Your wedding ceremony readings can come from traditional blessings, books, poems, and movies – to name a few. And if you want readings truly unique you can either search “wedding ceremony readings for (insert football fans, travel-loving couples — you get the idea!)” or write your own readings!
To help you on your search, I’ve collated 46 of the best wedding ceremony readings. From the most popular to personal favourites, I hope you find something you love for your big day!
1. “Love Sonnet 17” by Pablo Neruda
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom
and carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love,
darkly in my body lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
2. Gift of the Sea // Anne Morrow Lindbergh
When you love someone; you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is 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 the tide 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, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. 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 was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships 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, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
3. Blessing of the Hands // Rev. Daniel L. Harris
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
4. From Beginning to End // Robert Fulghum
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another—acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this—is my husband, this—is my wife.
5. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin // Louis de Bernieres
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your root was so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
6. The Art of Marriage // Wilfred A Peterson
The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating
gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
7. Union // Robert Fulghum
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will” – those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this – is my husband, this – is my wife.
8. Love Is Friendship Caught Fire // Laura Hendricks
Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times.
It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past.
It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack.
If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.
9. What is a Soulmate by Emily Matthews
If you have found a smile that is the sweetest one you’ve known.
If you have heard, within a voice, the echoes of your own.
If you have felt a touch that stirs the longing of your heart,
And still can feel that closeness in the moment you’re apart.
If you are filled with wonder at the way two lives can blend,
To weave a perfect pattern that is seamless end to end.
If you believe some things in life are simply meant to be,
Then you have found your soulmate, your hearts own destiny.
If you can always be as close and happy as today,
Yet be secure enough to grow and change along the way.
If you can keep for you alone your love as man and wife,
Yet find the time to share your joy with others in your life.
If you can be as one and walk through marriage hand in hand,
Yet still support the goals and dreams that each of you have planned.
If you can dare to always go your separate ways together,
Then all the wonders of today will stay with you forever.
10. Love Me When I’m Old // Bee Rawlinson
Love me when I’m old and shocking
Peel off my elastic stockings
Swing me from the chandeliers
Let’s be randy bad old dears.
Push around my chromed Bath Chair
Let me tease your white chest hair
Scaring children, swapping dentures
Let us have some great adventures
Take me to the Dogs and Bingo
Teach me how to speak the lingo
Bone my eels and bring me tea
Show me how it’s meant to be
Take me to your special places
Watching all the puzzled faces
You in shorts and socks and sandals
Me with warts and huge love-handles
As the need for love enthralls
Wrestle with my damp proof smalls
Make me laugh without constraint
Buy me chocolate body paint
Hold me safe throughout the night
When my hair has turned to white
Believe me when I say it’s true
I’ve waited all my life for you
11. “Untitled” // R.M. Drake
You will be the clouds
and I will be the sky.
you will be the ocean
and I will be the shore.
you will be the trees
and I will be the wind.
whatever we are, you and I
will always collide.
12. How Do I Love Thee // Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
13. From Les Misérables // Victor Hugo
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. And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.
14. The Beauty of Love // Anonymous
The question is asked: “Is there anything more beautiful in life than a young couple clasping hands and pure hearts in the path of marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?”
And the answer is given: “Yes, there is a more beautiful thing.
“It is the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing their journey together on that path. Their hands are gnarled but still clasped; their faces are seamed but still radiant; their hearts are physically bowed and tired but still strong with love and devotion. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love.”
15. Irish Blessing
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship
And your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special,
God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you
And fill all your coming days
16. Apache Marriage Blessing // Anonymous
Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
But there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.
May happiness be your companion to the place where the river meets the sun.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
17. The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman
I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again… I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you…. We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams…. And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight….
18. The Kindly Ones // Neil Gaiman
Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defences, you build up a whole suit of armour, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life … You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you.
19. Maybe // Anonymous
Maybe we are supposed to meet the wrong people before we meet the right
one so when they finally arrive we are truly grateful for the gift we have been
Maybe it’s true that we don’t know what we have lost until we lose it but it is
also true that we don’t know what we’re missing until it arrives.
Maybe the happiest of people don’t have the best of everything, but make the
best of everything that comes their way.
Maybe the best kind of love is the kind where you sit on the sofa together, not
saying a word, and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you ever
Maybe once in a lifetime you find someone who not only touches your heart but
also your soul, someone who loves you for who you are and not what you could
Maybe the art of true love is not about finding the perfect person, but about
seeing an imperfect person perfectly.
20. The Bridge Across Forever // Richard Bach
A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.
21. The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nanna came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
22. True Friendship // Judy Bielicki
It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round. However, without doubt,
it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel.
True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life — it is the
foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us
together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when
the world outside seems cold and chaotic.
True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense
of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our
disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential.
Bride and Groom came together as friends. Today, they pledge to
each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly,
the fun of true friendship.
23. Love // Bob Marley
She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together – but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold on to her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyse and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.
24. Everything is Illuminated // Jonathan Safran Foer
I love you also means I love you more than anyone loves you,
or has loved you, or will love you, and also,
I love you in a way that no one loves you,
or has loved you, or will love you, and also,
I love you in a way that I love no one else,
and never have loved anyone else,
and never will love anyone else.
25. Relativity // Albert Einstein
Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.
26. I Will Be Here // Steven Curtis Chapman
Tomorrow morning if you wake up,
And the sun does not appear
I, I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand, and have no fear
Cause I, I will be here.
I will be here when you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind,
I will listen and
I will be here when the laughter turns to cryin’
Through the winning, losing and tryin’
We’ll be together ’cause I will be here.
Tomorrow morning if you wake up,
And the future is unclear
I, I will be here.
As sure as seasons are made for change,
Our lifetime’s are made for years
So, I, I will be here.
I will be here and you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we’re older,
I will hold you and
I will be here to watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here.
I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me
I, I will be here.
27. Love by Roy Croft
I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.
I love you, Not only for what you have made of yourself, But for what. You are making of me.
I love you. For the part of me. That you bring out;
I love you. For putting your hand. Into my heaped-up heart. And passing over. All the foolish, weak things. That you can’t help. Dimly seeing there, And for drawing out. Into the light. All the beautiful belongings. That no one else had looked. Quite far enough to find.
I love you because you. Are helping me to make. Of the lumber of my life. Not a tavern. But a temple. Out of the Works. Of my everyday. Not a reproach. But a song.
I love you. Because you have done. More than any creed. Could have done To make me good. And more than any fate. Could have done. To make me happy. You have done it. Without a touch, Without a word, Without a sign. You have done it. By Being yourself. Perhaps that is what. Being a friend means. After all.
28. Sonnet 18 // William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Not lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long as lives this, and this gives life to thee.
29. A Vow // Wendy Cope
I cannot promise never to be angry;
I cannot promise always to be kind.
You know what you’re taking on, my darling
It’s only at the start that love is blind.
And yet I’m still the one you want to be with
And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.
You’re my closest friend, my favourite person,
The lover and the home I’ve waited for.
I cannot promise that I will deserve you
From this day on. I hope to pass that test.
I love you, and I want to make you happy.
I promise I will do my very best.
30. “Yes, I’ll Marry You My Dear” by Pam Ayres
Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear, and here’s the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed, when the baby starts to cry,
And if we hear a knocking, and it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the torch to see, and you investigate.
Yes I’ll marry you, my dear, you may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble drier goes, it’s you that has to mend it.
You have to face the neighbour, should our Labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me, it’s you that has to whack him.
Yes I’ll marry you, you’re virile and you’re lean,
My house is like a pigsty, you can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner, which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas, you can cook it every night!
It’s you who work the drill, and put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMT, it’s you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages, but none of them for you,
And so before you see the light, I do, I do, I do!
31. The Ent and The Ent Wife // Lord of The Rings, J.R.R Tolkien
When Winter comes, and singing ends; when darkness falls at last;
When broken is the barren bough, and light and labour past;
I’ll look for thee, and wait for thee, until we meet again:
Together we will take the road beneath the bitter rain!
Together we will take the road that leads into the West,
And far away will find a land where both our hearts may rest.
32. The Giraffe and the Monkey by Daniel Thompson
Wherever we go
Whatever we do
Whenever there’s me
I hope that there’s you.
Now Money is Funny, it can make people odd.
You forget to be happy, and you live for your job
And fashion, is a passion, beset with a flaw
You can dress to excess, but you’ll always need more
And a muscle toned body, may sound like a dream
But no body is better, than chocolate ice cream
What I’m trying to say, is that happiness grows
Not through your wages, or body or clothes
But in laughter and love, and in sharing your life.
In the arms of another as husband and wife.
So when you find someone who’s weird just like you
Who laughs when you’re stupid and who makes you laugh too.
When you sit on the sofa, not hiding your flaws.
As imperfectly perfect, as the hand that holds yours.
When the fortune of kings, or purse of a beggar.
Won’t change how it feels, just being together.
When a cuddle and cuppa is all that you need….
you’ve found something quite special indeed.
Wherever we go
Whatever we do
Whenever there’s me
I hope that there’s you.
33. Blessing for a Marriage // James Billet Freeman
May your marriage bring you
all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring,
and may life grant you also patience,
tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another –
not so much to fill your emptiness
as to help you to know your fullness.
A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make the mountain less,
but more; and the valley is more a valley
because it has a mountain towering over it.
So let it be with you and you.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another,
and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise,
often say, “I love you!”
and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart,
may both of you hope to have good sense enough
to take the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery
which is the awareness of one another’s presence –
no more physical than spiritual,
warm and near when you are side by side,
and warm and near when you are in separate rooms
or even distant cities.
May you have happiness,
and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love,
and may you find it loving one another.
34. My Golden Shield of Brightness // Shilow
I love how free you are
a golden shield of brightness
that both protects and projects
that floods your space
and overflows into illuminated waterfalls
I love how soft the air is when you smile
I could fall asleep in the curl of those lips
and drift off into precious ever after
I love how when we are laughing so hard
at nothing at all
It’s as if we might just float away
but you keep me grounded
and there is never a trying
to be anything else
I love how free you are
the world feels so free
I feel so free too
whenever next to you
35. From De Imitatio Christi // Thomas à Kempis
Love often knows no limits but overflows all bounds. Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of troubles, attempts more than it is able, and does not plead impossibility, because it believes that it may and can do all things. For this reason, it is able to do all, performing and effecting much where he who does not love fails and falls.
Love is watchful. Sleeping, it does not slumber. Wearied, it is not tired. Pressed, it is not straitened. Alarmed, it is not confused, but like a living flame, a burning torch, it forces its way upward and passes unharmed through every obstacle.
36. Love Is a Great Thing // Thomas à Kempis
Love is a great thing, yea, a great and thorough good. By itself it makes that is heavy light; and it bears evenly all that is uneven.
It carries a burden which is no burden; it will not be kept back by anything low and mean; it desires to be free from all wordly affections, and not to be entangled by any outward prosperity, or by any adversity subdued.
Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility. It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where he who does not love would faint and lie down.
Though weary, it is not tired; though pressed it is not straitened; though alarmed, it is not confounded; but as a living flame it forces itself upwards and securely passes through all.
Love is active and sincere, courageous, patient, faithful, prudent and manly.
37. How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog // Taylor Mali
First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.
38. Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
39. Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6,7
My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle dove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away.’
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
all the wealth of one’s house,
it would be utterly scorned.
40. Childhood Sweethearts Share an Innocence // Nicholas Gordon
Childhood sweethearts share an innocence
That, if they marry, lasts them all their lives,
An early sacrifice that makes no sense,
Save that something beautiful survives.
There is the sense that angels would do this,
A rightness like a rock before the sea,
A hunger for a symbiotic kiss,
For love as pure as it was meant to be.
And so it is for those who make that choice,
Who dare to love so faithfully and long
That each becomes to each a second voice,
Transforming merest moments into song.
How beautiful first love! Yet better still,
A love for life sustained by wish and will.
41. Us Two // AA Milne
Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
“Where are you going today?” says Pooh:
“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh.
“What’s twice eleven?” I said to Pooh.
(“Twice what?” said Pooh to Me.)
“I think it ought to be twenty-two.”
“Just what I think myself,” said Pooh.
“It wasn’t an easy sum to do,
But that’s what it is,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what it is,” said Pooh.
“Let’s look for dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“Yes, let’s,” said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few-
“Yes, those are dragons all right,” said Pooh.
“As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That’s what they are,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what they are,” said Pooh.
“Let’s frighten the dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“That’s right,” said Pooh to Me.
“I’m not afraid,” I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted “Shoo!
Silly old dragons!”- and off they flew.
“I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,
“I’m never afraid with you.”
So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,
“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said: “True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. “That’s how it is,” says Pooh.
42. To My Dear and Loving Husband // Anne Bradstreet
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so persever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.
43. I Belong In Your Arms // Deborah Brideau
Finally I have found a place
Into which I fit perfectly, safely and securely
With no doubts, no fears, no sadness, no tears.
This place is filled with happiness and laughter,
Yet it is spacious enough to allow me the freedom to move around, To live my life and be myself.
This wonderful place, which I never believed really existed,
I have found, finally,
Inside your arms, Inside your heart, Inside your love
44. Just to Be Beside You is Enough // Gabriel Fitzmaurice
Just to be beside you is enough,
Just to make your breakfast tea and toast,
To help you with the ware, that kind of stuff,
Just to get the papers and your post;
To hold you in my arms in calm embrace,
Just to sit beside you at the fire,
Just to trace my fingers on your face
Is more to me than all of youth’s desire;
Just to lie beside you in the night,
To hear you breathe in peace before I sleep,
To wake beside you in the morning light
In the love we sowed together that we reap.
Together we have taken smooth and rough.
Just to be beside you is enough.
45. I’ll Be There For You by Louise Cuddon
I’ll be there, my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin
When your plane’s been delayed, and you’ve missed the last train.
When life is just threatening to drive you insane
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page
When somebody tells you, you’re looking your age
When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said, “Fine,” but you’re out in a storm
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb
When you park for five minutes in a resident’s bay
And return to discover you’ve been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and don’t reach round your waist
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear…
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew
When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue
’cause I’m telling you, I’ll be there.
46. Love is Awful // Fleabag
Love is awful. It’s awful. It’s painful. It’s frightening. It makes you doubt yourself, judge yourself, distance yourself from the other people in your life. It makes you selfish. It makes you creepy, makes you obsessed with your hair, makes you cruel, makes you say and do things you never thought you would do. It’s all any of us want, and it’s hell when we get there. So no wonder it’s something we don’t want to do on our own. I was taught if we’re born with love then life is about choosing the right place to put it. People talk about that a lot, feeling right, when it feels right it’s easy. But I’m not sure that’s true. It takes strength to know what’s right. And love isn’t something that weak people do. Being a romantic takes a hell of a lot of hope. I think what they mean is, when you find somebody that you love, it feels like hope.