Le Belle Dame Sans Merci by Frank Dicksee
Many years ago, I received this exquisite and mind-blowing poem from Jeff Brown, the author of Soulshaping: A Journey of Self Creation, a book that every man should read.
When I read this poem, I wept. I couldn't believe how exquisitely it sums up everything I think and feel about the man I've been looking for my whole life. So, on Valentine's Day, and every day, this one is for all you die-hard romantics.
The Impeccable Lover
Oh, Gentle man, what do you see
when you look out at me with eyes
of desire and longing?
Eyes that reach out and surround me
with your heat and passion:
passion of wanting.
Eyes that say, "I must have you."
Eyes that plead, or eyes that lust.
Eyes that say, "I've been lonely so long."
Oh Gentle Man, do not look to me
with these eyes.
Go to the looking glass with these eyes.
Relief awaits you there.
And when you see the conqueror,
the knight, the hungry man,
tell that one to lay down his sword,
surrender his armor and shield:
Tell him the war is done.
Then put your arm around his shoulder
and look him in the eyes.
And when his sword, his armor, his shield
are locked and put away,
and he has cried and called you, "Brother,"
then, Gentle Man, may you come to me
with your soul's light shining through
from behind your eyes,
able to see the Light and Essence that I am.
Then I will look back when I see
the love and respect in your eyes.
But when I see desperation and lust,
or the need to conquer and own,
I promise you this:
I shall look away.
Oh, Gentle Man, how would you give your gifts to me?
Excitedly, like a child
who picks a flower for his Mother
then runs inside to receive the praise?
Would you give to me to show
how thoughtful and kind you are?
How generous you can be?
To impress me with your charm?
To win my love and reward?
Would you give what you think I want
with the hope for pardon and mercy,
that you be deemed worthy
of all my attention and love?
Oh, Gentle Man, please take your gifts
to your magical child,
who awaits, so lonely and afraid,
in your garden.
For he is in need
of your caring and presence.
Take this child to your breast.
And be sincere.
Alas, when he sleeps in your arms,
lay him down softly
and climb the stairs to my room.
and if you see the Light of my soul
and the Beauty that I Am
and wish to honor me with a flower,
a poem, a sweet word, or a kiss,
then give to me with sincerity,
without the need for flourish,
or the hope of reward,
but with the quiet dignity
with which you sniff the aroma
of a sweet-scented flower,
or watch in peaceful awe
the setting of the Sun.
Oh, Gentle Man, please burden me not
with the weight of your esteem,
or with the power to give or destroy
your joy, your heart, your image, and worth.
For this responsibility
is far too great for me.
Go find your peace and happiness,
your self-esteem and love.
Find them with God and Goddess;
Find them in flowers, and trees,
in the wind and the setting sun.
Then bring them with you for sharing.
Do not make me your reason
for living or dying-
my approval, the source of your power;
my touch, your salvation;
my eyes, your self-knowing-
for I would grow to despise you,
and you resent and loathe me.
This power that you would give me
I truly do not want.
At best, it could only serve
to soothe the doubts I hold,
and make me feel important to you,
and needed and worthy-
filled with a false sense of purpose-
And you would imprison me
away from my own sense of Essence,
and from the truth of my soul,
and from the Goddess that I Am,
and from my true power and Light.
You would cripple me, surely-
admiring me with your eyes that hide
your loneliness and need;
your gifts that beg for approval;
your words of praise that hide
Oh, Gentle Man, until the child sleeps
and is peaceful in your garden,
and the knight has lain down
his sword, his armor, his shield,
then, only then, approach my stairs.
and only then will I meet you
When your soul is present and shining
brightly through eyes of love,
then you will see my eyes shining
and looking back at you.
When you give from your heart
and your words are not boasting,
when you know who you are without me,
then I will be free to receive you,
and to give to you fully my love.
For then, we will know that neither
of us can be destroyed.
The surrender that only can come
to two who have first
surrendered to self-
to their own inner Beauty,
and wisdom, and Essence Divine-
will be ours.
Then side by side, in blended Light,
our twin stars will shine