You shall love

not to win the dash and charm the crowd
           nor gain a victor’s kiss,
not that you may save yourself
            from lonely night on lonely night:
                      not for all of this.

Nor that passers-by may give you love
            or those for whom you’ve pined,
not that you may earn a wreath
            and win praises far and wide
                        for your sacrifice.

Nor in finding love shall you ask why
            or put it to the test
as though you could not give your love
            without the promise of return;
                        no, love without this.

“More beloving than beloved”, you shall
            love with all eternity’s great breadth
and breath. Love by Love suspired,
            give love without the thought of love
                        and let Love sustain.

“Only when love is a duty, then
            is love secure”; then
is love an act of freedom, un-
            shackled from our expectations,
                        doubts and fears. So love:

and in loving, learn the depth, the height –
            see scars that were His crown;
love given without fear of love
            or thought of throne, such love
                        lives eternally.

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