Then said Almitra, speak to us of love.
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow me, though his way are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crown you, so shall he crucify you. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so that he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked. He rifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness. He kneads you until you are pliant; and then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred for god’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of life’s heart.
But in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, then it is better for you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor into the sea sonless world where you should all laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possessed not nor would it possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say: “god is in my heart.” But rather, “I am in the heart of the god.” And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds your worth, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, lets these be your desires:
To melt and like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.