Love Scorned By Pride

A poem by John Clare

O far is fled the winter wind,
And far is fled the frost and snow,
But the cold scorn on my love's brow
Hath never yet prepared to go.

More lasting than ten winters' wind,
More cutting than ten weeks of frost,
Is the chill frowning of thy mind,
Where my poor heart was pledged and lost.

I see thee taunting down the street,
And by the frowning that I see
I might have known it long ere now,
Thy love was never meant for me.

And had I known ere I began
That love had been so hard to win,
I would have filled my heart with pride,
Nor left one hope to let love in.

I would have wrapped it in my breast,
And pinned it with a silver pin,
Safe as a bird within its nest,
And 'scaped the trouble I am in.

I wish I was a happy bird,
And thou a true and timid dove:
O I would fly the land of grief,
And rest me in the land of love.

O I would rest where I love best;
Where I love best I may not be:
A hawk doth on that rose-tree sit,
And drives young love to fear and flee.

O would I were the goldfinch gay!
My richer suit had tempted strong.
O would I were the nightingale!
Thou then had'st listened to my song.

Though deep my scorn I cannot hate,
Thy beauty's sweet though sour thy pride;
To praise thee is to love thee still,
And it doth cheer my heart beside.

For I could swim the deepest lake,
And I could climb the highest tree,
The greatest danger face and brave,
And all for one kind kiss of thee.

O love is here, and love is there:
O love is like no other thing:
Its frowns can make a king a slave,
Its smiles can make a slave a king.

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