Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.
It’s a sonnet, of course, one of my favorites, another that I can recite from memory, although it’s been a while, so you may have to give me a minute to remember it all. But it’s another one that’s beautiful and yet also delicious mouth candy.
I love how the “sink and rise and sink and rise and sink” is almost like cheating, kinda repeating for lack of anything else to fill the line. But then it’s also just sorta going along with the old saw about going down for the third time. But by far my favorite part is the somewhat timidly hesitant, yet ultimately emphatic last line. Just so.