How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Speak The Ways


Music and poetry are the crushed nuts and cherry atop of the sundae that is a wedding ceremony. We’ve talked about finding the right music in previous blogs so it’s time to talk about its bedfellow. Poetry can be found in many places from classic collections to romantic lines from literature to your favourite Rom-com. You may be a certified and fully qualified marriage celebrant, a couple getting married, a planner or someone assigned to provide a poetic reading. Here’s a list to help you to get started on your search for those perfect lines.

Sonnet 116 – William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove: Oh, no! It is an ever-fixed mark. That looks on tempests and is never shaken; it is the star to every wandering bark, whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle’s compass come; love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never write, nor do I ever love. How do I love thee How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the end of Being an Ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light I love thee freely, as men strive for right I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints, – I love thee with the breath Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose I shall love thee better after death

The Married Lover – Coventry Patmore

Why, having won her, do I woo? Because her spirit’s vestal grace Provokes me always to pursue But, spirit-like, eludes embrace Because her womanhood is such That, as on court-days subject’s kiss The Queen’s hand, yet so near a touch Affirms no mean familiarness Nay, rather marks more fair the height Which can with safety so neglect To dread, as lower ladies might That grace could meet with disrespect Thus she with happy favour feeds Allegiance from a love so high That thence no false conceit proceeds Of difference bridged, or state put by Because, although in act and word As lowly as a wife can be Her manners, when they call me lord Remind me ’tis by courtesy Not with her least consent of will Which would my proud affection hurt But by the noble style that still Imputes an unattained desert Because her gay and lofty brows, When all is won which hope can ask Reflect a light of hopeless snows That bright in virgin ether bask Because, though free of the outer court I am, this Temple keeps its shrine Sacred to heaven; because, in short She’s not and never can be mine

Four Weddings by Pauline Halliwell

How young we were, what dreams we had On that bright September day As parents, family and friends Cheered us on our wedded way The years passed by; a Silver Day Outshone the toil and tears As children, family and friends Rejoiced in happy, blessed years The years passed by; a Golden Day Bright with love and expectation As grandchildren, family and friends Joined the glorious celebration The years passed by; a Diamond Day Dawns gently in old age So many jewels in our lives As we travel life’s brief stage

Jealousy – Anthem Fox

Sometimes I wish For another man’s intellect For another man’s strength For another man’s good looks For another man’s wealth But then you walk in And I realise He’s probably jealous of me

As Once the Winged Energy of Delight – Author Unknown

As once the winged energy of delight carried you over childhood’s dark abysses now beyond your own life build the great arch of unimagined bridges Wonders happen if we can succeed in passing through the harshest danger but only in a bright and purely granted achievement can we realize the wonder To work with Things in the indescribable relationship is not too hard for us the pattern grows more intricate and subtle and being swept along is not enough Take your practiced powers and stretch them out until they span the chasm between two contradictions, for the god wants to know himself in you

Irish Blessing – Author Unknown

May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back May the sunshine warm upon your face The rains fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of his hand May God be with you and bless you May you see your children’s children May you be poor in misfortune Rich in blessings May you know nothing but happiness From this day forward May the road rise to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home And may the hand of a friend always be near May green be the grass you walk on May blue be the skies above you May pure be the joys that surround you May true be the hearts that love you

Wedding Prayer – Author Unknown

Lord, behold our family here assembled We thank you for this place in which we dwell for the love that unites us for the peace accorded us this day for the hope with which we expect the morrow for the health, the work, the food and the bright skies that make our lives delightful for our friends in all parts of the earth

Eskimo Love Song – Author Unknown

You are my husband, you are my wife My feet shall run because of you My feet dance because of you My heart shall beat because of you My eyes see because of you My mind thinks because of you And I shall love, because of you.

A Birthday – Christina Georgina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is in a water’d shoot My heart is like an apple-tree Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit My heart is like a rainbow shell That paddles in a halcyon sea My heart is gladder than all these Because my love has come to me Raise me a daïs of silk and down Hang it with vair and purple dyes Carve it in doves and pomegranates And peacocks with a hundred eyes Work it in gold and silver grapes In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys Because the birthday of my life Is come, my love is come to me

I Belong in Your Arms – Deborah Bridea

I belong in your arms Finally, I have found a place Into which I fit Perfectly, Safely And securely with no doubts No fears, No sadness, No tears This place is filled with happiness and laughter Yet it is spacious enough, to allow me The freedom to move around To live my life and be myself This wonderful place, which I never believed really existed I have found Finally Inside your arms, Inside your heart, inside your love

Fidelity – D.H. Lawrence

Man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth flowers in summer and love, but underneath is rock Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foraminiferae older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath And when throughout all the wild chaos of love slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks of two human hearts, two ancient rocks a man’s heart and a woman’s that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust the sapphire of fidelity The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love

The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself But if you love and must needs to have desires, let these be your desires To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night To know the pain of too much tenderness To be wounded by your own understanding of love And to bleed willingly and joyfully To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy To return home at eventide with gratitude And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise on your lips

Hope is the Thing with Feathers – Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all And sweetest in the gale is heard And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. I’ve heard it in the chilliest land, And on the strangest sea Yet, never, in extremity It asked a crumb of me.

Oh Babe – Anthem Fox

I promise to love, honour and cherish you I promise to be true, loyal and supportive We need to talk about this “obey” vow though.

I’ll Be There For You – Louise Cuddon

I’ll be there my darling, through thick and through thin When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin When your plane’s been delayed, and you’ve missed the last train. When life is just threatening to drive you insane When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page When somebody tells you, you’re looking your age When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm When the forecast said “Fine”, but you’re out in a storm When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum And your holiday photos show only your thumb When you park for five minutes in a resident’s bay And return to discover you’ve been towed away When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste Just stick on your hips and don’t reach round your waist When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear… When you break a rule, when you act the fool When you’ve got the flu when you’re in a stew When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue ’cause I’m telling you, I’ll be there.

A Passage From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernières

Love is a temporary madness It erupts like volcanoes and then subsides And when it subsides you have to make a decision You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together That it is inconceivable that you should ever part Because this is what love is Love is not breathlessness It is not excitement It is not the promulgation of eternal passion That is just being “in love” which any fool can do Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away And this is both an art and a fortunate accident Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground And when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches They find that they are one tree and not two Do you love romance, poetry, music and events that embrace all of those things like say, a wedding? The role of ‘Marriage Celebrant’ may be the perfect fit for you. Not only will you be able to officiate weddings but you can also spin that role into baby naming ceremonies, vow renewals, funeral conducting and more. Talk to Rose Training Australia, the country’s top celebrant qualification provider now, about how you can become a fully qualified celebrant.