Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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Love Lasts Forever.
    Does love last: and,  if so, how long?
    It was in a conversation between two men, A and B, that
this question arose, which I was fortunate enough to hear.
A contends that love is but a mere passion or preference for
one to the exclusion of all others, aroused at first sight, which
subsides with time.  B contends that there certainly exists
among human beings this feeling which we call love and which
lasts not for any definite time, but for life.  No, that does not
exist, says A.  It is only an haphazard saying that "they
loved each other all their lives," for it is not true of real life.

    A talked of passion, B talked of love.  A
understood only physical attraction. B under-
stood the spiritual affinity.
    Another letter, signed "A Freethinker," comes
to me saying:
    Is not matrimonial law a failure if two are not united
in spirit?
    Most certainly it is.
    Physical attraction is intense and powerful while
it lasts.  But if it is not supplemented by spiritual
and mental attraction, it soon ends in discord and
    Nothing more horrible in life can be conceived by
the mind than two beings feeling they are tied
together by law, when the one physical bond which
formerly united them has become rags and tatters,
and no single taste, aspiration, emotion, ambition
or belief is in union.  Yet thousands of such people
live together in what is termed the "holy bonds of
matrimony" and bear and rear children.
    Such children are, I believe, in God's eyes, the
illegitimate spawn of earth.
    Love not only makes birth legitimate.  Love does
exist after youth departs and when beauty of form
and feature is no more.
    Once really mated in spirit and in body, nothing
can separate two beings.  Life cannot--sorrow,
sickness, misfortune cannot--death cannot.
    The perfect love is threefold.  It is mental, spir-
itual, and physical.
    When two beings--a man and a woman--find
happy comradeship in their mental pursuits, sweet
sympathy in their religious ideas, and ecstasy in their
physical relations, neither time nor eternity can
put out the fires of love in their hearts.
    Such marriages exist.  Such loves are to be found
on earth to-day, and will be found in Paradise
    The physical tie is only one of a trinity.   When
it is the only one, it tries to do duty for three, and
soon dies from exhaustion.  And nothing is so dead
as dead passion.
    When the spiritual comradeship exists between
two people, absence or separation only intensifies
their love for each other.  Age makes no difference
in their sentiments, save to sweeten and strengthen
    With the background of the spiritual and mental
love, the physical attraction endures and is rejuven-
ated like the young leaves in an old forest with the
recurrence of each year.  Passion, unsupported by
the spirit, or brain, lasts for a week--a month--a
year.  Love, in its perfect complexity, lasts forever
--through life, death, and eternity.

Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.
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