Life’s Death, Love’s Life, by Saint Robert Southwell

illustration of Father Robert Southwell, SJ, artist unknown, published in the Illustrated Catholic Family Annual, 1873Who lives in love, loves least to live,
   And long delays doth rue;
If Him we love, by whom we live,
   To whom all love is due;

Who for our love did choose to live,
   And was content to die,
Who loved our love more than His life,
   And love with life did buy;

Let us in life, yea, with our life,
   Requite His loving love;
For best we live, when best we love,
   If love our life remove.

Where love is hot, life hateful is,
   Their grounds do not agree;
Love where it loves, life where it lives,
   Desireth most to be.

And sith love is not where it lives,
   Nor liveth where it loves;
Love hateth life that holds it back,
   And death it most approves.

For seldom is he won in life
   Whom love doth most desire,
If won in love, yet not enjoyed
   Till mortal life expire.

Life out of earth hath no abode,
   In earth love hath no place;
Love settled hath her joys in heaven,
   In life all her grace.

Mourn, therefore, no true lover’s deatli;
   Life only him annoys;
And when he taketh leave of life,
   Then love begins his joys.

Saint Robert Southwell