Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones … ‘Love Among The Ruins’ 1894 … Wightwick Manor, West Midlands, National Trust, UK.
ALL MY LOVE
I cannot promise ‘All my Love’;
It’s not that I don’t care,
But love is not a hollow word;
What love I have I share.
My love for family and friends,
That cannot be degraded;
That still will be a part of me
When other loves have faded.
There is a love of all mankind
Which brings a certitude
That life’s not just for you and me,
But nature’s plenitude.
There is a love that touches me,
A love of all creation,
Recalls for me such longing and
Sustains my inspiration.
There is a love that teaches me
To think of others first;
To curb those venial thoughts I have
My nature at its worst.
There is a love beseeches me
To face up to my errors;
To open up my damaged heart
Confront my hidden terrors.
There is a love which reaches me
Across the mighty ocean;
That gives to me a lasting hope,
A clutching at emotion.
There is a love of life itself,
A love I hold and cherish,
And pray for strength to face its end
When at last I perish.
There is love which distresses me,
Seeks more than I can give;
Demands I offer up my soul,
Smothers the life I live.
That selfish love, demanding all,
I still cannot allow;
For love’s an abstruse concept and
Mine is prescribed now.
All these are loves I’m asked to give,
Demanding that I care,
But I have only so much and
I have no love to spare.
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones … ‘Love Song’ 1868-1877 … Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York, USA.