Love is a Flame
Love is a flame that burns with sacred fire,
And fills the being up with sweet desire;
Yet, once the altar feels love’s fiery breath,
The heart must be a crucible till death.
Say love is life; and say it not amiss,
That love is but a synonym for bliss.
Say what you will of love—in what refrain,
But knows the heart, ‘tis but a word for pain.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 20, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“Love is a Flame” was published in The Path of Dreams (John P. Morton, 1916).
George Marion McClellan
George Marion McClellan was born on September 29, 1860, in Belfast, Tennessee. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and his bachelor of divinity from Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut. He was a teacher of Latin and English in Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1899 to 1911, before becoming the principal of Dunbar Public School.
A Congregational minister, teacher, and fiction writer, as well as a poet, McClellan published two poetry collections: Poems (A. M. E. Church Sunday School Union, 1895), which was later retitled Songs of a Southerner (Rockwell and Churchill, 1896), and his noted collection The Path of Dreams (John P. Morton, 1916). He also published the fiction collection Old Greenbottom Inn and Other Stories in 1906, a tragedy about racial mixture and interracial romance. McClellan, though more obscure—as little is known about his life—is frequently compared to his contemporary Paul Laurence Dunbar, another distinguished African American poet of the time. McClellan died in 1934.
Date Published: 1916-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/love-flame