THE CRUEL MAID.
by Robert Herrick
AND cruel maid, because I see
You scornful of my love and me,
I’ll trouble you no more ; but go
My way where you shall never know.
What is become of me : there I
Will find me out a path to die,
Or learn some way how to forget
You and your name for ever : yet,
Ere I go hence, know this from me,
What will, in time, your fortune be :
This to your coyness I will tell,
And, having spoke it once, farewell.
The lily will not long endure,
Nor the snow continue pure ;
The rose, the violet, one day
See both these lady-flowers decay :
And you must fade as well as they.
And it may chance that love may turn,
And, like to mine, make your heart burn
And weep to see’t ; yet this thing do,
That my last vow commends to you :
When you shall see that I am dead,
For pity let a tear be shed
And, with your mantle o’er me cast,
Give my cold lips a kiss at last :
If twice you kiss you need not fear
That I shall stir or live more here.
Next, hollow out a tomb to cover
Me—me, the most despisèd lover,
And write thereon : This, reader, know :
Love kill’d this man. No more, but so.
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 72-73.
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