Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Love’s Language

How does Love speak? 
In the faint flush upon the tell-tale cheek, 
And in the pallor that succeeds it; by
The quivering lid of an averted eye –
The smile that proves the parent to a sigh –
Thus doth Love speak.

How does Love speak? 
By the uneven heart-throbs, and the freak
Of bounding pulses that stand still and ache, 
While new emotions, like strange barques, make
Along vein-channels their disturbing course; 
Still as the dawn, and with the dawn’s swift force –
Thus doth Love speak.

How does Love speak? 
In the avoidance of that which we seek –
The sudden silence and reserve when near –
The eye that glistens with an unshed tear –
The joy that seems the counterpart of fear, 
As the alarmed heart leaps in the breast, 
And knows, and names, the greets its god-like guest –
Thus doth Love speak.

How doth Love speak? 
In the proud spirit suddenly grown meek –
The haughty heart grown humble; in the tender
And unnamed light that floods the world with splendour, 
In the resemblance which the fond eyes trace
In all things to one beloved face; 
In the shy touch of hands that thrill and tremble; 
In looks and lips that can no more dissemble –
Thus doth Love speak.

How doth Love speak? 
In the wild words that uttered seem so weak
They shrink ashamed to silence; in the fire
Glance strikes with glance, swift flashing high and higher, 
Like lightnings that precede the mighty storm; 
In the deep, soulful stillness; in the warm, 
Impassioned tide that sweeps through throbbing veins, 
Between the shores of keen delights and pains; 
In the embrace where madness melts in bliss, 
And in convulsive rapture of a kiss –
Thus doth Love speak.

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