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WHAT IS LOVE ?
By JO LAB AD IE
THE LABADIE SHOP 1921
This is the second edition of What is Love? revised and printed at Bubbling Waters. The lack of time and energy prevent the fulfillment of requests to reprint the first edition of the Booklet printed under this t itle in rgiOy which has long been exhausted\
WHAT IS LOVE? J",WANT YOU.
I want to touch vou.
to hear your liquid voice, lo see vour welcome heart in vour welcome eves.
I want to feel the thrill vour soul transmits to mo. I want to enjoy that confidence which my heart
whispers to repose in you. I want you; I want you greatly; I want you
infinitely. This is love.
I want her infinitely, mv beloved mother !
J • r
What the sun is to the budding plant, What water is to the sighing sea, What the star is to the studded heavens, What sap is to the teeming tree, What the tree is to the ripening fruit, What altitude and sublimity are to the mounlan, What color is to the dew-decked flower, What joy and peace are to life, What grace and meekness, charily and sweetness, afTeftion and generosity were to her
She, sainted memory, was to me! I want her forever and ever, my mother. This is love.
The memory of my father I want: His aboriginal instin&s,
His hankering for the silent forest, the talkative
stream, the exciting chase, The log cabin, the rude hearth, the blazing faggot,
His dreaming dogs before the embered logs, The coonskin tacked to the rustic door, The yielding pelts strewn upon the floor, The wooden latch and rawhide string outside, His unerring gun on the crotches nailed to the
rugged beam, His coarse but ample fare, His hospitality crowding his means, His thrilling tales turning true from oft telling; As he was, and as they were, tho not what I
would have ordained, I want, because they were his things, his ways. This is love.
I want you, friend, sweetheart, comrade, wife, Loving mother of my children, Help-mate along the highways and byways of life.
As the guiding star is to the mariner, As the soft winds are to summer, As the serene moon is to the night, As fragrance is to the bursting bud, As the coursing blood is to the body, As freedom is to peace and contentment. So you are to me, and as I want you, gentle spouse.
To leave you the right of the rose to follow the
bent of your own nature, To assume no authority over you, To be kind to you and courtly, To respedt your whims, desires, wishes, thots,
inclinations, And to be loyal to you. This is love.
I want my beloved children. As the plant wants buds for its fruition, As the tree wants fruit for its sequence,
As the flower wants fragrance for its passion, As the river wants banks for its flowing to the
sea, I want them. With their cares and their cries and their cost, With their joys and their sorrows and imperfections 1 want them. I want their kisses and caresses, their interest in me,
Their priue of me, their anxiety when I come
not at the waiting hour; Even with their rudeness and destru&iveness
I want them. And with their gentility and sweetness and beauty;
In their rompings, their savagery, their wild
whoops 1 want them. With the sheen of the sun in their eyes, The bloom of excitement in their cheeks, The spring of the waves in their muscles, And in the impetuosity and folly interwoven
with youth and inexperience, In the repose of relaxation, In the serenity of sleep, With my mind and my heart and my soul
I want them, my children. This is love.
My brothers and sisters I want; And their kindred affe&ion, invigorating as the
sea's succoring breezes; Their gratitude and thoughtfulness which surround me as the atmosphere; Their contagious gaiety and debonair and
bounding heartiness; -The magnetic manliness of my brothers, The womanliness of my winsome sisters, Their art and their chic and their tad; As they are and as they will be I want them. This is love.
My feminine friends and chums I want. As a shipwrecked mariner wants water in a
waste of water I want them. As the sea wants sweet, clean sand for its shores
I want them, And their friendly greetings, their warm handshakes, sweet solicitations, gay sallies, firm reserve and disarming frankness;
To keep their simple confidences, to be true to their interests, to be loyal to their faith in me,
To meet them as equals in social rights, To look with candor into their trustful eyes, To ad as a breakwater at sea between them and the whelming waves of malice, jealousy, prudery, ignorance, suspicion and conventionality, When to be so lessens no effort to self-prote&ion; To work with them against the harmfulness of human bats who cannot see in the rosy light of the coming day, When men and women will be equally free, And go forth with them a gay, confiding
comradeship, Full of the buoyant freedom of the future, To meet the rising sun that will light our social darkness,
And to greet it with open hearts, like waterlilys
sprayed with the dew of kindness, And drink invigorating draughts of the tonic air of modest self-reliance,
Author of magnetic maidenhood, womanly women, loving wives and motherly mothers. This I want, and want is love.
My masculine friends and comrades I want. I want their firm, eager handgrasp, Their loving hearts reflected by winning smiles, Their purposeful eyes sparkling with amity and fellowship.
Like thistles I want them, injuring no one who •
invades not. I want their golden re&itude which inspires honesty,
Their inbred trustfulness that stimulates confidence,
Who claim no more than they are willing to grant,
Who speak the language of wisdom and understanding,
Whose sincerity is persistent as time, Who are as generous as nature, As frank as the light of day, As tolerant as uncertainty, As broad as the ocean,
As joyous as springtime.
Even with their foibles and follies and failures I
want them/ I want to aid them when needy, To guide them when groping, To succor them when sorrowing. This is love.
And the things of the world I want— The soil and the water and the air and the sunshine;
The flowers, the fruits, the nuts, the grains and
the grasses—all the flora of the world. And I want the fauna of the world— The things of the air and the soil and the waters That fly and creep and crawl and swim and
burrow in the bowels of the earth— All that live, grow, feel, think; And these to share with my fellows as they need (As the sun shares light and warmth), As equal owners in the use of things, From which they may grow, produce, bring forth The hovels and palaces, rhe food and drink,
The raiment of simplicity and of adornment, And all that causes comfort and happiness and
woe and death, As each chooses for himself. And I want life sacred,
rights sacred, freedom sacred, And joy, peace, justice, happiness, affe&ion, nobility,dignity,honor,meekness, fraternity, comradeship, And the divine of all things for every one in the
world. This is love.
ACTIONS LOUDER SPEAK THAN WORDS
Like boit south winds in budding May Your words of love come to my ear;
They're whispered low, and sweet are they, But actions louder speak, my dear.
The loving kiss, the fond caress, The clinging arm my neck engirds,
The cave m> heart not to depress Say actions louder speak than words.
The cooing dove unto its mate
its fondness shows as become birds,
And true love wins to compensate, For actions louder speak than words;
Let then your words and a<Sts agree. Do not neglecft and afterwards
With deep sighs say you longed for me, For actions louder speak than words.
TELL ME IF YOU LOVE ME.
Oh, if you love me tell me so And ease my heart of weighty woe And with assurance make it glow.
Oh, if you love me tell me, sweet. A love that's dumb is incomplete And golden joys thus meet defeat. -
Oh, if you love me make me feel That you are heedful, fond and leal, And that I'm needful to vCmr weal.
If you have flowers for me, dear, Wait not to place them on my bier, But let their fragrance soothe me here.
Oh, if you love me tell me so In velvet words with accents low, And do the things that make me know.
WHAT SOME FOLK SAY.
FROM THE PUBLIC LIBRARIAN.
The Public Library, Detroit, Mich. My Dear Mr. Labadie:
Thanks for your remembering me with a 1910 calendar. The verses are all right. They do credit alike to your head and heart. I have long been aware of your < philanthropic sentiments, but it is pleasant to be once more assured of them. Sincerely yours,
Henry M. Utley.
Your Booklets are very good, and I have delighted in reading them.—H. F. Shopf, Gilroy, Cal.
Your poem "If I But Could" comes constantly to mind in connection with the street car strike. We have troops of soldiers and hosts of special policemen here for the last months trying to keep the peace between disputants who see only the immediate effects of the deep defects at the foundations of society.—D. A. Roberts, Columbus, O.
Author, Printer and Binder:
What is Love and Other Fancies; The Red Flag & Other Verses; Doggerel for the Under Dog; I Welcome Disorder; Workshop Rimes; My Song of Self; Essays; and-so-forth. These Booklets are printed in very limited numbers, are not for sale i n the stores, but sent to those who want them at t heir own price. The work is done by the family, — type set by hand in the old-fashioned way: printed on an old Washington press, and we bind them at our leisure, in the Shop at Bubbling Waters, in the wilderness, one inile north of Grand River Road, on the Oakland-Livingston counties line, 35 miles from Detroit.
P. O. Address: Wixom, Mich.,R.D.I, (during the summer); and 2306 Buchanan St., Detroit. Mich., U. S. A.
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