FROM LOVE TO FRIENDSHIP
by: Voltaire (François Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)
- F YOU would have me love once more,
- The blissful age of love restore;
- From wine's free joys, and lovers' cares,
- Relentless time, who no man spares,
- Urges me quickly to retire,
- And no more to such bliss aspire.
- From such austerity exact,
- Let's, if we can, some good extract;
- Whose way of thinking with this age
- Suits not, can ne'er be deemed a sage.
- Let sprightly youth its follies gay,
- Its follies amiable display;
- Life to two moments is confined,
- Let one to wisdom be consigned.
- You sweet delusions of my mind,
- Still to my ruling passion kind,
- Which always brought a sure relief
- To life's accurst companion, grief.
- Will you forever from me fly,
- And must I joyless, friendless die?
- No mortal e'er resigns his breath
- I see, without a double death;
- Who loves, and is beloved no more,
- His hapless fate may well deplore;
- Life's loss may easily be borne,
- Of love bereft man is forlorn.
- 'Twas thus those pleasures I lamented,
- Which I so oft in youth repented;
- My soul replete with soft desire,
- Vainly regretted youthful fire.
- But friendship then, celestial maid,
- From heaven descended to my aid;
- Less lively than the amorous flame,
- Although her tenderness the same.
- The charms of friendship I admired,
- My soul was with new beauty fired;
- I then made one in friendship's train,
- But destitute of love, complain.
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Hermès rose lizard and gold gilt cuff, c. 1980s. 5 inches curved length
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