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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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


But some would love upon the sea,


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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