by Robert Herrick

I COULD but see thee yesterday
    Stung by a fretful bee ;
And I the javelin suck'd away,
    And heal'd the wound in thee.

A thousand thorns and briars and stings,
    I have in my poor breast ;
Yet ne'er can see that salve which brings
    My passions any rest.

As love shall help me, I admire
    How thou canst sit, and smile
To see me bleed, and not desire
    To staunch the blood the while.

If thou, compos'd of gentle mould,
    Art so unkind to me ;
What dismal stories will be told
    Of those that cruel be ?

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol II.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 89.

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