LeAnne Martin
Christians in the Arts

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Poem about True Love

Fifty years ago this month, my parents said their wedding vows in front of family and friends. On Saturday they renewed those vows, again in front of family—only this time their children and grandchildren were in attendance. It was a small and beautiful ceremony. Mom and Dad wrote tributes to each other that touched on a love that had grown and deepened through good and bad times. With tears and laughter intermingled, they told stories we had never heard before. The pastor, who had also been married fifty years, spoke from experience about how young love matures over a lifetime. He read well-known and well-loved passages of scripture and prayed prayers of blessing over my parents and our family.

All of us had a special part to play. One son-in-law sang a solo and played CDs of beautiful classical music selections; the other escorted our mother into the room where our father was waiting. Both men also captured special moments on film and video. The grandchildren shared favorite Bible verses. My sister read 1 Corinthians 13, and I read an excerpt from a poem by James Russell Lowell, simply titled “Love.” I like what this poem says about the humility and longevity of true love. I hope you enjoy it too. Congratulations, Mom and Dad.

By James Russell Lowell

True Love is but a humble, low-born thing,
And hath its food served up in earthen ware;
It is a thing to walk with, hand in hand,
Through the everydayness of this workday world,
Baring its tender feet to every flint,
Yet letting not one heart-beat go astray
From Beauty's law of plainness and content;
A simple, fireside thing, whose quiet smile
Can warm earth's poorest hovel to a home;
Which, when our autumn cometh, as it must,
And life in the chill wind shivers bare and leafless,
Shall still be blest with Indian-summer youth
In bleak November, and, with thankful heart,
Smile on its ample stores of garnered fruit,
As full of sunshine to our aged eyes
As when it nursed the blossoms of our spring.
Such is true Love, which steals into the heart
With feet as silent as the lightsome dawn
That kisses smooth the rough brows of the dark,
And hath its will through blissful gentleness,
Not like a rocket, which, with passionate glare,
Whirs suddenly up, then bursts, and leaves the night
Painfully quivering on the dazed eyes;
A love that gives and takes, that seeth faults,
Not with flaw-seeking eyes like needle points,
But loving-kindly ever looks them down
With the o'ercoming faith that still forgives;
A love that shall be new and fresh each hour,
As is the sunset's golden mystery,
Or the sweet coming of the evening-star,
Alike, and yet most unlike, every day,
And seeming ever best and fairest _now_...


Crystal Laine Miller said...

Simply lovely. Something to remember for all the rest of your lives.

And you painted the portrait in such stunning truth1

Karen Wingate said...

What a beautiful poem! And congratulations to your parents. It sounds like it was an extraordinarily special day for all of you.

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

Thank you both. It was very very special.



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