Wedding Readings for Both Gay and Lesbian Couples

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Sonnets from the Portuguese

Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sonnets from the Portuguese

XXII

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,

Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,

Until the lengthening wings break into fire

At either curved point,--what bitter wrong

Can the earth do to us, that we should not long

Be here contented? Think! In mounting higher,

The angels would press on us and aspire

To drop some golden orb of perfect song

Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay

Rather on earth, Beloved,--where the unfit

Contrarious moods of men recoil away

And isolate pure spirits, and permit

A place to stand and love in for a day,

With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.

Love

LOVE

By Roy Croft

I love you,

Not only for what you are,

But for what I am

When I am with you.

I love you,

Not only for what

You have made of yourself,

But for what

You are making of me.

I love you

For the part of me

That you bring out;

I love you

For putting your hand

Into my heaped-up heart

And passing over

All the foolish, weak things

That you can't help

Dimly seeing there,

And for drawing out

Into the light

All the beautiful belongings

That no one else had looked

Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you

Are helping me to make

Of the lumber of my life

Not a tavern

But a temple;

Out of the works

Of my every day

Not a reproach

But a song.

I love you

Because you have done

More than any creed

Could have done

To make me good,

And more than any fate

To make me happy.

You have done it

Without a touch,

Without a word,

Without a sign.

You have done it

By being yourself.

Christina Rossetti

UNTITLED

By Christina Rossetti

What is the beginning? Love.

What the course. Love still.

What the goal. The goal is Love.

On a happy hill

Is there nothing then but Love?

Search we sky or earth

There is nothing out of Love

Hath perpetual worth;

All things flag but only Love,

All things fail and flee;

There is nothing left but Love

Worthy you and me.

All Through Eternity

All through eternity

By Rumi

All through eternity

Beauty unveils His exquisite form

in the solitude of nothingness;

He holds a mirror to His Face

and beholds His own beauty.

he is the knower and the known,

the seer and the seen;

No eye but His own

has ever looked upon this Universe.

His every quality finds an expression:

Eternity becomes the verdant field of Time and Space;

Love, the life-giving garden of this world.

Every branch and leaf and fruit

Reveals an aspect of His perfection-

They cypress give hint of His majesty,

The rose gives tidings of His beauty.

Whenever Beauty looks,

Love is also there;

Whenever beauty shows a rosy cheek

Love lights Her fire from that flame.

When beauty dwells in the dark folds of night

Love comes and finds a heart

entangled in tresses.

To Be One With Each Other

To Be One With Each Other

by George Eliot

What greater thing is there for two human souls

than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen

each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow,

to share with each other in all gladness,

to be one with each other in the

silent unspoken memories?

From Walt Whitman's Song of the Open Road

UNTITLED

modification from Walt Whitman's Song of the Open Road

I do not offer the old smooth prizes,

But offer rough new prizes,

These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is called riches,

You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.

However sweet the laid-up stores,

However convenient the dwellings,

You shall not remain there.

However sheltered the port,

And however calm the waters,

You shall not anchor there.

However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you

You are permitted to receive it but a little while

Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before you,

The long brown path before you,

leading wherever you choose.

Say only to one another:

Camerado, I give you my hand!

I give you my love, more precious than money,

I give you myself before preaching or law:

Will you give me yourself?

Will you come travel with me?

Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS

HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS

By Emily Dickenson

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.

THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE

THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE

By Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods, or steepy mountain yields. And we will sit upon rocks, Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks, By shallow rivers to whose falls Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses And a thousand fragrant poises, A cap of flowers, and a kirtle Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool Which from our pretty lambs we pull; Fair lined slippers for the cold, With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds, With coral clasps and amber studs; And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with me, and be my love.

The shepherds's swains shall dance and sing For thy delight each May morning: If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me and be my love.

A Moment of Happiness

A Moment of Happiness

By Rumi

A moment of happiness,

you and I sitting on the verandah,

apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.

We feel the flowing water of life here,

you and I, with the garden's beauty

and the birds singing.

The stars will be watching us,

and we will show them

what it is to be a thin crescent moon.

You and I unselfed, will be together,

indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.

The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar

as we laugh together, you and I.

In one form upon this earth,

and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

Kulliyat-e Shams, 2114

SONNET 18

SONNET 18

William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou growest:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

WEDDING PRAYER

WEDDING PRAYER

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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.

Amen

When things are confused

When things are confused by Susan Polis Schutz

When things are confused I discuss them with you until they make sense

When something good happens you are the first person I tell so I can share my happiness

When I don't know what to do in a situation I ask your opinion and weigh it heavily with mine

When I am lonely I call you because I never feel alone with you...

When I have a problem I ask for your help because your wiseness helps me to solve it

When I want to have fun I want to be with you because we have such a great time together

When I want to talk to someone I always talk to you because you understand me

When I want the truth about something I call you because you are so honest

It is so essential to have you in my life Thank you for being my friend Thank you for being my love

You mean so much to me

You mean so much to me by Jamie Delere

You mean so much to me- and I just wanted you to know how very much I care...

You mean so much to me- you've helped me to find a special outlook on life that was hiding deep inside me, waiting just for someone like you to open the door and set it free

You mean so much to me- for you've been there, through the good times and the bad, drying the tears and holding back the loneliness- giving me a friendly shoulder to lean on and enough smiles to last a lifetime

You mean so much to me- and I can't help but feel as though I owe you so much more than I can ever repay... But if there's a way- any way to hold and to help, to provide and to encourage, to give even a part of what you have blessed me with, I will be there for you

And wherever time will take us... wherever we may be, I always want you to remember how much you mean to me.



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