A Love Duet for Contrary Voices

Music: Kommt her zu mir.
By Heinrich Herzogenberg.
From the free classical sheet music collection of the W. Icking Archive.
Copyright by Andre Van Ryckeghem at Kunst der Fuge.

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ONE

Let me love you as I would,
Not as you will nor as I should.
For love, to linger, must be free,
And what you wish for isn't me.

TWO

You might love me as you would,
But I must spurn you, as I should.
For though love is a choice that's free,
Once made, it means that you love me.

ONE

Only you? I might love two,
Or three or four. As might you.
For love will ever have its way,
Regardless what we do or say.

TWO

Those who say that they love two
Love only one--themselves. For you
Confuse desire with love, whose way
Is willed, regardless what you say.

ONE

Is willed? Confuse love with desire?
But what is love without the fire?
A cage in which two birds expire,
Each to each a gutless liar.

TWO

Love begins, yes, as desire,
But then one must maintain the fire,
Lest it, lacking care, expire,
Making one a faithful liar.

BOTH

On this point we both agree:
Love loves not dishonesty.

ONE

But some would love upon the sea,

TWO

While some would love more vertically,
That past and future rooted be
In one well-tended, fruitful tree.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon



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