Love not, love not! ye hapless sons of clay! Hope's gayest wreaths are made of earthly flowers— Things that are made to fade and fall away Ere they have blossom'd for a few short hours. Love not! Love not! the thing ye love may change: The rosy lip may cease to smile on you, The kindly-beaming eye grow cold and strange, The heart still warmly beat, yet not be true. Love not! Love not! the thing you love may die, May perish from the gay and gladsome earth; The silent stars, the blue and smiling sky, Beam o'er its grave, as once upon its birth. Love not! Love not! oh warning vainly said In present hours as in the years gone by; Love flings a halo round the dear ones' head, Faultless, immortal, till they change or die, Love not!
I Do Not Love Thee
I do not love thee!—no! I do not love thee!
And yet when thou art absent I am sad;
And envy even the bright blue sky above thee,
Whose quiet stars may see thee and be glad.
I do not love thee!—yet, I know not why,
Whate’er thou dost seems still well done, to me:
And often in my solitude I sigh
That those I do love are not more like thee!
I do not love thee!—yet, when thou art gone,
I hate the sound (though those who speak be dear)
Which breaks the lingering echo of the tone
Thy voice of music leaves upon my ear.
I do not love thee!—yet thy speaking eyes,
With their deep, bright, and most expressive blue,
Between me and the midnight heaven arise,
Oftener than any eyes I ever knew.
I know I do not love thee! yet, alas!
Others will scarcely trust my candid heart;
And oft I catch them smiling as they pass,
Because they see me gazing where thou art.