Love by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

We cannot live, except thus mutually

We alternate, aware or unaware,

The reflex act of life: and when we bear

Our virtue onward most impulsively,

Most full of invocation, and to be

Most instantly compellant, certes, there

We live most life, whoever breathes most air

And counts his dying years by sun and sea.

But when a soul, by choice and conscience, doth

Throw out her full force on another soul,

The conscience and the concentration both make

mere life, Love. For Life in perfect whole

And aim consummated, is Love in sooth,

As nature’s magnet-heat rounds pole with pole.

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