"Yet let me say, what firmly I believe,
Love can be- ay, and is. I held that Love
Which chooseth from a thousand only one,
To be the object of that tenderness
Natural to every heart; which can resign
Its own best happiness for one dear sake;
Can bear with absence; hath no part in hope-
For Hope is somewhat selfish; Love is not-
And doth prefer another to itself.
Unchangeable and generous, what, like Love,
Can melt away the dross of worldliness;
Can elevate, refine, and make the heart
Of that pure gold that is the fitting shrine
For fire, as sacred as e'er came from heaven!"
John and I argue constantly over everything. He is a dear old friend, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with him. He is so firmly entrenched in his belief in true love, in unconditional, over-the-top, selfless and pure love, that it makes me mad. I try to get him down to earth, but it's like arguing with a saint.
Today I found myself sequestered in an empty classroom with him (after he helped me with my paper), and soon enough we were sitting across the boardroom table from one another shouting with red faces and clenched fists. For the past three months our arguments have always ended up circling back to Love, and the meaning of Love, and historical and fictional examples of Love, but we both get so worked up that after an hour I'm exhausted and drained, yet my spirit is exhilarated. I truly enjoy a good debate with John, and there is never any hard feelings afterward.
Before we left our separate ways, he handed me a small square of folded paper sealed with a red wax stamp (he prefers to do everything with a dramatic flair). He said: This poem will explain everything.
I read it on the walk home. It is beautiful, and begrudgingly I'll admit that maybe he is right.