LOVE AND ROMANCE
What is love and what does it mean? Love is LIFE itself. One description of the word in my dictionary describes it as: “To have a great attachment to, and affection for…” Yes, but what does it really mean, because there are so many different kinds of love? The list is endless, for without love what kind of a world would we live in? It would be a cold, austere place where people go through their lives selfishly without thinking of other people and their feelings. Love makes the world go round.
Poets and playwrights over the centuries have written much about romantic love. Their words live on and on.
The following sentence was written by A.E Houseman:
“Look not in my eyes, for fear they mirror true the sight I see and there you find your face too clear and love it and be lost like me.”
Virgil wrote: “How I saw you. How I fell in love! How an awful madness swept me away! Now I know what love is, Love conquers all things. Let us too give into love.”
And who can forget Shakespeare’s hapless character, Romeo as he utters these words as he stands beneath the balcony and looks up to his love, Juliette:
“It is my love: O! That she knew she were. With love’s light wings did I o’er perch these walls, for stony limits cannot hold love out and love can do that does love attempt.”
In the play Twelfth Night, Shakespeare wrote:
“If music be the food of love, play on.” And in The Taming of the Shrew, the well-known saying: “Kiss me Kate, we will be married o’ Sunday.”
“O, my luve’s like a red, red rose, that’s newly sprung in June. O my luve’s like the melodie that’s sweetly played in tune.” were written by Scotland’s Robert Burns whose words have been loved and remembered for many years.
We all start (so they say) from the love between Adam and Eve and their forbidden love. Two people meet, fall in love, get married and have children in the belief that love lasts for ever. But what happens when love goes sour?
“When hearts have once mingled, love first leaves the well-built nest! The weak one is singled to endure what it once possessed.”
Along comes unrequited love, and who doesn’t feel sorrow for poor Tit Willow as he plunges into the “billowing waves” (Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado). Young love, lost love, the love between two elderly people who have lived together for so many years and the universal love between mother and child and of course the love between any creature and its young. (Here we have the art of shared devotion, which is love of the purest kind).
But love comes in many different guises. The enduring love of people for their animals is very well known, as is the love of travel, music, books, theatre and nature. Throughout the centuries, people have confessed their love of culture of all kinds. A wonderful, but heart-breaking, true story of love, the memory of which has remained with me for many years, was the story of a man and his dog living in Edinburgh.
When his master died, the dog refused to leave his grave and was fed daily by sympathetic passers-by, but despite this, he later died there. There is a plaque in Edinburgh commemorating his devotion.
Patriotic people all over the world have spoken words of love and fealty to their homeland with hands held closely to their hearts. Robert Burns wrote of his love of Scotland in these well-known words:
“My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here, my heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer. Chasing the wild deer and following the roe, my heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.”
In Shakespeare’s play, Richard II, the King said:
“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land…”
The love of politics, religion, power, greed and domination has played its part throughout history with dire consequences, including the displacement of millions of people and has contributed to famine in many countries. This is the downside to the word love, because in cases like these, the true meaning of the word is lost and is replaced by a mere shadow of its true definition.
I firmly believe and hope that until LOVE replaces the word HATE in all people’s hearts, there can never be true love throughout the world.
Finally, for all lovers of romance, the following passage is taken from my book Paper Dreams. Dream on…
“They flew off together to a distant warm exotic island, where tiny waves rippled onto a light golden shore and tall palm trees swayed in a warm, sultry breeze. They sunbathed and dreamt together on the beach underneath an umbrella of coconut palm leaves and gazed deeply into one another’s eyes, as brightly coloured birds called out as they flew overhead.
There was a little hut…and the sound of gentle music was wafting lazily towards them as the sun gradually slipped further and further downwards, before finally disappearing gently into the sea.”
“To all, to each, a fair goodnight.
And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light.”
(Sir Walter Scott – 1771-1832)