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Quotations about Love

Life's much, and love is more. ~Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st earl of Lytton

Love has patience, courage, and faith. ~Frederick William Robinson, Under the Spell, 1870

If there is a day to act on the Love in your soul it is today, it is this moment. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2015

Physicians do not talk of love very often, or allow it to be registered in the great book of human ailments... ~Frederick W. Robinson, True to Herself, 1870

True, the poisonous breath of the world destroys our illusions, but they resuscitate at once when a ray of love falls upon our benumbed hearts, as the warmth of the sun revives the poor flowers withered by the ices of winter. ~J. De Finod

By love I mean a noble and sensuous passion, absorbing the energies of the soul, fulfilling destiny, and reducing all that has gone before it to the level of a mere prelude. ~Arnold Bennett (1867–1931)

With life as short as a half-taken breath,
do not plant anything but love.
~Rumi, interpreted by Coleman Barks

Love is a springtime plant that perfumes everything with its hope, even the ruins to which it clings. ~Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880), letter to Louise Colet, 1846, translated by Francis Steegmuller

Love. The indigenous nature of the soul... ~Morris Hyman, M.D. (b.1908), "The Intuition," Congenital Alterable Transmissible Asymmetry: The Spiritual Meaning of Disease and Science, 1970

When the histories shall all have been written, it will be found that the most victorious warrior of them all was Little Lord Love. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Phases, Mazes, and Crazes of Love, 1904

Falling in love like this was like being converted! She was finding a soul as well as a heart... Funny how love for one person made you suddenly love the whole world... ~Dorothy Scarborough, Impatient Griselda, 1927

The secret of finding someone to love, she had told me once, is first finding someone to like. ~Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever:  a lovestory, 1984

None can love well who are not worshipers of the beautiful. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation VIII: The Beech-wood," 1850

...surely he might call himself happier than most mortals, since so much of love's bliss had filled all the hours of his existence. ~Max Nordau (1849–1923), "The Art of Growing Old," How Women Love and Other Tales (Soul Analysis), translated from the German, 1896

She lay in the darkness made bright by the filtering moonbeams, stretched her arms above her head, and gave herself up to dreams. She felt no shame, no regret, but a still ecstasy, a wild exultation because of her love. All life, all bliss, all beauty would be hers and his, because they had given their hearts to each other. ~Dorothy Scarborough, Impatient Griselda, 1927  [a little altered –tg]

The soul without love in this world is as crippled and helpless as the bird with broken wing. ~Rev. James H. Ecob, "The Call of the Universe," 1904

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
~Khalil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923

Love is not everything. It is a part of one — perhaps the lower part — an accessory to man's life, needful for the continuation of the species. ~W. Somerset Maugham, "De Amicitia," Orientations, 1899

I learnt that men were moved by a savage egoism, that love was only the dirty trick nature played on us to achieve the continuation of the species, and I decided that, whatever aims men set themselves, they were deluded, for it was impossible for them to aim at anything but their own selfish pleasures. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938

Who, being loved, is poor? ~Oscar Wilde

Love must be as much a light as a flame. ~Henry David Thoreau

Love is as changeless as the stars — and as fickle and uncertain as the moon and the tide. ~Helen Rowland, "Speaking of Love," 1922

There are always reasons why no one could ever love you — and always someone who considers them insufficient. ~Robert Brault,

To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness. ~Robert Brault,

Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely. ~M*A*S*H, "Love Story," 1973, written by Laurence Marks  [S1, E14, Hawkeye]

The hours I spend with you I look upon as a sort of perfumed garden.... Other men it is said have seen angels but I have seen thee and thou art enough. A light, a beauty, a grace — how often I have used these words. Divine vision, if not divine to all men divine at least to me... ~George Moore, letter to Maud Cunard

But we loved with a love that was more than love... ~Edgar Allan Poe, "Annabel Lee," 1849

If I love you, what business is it of yours? ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated from German

The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

My debt to you, Belovèd,
Is one I cannot pay
In any coin of any realm
On any reckoning day...
~Jessie B. Rittenhouse

Love is the chain that links earth to heaven. ~Thomas Clark Henley, A Handful of Paper Shavings, 1861

Helen Barnet knew all about love. Had she not lisped its praises in odes to the moon in her high-school days? It had to do with flowers and music and angels. ~Eleanor H. Porter, "Frosted Cakes and Shotguns," The Road to Understanding, 1917

We choose those we like; with those we love, we have no say in the matter. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Hours fly,
Flowers die:
New days,
New ways:
Pass by!
Love stays.

Time is
Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is not.
~Henry Van Dyke, "Katrina's Sun-Dial," Music and Other Poems, 1904

Love is no respecter of age or practicality
Neither morality: unabashed
She enters where she will
Unheeding that her immortal fires
Burn up human hearts...
~Phillip Pulfrey, Beyond Me, 1999,

Love is an ocean of emotions entirely surrounded by expenses. ~Lord Dewar

When you're in love you never really know whether your elation comes from the qualities of the one you love, or if it attributes them to her; whether the light which surrounds her like a halo comes from you, from her, or from the meeting of your sparks. ~Natalie Clifford Barney (1876–1972), translated from French by Anna Livia

Though lovers' talk may be light and trivial, it often proves momentous as eternity. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

Anne went in with cheeks of flame and her heart beating to her finger-tips. Her soul was full of romantic thrills. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

Her cheeks burned; a strange new life was in all her veins. ~Amelia E. Huddleston Barr, A Rose of a Hundred Leaves: A Love Story, 1891 inexperienced heart was stormed. I... for a week or so lived on thought and tea. But who has not fasted thus long when first absorbed by the universal passion! ~"Diary of a Surgeon," in The Library of Fiction, or Family Story-Teller; consisting of Original Tales, Essays, and Sketches of Character, Vol. I, 1836  [When my now-husband first asked me out, I dropped five pounds because for the first several days the butterflies in my tummy wouldn't allow much more than orange juice for every meal! —tg]

Wind power, water power, coal power — How great would it be if you could harness the power of a young man in love? ~Richard Dahm, The Middle, "A Tough Pill To Swallow" [S8, E2, 2016, Frankie narrating]

I was only Elizabeth;
I am a wonder to myself and a strange glory,
I am the woman that he loves...
I should not be more unlike the live woman he sees,
Than is my image in the glass;
There is no glass that can show me
My likeness in his mind.
Yet, because I am beautiful to him,
I have become beautiful to myself;
I love the white face he praised,
And the mouth he kissed;
I am a wonder to myself,
And a strange glory.
~May Sinclair, The Dark Night, 1924

He that is in love desires it to be known. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

GERALD.  Have you ever watched the lovers in the Park sitting on the benches hour after hour without saying a word?
ROSE.  Why?
GERALD.  Because I've always thought that they must be bored to the verge of tears. Now I know they're only happy.
~W. Somerset Maugham, Lady Frederick, 1907

It's the great joy of being in love, that logic flies out the window... To find one curve of one cheek the loveliest line in the world, to see in the mirrors of two eyes the very best you are or ever hoped to be — and to believe that they are not mirrors at all, but clearest glass — to have a heart that will start, and stand still, and leap again, at the sound of just one step... To know... never to doubt, that this one thing that you have is good, is the best, is the one thing always to hold to, to keep, forever and forever, against all the winds of time and chance — By gosh, enthusiasm stirs once more in my old bones! Yes, you're right. Being in love is something to thank God for. (There's also a great deal to be said for being out of love. But never mind…) ~Rose Wilder Lane, letter to Dorothy Thompson, 1928, edited by William V. Holtz

You know you have found love when you can't find your way back. ~Robert Brault,

If grass can grow through cement, love can find you at every time in your life. ~Cher, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 2004,,

While duty measures the regard it owes
With scrupulous precision and nice justice,
Love never reasons, but profusely gives,
Gives, like a thoughtless prodigal, its all,
And trembles then, lest it has done too little.
~Hannah More

Take away love, and our earth is a tomb! ~Robert Browning, "Fra Lippo Lippi," Men and Women, 1855

      My idea of love was a cheerful, natural reciprocity of help and pleasuring and a certain mutual flattery and reassurance — with no thought or possibility of third parties intervening from either side of the picture. Love, if it was any good at all, was an honest alliance of two people well suited to each other, against the impertinence of third parties. With laughter in it. So I thought. So I suppose I still think at the back of my mind. And still I do not know why we should not all of us pair off in that spirit.
      Few men and women, I realize, succeed in getting things like that. But surely some do. ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds...
~William Shakespeare

Occasionally it's good to spend a day or two checking on whether everyone you love knows it. ~Robert Brault,

He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began. ~Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, 1877, translated by Constance Garnett

Love is that flame which, when it is kindled,
Devours everything except the Beloved.
~Rumi, translator unknown

Take love as a sober man takes wine; do not become a drunkard. If your mistress is sincere and faithful, love her for that; but if she is not, if she is merely young and beautiful, love her for that; if she is agreeable and spirituelle, love her for that; if she is none of these things but merely loves you, love her for that. Love does not come to us every day. ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century, 1836, translated from French by Kendall Warren

Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is a winding path walked arm in arm. ~Robert Brault,

No one can understand love who has not experienced infatuation. And no one can understand infatuation, no matter how many times he has experienced it. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

They who meet on an April night
Are forever lost in love,
If there is moonlight all about
And there's no moon above.
~E. Y. "Yip" Harburg and Fred Saidy
[I first wrote this down as a young teenager riding in my parents' car one night. It was on their oldies radio station, and I loved the line. For years I didn't know the attribution, but I am so grateful to Katherine who wrote to let me know that it's in the dialogue just before the song "Old Devil Moon" in the musical Finian's Rainbow. Thank you! —tg]

I'd much rather love people... I love to love! It makes you feel so nice and warm and homey. ~Kate Langley Bosher, How It Happened, 1914

Plant love everywhere, so that it grows through the cracks in hatred. ~Terri Guillemets he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire. ~Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, 1847

The excesses of love soon pass, but its insufficiencies torment us forever. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

The arms of love encompass you with your present, your past, your future, the arms of love gather you together. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Southern Mail, 1929, translated from the French by Curtis Cate, 1971

Love makes man an angel, hate makes him a fiend. ~Thomas Clark Henley, A Handful of Paper Shavings, 1861

I chose you... Don't ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn't fall in love, I rose in it. ~Toni Morrison, Jazz, 1992

An old man in love is like a flower in winter. ~Portuguese proverb

I don't think you can keep someone you truly love at arm's length on purpose, they'll always end up in your arms. ~Holly Nichole Miller

Love is the poetry of the senses. ~Honoré de Balzac

We picture love as heart-shaped because we do not know the shape of the soul. ~Robert Brault,

How common is love? Common as breathing and heart-beat. ~Rev. James H. Ecob, "The Call of the Universe," 1904

Love has done a strange thing to me. I wonder: if you cut a man who has loved fiercely, you will see a different shaped heart from a man who has not? ~The Great, "Stapler," 2021, written by Tony McNamara and Matthew Moore, based on the 2008 play by Tony McNamara  [S2, E7, Hulu]

Love and a cough cannot be hid. ~Proverb

Desire creates havoc when it is the only thing between two people, or when it is what's missing. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

A man is not where he lives but where he loves. ~Latin proverb

For you may perceive that he is not where he lives but where he loves, and more thoughts hath he in his head than you bees in your hives; and better it were for him to be naked among your wasps, though his body were all blistered, than to have his heart stung so with affection, whereby he is so blinded. ~John Lyly, Euphues and His England, 1580

He that truly Loves, dwells not where he lives, but where he Loves, He dwelleth in Love... ~Edward Hyde (1609–1674)

I had rather be loved than to be called a king in earth, or a lord in Heaven. ~Emily Dickinson, 1856

I need so much the quiet of your love,
      After the day's loud strife;
I need your calm all other things above,
      After the stress of life.
I crave the haven that in your dear heart lies,
      After all toil is done;
I need the starshine of your heavenly eyes,
      After the day's great sun!
~Charles Hanson Towne, "At Nightfall," The Quiet Singer and Other Poems, 1908

No one complains of being a prisoner of love who has ever been a prisoner of loneliness. ~Robert Brault,

Pure love is as gentle as the moon and as constant as the sun. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Let lovers be crazy, disgraceful and wild
Those who fret about such things
Aren't in love.
~Rumi, interpreted by Deepak Chopra

Love is as necessary to happiness, as is fire in winter. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Sweethearts and Beaux, 1905

I love you... and always I have a chair for you in the smallest parlor in the world, to wit, my heart. ~Emily Dickinson, 1860

My opinion of love is, that it acts upon the human heart precisely as a nutmeg-grater acts upon a nutmeg. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley  ["Shelley seldom indulged in a pleasantry, and William Godwin as seldom reported one; a jest of the former, given on the relation of the latter, is at least a rarity of facetiousness." ~Thomas Jefferson Hogg —tg]

Love is the greatest touch-up artist of all. ~Robert Brault,

Love is credulity multiplied by two. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Knocks Witty, Wise and —, 1905

...there is no hope for us in this painful, mysterious world save in giving ourselves to love. ~Byron Caldwell Smith (1849–1877), letter to Kate Stephens (1853–1938)

The most serious business of life is Love.
All other undertakings are subservient, incidental.
Love is the supreme issue, the one thing that counts.
All that precedes is preparation,
All that follows is but survival.
~Adolf Wolff (1883–1944), "A Paean to Love," Songs of Rebellion, Songs of Life, Songs of Love, 1914

[Victor's] heart was on the sunny side of love... ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865

Love is a condition where the world seems to be standing still, and it's you who are spinning on your axis. ~Robert Brault,

To one looking on, there seems to be so very little romance in that wonderful country of America — and romance is the glamour which turns the dust of every-day life into a golden haze. ~Elinor Glyn, The Philosophy of Love, 1923

Love demands certain things as a right... ~Henry James, Washington Square, 1880

A good speech has a beginning, a middle and an end, the best example being, "I love you." ~Robert Brault,

Mumps, measles, and puppy love are terrible after twenty. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

...he's out of his head for love of you! ~Clyde Fitch, Barbara Frietchie, the Frederick Girl, 1900

Smiles escape from clouds above and angels ring a chorus of your love. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet, tweet, 2010

Love, like light, beautifies everything it touches. ~Thomas Clark Henley, A Handful of Paper Shavings, 1861

If you truly love someone, they never leave you. They remain in your heart forever. ~The Haunted Mansion (movie), 2003, written by David Berenbaum  [Master Gracey —tg]

Open your heart, and take us in,
Love — love and me.
~William Ernest Henley

Love is a divine fire which keeps the heart alive and glowing... ~Helen Rowland, "Speaking of Love," 1922

On a cloudy night, when nothing seems above, still, there is love. Always love. For something, from someone. It's never done. Never. ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson, tweet, 2009

It is a general rule, to which there is no exception, that man must love something. Under certain circumstances you would love even a rattlesnake; the loving fibre in man cannot remain entirely inert. The human soul abhors a vacuum; observe attentively the most hardened egoist, and at last you will find, like a little flower among the stones, an affection hidden under a fold of his soul. ~Claude Tillier (1801–1844), My Uncle Benjamin: A Humorous, Satirical, and Philosophical Novel, 1843, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1890  [a little altered —tg]

What an infinity of bliss the possession of your love seemed to me — the future so full of passionate sweet life that my spirit shrank blinded from trying to explore it; I stopped content with the delicious sense of that moment alone. ~Byron Caldwell Smith (1849–1877), letter to Kate Stephens (1853–1938)

There can be no end to my love. It is a fire I cannot put out. ~Kate Stephens, A Woman's Heart, 1906

Love is a madman, working his wild schemes, tearing off his clothes, running through the mountains... ~Rumi, as interpreted by Coleman Barks

The madness of love is ever delightful. ~Publilius Syrus, 1st century BCE, from the Latin by D. Lyman, 1856

And she had loved him with all the romance and enthusiasm of her eager little soul. ~Kate J. Neely, "Letty's Proposal," 1862

Here's to Love, the only fire against which there is no insurance. ~Toasts and After-Dinner Speeches, ed. William Young Stafford, 1903

Ah, lady, when I gave my heart to thee,
It passed into thy lifelong regency.
~Gilbert Parker, "Sacrifice," A Lover's Diary, 1894

Is it dream, or is it earnest, — those moon-lit walks upon the hills that skirt the city, when you watch the stars, listening to her voice, and feel the pressure of that jewelled hand upon your arm? — when you drain your memory of its whole stock of poetic beauties, to lavish upon her ear? Is it love, or is it madness, when you catch her eye, as it beams more of eloquence than lies in all your moonlight poetry, and feel an exultant gush of the heart, that makes you proud as a man, and yet timid as a boy, beside her? ~Ik Marvel (Donald Grant Mitchell, 1822–1908), Dream Life: A Fable of the Seasons

Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.
~William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, c.1594  [II, 7, Julia]

It's a life-long battle, perhaps worth fighting, to try to love someone through the chinks in their armor. ~Robert Brault,

I loved her — love will find its way
Through paths where wolves would fear to prey...
~Lord Byron (1788–1824), "The Giaour: A Fragment of a Turkish Tale," 1813

Life only starts when love comes. ~Bill of Divorcement (film), 1932, screen play by Howard Estabrook and Harry Wagstaff Gribble, from the play by Clemence Dane

...a man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy. ~George Jean Nathan

Love isn't Cupid really. He's Jupiter and rules all the world. ~Clyde Fitch, Barbara Frietchie, the Frederick Girl, 1900

What is the Law of being? Why, dearie, it is just love... The Law of your being is LOVE. ~Elizabeth Jones Towne, Practical Methods for Self Development, 1904

What good is love if you never ask anything of it? ~Robert Brault,

Why is it always, that a man of whatever age or condition, forbears to exhibit to those, whose respect for his judgment, and mental abilities he seeks only, the most earnest qualities of the heart, and those intenser susceptibilities of love, which underlie his nature, and which give a color, in spite of him, to the habit of his life? Why is he so morbidly anxious to keep out of sight any extravagances of affection, when he blurts officiously to the world, his extravagances of action, and of thought? Can any lover explain this to me? ~Ik Marvel (Donald Grant Mitchell, 1822–1908), Dream Life: A Fable of the Seasons

Ah me! why may not love and life be one? ~Henry Timrod (1828–1867)

Love makes time pass; time makes love pass. ~Proverb

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind:
Nor hath Love's mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste:
And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
~William Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream, c.1595  [I, 1, Helena]

Love may be blind, but his ears are monstrous keen. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Phases, Mazes, and Crazes of Love, 1904

It is not that love is blind. It is that love sees with a painter's eye, finding the essence that renders all else background. ~Robert Brault,

Love may be blind, but if you've ever known a blind person, they still know where everything is. ~Robert Brault,

To say that love is blind understates the case; surely only perverse incompetence can account for the fact that it so often chooses the hopelessly unattainable, the maddeningly unresponsive, or the entirely unsuitable. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

Love is blind but the neighbors are not. ~Author unknown, 1800s

I love you as you are, but do not tell me how that is. ~Antonio Porchia (1886–1968), Voces, 1943–1966, translated from the Spanish by W.S. Merwin (1927–2019), c.1968

Love will outwatch the stars, and light the skies
When the last star falls, and the silent dark devours;
God's warrior, he will watch the allotted hours...
~Edwin Markham, "Love's Vigil"

Absence diminishes small loves and moderate passions, and it increases great ones — as the wind blows out candles but adds fury to fire. ~François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680)

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder" of somebody else. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Love is the end, all else is the means. ~Adolf Wolff (1883–1944), "A Paean to Love," Songs of Rebellion, Songs of Life, Songs of Love, 1914

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction. ~Antoine de Saint Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939, translated from the French by Lewis Galantière, 1967

She stole a piece of my heart but I couldn't ask for a better place I'd rather be imprisoned. ~Craig D. Slovak

Turn and see what pleasures woo you,
Let not Love in vain pursue you,
Seize the Blessings while you may.
~John Christopher Smith, "The Enchanter," 1760 ♫

Love is a word which every man defines according to his own "symptoms" and every woman translates according to her own emotions. ~Helen Rowland, "Speaking of Love," 1922

What is love?...
There is a strong wall about me to protect me:
It is built of the words you have said to me.
There are swords about me to keep me safe:
They are the kisses of your lips.
Before me goes a shield to guard me from harm:
It is the shadow of your arms between me and danger.
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Love-songs," 1915

Without respect, love cannot go far or rise high: it is an angel with but one wing. ~Alexandre Dumas, fils

Love, like paint and putty, generally covers a multitude of defects. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

Voluptuous bloom and fragrance rare
The summer to its rose may bring;
Far sweeter to the wooing air
The hidden violet of spring.
Still, still that lovely ghost appears,
Too fair, too pure, to bid depart;
No riper love of later years
Can steal its beauty from the heart.
~Bayard Taylor, "Young Love"

I see him only with my heart. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, Tammy Out of Time, 1958

The warm sun charges life with glory, and makes me breathe deep and rejoice. More joy would be too much. I would rather live in a hovel and work my fingers to the bone than have money taint such a heaven of happiness as ours. For I have known riches and experienced love, and have found that the first is poverty, and the last is wealth, and that there is nothing on earth worth having but a love like ours. ~Laura L. Livingstone (Herbert Dickinson Ward), Lauriel: The Love Letters of an American Girl, 1901

Love touches the soul and awakens a desire so powerful that even the most vigilant heart is lured by its radiance. ~Jamie Lynn Morris

I am too amorous,—yes, I am too much in love with love... ~Octave Mirbeau, A Chambermaid's Diary, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1900

A heart that loves too much is a heart that loves just enough. ~Keith Wynn, 2019

But I think it is hardly an argument against a man's general strength of character, that he should be apt to be mastered by love. A fine constitution doesn't insure one against small-pox or any other of those inevitable diseases. A man may be very firm in other matters, and yet be under a sort of witchery from a woman. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede

Love is not about grand intentions. It is about small attentions. ~Robert Brault,

Love doth make stars to shine
In the gray, grieving skies of care.
~Julia Cooley Altrocchi (1893–1972), "Sentences That I Make Up," The Poems of a Child, Being Poems Written Between the Ages of Six and Ten, 1904

Oh, mon ami, I love myself through you. With you I am all that I would wish. ~George A. Dorsey, Young Low, 1917

Emily:  I can trust that when I speak a word, he hears it. He gets its meaning.
Sue:  A poet's definition of love.
~Dickinson, "There's a certain Slant of light," 2019, written by Hayes Davenport and Alena Smith  [S1, E8]

Love! Immortality! it speedily became so hot in my breast, that I thought the geographers had misplaced the equator, and that it now ran directly through my heart. And from my heart poured out the feeling of love;—it poured forth with wild longing into the broad night. The flowers in the garden beneath my window breathed a stronger perfume. Perfumes are the feelings of flowers, and as the human heart feels most powerful emotions in the night, when it believes itself to be alone and unperceived, so also do the flowers, soft-minded, yet ashamed, appear to await for concealing darkness, that they may give themselves wholly up to their feelings, and breathe them out in sweet odours. Pour forth, ye perfumes of my heart, and seek beyond yon blue mountain for the loved one of my dreams! ~Heinrich Heine, "The Hartz Journey" (1824), Pictures of Travel, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, 1855

Love is vanity covered thinly with sentiment; love is friendship sprinkled with star dust. ~Helen Rowland, "Speaking of Love," 1922

A purple light hovers round my head. The air of love is in the room... The flowers of Hope and Joy springing up in my mind, recall the time when they first bloomed there. The years that are fled knock at the door and enter... I am as when my life began. The rainbow is in the sky again... Oh! if I am deceived, let me be deceived still. Let me live in the Elysium of those soft looks; poison me with kisses, kill me with smiles... ~William Hazlitt, "On Great and Little Things," Table-Talk, 1822  [The footnote to this passage: "I beg the reader to consider this passage merely as a specimen of the mock-heroic style, and as having nothing to do with any real facts or feelings." —tg]

Sometimes love needs a rest from caring, and so bears for an intolerable few hours the guilt of not caring. ~Robert Brault,

He got up and put his arm on the woman's shoulder. "Girl…" There were so many things to say, but the best was just to say "Girl" and nothing more. And all that remained to be said could stay in the warmth of the heart, which was its place. ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939

The learned compute that seven hundred and seven millions of millions of vibrations have penetrated the eye before the eye can distinguish the tints of a violet. What philosophy can calculate the vibrations of the heart before it can distinguish the colours of love? ~Pisistratus Caxton (Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton), What Will He Do With It?

...the wanderlust can eat the heart out of love itself if love is fed only on the everyday joys and sorrows. ~Grace Isabel Colbron, book review of The Trail of the Hawk by Sinclair Lewis, 1915

Some say that true love is a mirage; seek it anyway, for all else is surely desert. ~Robert Brault,

...if you are truly a man, sure of yourself and confident of your strength, you may taste of life without fear and without reserve; you may be sad or joyous, deceived or respected; but be sure you are loved, for what matters the rest? ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century, 1836, translated from French by Kendall Warren

When love is not madness, it is not love. ~Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Madness! This love was a part of me, like my own flesh; it had taken the place of my blood and marrow; it possessed me entirely; it was I! ~Octave Mirbeau, "The Mission," The Torture Garden, 1899, translated from the French by Alvah C. Bessie, 1931

Perhaps love is always a madness in which all else is unimportant, disregarded, so that one moves in the midst of it unmindful of danger or of the day of awakening. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, But the Morning Will Come, 1949

Feelings pass like clouds but love endures like the sky. ~Peter Roberts, Omnipresent LOVE, @evolvewithlove, tweet, 2014

It's a simple sentiment, "I love you," and yet so hard sometimes to get the wording right. ~Robert Brault,

Don't you see sunbeams in my eyes?
Mamma does, they're love you know...
~Ouina (Cora L. V. Scott Richmond), given through her Medium "Water Lily," "Sunbeams," Ouina's Canoe, 1882  [a little altered —tg]

Love is life. Selfishness is death. Think of one who has no throb outside of himself; is he not entombed in a grave more dark than that of earth? The moment one begins to love, if only a dog, he begins to live. To love something that is different from one's self — a flower, a star, a human soul — what power is in it, what stir of all the faculties! Oh, the manifold life of love. How it flows and streams away on every side, in love of father and mother, brother and sister, husband and wife, and friend, and little children, of the tiniest speck and grandest orb. We rejoice in all things. Every sound is a delight. The very worm beneath our feet thrills us. We are alive all over. ~Putnam, as quoted in The Christian Pioneer, 1874

Requited love is blissful state,
No mortals can themselves create:
We know not why to us 'tis given—
Enough: we know it is of Heaven.
~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

In the midst of pain and urgent trouble we can not realize the supreme happiness of being loved — sweetest and deepest of all meditations.... ~Byron Caldwell Smith (1849–1877), letter to Kate Stephens (1853–1938)

Love is the second prevailing virtue, that adorns her character. Without it she is like a closed blossom which exhibits neither its beauty or its fragrance; love reveals her inward mystery. ~Frederick A. Rauch, "Of Woman," 1840

Although love may be planted in the lowest places, its foliage and fruits may reach to the skies. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

For some it is love undeniably. For others it is making it work, never actually knowing what it is. ~Robert Brault,

Are you a man, Octave? Do you see the leaves falling from the trees, the sun rising and setting? Do you hear the ticking of the clock of time with each pulsation of your heart? Is there, then, such a difference between the love of a year and the love of an hour? I challenge you to answer that, you fool, as you sit there looking out at the infinite through a window not larger than your hand. ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century, 1836, translated from French by Kendall Warren

I love to kiss your lying lips —
when we love our honesty slips
but soul to soul is always true —
a love lie is truth in another hue
~Terri Guillemets, "Always true," 2008

To lovers! — the have-been's, the are-now's, and the may-be's. ~Minna Thomas Antrim, A Book of Toasts, 1902

Lovers needn't always agree, anymore than poetry need always rhyme. ~Robert Brault,

...for sadness flies
When love is seen in beauty's eyes!
~Jessee H. Butler, "Twenty-One," Home: Femme Heroic and Miscellaneous Poems, 1875

...see what a muff love makes of a fellow! ~Frederick William Robinson, Under the Spell, 1870

I see that you believe in love such as the poets and romancers have represented... The poets represent love as the sculptors design beauty, as the musicians create melody; that is to say, endowed with an exquisite nervous organization, they gather up with discerning ardor the purest elements of life, the most beautiful lines of matter, and the most harmonious voices of nature.... To try to find in real life such love as this, eternal and absolute, is the same thing as to seek on the public squares such a woman as Venus or to expect nightingales to sing the symphonies of Beethoven. ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century, 1836, translated from French by Kendall Warren

Can the sea be empty of salt,
Or love of sorrow?
~John Robinson Jeffers, "Salt Sand"

"It is you that have killed me," I wrote. "Killed me again and again, a hundred times. I can never look a single soul in the face again. And I hate you, hate you, hate you—" So I wrote. But even as I did so, I knew it was not that word, but another, that I meant. Our hate we can escape, but the other thing, never. ~Barbra Ring, Før kulden kommer, 1915, translated from the Norwegian by W. Emmé, Into the Dark, 1923

Passionate love can become passionate hatred only when a germ of love survives. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Sweethearts and Beaux, 1905

I hated him with a passion so deep, sometimes it felt like love. ~Terri Guillemets

It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry, whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom. Each, in its utmost development, supposes a high degree of intimacy and heart-knowledge; each renders one individual dependent for the food of his affections and spiritual life upon another; each leaves the passionate lover, or the no less passionate hater, forlorn and desolate by the withdrawal of his object. Philosophically considered, therefore, the two passions seem essentially the same, except that one happens to be seen in a celestial radiance, and the other in a dusky and lurid glow. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, 1850

Love can only end in indifference. If it ends in hate, it hasn't ended. ~Robert Brault,

What we seek in the end is not unconditional love but a love for which we, uniquely in all the world, meet all the conditions. ~Robert Brault,

A goddess not inglorious in the skies
Is Venus... O sovereign, sea-born Venus...
Never with wild ungovern'd sway
Rush on my heart, and force it to obey:
For not the light'ning's fire,
Nor stars swift-darting through the sky,
Equal the shafts sent by this son of Jove,
When his hand gives them force to fly,
Kindling the flames of love.
~Euripides (c.484–406 BCE), Hippolytus, translated by R. Potter, 1781  [Introductory poem, nurse, and chorus; Hoyt & Ward, 1881, quoted: "Venus, thy eternal sway / All the race of men obey." —tg]

If you would be loved, love and be loveable. ~Benjamin Franklin, 1755

Love is mostly valor, with little discretion. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Love is a decision you might wisely reconsider, if it were a decision, and you could reconsider it, and you were likely to be any wiser. ~Robert Brault,, 2018

So I'll sit and rock and be happy,
And meditate mostly on love!...
Love for my mother and dad...
And love for the friends I have had!
Love for the blessings God gives me,
Love for the sunshine and showers,
Love for the creatures God put here,
And love for the trees and the flowers...
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham (1880–1971), "To Ruth Ann"

If her unhappiness does not destroy my happiness, and if her happiness does not make me happy, I do not love her. ~Mark Rutherford (William Hale White)

Love is when you can be your true self with someone, and you only want to be your true self because of them. ~Terri Guillemets

O, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away!
~William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, c.1594  [I, 3, Proteus]

Love is like an April day,
      Half of sunshine, half of shower;
Right the poets, they who say
Love is like an April day—
Silver lined, deny who may,
      Are the clouds that darkly lower—
Love is like an April day,
      Half of sunshine, half of shower.
~Jean Wright

I am, I repeat, quite unable to say now whether I was what is called 'in love' with her. But then I have never been able to determine what 'in love' really means. ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

Sometimes a couple stays together for the sake of the kids — two kids who pledged to be forever true. ~Robert Brault,

From the time his heart was big enough for Cupid to stick a child's-size arrow in, Eddie idolized Luella. ~Rupert Hughes, "Don't You Care!," In a Little Town, 1917

ROSE.  When a man's in love, he at once makes a pedestal of the Ten Commandments and stands on the top of them with his arms akimbo. When a woman's in love she doesn't care two straws for Thou Shalt and Thou Shalt Not.
GERALD.  When a woman's in love she can put her heart on the slide of a microscope and examine how it beats. When a man's in love, what do you think he cares for science and philosophy and all the rest of it!
ROSE.  When a man's in love he can only write sonnets to the moon. When a woman's in love she can still cook his dinner and darn her own stockings.
~W. Somerset Maugham, Lady Frederick, 1907

Love came to me when I was young;
He brought me songs, he brought me flowers;
Love wooed me lightly, trees among,
And dallied under scented bowers;
      And loud he carolled: "Love is King!"
      For he was riotous as spring
            And careless of the hours,—
                  When I was young...
~Francis Howard Williams, "Love Came To Me," The Flute-Player and Other Poems, 1894

Love consists of a little sighing, a little crying, a little dying — and a deal of lying. ~Author unknown

By the time you swear you're his,
      Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
      Infinite, undying—
Lady, make a note of this:
      One of you is lying.
~Dorothy Parker, "Unfortunate Coincidence," 1926

Love never lets you get away with an unspoken lie. It makes you tell it. ~Robert Brault,

Love believes there is something worth living for. ~Thomas Clark Henley, A Handful of Paper Shavings, 1861

Love is for doing things, not merely for wonderment. ~Mary Hunter Austin, Love and the Soul Maker, 1914

What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand was the time... when Ennis had come up behind him and pulled him close, the silent embrace satisfying some shared and sexless hunger. They had stood that way for a long time in front of the fire... Ennis’s breath came slow and quiet, he hummed, rocked a little in the sparklight, and Jack leaned against the steady heartbeat, the vibrations of the humming like faint electricity and, standing, he fell into sleep that was not sleep but something else drowsy and tranced... Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives. Nothing marred it... ~Annie Proulx, "Brokeback Mountain," in The New Yorker, 1997

Only yourself can heal you,
Only yourself can lead you,
The road is heavy going
And ends where no man knows;
Take love when love is given,
But never think to find it
A sure escape from sorrow
Or a complete repose.
~Sara Teasdale, "Day's Ending (Tucson)"

Happiness is having everything you've worked for and someone for whom you'd give it all up who would never ask you to. ~Robert Brault,

Fools in love —
Well, are there any other kind of lovers?...
~Joe Jackson, "Fools in Love," 1978,

A god could hardly love and be wise. ~Publilius Syrus, 1st century BCE, from the Latin by D. Lyman, 1856

You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love. The running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip. ~Jonathan Carroll, Outside the Dog Museum, 1992,

The Old Man once said: "Every normal man has the mating impulse, but not every one has the capacity to love." I know there are those who deny love — and they will not understand. I am sorry for them. What has life meant for them? Only illusion. And they have missed the one, the great illusion! I am sorry for them. ~George A. Dorsey, Young Low, 1917

I emerged from the affair at last in a state which I can only describe as over-disillusionment about love. ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

You see, I'd never stopped to wonder why it was that millions of boys all over creation weren't seeing her and instantly falling in love with her, worshipping her body and mind and soul and spirit as I did. It never occurred to me until this precise moment that maybe lots of boys wouldn't have thought she was beautiful. Maybe she only seemed so beautiful to me because — and this is the shocker — her face came alive when I walked in front of it. ~Author unknown  [I'm pretty sure I got this from Sassy magazine in 1987, but I lost the article. Does anyone know the attribution? —tg, 1998]

She has wound herself around my soul!... Happiness is inseparable from her! ~Charles Gibbon, The Flower of the Forest, 1882

Don't you find it easier to do hard things when you stop to think love-thoughts? Love makes the burden light. ~Frank T. Bayley, Little Ten-Minutes, 1903  [a little altered —tg]

Friendship, as some sage poet sings,
Is chasten'd Love, depriv'd of wings,
Without all wish or power to wander;
Less volatile, but not less tender:
Yet says the proverb—"Sly and slow
"Love creeps, even where he cannot go;"
To clip his pinions then is vain,
His old propensities remain;
And she, who years beyond fifteen,
Has counted twenty, may have seen
How rarely unplum'd Love will stay;
He flies not—but he coolly walks away.
~Charlotte Turner Smith (1749-1806), "On the Aphorism, 'L'Amitié est l' Amour sans ailes.'"

Lovers should cease trying to rob the future of its emotions. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Sweethearts and Beaux, 1905

To find love some day—there was a fit ambition for every human heart! But how often it was pushed aside by greed, by cynicism, by selfishness, by fear—by any number of cold and worldly things! ~Burton E. Stevenson, The Kingmakers, 1922

I love, till my heart is red as February and purple as March. ~Emily Dickinson

The eternal question, as old as love. Love is so curious! We are always wondering why we are the recipient. Man says to maid and maid says to man: 'Why do you love me?' Why does the bee select the flower he kisses? Or the humming bird that one nectar cup from out the multitude? I don't know. I suppose there are no two beings alike in the whole world. We choose. We mate. I can catalogue your features and describe the traits of the object of my love. But that hardly tells the story. No part of me singled you out. It was all of me. It must be intuition — or chance, as the thunderbolt selects the object it will destroy. The shaft flies through space. It strikes. Who guides it? What guides it? Sometimes the course of love's shaft is straight, swift, and sudden. It may dally along the way for years before it strikes. Love is subtle, my dear — full of moods and whims. As delicate, and as strong, as a silken web. Do you think it well to dissect it? ~George A. Dorsey, Young Low, 1917  [a little altered —tg]

I thought that love would answer
The questions half-formed before—
But one may only find in love
A thousand questions more.
~Anne Cope, "Disappointment"

Love is Now. ~Mary Hunter Austin, Love and the Soul Maker, 1914

They loved with a love that was frayed around the edges but strong at the seams. ~Terri Guillemets

Your heart knows true love when it finds it, our job is to look until it finds us. ~John Sarasien, @shadowbat2034, August 2010 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

When he at last took his lamp to go to his room, his former burning fever of youthful love had vanished, and perfect peace of soul reigned in its stead. A mere "good-night," a pressing of the lips, and they parted as lovers part who are to know no separateness of being. ~Alwyn M. Thurber, Quaint Crippen: Commercial Traveler, 1896

When first we fall in love, we feel that we know all there is to know about life, and perhaps we are right. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

You know it's true love when reality sets in and it doesn't change a thing. ~Robert Brault, is gentle and strong... ~Anonymous, Will is the Cause of Woe, 1878

Christianity claims to be pre-eminently the religion of love, in the widest sense of that term.... it cannot be denied that much good would have resulted if more emphasis had been placed by the Apostles on certain phases of the domestic relations. That Romantic Love is not alluded to in the New Testament need not cause any surprise, for that sentiment cannot have existed in those days when Courtship and Individual Choice were unknown. But there are passages in St. Paul's writings which were probably the seeds from which grew the mediæval contempt for marriage and women. And although marriage is now zealously guarded by the Church, Love of the romantic sort is no doubt looked upon even to‑day by many an austere clergyman as a harmless youthful epidemic—a sort of emotional measles—rather than as a new æsthetico-moral sentiment destined to become the strongest of all agencies working for the improvement of the personal appearance, social condition, and happiness of mankind. ~Henry T. Finck, "Christianity and Love," Romantic Love and Personal Beauty: Their Development, Causal Relations, Historic and National Peculiarities, 1887

We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938

We're all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love — true love. ~Robert Fulghum, True Love, 1997,

I am glad that you are in love — 'twill cure you (at least) of the spleen... ~Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)

Once a man has won a woman's love, the love is his forever. He can only lose the woman. ~Robert Brault,

I saw them kissing in the shade
     and knew the sum of all my lore:
God gave them Youth, God gave them Love,
     and even God can give no more.
~Frederic Ridgely Torrence, The House of a Hundred Lights: A Psalm of Experience After Reading a Couplet of Bidpai, 1899

Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs... ~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, c.1594  [I, 1, Romeo]

Love is all we have to push back against the fact that we are but tiny blips in the endless flux of matter. ~Robin Bates, "Grieving for a Loved One,", 2018

Love brightens even the Valley of the Shadow of Death. ~Thomas Clark Henley, A Handful of Paper Shavings, 1861

Before you pledge your undying love to someone, make them promise they won't die. ~Robert Brault,

There's no denying that the only real unhappiness in life is losing a man.... Death isn't nature's greatest mistake — falling in love is. If we didn't do that, all the misery in life would be cut right out of it. Oh my goodness, so would all the fun. So, what are you gonna do about it. ~When Ladies Meet, 1941 movie written by Rachel Crothers, John Meehan, Leon Gordon, S.K. Lauren, and Anita Loos, spoken by the character Bridgie Drake  [I got this directly from the later movie, but I'm not sure if the same quote is also in the 1933 movie or the 1932 play — does anyone out there know? —tg]

My tiny hands not being able to weave a garland of the stars,
I made curious songs for my beloved,
To crown her with.
~James Oppenheim, "Love-songs," War and Laughter, 1916

Oh! my friend, when you feel bursting on your lips the vow of eternal love, do not be afraid to yield, but do not confound wine with intoxication; do not think the cup divine because the draft is of celestial flavor; do not be astonished to find it broken and empty in the evening. ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century, 1836, translated from French by Kendall Warren

Love is metaphysical gravity. ~R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path, 1981

Love blooms all sorts of flowers, thorns, and nettles. ~Terri Guillemets

The lover is regarded as a lunatic, unfit for the society of his fellows. ~"Some Turkish Proverbs," The Spectator, 1885

Love is at first a set of delusions, which, as time goes by, are discarded like training wheels, and you love truly. ~Robert Brault, is a wilful, adorable child that teases you till you give him his own way. ~Clyde Fitch, Barbara Frietchie, the Frederick Girl, 1900! the two-edged sword, the flower-strewn poison, the dread cause of every misery! ~Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley (1797–1851), The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck, 1830

Love is my religion — I could die for that. ~John Keats, 1819

It is not necessary to be strong in every place if in the place you are vulnerable, you are loved. ~Robert Brault,

How grand it is this falling out of love—
This falling out of you into the world!
I had forgotten how the rivers move…
I had forgotten how a leaf is curled…
I think I had forgotten that the sun
Is warmer than the beaming of your eyes...
Now I can celebrate again the rites
Of the world's loving; share its ecstasies...
~Dorothy Thompson, 1920s

I tell again the oldest and the newest story of all the world, — the story of Invincible Love! This tale divine — ancient as the beginning of things, fresh and young as the passing hour — has forms and names various as humanity. ~Amelia E. Huddleston Barr, A Rose of a Hundred Leaves: A Love Story, 1891

A man finds love and is satisfied. A woman finds love and insists on turning it into happiness. ~Robert Brault,

She thinks your lady-love will rule you as the moon rules the tides. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede

Love is never a waste of time. ~Elizabeth Stucley (Elizabeth Florence Northmore, 1906–1974), "The End of the Club," Teddy Boys' Picnic, 1958

There is a language of love, which is to say, a truth that does not tell all and a lie that does not deceive. ~Robert Brault,

No one has ever loved anyone the way everyone wants to be loved. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Love is the master-key, he went on thinking, — love is the master-key that opens the gates of happiness, of hatred, of jealousy, and most easily of all, the gate of fear. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, "A Mortal Antipathy," 1869

Love is given to us as a time, but to keep it always, we must make it a place. ~Robert Brault,

Never love a wild thing... He was always lugging home wild things. A hawk with a hurt wing. One time it was a full-grown bobcat with a broken leg. But you can't give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they're strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That's how you'll end up... If you let yourself love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky. ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1958

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach...
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Translations: Sonnets from the Portuguese," №. XLII, 1850

Be it in the garden, the nursery or the bedroom, a loving touch compensates for an unskilled hand. ~Robert Brault,

When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving oneself, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance. ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Life can be hard but if you've got somebody to love — Yay!~Terri Guillemets

And he could glance at her continually as she bent over the fruit, while the level evening sunbeams stole through the thick apple-tree boughs and rested on her round cheek and neck as if they too were in love with her. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede

I guess, when you get down to it, a loving touch compensates for an unskilled hand about everywhere except in an airplane cockpit. ~Robert Brault,

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two. ~Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, 1994

Love is the silent saying and saying of a single name. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Outlawed, but not alone, for Love
Is outlawed, too.
You cannot banish us, proud world:
We banish you.
~Alfred Noyes, "The Outlaw," in The Century Magazine, 1912

All the world was quiet. She was caught in the enchantment of his nearness, yielding to the hypnotic magic spell he cast about her. His beautiful words echoed in her bedazzled mind. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, Sudden Glory, 1951  [a little altered —tg]

Tell me, can the human breast
      Live, no breath, no air inspiring?
Can the soul of man be blest
      If sweet Love pour not its fire in?
What to life are soul and spirit
      Is the glow of love to me;
Loveless, what do I inherit—
      What, but blank mortality?
Love, smile on! and fears and dangers
To my bosom shall be strangers;
Roll the storm, and fall the rain,
All their menaces are vain.
~John Bowring (1792–1872), "No Life Without Love"

Love, I realized at that moment, is whole only if it is capable of letting go; if it is able to release the object of its stimulation when such a sacrifice is necessary. ~R. D. Lawrence (1921–2003), The North Runner, 1979

I am quite sure that the bright moon, in all her great experience, never looked upon a happier couple as they came home, hand in hand, and heart in heart, that night, through the silvered grass. ~Samuel Reynolds Hole, "The Six of Spades," c.1860

My Soul sends up to Heaven each night the cry of Love!
God's starry Beauty draws with might the cry of Love!
Bright sun and moon each morn dance in my Heart at Dawn:
And waking me at daylight, excite the cry of Love!
On every meadow glancing, I see God's sunbeams play;
And all Creation's wonders excite the cry of Love!
~Rumi, translated by Reynold Alleyne Nicholson

Love me and the world is mine. ~David Reed & Ernest R. Ball

Love is the distilled essence of purity — and the triple extract of sin. ~Helen Rowland, "Speaking of Love," 1922

If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and a minus. ~Emma Goldman, "The Tragedy of Woman's Emancipation," Anarchism and Other Essays, 1911

Love is not singular except in syllable. ~Marvin Taylor

Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. All the laws on the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root. ~Emma Goldman, "Marriage and Love," Anarchism and Other Essays, 1911

I offer you the remedy of Free Love as an antidote for enforced lust, and the world will have to take it before the disease can be cured. ~Victoria Claflin Woodhull Martin, Tried As By Fire; or, The True and the False, Socially, 1874

When you really love someone, you can't be with anyone else. ~Stacy A. Littlejohn & K.J. Steinberg, Mistresses, "Love Is an Open Door" [S3, E6, 2015, Joss]

Love is a sweet tyranny, because the lover endureth his torments willingly. ~Proverb

Pain and pleasure vie with each other in love. ~Publilius Syrus, 1st century BCE, from the Latin by D. Lyman, 1856

True love is a delightful slavery. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

      Melibea:  I would rather you tear my flesh and take out my heart than to say those words here.
      Celestina:  Without ripping your clothes, love dove into your bosom; I will not slash your flesh to heal it.
      Melibea:  What do you call this pain that has taken command of the best of my body?
      Celestina:  Sweet love!
      Melibea:  Tell me what that is, for only hearing it I am happy.
      Celestina:  It is a hidden fire, a pleasant thorn, a tasty poison, a sweet bitterness, a delectable pain, a joyful torment, a sweet and savage wound, a soft death.
      ~La Celestina, 1499  [This Spanish dialogue-only novel is attributed to Fernando de Rojas (c.1465–1541). The first version, Comedia de Calisto y Melibea, was published anonymously in 1499, was written as early as 1483, and was likely written by someone other than Rojas. A later revised and expanded version, el Tragicomedia, appeared in 1502. The work, which is considered to be the first of the Spanish Renaissance, was not titled Celestina until 1519. The lines quoted here are compiled from multiple translations. Trivia: Caspar Barth in 1624 issued a Latin version under the title Pornoboscodidascalus Latinus. Mabbe's translation from 1631, long considered the best English version, reads "Englished from the Spanish of Fernando de Rojas by James Mabbe." If you'd like to try Englishing it yourself, I've used my barely literate modern Spanish to track down the scene in the original medieval Spanish, in Google Books, a facsimile of the first known edition, el décimo acto: Celestina dice: «Amor dulce... es un fuego escondido, una agradable llaga, un sabroso veneno, una dulce amargura, una delectable dolencia, un alegre tormento, una dulce e fiera herida, una blanda muerte.» —tg]

In the past few years, psychology researchers have found a good deal of literal truth embedded in the metaphorical phrases comparing love to pain. Neuroimaging studies have shown that brain regions involved in processing physical pain overlap considerably with those tied to social anguish. The connection is so strong that traditional bodily painkillers seem capable of relieving our emotional wounds. Love may actually hurt, like hurt hurt, after all. ~Eric Jaffe, "Why Love Literally Hurts," in the Association for Psychological Science Observer, 2013,

When I am gone, my love, do not look for me in the places we used to go to together. Look for me in the places we always planned to go to together. ~Robert Brault,

We believe love trumps hate. ~Randi Rhodes, "What Liberals Believe," in Air America: The Playbook, 2006,

It is not until you lose someone you loved too much that you realize you didn't love them too much enough. ~Robert Brault,

[L]ove is a magician who can make anchors of shadows and cables of cobwebs; can extract honey from gall, and gall from honey. ~Jane Harvey, Memoirs of an Author, 1812

Love is the magician that paints roses in a woman's cheek — and leaves wrinkles in her heart. ~Helen Rowland, "Speaking of Love," 1922

Love is the magician of the ages, the quickening spirit of the eternities, the mightiest power of the universe, forever the same through endless aeons. ~C. A. Tillinghast, "The Ultimate Principle," 1916

Love is a magician that can make hearts change places in a second. Presto chango! ~Clyde Fitch, Barbara Frietchie, the Frederick Girl, 1900

[L]ove is the magician with ample power to clothe the bare walls of life with the beauty of June, and fill its blankest spaces with music and flowers. ~James Fotheringham, "The Love Poems: Natural Magic," Studies in the Poetry of Robert Browning, 1888

Love is the magician that pulls man out of his own hat. ~Ben Hecht, quoted by Kathleen Carroll in New York Sunday News, per The Reader's Digest, 1969

And so our conception of religion is getting roomier and more inclusive today, and love is the magician who has enlarged the temple! ~The Christian Leader, 1928

Love is the only bow on Life's dark cloud. It is the Morning and the Evening Star. It shines upon the cradle of the babe, and sheds its radiance on the quiet tomb. It is the mother of Art — inspirer of poet, patriot, and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart — builder of every home — kindler of every fire on every hearth. It was the first to dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody, for Music is the voice of Love. Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of that wondrous flower — the heart — and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts — but with it earth is heaven, and we are gods. ~Robert G. Ingersoll, "Orthodoxy," 1884

Feed the body with a thousand pleasures and it is the same dead thing always. Only the spirit is capable of a multiplied life, and to the loving spirit the very stocks and stones open into avenues of glory. Love is the magician's wand that shows the secret riches of the most barren spot. It is Aladdin's lamp that compels the finest ministries. How weak we are when we are selfish. How strong when we are loving... We give from the finite, but we receive from the Infinite. Love is creative. It is continually producing, unfolding, enlarging, sweeping into new forms of beauty and power. Selfishness withers, compresses, annihilates. It is the grave. Love is resurgent, triumphant, immortal, unbounded. It comprehends all, assimilates all, achieves all; in a word, it is life. ~Putnam, as quoted in The Christian Pioneer, 1874

Love is the inspiration of all life and achievement. It was Love that called us into being. It was Love that pushed on to do and be. Love as inspiration is the mother of art; the quickener of poetry; the composer of music. Love is the magician who waves his wonderful wand over our thoughts and plans, making us awake to the passion of sacred movements that advances the world of humanity... Take the inspiration of love out of the world and we would make the world poor and sordid. ~Elwin Lincoln House, "The Psychology of Love," The Drama of the Face and Other Studies in Applied Psychology, 1919

In the line of Emerson and Whitman, Phelps strongly asserts the need for the poet to listen, to feel, to touch, to learn to see. Love is a magician, it is Merlin. It changes the drabness of everyday, unfetters the soul and the imagination, transcends reality. It is an escape from the self... ethereal butterflies alight gently on the very essence of the feeling. ~Rumanian Review, 1998

Transformation is a magical process, and there are conditions which are requisite to success: unwavering hope; pure and ardent desire; brooding devotion. If all the conditions are maintained, that intellectual vision is surrounded with a magnetic knot, through which the fiery, winged powers of the heart surge, until they have raised its rate of vibration a whole octave nearer to their own, and so have transformed it. Unwavering love is a magical power. ~A. D., in The Theosophical Quarterly, 1926

Yes, we have a tremendous need for love — love that captures our hearts and nourishes our spirits. In fact, our capacity to give and receive love is what ultimately defines us. Nothing we have "accomplished" in our lifetimes matters as much as the way we have loved one another. Love is a magical energy that is the very anchor, substance, and essence of life. ~Alan D. Wolfelt, Loving from the Outside In, Mourning from the Inside Out, 2012,

Love is a magical thing. ~Warren Norvin Winslow, 1949

No pow'r could divide us, no terrors dismay,
No treasures could bribe us, no falshood betray,
No demons could tempt us, no pleasures could move,
No magic could bind us but the magic of Love,
The spell round my Heart was the Image of you,
Then how could I fail to be constant and true...
~John Christopher Smith, "The Enchanter," 1760 ♫

Yes, falling in love is a magical, momentous life event... ~Judith Sills, A Fine Romance, 1987,

Ah, how love's magic softens all earth's blunders,
Working its wonders with a fairy hand!
Making the garden, with the pale light streaming
From the moon's gleaming, an Enchanted Land.
~Gustav Davidson, The Madrigal, 1917

How wondrous is the magic glow
That Love's impressions throw on earth!
~Charles Morris, "The Magic of Love," Lyra Urbanica, 1840

Althea became wonderfully better as the days went on, and the lamp-maker's wife used to say that it was all through the garland of wild olive; but I am not so sure about that. I like to think it was the magic of love, which then, as now, gives each one of us fresh life and hope. When strength is failing, and hope is fading, there is surely no magic more potent than the magic of love. ~Beatrice Harraden, Untold Tales of the Past, 1897

All the magic of love, all its fire and rapture and sweet terror, seemed to flame up and burst into his soul... ~Ivan Turgenev, The Torrents of Spring, 1872, translated from the Russian by Constance Garnett, 1897

She was a picture of health and good temper. Her hair fell in careless folds over her shoulders, and like two stars there was the magic of love and tenderness in her eyes. And those ruddy cheeks seemed as though they had been bathed in the dew of the mountain heather. ~David Pugh Griffiths, The Last of the Quills, 1902

I wait in love's magic garden,
When the moon-white air is cool;
When the south-wind wakes each perfume,
As it ripples o'er the pool...
~J. M. Stuart-Young, "Love's Magic Garden," Minor Melodies, 1921

Like a dragon, love is a magical paradox. Sometimes fierce. Sometimes tender. Always mysterious. Love is magical because we have spacious imaginations that allow us to be inside the reality of others. ~Kathleen Keating, The Love Therapy Book, 1992

Love is a magical maze that intrigues lovers to get lost in its mystery... ~John Scott Williams, "Hopes Wishes and Dreams," Read My Mind, 2007,

The magic of love! It softens the heart for all that suffers in solitude. ~Normyx (Norman Douglas, 1868–1952), "Nerinda," Unprofessional Tales, 1901

Romeo and Juliet... It is the conquest of young affection over ancient hate, working, by Love's magic, reconciliation between two sundered families, although over an open grave. ~Lauchlan MacLean Watt, Attic & Elizabethan Tragedy, 1908

      "Old maid, do you say? And has my little Margy-wargles forgotten what Sappho said of an old maid? We'd have lost it if some old scholiast on the stupid old sophist Hermogenes hadn't happened to quote it to explain the word glukumalon — an apple grafted on a quince. Sappho said this old maid was like — let me see! — 'like the sweet apple that blushes on the top of the bough — on the tip of the topmost; and the apple-gatherers forgot it — no, they did not forget it; they just could not get it!' And that's you, Moggles mine! You're an old maid because you've been out of reach of everybody. I can't climb to you; so you're going to drop into my arms — aren't you?"
      She said she supposed she was. And she did. ~Rupert Hughes, "Baby Talk," In a Little Town, 1917

Love's the Cup
of bliss and woe,
Poison if you taste and go,
Nectar if you stay...
~John Christopher Smith, "The Enchanter," 1760 ♫

In love, the hunter ends up as game. ~Jacques Deval (1890–1972), Afin de vivre bel et bien, 1970

You divide my soul into love and be-loved, with no discernible boundaries. ~Terri Guillemets

Everyone wants to be the sun that lifts up your life, but I'd rather be your moon, so I may shine on you during your darkest hour when the sun isn't around and the ghost white moonbeams will allow you to find comfort in my arms. ~Craig D. Slovak

Love is a Miracle. ~Helen Rowland, "Speaking of Love," 1922

If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I. ~Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533–1592), essay on friendship

Their antique winter'd love is fresh as this morning's kiss. ~Terri Guillemets, "Together," 2002

In a world of shadows, love is a reality, ever young, annihilating time and space. ~Thomas Clark Henley, A Handful of Paper Shavings, 1861

Love is what causes one man to idle away his days dreaming of a woman — and inspires another man to sit up nights working for her. ~Helen Rowland, "Speaking of Love," 1922

May love touch every brutal soldier and every uncherished heart. ~Terri Guillemets

Falling in love is so hard on the knees. ~Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Glen Ballard, "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)," performed by Aerosmith, 1997 ♫

The simple lack
Of her is more to me
Than others' presence...
~Edward Thomas, "The Unknown," 1917

Aside from communication and honesty, which are the must-haves, two words to describe the type of relationship I'd want: adventurous, and raw. Where we just love everything about each other, the good and the bad. It's the one person you feel like you are the most comfortable being your true self around. ~Nick Viall, to Danielle Lombard, on The Bachelor, 2017  [S21, E7]

      A Cure for Love.  Take an ounce of sense, half a grain of prudence, a dram of understanding, one ounce of patience, a pound of resolution, and a handful of dislike, intermix them all together, fold them up in the alembic of your brain for twenty-four hours: set them on the slow fire of hatred, then strain them clean from the dregs of melancholy, sweeten them with forgetfulness, put them in the bottle of your heart, stopping them down with the cork of sound judgment, and there let them stand fourteen days in the water of cold affection; this recipe, rightly made and properly applied, is the most affectual remedy in the universe, and never was known to fail.
      You may get the ingredients at the house of Understanding, in Constant-street, by going up the hill of Self-denial, in the town of Forgetfulness, in the county of Love-no-more. ~The Oddest of All Oddities; Being an Odd Book of All the Odd Sermons that have been preached in the Fields, & such Odd Chapels, in every Odd Year, Odd Month, or Odd Day, since the Odd Year Seventy One, to which is added, As an Odd End to the Odd Book, The Most Curious of all Curiosities, Compiled for the Use of every Odd Subject of Great Britain, from Curious Six Inches to Odd Seven Feet, by their Odd and Curious Humble Servant, Oddicurious, Philosopher and Member of the Odd Club of Odd Fellows, 1820

No one can escape death or love. ~Publilius Syrus, 1st century BCE, from the Latin by D. Lyman, 1856

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published 1998 Mar 18
revised 2020 Dec 31
last saved 2024 May 12