True love s the gift which God has given To man alone beneath the heaven: It is not fantasys 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.
Breathes there the man with soul so dead Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land! Whose heart hath neer within him burnd1 As home his footsteps he hath turnd From wandering on a foreign strand? If such there breathe, go, mark him well! For him no minstrel raptures swell; High though his titles, proud his name, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim, Despite those titles, power, and pelf, The wretch, concentred all in self, Living, shall forfeit fair renown, And, doubly dying, shall go down To the vile dust from whence he sprung, Unwept, unhonourd, and unsung.2
Lay of the Last Minstrel. Canto vi. Stanza 1.
Note 1. Did not our heart burn within us while he talked with us by the way?Luke xxiv. 32.
Hath not thy heart within thee burned At evenings calm and holy hour? S. G. Bulfinch: The Voice of God in the Garden. [back]