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date: 18 October 2019


  1. Western wind, when will thou blow,
    The small rain down can rain?
    Christ, if my love were in my arms
    And I in my bed again!
    Anonymous: ‘Western Wind’ (published 1790) in New Oxford Book of Sixteenth-Century Verse (1991)
  2. If equal affection cannot be,
    Let the more loving one be me.
    W. H. Auden 1907–73 English poet: ‘The More Loving One’ (1976)
  3. To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.
    Jorge Luis Borges 1899–1986 Argentinian writer: Other Inquisitions 1937–1952 (1964) ‘The Meeting in a Dream’
  4. He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of his and mine are the same.
    Emily Brontë 1818–48 English novelist and poet: Wuthering Heights (1847) ch. 9
  5. If thou must love me, let it be for nought
    Except for love's sake only.
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–61 English poet: Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850) no. 14
  6. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach.
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–61 English poet: Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850) no. 43
  7. O, my Luve's like a red, red rose
    That's newly sprung in June;
    O my Luve's like the melodie
    That's sweetly play'd in tune.
    Robert Burns 1759–96 Scottish poet: ‘A Red Red Rose’ (1796), derived from various folk-songs
  8. i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
    my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
    i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing, my darling)
    e. e. cummings (Edward Estlin Cummings) 1894–1962 American poet: ‘i carry your heart with me’ (1952)
  9. License my roving hands, and let them go,
    Behind, before, above, between, below.
    O my America, my new found land,
    My kingdom, safeliest when with one man manned.
    John Donne 1572–1631 English poet and divine: Elegies ‘To His Mistress Going to Bed’ (1595)
  10. The ones we choose to love become our anchor
    when the hawser of the blood-tie's hacked, or frays.
    Tony Harrison 1937–  English poet: v (1985)
  11. I can't get no satisfaction
    I can't get no girl reaction.
    Mick Jagger 1943–  and Keith Richards 1943–  English rock musicians: ‘(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction’ (1965 song)
  12. All you need is love.
    John Lennon 1940–80 and Paul McCartney 1942–  English pop singers and songwriters: title of song (1967)
  13. The life that I have
    Is all that I have
    And the life that I have
    Is yours.
    The love that I have
    Of the life that I have
    Is yours and yours and yours.
    given to the British secret agent Violette Szabo (1921–45), for use with the Special Operations Executive
    Leo Marks 1920–2001 English cryptographer and screenwriter: ‘The Life that I Have’ (written 1943)
  14. If I were young and handsome as I was, instead of old and faded as I am, and you could lay the empire of the world at my feet, you should never share the heart and hand that once belonged to John, Duke of Marlborough.
    refusing an offer of marriage from the Duke of Somerset
    Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough 1660–1744: W. S. Churchill Marlborough: His Life and Times vol. 4 (1938)
  15. Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. There is no gift for the beloved.
    Toni Morrison 1931–  American novelist: The Bluest Eye (1970)
  16. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
    Pablo Neruda 1904–73 Chilean poet: ‘Every Day You Play’ (1969)
  17. By the time you say you're his,
    Shivering and sighing
    And he vows his passion is
    Infinite, undying—
    Lady, make a note of this:
    One of you is lying.
    Dorothy Parker 1893–1967 American critic and humorist: ‘Unfortunate Coincidence’ (1937)
  18. I find no peace, and I am not at war,
    I fear and hope, and burn and I am ice.
    Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) 1304–74 Italian poet: Canzoniere no. 134 (1352) tr. Mark Musa
  19. Ce n'est plus une ardeur dans mes veines cachée:
    C'est Vénus tout entière à sa proie attachée.
    It's no longer a burning within my veins: it's Venus entire latched onto her prey.
    Jean Racine 1639–99 French tragedian: Phèdre (1677) act 1, sc. 3
  20. It were all one
    That I should love a bright particular star
    And think to wed it.
    William Shakespeare 1564–1616 English dramatist: All's Well that Ends Well (1603–4) act 1, sc. 1, l. [97] (Oxford Standard Authors ed.)
  21. Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
    Prithee, why so pale?
    Will, when looking well can't move her,
    Looking ill prevail?
    Prithee, why so pale?
    John Suckling 1609–42 English poet and dramatist: Aglaura (1637) act 4, sc. 1 ‘Song’
  22. When you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.
    Leo Tolstoy 1828–1910 Russian novelist: Anna Karenina (1878) pt. 6, ch. 18
  23. If somebody says ‘I love you,’ to me, I feel as though I had a pistol pointed at my head. What can anybody reply under such conditions but that which the pistol-holder requires? ‘I love you, too.’
    Kurt Vonnegut 1922–2007 American novelist and short-story writer: Wampeters, Fama and Granfallons (1974)
  24. When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
    When Harry Met Sally 1989 film: written by Nora Ephron
  25. Why is it that the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear? ‘I love you’ is always a quotation.
    Jeanette Winterson 1959–  English novelist and critic: Written on the Body (1992)