boy recall you e'er,
No maiden in her beauty's glow!
My love alone was then your theme,
But now she scorns my passion true.
Ye were but written in the stream;
As it flows on, then, flow ye too!
I know the thing that's most uncommon;
(Envy be silent and attend!)
I know a Reasonable Woman,
Handsome and witty, yet a Friend.
Not warp'd by Passion, aw'd by Rumour,
Not grave thro' Pride, or gay thro' Folly,
An equal Mixture of good Humour,
And sensible soft Melancholy.
`Has she no Faults then (Envy says) Sir?'
Yes she has one, I must aver:
When all the World comspires to praise her,
The Woman's deaf, and does not hear.
Proud of my broken heart, since thou didst break it,
Proud of the pain I did not feel till thee,
Proud of my night, since thou with moons dost slake it,
Not to partake thy passion, my humility.
Thou can'st not boast, like Jesus, drunken without companion
Was the strong cup of anguish brewed for the Nazarene
Thou can'st not pierce tradition with the peerless puncture,
See! I usurped thy crucifix to honor mine!
By the time you swear you're his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying -
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.
I burned my life, that I may find
A passion wholly of the mind,
Thought divorced from eye and bone
Ecstasy come to breath alone.
I broke my life, to seek relief
From the flawed light of love and grief.
With mounting beat the utter fire
Charred existence and desire.
It died low, ceased its sudden thresh.
I had found unmysterious flesh--
Not the mind's avid substance--still
Passionate beyond the will.
Gustavo Adolfo Becquer
I am black and comely; my lips are glowing;
I am passion; my heart is hot;
The rapture of life in my veins is flowing.
For me thou callest?—I call thee not.
Pale is my forehead and gold my tresses;
Endless comforts are locked in me,
Treasure of hearthside tendernesses.
’Tis I whom thou seekest?—Nay, not thee.
I am a dream, afar, forbidden.
Vague as the mist on the mountain-brow,
A bodiless glory, haunting, hidden;
I cannot love thee.—Oh, come! come thou!
William Butler Yeats
Autumn is over the long leaves that love us,
And over the mice in the barley sheaves;
Yellow the leaves of the rowan above us,
And yellow the wet wild-strawberry leaves.
The hour of the waning of love has beset us,
And weary and worn are our sad souls now;
Let us patt, ere the season of passion forget us,
With a kiss and a tear on thy drooping brow.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
[Prefixed to the second edition.
EV'RY youth for love's sweet portion sighs,
Ev'ry maiden sighs to win man's love;
Why, alas! should bitter pain arise
From the noblest passion that we prove?
Thou, kind soul, bewailest, lov'st him well,
From disgrace his memory's saved by thee;
Lo, his spirit signs from out its cell:
BE A MAN, NOR SEEK TO FOLLOW ME.
George William Russell
NOT the soul that’s whitest
Wakens love the sweetest:
When the heart is lightest
Oft the charm is fleetest.
While the snow-frail maiden,
Waits the time of learning,
To the passion laden
Turn with eager yearning.
While the heart is burning
Heaven with earth is banded:
To the stars returning
Go not empty-handed.
Ah, the snow-frail maiden!
Somehow truth has missed her,
Left the heart unladen
For its burdened sister.
Thy passion, man, resembles in all things a house dog
which never leaves his kennel. It has the slyness of the
fox, it lies low like a hare, and to the rage of the tiger
adds the voracity of a wolf.
As a bathtub lined with white porcelain,
When the hot water gives out or goes tepid,
So is the slow cooling of our chivalrous passion,
O my much praised but-not-altogether-satisfactory lady.
For union with my love I sigh in vain,
The pangs of absence I can scarce sustain,
My grief I dare not tell to any friend;
O trouble strange, sweet passion, bitter pain!
Said Death to Passion
"Give of thine an Acre unto me.
Said Passion, through contracting Breaths
"A Thousand Times Thee Nay.
Bore Death from Passion
All His East
He -- sovereign as the Sun
Resituated in the West
And the Debate was done.
What is our life? a play of passion;
Our mirth the musick of division:
Our mother's wombes the tyring houses bee
Where wee are drest for tyme's short comedy:
The earth's the stage, heaven the spectator is,
Who marketh still whoere doth act amisse:
Our graves that hide us from the burning sunne
Are but drawne curtaynes when the play is done
UPON thy purple mat thy body bare
Is fine and limber like a tender tree.
The motion of thy supple form is rare,
Like a lithe panther lolling languidly,
Toying and turning slowly in her lair.
Oh, I would never ask for more of thee,
Thou art so clean in passion and so fair.
Enough! if thou wilt ask no more of me!
HOW many feet ran with sunlight, water, and air?
What little devils shaken of laughter, cramming their little ribs with chuckles,
Fixed this lone red tulip, a woman’s mouth of passion kisses, a nun’s mouth of sweet thinking, here topping a straight line of green, a pillar stem?
Who hurled this bomb of red caresses?—nodding balloon-film shooting its wireless every fraction of a second these June days:
Love me before I die;
Love me—love me now.