To noble heart Love doth for shelter fly, As seeks the bird the forest's leafy shade; Love was not felt till noble heart beat high, Nor before love the noble heart was made. Soon as the sun's broad flame Was formed, so soon the clear light filled the air; Yet was not till he came: So love springs up in noble breasts, and there Has its appointed space, As heat in the bright flames finds its allotted place. Kindles in noble heart the fire of love, As hidden virtue in the precious stone: This virtue comes not from the stars above, Till round it the ennobling sun has shone; But when his powerful blaze Has drawn forth what was vile, the stars impart Strange virtue in their rays; And thus when Nature doth create the heart Noble and pure and high, Like virtue from the star, love comes from woman's eye.
- by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882), "The nature of Love", appears in The Poets and Poems of Europe, first published 1845 [an adaptation] [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Leon J. Fontaine , "The nature of Love" [voice and piano] [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in English, a translation by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882) , "Canzone: of the gentle heart", appears in The Early Italian Poets, first published 1861 ; composed by Rutland Boughton.
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2008-06-20
Line count: 20
Word count: 151