Though I speak in the language of angels above,
Or each nation and race in their tongue;
Though my head knows the words -- yet my heart has no love,
I am noise -- like a cymbal or gong.
Though I forecast the future and fathom the past,
And all riddles, by me, are laid bare;
Though my faith is a faith that moves mountains -- alas,
Without love, I have nothing to share.
Though I give all I have to the hungry and poor,
And my body is burned in the flame;
Though I give everything and can give nothing more,
Without love, I have nothing to claim.
For it's patient and gentle -- love strives to abide,
It's not jealous, malicious, or rude.
And it boasts not and brags not -- is empty of pride,
It's not petty, offensive or crude.
And it does not keep records of wrongs -- or of rights,
Love is trusting and kind and is good.
And it can't be provoked into quarrels or fights
But rejoices when truth's understood.
Love endures all, and bears all, believes all it hears,
And it hopes all -- and ever will last.
But if prophecies rise -- they shall all disappear;
And if knowledge or tongues -- they shall pass.
What we know of the whole is a very small piece,
And we prophesy only a part.
When perfection is come imperfection will cease --
Only then will our true knowledge start.
As a child I had reasoned like most children do,
And I spoke with a childish mind;
Now that I'm an adult, I'm mature and I'm through
With that conduct I've left far behind.
Now we see but a glimpse, in a shadowy light,
Of our mirrored reflection -- a trace;
But in time that will change -- just like day versus night --
Then we'll see like we stand face to face.
Now I just know in part -- but then all will be plain,
And I'll know as I've always been known.
Now the trio of faith, hope, and love yet remain,
But the love is the greatest, alone.
This poem won second place for the June 2020 poetry contest