TO .... ....
No--Lady! Lady! keep the ring:
Oh! think, how many a future year,
Of placid smile and downy wing,
May sleep within its holy sphere.
Do not disturb their tranquil dream,
Though love hath ne'er the mystery warmed;
Yet heaven will shed a soothing beam,
To bless the bond itself hath formed.
But then, that eye, that burning eye,--
Oh! it doth ask, with witching power,
If heaven can ever bless the tie
Where love inwreaths no genial flower?
Away, away, bewildering look,
Or all the boast of virtue's o'er;
Go--hie thee to the sage's book,
And learn from him to feel no more.
I cannot warn thee: every touch,
That brings my pulses close to thine,
Tells me I want thy aid as much--
Even more, alas, than thou dost mine.
Yet, stay,--one hope, one effort yet--
A moment turn those eyes a way,
And let me, if I can, forget
The light that leads my soul astray.
Thou sayest, that we were born to meet,
That our hearts bear one common seal;--
Think, Lady, think, how man's deceit
Can seem to sigh and feign to feel.
When, o'er thy face some gleam of thought,
Like daybeams through the morning air,
Hath gradual stole, and I have caught
The feeling ere it kindled there;
The sympathy I then betrayed,
Perhaps was but the child of art,
The guile of one, who long hath played
With all these wily nets of heart.
Oh! thine is not my earliest vow;
Though few the years I yet have told,
Canst thou believe I've lived till now,
With loveless heart or senses cold?
No--other nymphs to joy and pain
This wild and wandering heart hath moved;
With some it sported, wild and vain,
While some it dearly, truly, loved.
The cheek to thine I fondly lay,
To theirs hath been as fondly laid;
The words to thee I warmly say,
To them have been as warmly said.
Then, scorn at once a worthless heart,
Worthless alike, or fixt or free;
Think of the pure, bright soul thou art,
And--love not me, oh love not me.
Enough--now, turn thine eyes again;
What, still that look and still that sigh!
Dost thou not feel my counsel then?
Oh! no, beloved,--nor do I.