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A poem by Jared Barhite


Title:     Love
Author: Jared Barhite [More Titles by Barhite]

[Written after reading Shakespeare's sonnet
commencing, "Love is not Love which alters
when it alterations finds."]

Love is a sort of cannibal
And lives upon its kind,
It dares all dangers, fears no foes
And to the world is blind,
While faithful heart unswerving beats,
Or pines in forced retreat;
It deems all tortures fate may send
Are perfumed with the sweet
Aroma of implicit faith,
Born of a kindred soul
That to the outer things of life
Spurns puny hate's control.

Love, undeceived, is perfect bliss
When trust reciprocates
The purest, sweetest touch that Heaven
Within the soul creates;
But fierce Vesuvius cannot burn
With such destructive flame,
As fires Love's victim of deceit
Stung by the taunts that claim
No truthful fountain as their source,
No mild-voiced Justice to allay
The cauldron of defenseless fraud
Distilled through treachery.

Love that dissembles is not love,
But a subtle treachery,--
A siren with a charming voice
That sounds o'er a mirror sea,--
A beacon light set to allure
From a harbor safe and calm,--
A soothing drug whose deadly power
Yields to no proffered balm,--
A smiling face with winsome glow
But poisonous, blasting breath,
That breathes upon its victim, draughts
Of sorrow, tears, and death.

Love that would gain a mastery
To wield for pelf or power,
Is not a love born clean and pure
O'er which no evils lower,
But like a miasmatic clime
That yields delicious fruit,
It hides the venom it distills,
And seeks its sole repute
In outward show and pageantry,
Wherein are deep concealed
The poisoned arrows plumed for death,
It would not have revealed.

Unselfish love is but a spark
Of God's own spirit dropped from Heaven,
The richest boon, the sweetest joy,
That unto mortals God hath given;
Within itself it hath a power
To lift the soul on joyous wings,
Attune the heart to harmonies,
And softly touch the tensioned strings
That vibrate in such unison
With other strings so like its own,
That not a discord may be heard
In cadence, blend, or tone.

* * * * *

As a cricket sang his song to me
On a late September eve,
The tone had a sadness in it,
That over my spirit did weave
A spell of gloom, at the requiem
He sang in his solitude,
For the dying year, th' fading leaf,
And flowers by frost subdued.

[The end]
Jared Barhite's poem: Love