Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
VIII. Wedded Love
Connubial Life
James Thomson (1700–1748)
 
From “The Seasons: Spring”

  BUT happy they! the happiest of their kind!
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.
’T is not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,        5
That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
Attuning all their passions into love;
Where friendship full-exerts her softest power,
Perfect esteem enlivened by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul;        10
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,
With boundless confidence: for naught but love
Can answer love, and render bliss secure.
Meantime a smiling offspring rises round,
And mingles both their graces. By degrees,        15
The human blossom blows; and every day,
Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm,
The father’s lustre and the mother’s bloom.
Then infant reason grows apace, and calls
For the kind hand of an assiduous care.        20
Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh instruction o’er the mind,
To breathe the enlivening spirit, and to fix
The generous purpose in the glowing breast.        25
O, speak the joy! ye whom the sudden fear
Surprises often, while you look around,
And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss,
All various nature pressing on the heart;
An elegant sufficiency, content,        30
Retirement, rural quiet, friendships, books,
Ease and alternate labor, useful life,
Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven.
These are the matchless joys of virtuous love;
And thus their moments fly. The Seasons thus,        35
As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll,
Still find them happy; and consenting Spring
Sheds her own rosy garlands on their heads:
Till evening comes at last, serene and mild;
When after the long vernal day of life,        40
Enamored more, as more remembrance swells
With many a proof of recollected love,
Together down they sink in social sleep;
Together freed, their gentle spirits fly
To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign.        45
 
 
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