On the Poetry of Vows (Für E)

By Roy Croft

I love you
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;

I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,

And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple.

Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good.
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.

You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.


2 thoughts on “On the Poetry of Vows (Für E)

  1. Sari says:

    Eileen, what if I don’t like how I am anymore when I’m with the person I love? The poem has a lot of reasons to love. What if the reason’s no longer there or changed?


    • Eileen says:

      My dear Sari, let me share something I wrote in the January 23 post of this blog entitled On the Acuity of Longing:

      Much of love is the perpetuation of a presence whose physicality may have long been effaced or whose origins may have long been forgotten. Gabriel Marcel calls it creative fidelity, and it is both the most exalted and the most trying demonstration of our faith.

      In other words, much of the work of love consists of finding ways to perpetually maintain its existence. Falling in love is easy; staying there is infinitely harder. The good news is that people do manage to do it. 😉


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