Victor Hugo, on Love

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. The great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. & even loved in spite of ourselves.

– Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

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When All the World Is Young, Lad

WHEN all the world is young, lad,

And all the trees are green;

And every goose a swan, lad,

And every lass a queen;

Then hey for boot and horse, lad,

And round the world away;

Young blood must have its course, lad,

And every dog his day.

When all the world is old, lad,

And all the trees are brown;

And all the sport is stale, lad,

And all the wheels run down;

Creep home, and take your place there,

The spent and maimed among:

God grant you find one face there,

You loved when all was young

– Charles Kingsley

““Some of the songs in this and other of his works are very real songs: notably, “When all the World is Young, Lad,” which comes very near to being the only true defence of marriage in the controversies of the nineteenth century.”

Excerpt From: Gilbert Keith Chesterton. “The Victorian Age in Literature.”

Frances

God made thee mightily, my love,

He stretched His hands out of His rest

And lit a star of east and west

Brooding o’er darkness like a dove

God made thee mightily, my love.

God made thee patiently, my sweet,

Out of all the stars He chose a star,

He made it red with sunset bar

And green with greetings for thy feet.

God made thee mightily, my sweet.

~G.K. Chesterton (ca. 1899)

To Love is to Be Vulnerable

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

—C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves