Description of Love
In the first book I have chosen to treat human love and its evil effects. In this one I
will above all treat divine love and the holy effects thereof. Thus this love is the
violent emotion of the heart and the applying of soul and mind to loving something.
For love manipulates the lover.
Now for the lover this is not a heavy burden to bear, although for non-lovers toil
weighs them down. Also he knows all about trouble, but cannot bear it unless he finds
what he desires. Nor does he think of anything else than that which he loves. Nor does
he allow himself to be consoled when fulfillment is delayed. True love is a splendidly
shining torch, burning in the mind through desire and shining on the face through example,
and this love is no longer naked and purely physical, but enveloped by the radiance of
love, which is its source. Already purified, already illuminated and elevated above the
power of nature, then love that is combined with beauty endures and is beautiful.
Physical love is a gleaming of the eye in darkness, and as it acts on its own impulse,
it is formless, tyrannical and degraded; or more according to the truth it is the light
in the splendour that causes the effects. Love leads the other emotions towards itself
and captivates them. For love itself is strong when it is with what is loved, it withers
away when this is absent.