This is my favorite poem about love, because it rescues us from the prison of idealism and leads us to a more mature, realistic ideal of freedom:
Sweetest love, I do not go, For weariness of thee, Nor in hope the world can show A fitter love for me; But since that I At the last must part, 'tis best, Thus to use myself in jest By feigned deaths to die.
Yesternight the sun went hence, And yet is here to-day; He hath no desire nor sense, Nor half so short a way; Then fear not me, But believe that I shall make Speedier journeys, since I take More wings and spurs than he.
O how feeble is man's power, That if good fortune fall, Cannot add another hour, Nor a lost hour recall; But come bad chance, And we join to it our strength, And we teach it art and length, Itself o'er us to advance.
When thou sigh'st, thou sigh'st not wind, But sigh'st my soul away; When thou weep'st, unkindly kind, My life's blood doth decay. It cannot be That thou lovest me as thou say'st, If in thine my life thou waste, That art the best of me.
Let not thy divining heart Forethink me any ill ; Destiny may take thy part, And may thy fears fulfil. But think that we Are but turn'd aside to sleep. They who one another keep Alive, ne'er parted be.
-- John Donne
Fidelity to the otherness of one's partner trumps fidelity to a standard that invariably inspires anguish. What really matters is life, not the limits we impose upon it.