Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
II. Love’s Nature
Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
From the “Lay of the Last Minstrel,” Canto III.

AND said I that my limbs were old,
And said I that my blood was cold,
And that my kindly fire was fled,
And my poor withered heart was dead,
  And that I might not sing of love?—        5
How could I, to the dearest theme
That ever warmed a minstrel’s dream,
  So foul, so false a recreant prove!
How could I name love’s very name,
Nor wake my heart to notes of flame!        10
In peace, Love tunes the shepherd’s reed;
In war, he mounts the warrior’s steed;
In halls, in gay attire is seen;
In hamlets, dances on the green.
Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,        15
And men below, and saints above;
For love is heaven, and heaven is love.
True love’s the gift which God has given
To man alone beneath the heaven;
  It is not fantasy’s hot fire,        20
    Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly;
  It liveth not in fierce desire,
    With dead desire it doth not die;
It is the secret sympathy,
The silver link, the silken tie,        25
Which heart to heart, and mind to mind,
In body and in soul can bind.

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