A poem by John Clare

I would not feign a single sigh
Nor weep a single tear for thee:
The soul within these orbs burns dry;
A desert spreads where love should be.
I would not be a worm to crawl
A writhing suppliant in thy way;
For love is life, is heaven, and all
The beams of an immortal day.

For sighs are idle things and vain,
And tears for idiots vainly fall.
I would not kiss thy face again
Nor round thy shining slippers crawl.
Love is the honey, not the bee,
Nor would I turn its sweets to gall
For all the beauty found in thee,
Thy lily neck, rose cheek, and all.

I would not feign a single tale
Thy kindness or thy love to seek;
Nor sigh for Jenny of the Vale,
Her ruby smile or rosy cheek.
I would not have a pain to own
For those dark curls and those bright eyes
A frowning lip, a heart of stone,
False love and folly I despise.

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