To think that I have no right to couple myself with you in this speech would be death to me, so I have, like promised, even written it.
I have thought of writing to you often, and I am sorry to confess that my neglect of it has been but a small instance of my abominable idleness of late – which has been growing upon me, so that it will require a great shake to get rid of it.
The last time I spilled ink, for and to you, it was two o’clock in the morning when I was raw with exhaustion and sick with honesty, in my drunken slur and smudged ink, with numb fingertips and heavy eyelids, lost in anxiety and shuttered whispers. I was most human.
I was too much in solitude and consequently, was obliged to be in continual burning of thought as an only resource. I wrote with my mind – and perhaps, I must confess, a little bit of my heart.
However, like a thief, you had robbed me of words – every eloquent line, every elaborate description that would adequately explain every thought that needed expression, what I thought of you, how I felt about you – the essence of you.
I used to write of love, heartbreak and life. I could choose the most precise words, the perfect phrases; adjectives and metaphors flowed freely. But then, I stumbled mid-sentence, fumbling and grasping for something to say. No matter how I tried to draw from every literary influence, no matter how hard I tried to coax the words out of me, I remained utterly speechless. You stole all the words. It was hard. Even hyperboles were not enough.
I went back to bed, insane, and for the first time in my life, yes, I shed tears – tragedy tears – because I failed to conceive what I want to give you – sunshine.
Or, perhaps, I knew not how to express myself to so fair a form. What softer words could I find? Thankfully, that silliness is gone, and I will not let my soul be blinded – any for the more. Its sight has been, and miraculously so, restored. An awe-inspiring change has taken place lately, and there are important things that want – and have to be – said, to you.
My dear, I cannot believe there ever was or could be anything to admire in me especially as far as sight goes – I cannot be admired, I am not a thing to be admired. You are, I am tangled in your beauty’s web, and for that, I love you, already; all I can bring you is a swooning admiration of your beauty.
Why may I not speak of your beauty, since without that I could never have loved you? I cannot conceive any beginning of such love as I have for you but beauty. There is a luxurious power over my senses which I feel. Even when I am not thinking of you, I receive your influence and a tenderer nature stealing upon me.
If I should die, I have left no immortal work behind me – nothing to make my friends proud of my memory – but I have loved the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time, I would have made myself remembered.
All my thoughts, all my unhappiest days and nights have failed to cure me of my love for beauty, but made it so intense that I am miserable that you are not with me – yet.
I have so much of you in my heart that I must turn mentor when I see a chance of harm befalling you. I would never see anything but pleasure in your eyes, love on your lips, and happiness in your steps.
Though I could center my happiness in you, I cannot expect to engross your heart so entirely – indeed, if I thought you felt as much for me as I do for you at this moment, I do not think I could restrain myself from seeing you again for the delight of one embrace. But no – I must love upon hope and chance. In case of the worst that can happen, I shall still love you – but what hatred shall I have for another!
Some lines I read the other day are continually ringing a peal in my ears:
To see those eyes I prize above mine own
Dart favors on another
And those sweet lips (yielding immortal nectar)
Be gently press’d by any but myself
Think, think Francesca, what a cursed thing
It were beyond expression!
I never knew before, what such a love as you have made me feel, was; I did not believe in it, my imagination was afraid of it, lest it should burn me up. But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, it will not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with pleasures.
You would forgive me for wishing it if you knew the extreme passion I have that you should love me – and for you to love me as I do you, you must think of no one but me, much less write that sentence.
Love is the embodiment of life, and I see life in nothing but the certainty of your love – convince me of it, my sweetest. If I am not somehow convinced, I shall die of agony. If we love, we must not live as other men and women do – you must be mine to die upon the rack if want you.
You say you are afraid I shall think you do not love me – remember when you asked me to lower my expectations? – in saying that you make me ache the more to be near you. You cannot conceive how I ache to be with you; how I would die for one hour – for what is in the world?
I do not pretend to say I have more feeling than my fellows, but I wish you seriously to look over this letter and consider whether the person who wrote this letter can be able to endure much longer the agonies and uncertainties which you are so peculiarly made to create.
For God’s sake save me – or tell me my passion is of too awful a nature for you.
Take care of yourself dear that we may both be well in the future.
Your, most affectionate,
I was not so much into letter writing, until I discovered John Keats, and his complete works, which included letters to the loved ones in his life. I knew it was what I wanted to do, for long, as I had started on it in high school where I was the school secretary, or rather the guy who wrote letters on behalf of his colleagues. I fell in love with Keats, and for my first, more mature – as if – letter, this one, borrowed A WHOLE LOT, from him. He was, to later, influence the succeeding letters but the feelings, their expression, and voice gradually became and remained mine.