Another fine affirmation of love from the 20th century, though its austere author Edwin Muir (1887-1959), would have shunned any hint of public sentimentality on the approach to St Valentine's Day.

His Complete Poems were published by the ASLS in 1991.


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Why should your face so please me

That if one little line should stray

Bewilderment would seize me

And drag me down the tortuous way

Out of the moon into the night?

But so, into this tranquil light

You raise me.

How could our minds so marry

That, separate, blunder to and fro,

Make for a point, miscarry,

And blind as headstrong horses go?

Though now they in their promised land

At pleasure travel hand in hand

Or tarry.

This concord is an answer

To questions far beyond our mind

Whose image is a dancer.

All effort is to ease refined

Here, weight is light; this is the dove

Of love and peace, not heartless love

The lancer.

And yet I still must wonder

That such an armistice can be

And life roll by in thunder

To leave this calm with you and me.

This tranquil voice of silence, yes,

This single song of two, this is

A wonder.