In this section, you will find excerpts from some of the greatest poems relating to love and marriage. You may wish to use one or more of these excerpts as a starting point for developing your own vows. Alternatively, you may decide to use a quote as a supplementary reading during your wedding ceremony.

These are some of the most moving words ever penned, so sit back in front of a roaring fire and read some of these verses aloud to each other. They will move and inspire you.

I am not sure that Earth is round

Nor that the sky is really blue.

The tale of why the apples fall

May or may not be true.

I do not know what makes the tides

Nor what tomorrow's world may do,

But I have certainty enough,

For I am sure of you.

— Amelia Josephine Burr

Drink to me only with thine eyes,

And I will pledge with mine;

Or leave a kiss but in the cup,

And I'll not look for wine.

The thirst that from the soul doth rise

Doth ask a drink divine;

But might I of Jove's nectar sup,

I would not change for thine.

— Ben Jonson

… true love is a durable fire,

In the mind ever burning,

Never sick, never old, never dead,

From itself never turning.

— Sir Walter Raleigh

They sin who tell us love can die;

With life all other passions fly,

All others are but vanity.

— Robert Southey

… come the wild weather, come sleet or come snow,

We will stand by each other, however it blow.

— Simon Dach

We loved with a love that was more than a love.

— Edgar Allan Poe

Thou art the star that guides me

Along life's changing sea;

And whate'er fate betides me,

This heart still turns to thee.

— George P. Morris

You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Now the rite is duly done,

Now the word is spoken,

And the spell has made us one

Which may ne'er be broken.

— Winthrop Mackworth Praed

My fellow, my companion, held most dear,

My soul, my other self, my inward friend.

— Mary Sidney Herbert

Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone, I here, though there, yet both but one.

— Anne Bradstreet

Fact

Anne Bradstreet was very well educated for an English girl in the seventeenth century. She married her sweetheart at age sixteen and emigrated to the American colonies with her husband and parents. In her poetry she quietly and sometimes humorously railed against the Puritan strictures placed on her sex.

Each shining light above us

Has its own peculiar grace;

But every light of heaven

Is in my darling's face.

— John Hay

Those worlds, for which the conqueror sighs,

For me would have no charms:

My only world thy gentle eyes —

My throne thy circling arms!

Oh, yes, so well, so tenderly

Thou'rt loved, adored by me,

Whole realms of light and liberty

Were worthless without thee.

Thomas Moore —

I think true love is never blind,

But rather brings an added light,

An inner vision quick to find

The beauties hid from common sight.

No soul can ever clearly see

Another's highest, noblest part,

Save through the sweet philosophy

And loving wisdom of the heart.

— Phoebe Cary

Love is not getting, but giving;

It is goodness, and honor, and peace and pure living.

— Henry Van Dyke

Were you the earth, dear Love, and I the skies,

My love should shine on you like to the sun,

And look upon you with ten thousand eyes

Till heaven wax'd blind, and till the world were done.

— Joshua Sylvester

The violet loves a sunny bank,

The cowslip loves the lea,

The scarlet creeper loves the elm,

But I love — thee.

The sunshine kisses mount and vale,

The stars they kiss the sea,

The west winds kiss the clover bloom,

But I kiss — thee.

The oriole weds his mottled mate,

The lily's bride o the bee;

Heaven's marriage ring is round the earth,

— Shall I wed thee?

— Bayard Taylor

Young bride — a wreath for thee,

Of sweet and gentle flowers;

For wedded love was pure and free

In Eden's happy bowers.

Young bride — a song for thee,

A song of joyous measure,

For thy cup of hope shall be

Filled with honeyed pleasure.…

Young bride — a prayer for thee,

That all thy hopes possessing,

Thy soul may praise her God and he

May crown thee with His blessing.

— Martin Farquhar Tupper

How much do I love thee?

Go ask the deep sea

How many rare gems

In its coral caves be;

Or ask the broad billows,

That ceaselessly roar,

How many bright sands

Do they kiss on the shore?

— Mary Ashley Townsend

I'll love him more, more

Than e'er wife loved before,

Be the days dark or bright.

— Jean Ingelow

Fact

Jean Ingelow was a very popular nineteenth-century English writer. She found great success with her poems and moved to London. Being of a charitable bent, she gave what she called “copyright dinners” three times a week where she invited recently discharged hospital patients to a hearty meal, courtesy of the proceeds of her books.

Only a life lived for another is worthwhile.

— Albert Einstein

There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved: It is God's finger on man's shoulder.

— Charles Morgan

Love is that splendid triggering of human vitality … the supreme activity which nature affords anyone for going out of himself towards someone else.

— José Ortegay Gasset

I would like to have engraved inside every wedding band: Be kind to one another. This is the Golden Rule of marriage and the secret of making love last through the years.

— Randolph Ray

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.

— Antoine de Saint Exupéry

My greatest good fortune in a life of brilliant experiences has been to find you, and to lead my life with you. I don't feel far away from you out here at all. I feel very near in my heart; and also I feel that the nearer I get to honour, the nearer I am to you.

— Winston Churchill, in a letter to his wife, Clementine

Where there is great love there are always miracles.

— Willa Cather

Marriage is not a union merely between two creatures — it is a union between two spirits; and the intention of that bond is to perfect the nature of both.

— Frederick William Robertson

Love, indeed, lends a precious seeing to the eye, and hearing to the ear: all sights and sounds are glorified by the light of its presence.

— Frederick Saunders

When you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.

— Leo Tolstoy

Your embraces alone give life to my heart.

— Ancient Egyptian inscription

Love to faults is always blind,

Always is to joy inclin'd,

Lawless, wing'd, and unconfin'd,

And breaks all chains from every mind.

— William Blake

Come live with me and be my love,

And we will all the pleasures prove,

That hills and valleys, dales and fields,

Woods or craggy mountains yield.

— Christopher Marlowe

I know not if I know what true love is,

But if I know, then, if I love not him,

I know there is none other I can love.

— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Life with its myriad grasp

Our yearning souls shall clasp

By ceaseless love and still expectant wonder;

In bonds that shall endure

Indissolubly sure

Till God in death shall part our paths asunder.

— Arthur Penrhyn Stanley

Teacher, tender comrade, wife,

A fellow-farer true through life.

— Robert Louis Stevenson

If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.

— Anne Bradstreet

Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, Master?

And he answered saying:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

— Kahlil Gibran

Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.

— Kahlil Gibran

It is the heart and not the brain

That to the highest doth attain,

And he who followeth Love's behest

Far excelleth all the rest.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Fact

A prominent artist and writer, Kahlil Gibran moved to south Boston from what is now Lebanon in 1895 when he was twelve years old. After his mother and two siblings died, he was supported by an older sister and was able to go to art school and then return to Lebanon for college. He never married but maintained intimate friendships with educated and accomplished women.

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim of the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I being poor have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

— William Butler Yeats

I could not tell fact from fiction

Or if my dream was true

The only sure prediction

In this whole world was you …

— Maya Angelou

Hope is a thing with feathers

That perches in the soul

And sings a tune without words

And never stops at all.

And sweetest, in the gale, is heard

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That keeps so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land

And on the strangest sea

Yet, never, in extremity

It ask a crumb of me.

— Emily Dickinson

Somewhere I have never traveled,

Gladly beyond any experience,

Your eyes have their silence:

Something in me understands

The voice of your eyes is deeper than all.

— e. e. cummings

And if I can't be with you I would rather have a different face And if I can't be near you I would rather be adrift in space And if the gods desert us I would burn this chapel into flames And if someone tries to hurt you I would put myself in your place.

— Neil Finn

What is there in the vale of life

Half so delightful as a wife,

When friendship, love, and peace combine

To stamp the marriage bond divine?

— William Cowper

Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage;

Minds innocent and quiet take

That for an hermitage;

If I have freedom in my love,

And in my soul am free,

Angels alone that soar above,

Enjoy such liberty.

— Richard Lovelace

There has fallen a splendid tear

From the passion-flower by the gate.

She is comming, my dove, my dear;

She is comming, my life, my fate;

The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near,”

And the white rose weeps, “She is late,”

The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear,”

And the lily whispers, “I wait.”

— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Love seeketh not Itself to please,

Nor for itself hath any care;

But for another gives its ease,

And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.

— William Blake

All thoughts, all passions, all delights,

Whatever stirs this mortal frame,

All are but ministers of Love,

And feed his sacred flame.

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

your slightest look easily will unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

— e. e. cummings

Fact

Best known for his playful punctuation, e.e. cummings was a Harvard-educated twentieth-century American poet who was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His work makes the most sense when read aloud, rather than silently.

But to see her was to love her, love but her, and love her forever.

— Robert Burns

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.

— A. E. Housman

Thou wert my joy in every spot,

My theme in every song.

And when I saw a stranger face

Where beauty held the claim,

I gave it like a secret grace

The being of thy name.

And all the charms of face or voice

Which I in others see

Are but the recollected choice

Of what I felt for thee.

— John Clare

What love is, if thou wouldst be taught,

Thy heart must teach alone —

Two souls with but a single thought,

Two hearts that beat as one.

— Friedrich Halm

Just because I loves you —

That's de reason why

Ma soul is full of color

Like da wings of a butterfly

Just because I loves you

That's de reason why

My heart's a fluttering aspen leaf

When you pass by.

— Langston Hughes

Fame, wealth and honor! what are you to Love?

— Alexander Pope

Were I as base as is the lowly plain,

And you, my Love, as high as heaven above,

Yet should the thoughts of me your humble swain

Ascend to heaven, in honour of my Love.

Were I as high as heaven above the plain,

And you, my Love, as humble and as low

As are the deepest bottoms of the main,

Whereso'er you were, with you my love should go.

Were you the earth, dear Love, and I the skies,

My love should shine on you like to the sun,

And look upon you with ten thousand eyes

Till heaven wax'd blind, and till the world were done.

Whereso'er I am, below, or else above you,

Whereso'er you are, my heart shall truly love you.

— Samuel Daniel

We cannot kindle when we will

The fire which in the heart resides,

The spirit bloweth and is still,

In mystery our soul abides.

— Matthew Arnold

Our State cannot be severed, we are one, One Flesh; to lose thee were to lose my self.

— John Milton

So shall a friendship fill each heart

With perfume sweet as roses are,

That even though we be apart,

We'll scent the fragrance from afar.

— Georgia McCoy

Unable are the Loved to die

For Love is Immortality.

— Emily Dickinson

Now you will feel no rain,

For each of you will be shelter to the other.

Now you will feel no cold,

For each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there is no more loneliness for you,

For each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two bodies,

But there is only one life before you.

Go now to your dwelling place,

To enter into the days of your togetherness.

And may your days be good, and long upon the earth.

— Apache blessing

If a thing loves, it is infinite.

— William Blake

Kisses are better fate than wisdom.

— e. e. cummings

That old miracle — Love-at-first-sight —

Needs no explanations. The heart reads aright

Its destiny sometimes.

— Owen Meredith

Sometimes your nearness takes my breath away; and all the things I want to say can find no voice. Then, in silence, I can only hope my eyes will speak my heart.

— Robert Sexton

The first sound in the song of love!

Scarce more than silence is, and yet a sound.

Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings

Of the mysterious instrument, the soul,

And play the prelude of our fate.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion — I have shudder'd at it — I shudder no more — I could be martyr'd for my Religion — Love is my religion — I could die for that — I could die for you. My creed is Love and you are its only tenet — You have ravish'd me away by a Power I cannot resist.

— John Keats

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.

— János Arany

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.

— Antoine de Saint Exupéry

This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love; the more they give, the more they possess.

— Rainer Maria Rilke

To love is to place our happiness in the happiness of another.

— Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz

I have no desire to move mountains, construct monuments, or leave behind in my wake material evidence of my existence. But in the final recollection, if the essence of my being has caused a smile to have appeared upon your face or a touch of joy within your heart, then in living, I have made my mark.

— Thomas L. Odem Jr.

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.

— Sophocles

I came alive when I started loving you.

— C. S. Lewis

True love doesn't consist of holding hands, it consists of holding hearts.

— O. A. Battista

I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.

— Henry Ward Beecher

Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, And men below, and saints above: For love is heaven, and heaven is love.

— Walter Scott

Love … includes fellowship in suffering, in joy, and in effort.

— Albert Schweitzer

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.

— H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Listen to no one who tells you how to love. Your love is like no other, and that is what makes it beautiful. Your self is your divinity.… Express yourself.

— Paul Williams

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved — loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.

— Victor Hugo

To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be.

— Anna Louise Strong

The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.

— J. Krishnamurti

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, it's what you are expected to give — which is everything.

— Unknown

Immature love says: “I love you because I need you.” Mature love says: “I need you because I love you.”

— Erich Fromm

The art of love … is largely the art of persistence.

— Albert Ellis

The hardest of all is learning to be a well of affection, and not a fountain; to show them we love them not when we feel like it, but when they do.

— Nan Fairbrother

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.

— James Baldwin

The cure for all ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows and the crimes of humanity, all lie in the one word “love.” It is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life.

— Lydia Maria Child

The best proof of love is trust.

— Joyce Brothers

Fact

Dr. Joyce Brothers is an American psychologist and writer who is admired for her compassionate and pragmatic approach to life and its problems. She has had a successful career in radio and television and was one of the first to use the call-in method to offer her listeners and viewers help.

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

— Judy Garland

The joy that isn't shared dies young.

— Anne Sexton

The fountains mingle with the river,

And the rivers with the ocean;

The winds of heaven mix forever,

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;

All things by a law divine

In one another's being mingle;

Why not I with thine?

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

The sunlight claps the earth

And the moonbeams kiss the sea:

What are all these kissings worth

If thou kiss not me?

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

I arise from dreams of thee

In the first sweet sleep of night,

When the winds are breathing low,

And the stars are shining bright.

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

Once he drew with one long kiss

My whole soul through my lips,

As sunlight drinketh dew.

— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Fate, Time, Occasion, Chance, and Change? To these All things are subject but eternal Love.

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

When we are not in love too much, we are not in love enough.

— Comte de Bussy-Rabutin

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched they must be felt with the heart.

— Helen Keller

This was love at first sight, love everlasting: a feeling unknown, unhoped for, unexpected — in so far as it could be a matter of conscious awareness; it took entire possession of him, and he understood, with joyous amazement, that this was for life.

— Thomas Mann

As love is a union, it knows no extremes of distance.

— Juana Inés de la Cruz

The love we give away is the only love we keep.

— Elbert Hubbard

When peoples care for you and cry for you, they can straighten out your soul.

— Langston Hughes

Love is the most universal, the most tremendous, and the most mysterious of the cosmic forces.

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?

— Lee Iacocca

Love has power to give in a moment what toil can scarcely reach in an age.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The love of God, unutterable and perfect, flows into a pure soul the way light rushes into a transparent object. The more love we receive, the more love we shine forth; so that, as we grow clear and open, the more complete the joy of loving is. And the more souls who resonate together, the greater the intensity of their love for, mirror like, each soul reflects the other.

— Dante

Love possesses seven hundred wings, and each one extends from the highest heaven to the lowest earth.

— Djalal ad-Din Rumi

By the accident of fortune a man may rule the world for a time, but by virtue of love he may rule the world forever.

— Lao Tzu

Fact

Many of the facts about Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher who lived in the sixth century b.c., have been lost to time, but scholars agree he was the author of the Tao Te Ching (roughly translated to The Law and Path of Virtue) and a seminal force in the early establishment of Taoism.

We don't love qualities, we love persons; sometimes by reason of their defects as well as of their qualities.

— Jacques Maritain

Thee lift me, and I'll lift thee, and we'll ascend together.

— Quaker proverb

Within you I lose myself

Without you I find myself

Wanting to be lost again.

— Unknown

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet, this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of time and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible in life, as in love, is in growth, in fluidity — in freedom. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was, nor forward to what it might be, but living in the present and accepting it as it is now. For relationships, too, must be like islands. One must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits — islands surrounded and interrupted by the sea, continuously visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the serenity of the winged life, of ebb and flow, of intermittency.

— Anne Morrow Lindbergh

My whole heart for my whole life.

— French saying

No one has ever known me as clearly as you. No one has ever shown me that love allows everything. Not pretty or safe or easy but something I never knew. Love within reason, that isn't love and I learned that from you.

— Stephen Sondheim

There isn't time — so brief is life — for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving — and but an instant, so to speak, for that.

— Mark Twain

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread.

— Robert Burton

The birthday of my life has come, my love has come to me.

— Christina Rossetti

Shared joy is double joy. Shared sorrow is half sorrow.

— Swedish proverb

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it.… It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.

— Erica Jong

He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

My heart to you is given:

Oh, do give yours to me;

We'll lock them up together,

And throw away the key.

— Frederick Saunders

Love won't be tampered with, love won't go away. Push it to one side and it creeps to the other.

— Louise Erdrich

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.

— A. A. Milne

The first duty of love — is to listen.

— Paul Tillich

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.

— Bessie Stanley

It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle, how great the mistake. A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.

— Emmet Fox

I would love to spend all my time writing to you; I'd love to share with you all that goes through my mind, all that weighs on my heart, all that gives air to my soul; phantoms of art, dreams that would be so beautiful if they could come true.

— Luigi Pirandello

The highest happiness on earth is marriage. Every man who is happily married is a successful man even if he has failed in everything else.

— William Lyon Phelps

Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.

— Mother Teresa

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself, and all things possible.

— Thomas à Kempis

In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.

— Robert Sexton

My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.

— Winston Churchill

As for me, to love you alone, to make you happy, to do nothing which would contradict your wishes, this is my destiny and the meaning of my life.

— Napoleon Bonaparte

Love is the energizing elixir of the universe, the cause and effect of all harmonies.

— Djalal ad-Din Rumi

Love that is hoarded moulds at last

Until we know some day

The only thing we ever have

Is what we give away.

— Louis Ginsberg

A loving heart is the truest wisdom.

— Charles Dickens

In all the crowded universe

There is but one stupendous word: Love.

There is no tree that rears its crest,

No fern or flower that cleaves the sod

Nor bird that sings above its nest,

But tries to speak this word of God.

— Josiah Gilbert Holland

Love is the master key which opens the gates of happiness.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

Love at its highest point — love, sublime, unique, invincible — leads us straight to the brink of the great abyss, for it speaks to us directly of the infinite and of eternity. It is eminently religious.

— Henri Amiel

Let us have love and more love; a love that melts all opposition, a love that conquers all foes, a love that sweeps away all barriers, a love that aboundeth in charity, a large-heartedness, tolerance, forgiveness and noble striving, a love that triumphs over all obstacles.

— Abdul Baha

When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the world — no matter how imperfect — becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love.

— Sren Kierkegaard

Love, like Death, Levels all ranks, and lays the shepherd's crook Beside the scepter.

— Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.

— Simone Signoret

Even if marriages are made in heaven, man has to be responsible for the maintenance.

— Unknown

Come live in my heart and pay no rent.

— Samuel Lover

She missed him the days when some pretext served to take him away from her, just as one misses the sun on a cloudy day without having thought much about the sun when it was shining.

— Kate Chopin

There is only one path to Heaven. On Earth, we call it Love.

— Karen Goldman

Love can make the summer fly, or a night seem like a lifetime.

— Andrew Lloyd Webber

Love demands all, and has a right to all.

— Ludwig van Beethoven

Fact

Eighteenth-century German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven never married, but he left behind an unsent letter addressed to “Immortal Beloved.” Who the lucky lady was has never been verified, but it has been the subject of much debate for almost 200 years. The 1994 film Immortal Beloved starring Gary Oldman is a fictional answer to this question.

The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman's heart.

— Josiah Gilbert Holland

Not love at first sight, but affection at first glance.

— Jim Kruta

We are each of us angels with only one wing. And we can only fly embracing each other.

— Luciano De Crescenzo

Married couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking.

— Chinese proverb

If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship.… Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

— Ray Bradbury

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

— Mignon McLaughlin

The soul that can speak through the eyes can also kiss with a gaze.

— Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Beloved, all that is harsh and difficult I want for myself, and all that is gentle and sweet for thee.

— San Juan de la Cruz

The reduction of the universe to a single being, the expansion of a single being even to God, this is love.

Victor Hugo —

We do not judge the people we love.

— Jean Paul Sartre

A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love.

— Stendhal

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

— Henry David Thoreau

Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible — it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.

— Barbara De Angelis

I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance; a church filled with flowers and friends. I asked him what kind of wedding he wished for; he said one that would make me his wife.

— Unknown

Love, like virtue, is its own reward.

— John Vanbrugh

Love makes the wildest spirit tame, and the tamest spirit wild.

— Alexis Delp

For what is love itself, for the one we love best? An enfolding of immeasurable cares which yet are better than any joys outside our love.

— George Eliot

The chemist who can extract from his heart's elements, compassion, respect, longing, patience, regret, surprise, and forgiveness and compound them into one can create that atom which is called love.

— Kahlil Gibran

Love is not blind — it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.

— Rabbi J. Gordon

It is mind, not body, that makes marriage last.

— Publilius Syrus

Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear; too long for those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice. But for those who love, time is eternity.

— Lady Jane Fellowes

Two souls with but a single thought, Two hearts that beat as one.

— Freidrich Halm

Let your love be like the misty rain, coming softly, but flooding the river.

— Madagascan proverb

A successful marriage is not a gift; it is an achievement.

— Ann Landers

Greet each day with your eyes open to beauty, your mind open to change, and your heart open to love.

— Paula Finn

Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists.… When we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence.

— Edmond de Goncourt

Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules.

The most any of us can do is sign on as its accomplice.

— Tom Robbins

Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.

— Jean Anouilh

Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received — only what you have given: a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.

— Francis of Assisi

Fact

Saint Francis of Assisi was a twelfth-century Italian friar who started the Order of Friars Minor, or the Franciscans. Born into a prosperous family, he lived a worldly, pleasure-filled life as a soldier until he was called to an ascetic life and then a religious life. His followers are noted for their charity to the poor and respect for animals and nature.

Married love between man and woman is bigger than oaths guarded by right of nature.

— Aeschylus

When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you're sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.

— Joseph Campbell

Let men tremble to win the hand of a woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart.

— Nathaniel Hawthorne

What a grand thing, to be loved! What a grander thing still, to love!

— Victor Hugo

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

— Robert A. Heinlein

All you need in the world is love and laughter. That's all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.

— August Wilson

All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife.

— Daniel Boone

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.

— Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there.

— Andrew Jackson

Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

— Franklin P. Jones

There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.

— Martin Luther

Love both gives and receives, and in giving it receives.

— Thomas Merton

Put away the book, the description, the tradition, the authority, and take the journey of self-discovery. Love, and don't be caught in opinions and ideas about what love is or should be. When you love, everything will come right.

Love has its own action. Love, and you will know the blessings of it. Keep away from the authority who tells you what love is and what it is not. No authority knows and he who knows cannot tell. Love, and there is understanding.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti

Love is … born with the pleasure of looking at each other, it is fed with the necessity of seeing each other, it is concluded with the impossibility of separation.

— José Martí y Pérez

I am, in every thought of my heart, yours.

— Woodrow Wilson

Love is not finding someone to live with; it's finding someone you can't live without.

— Rafael Ortiz

The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a glowing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing, it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is sort of a Divine accident.

— Sir Hugh Walpole

The heart has its reasons that reason does not know.

— Pascal

Those who desire to see the living God face to face should not seek Him in the empty firmament of his mind, but in human love.

— Fyodor Dostoevsky

We find rest in those we love, and we provide a resting place in ourselves for those who love us.

— Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

My love has given you my heart and my soul. They are yours to do with as you please. Please be careful with them.

— Robert Davis

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours.

— Irish blessing

May you always have …

Walls for the wind

A roof for the rain,

Tea beside the fire

Laughter to cheer you,

Those you love near you

And all your heart might desire!

— Irish blessing

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labour, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?

— George Eliot

Fact

George Eliot, born Mary Ann Evans, was a nineteenth-century British author who scandalized society by living openly with her partner George Lewes, who was married to another women with whom he was engaged in an “open marriage” by mutual agreement. They resided happily and productively together for many years until his death.

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.

— Erich Fromm

Since love is the most delicate and total act of a soul, it will reflect the state and nature of the soul. If the individual is not sensitive, how can his love be sentient? If he is not profound, how can his love be deep? As one is, so is his love.

— José Ortega y Gasset

The truth is that there is only one terminal dignity — love. And the story of a love is not important — what is important is that one is capable of love. It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity.

— Helen Hayes

Love keeps the cold out better than a cloak.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

You will reciprocally promise love, loyalty, and matrimonial honesty. We only want for you this day that these words constitute the principle of your entire life; that with the help of divine grace you will observe these solemn vows that today, before God, you formulate.

— Pope John Paul II

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