Monday, July 28, 2008

True love

The characteristics of true love are outlined in sonnet 116; the poet declares true love to be constant, unafraid of the present or the future, a guide, and not subject to time.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

I remember well the hour that my mother died. She was sixty years old, in a hospice, and for some time had been daily losing her fight against cancer. I arrived at the hospice perhaps 10 minutes after she died, and embraced my father. He looked at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'I loved that girl.' The words struck me: sixty years old, and still a girl: indeed love 'alters not... even to the edge of doom'.
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