Article - The aroma of love,
Valentine’s day poems
by Alix Williams
“ The strong link between romance and aroma
is reflected in many poems ”
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, thoughts at this otherwise bleak time of year turn to love and romance. There is strong link between romance and aroma – our sense of smell is one of our most powerful senses, and certain fragrances can have a sensual effect on both our moods and bodies. This association has long been known – the use of perfumes on the body was recorded in Ancient Egyptian times.
This link between romance and aroma is reflected in many poems and writings, and here are a few I have collected, some well known, others not so well recognized, for you to share with your Valentine.
DRINK TO ME
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 Love's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope that there
It could not withered be;
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent'st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself but thee!
OH GENTLE ROSE
Robert B Mackay
Do not distress over thy captive beauty,
Nor fret its loss with seasons change;
Thy sweet fragrance stirs,
Distilling thy essence and it fadeth not,
Oh gentle rose.
When two people are at one
in their inmost hearts,
they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.
And when two people understand each other
in their inmost hearts,
their words are sweet and strong,
like the fragrance of orchids
THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE
Christopher Marlowe ~
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant poises,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.
MY MISTRESS' EYES ARE NOTHING LIKE THE SUN (SONNET 130)
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare
MUSIC, WHEN SOFT VOICES DIE
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory –
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap'd for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts when thou are gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell;
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.
You have been mine before,
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow's soar
Your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall, - - I knew it all of yore.
Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time's eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death's despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?
EXCERPT FROM 100 LOVE SONNETS
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries
in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when,
or from where. I love you straightforwardly,
without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way
than this: Where “I” does not exist, nor “You”,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
And finally, here are a few others, not linked directly to aroma, but which are personal favourites of mine…
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8a
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.
Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
From THE PROPHET
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 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.
I hope you enjoy these poems – and you and your partner’s Valentine’s Day!
Article written by Alix Williams
Alix Williams is a regular contributor to the holistic website Aroma4u.co.uk, a home-based UK business that provides eco-friendly
aromatherapy stress relieving gifts and Unique essential oils.
copyright © 2010 Alix Williams (CUS Busting Ltd)