(For: G.J. and E.J. Whitehorn)
“You were such love, personified, for me
When I was most in need of charity”
(J. A. B; vide 1 Corinthians 13, vv.4-8 and 13)
Love knows no limit,
Has no price;
It is a spirit
That can outlast death,
Transcending barriers of time and space,
Of creed and race.
Love owns no shibboleth,
Nor representative device
Without which it could not exist;
Nor needs love an apologist.
Love is itself complete, itself entire;
It wants no logic to invoke its power,
Nor does it alter by the hour,
Affected by life’s inconsistencies.
Love is more constant than desire
And more enduring than the ageless seas.
Love breeds from love
And on love feeds.
It does not offer stone instead of bread
Nor serpents serve in place of fish,
Nor poison pour for drink.
Love does not think
To count its costs, nor wish
For compensating gifts. Instead,
Love gives because it wants to give,
Or else because somebody needs
Or asks for its assistance.
Love suffers, (though it bleeds
For its concerned persistence),
From contumelious disregard
And undeserved sharp spites
When jealousies and greed
Love can project itself,
In all its boundless wealth,
Into another self —
As holograms on lasered plates
Extend their three-dimensioned forms
From two-dimensioned states
When lit with skilful stealth —
For love transforms and beautifies
The ugliest of things,
By virtue of its universal grace,
Which places subjects in their proper light
And shews through its pure lucency each trace
Of finer qualities which from plain sight
Had been concealed by grosser coverings.
Love can regenerate lost charm
And also give
Hope where was only deep despondency.
(Though love can kill — that what it loves should be
Preserved from harm —
Or seem to die — that what it loves may live —
It is forgiving, tender, kind and strong
Beyond all reason’s range).
Love is a spirit
Of such unbounded charity
And rare particularity
That it can sacrifice
Itself and yet survive, intact,
Within another mind
Beyond death’s common chance.
Love gently sings its steadfast song
When everything about seems bleak
Or subject to unstable change.
Love is not cold
But warm and kind
And spends its strength to save
The helpless weak
And to support the brave:
For love is indestructible
And love in ineluctable.
Love knows no limit,
Has no price:
It is unpurchaseable
More than a thousandfold
Richer than gold,
But cheaper than aught
Than can be bought.
Love is more freely
Than any liberty
That yet has been defined.
Love’s immortality is proven fact:
Love can’t be circumscribed by circumstance
This is my litany of praise
That shall be sung through endless days;
For love transcends all happenstance,
In its sublime self-confidence,
Since love is indestructible
And love is ineluctable.