“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.” Theseus from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V, scene 

The Clod & The Pebble by William Blake

'Love seeketh not Itself to please.
Nor for itself hath any care;
But for another gives its ease.
And builds a Heaven in Hells despair.’

So sang a little Clod of Clay.
Trodden with the cattles feet:
But a Pebble of the brook.
Warbled out these metres meet.

'Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to Its delight;
Joys in anothers loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heavens despite.’

“It was, on the contrary, exactly calculated to make her understand her own wishes; and never had she so honestly felt that she could have loved him as now, when all love must be vain.” Pride and Prejudice

Homeport by Nora Roberts

  • Andrew: "I loved her. I gave her the best I had."
  • Miranda: "Did you ever consider that maybe she didn't give her best? Maybe she was the one who didn't measure up?"
  • Andrew: "No."
  • Miranda: "Maybe you should. Or maybe you should consider that the best you had and the best she had didn't equal the best together. Marriages fail all the time. People get over it."
  • Andrew: "Maybe if they didn't get over it so easily, marriages wouldn't fail so often."
  • Miranda: "And maybe if people didn't pretend love makes the world go round, they'd pick their partners with more care."
  • Andrew: "Love does make the world go round, Miranda. That's why the world's so fucked up."

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such a means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. - Have you not seen this? Can you fail to understand my wishes? - I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others. - Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in


I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening, or never.


Lady Chatterley's Lover

  • Connie: "Love me! Love me, and say you'll keep me. Say you'll keep me! Say you'll never let me go, to the world nor to anybody."
  • Mellors: "Then I'll keep thee. If tha wants it, then I'll keep thee."
“There was Michaelis, whom she loved; so she said to herself. But her love was somehow only an excursion from her marriage with Clifford; the long, slow habit of intimacy, forced through years of suffering and patience. Perhaps the human soul needs excursions, and must not be denied them. But the point of an excursion is that you come home again.” Lady Chatterley’s Lover

The Edge of Love

  • William Killick: No harm will ever come to you. Not from me, not from anyone else. And while I'm here, no word of mine will ever hurt you.
  • Vera Phillips: Sounds like a vow.

O Do Not Love Too Long by William Butler Yeats

Sweetheart, do not love too long:
I loved long and long,
And grew to be out of fashion
Like an old song.
All through the years of our youth
Neither could have known
Their own thought from the other’s,
We were so much at one.
But O, in a minute she changed -
O do not love too long,
Or you will grow out of fashion
Like an old song.


An Old Story by George MacDonald

They were parted at last, although
Each was tenderly dear;
As asunder their eyes did go,
When first alone and near.

‘Tis an old story this—
A trembling and a sigh,
A gaze in the eyes, a kiss—
Why will it not go by?

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