From the “Lay of the Last Minstrel,” Canto III.
By Sir Walter Scott
“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?
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!
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,
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,
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,
Which heart to heart, and mind to mind,
In body and in soul can bind.”