Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
What Is Love
By Robert Heath (fl. 1650)
 
’TIS a child of phansies getting,
  Brought up between Hope and Fear;
Fed with smiles, grown by uniting
      Strong, and so kept by Desire.
’Tis a perpetual vestal fire        5
      Never dying,
Whose smoke like incense doth aspire,
      Upwards flying.
 
It is a soft magnetic stone,
  Attracting hearts by sympathy,        10
Binding up close two souls in one,
  Both discoursing secretly.
’Tis the true Gordian knot that ties
      Yet ne’er unbinds,
Fixing thus two lovers’ eyes        15
      As well as minds.
 
’Tis the sphere’s heavenly harmony
  When two skilful hands do strike;
And every sound expressively
  Marries sweetly with the like:        20
’Tis the world’s everlasting chain
      That all things tied,
And bid them like the fixed wain
      Unmoved to bide.
 
’Tis Nature’s law inviolate,        25
  Confirmed by mutual consent
Where two dislike, like, love, and hate,
  Each to the other’s full content:
’Tis the caress of every thing;
      The turtle-dove;        30
Both birds and beasts do offering bring
      To Mighty Love.
 
’Tis th’ angels’ joy: the gods’ delight, man’s bliss,
’Tis all in all: without Love nothing is.
 
 
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