We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free."Love's Exquisite Freedom" by Maya Angelou. Published as an art book by the same title, illustrated by Edward Burne-Jones (Welcome Books, 2011).
Curator's note: This poem is commonly found on the blogosphere under the title "Touched by an Angel," a title for which I can't account.
Art credit: Untitled image by unknown photographer.