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Thou seest this bending stalk so weak
That each way yielding doth not break?
I must tell thee these reveal,

The doubts and fears that lovers feel."

[Burns' alteration is now printed for the first time.]



It is not beauty I demand,

A crystal brow, the moon's despair, Nor the snow's daughter a white hand, Nor mermaid's yellow pride of hair.

Tell me not of your starry eyes,
Your lips that seem of roses fed,
Your breasts where Cupid tumbling lies,
Nor sleeps for kissing of his bed.

A bloomy pair of vermil cheeks,
Like Hebe's in her ruddiest hours,
A breath that softer music speaks


summer winds a-wooing flowers.

Give me instead of beauty's bust,
A tender heart, a loyal mind,
Which with temptation I could trust,


never linked with error find.

One in whose gentle bosom I

Could pour my secret heart of woes,
Like the care-burthen'd honey-fly,
That hides his murmurs in the rose.

My earthly comforter, whose love
So indefensible might be,

That when my spirit won above,
Her's could not stay for sympathy!



Born 1605-Died 1687.

That which her slender waist confined,
Shall now my joyful temples bind :
No monarch but would give his crown,
His arms might do what this has done.

It was my heav'n's extremest sphere,
The pale which held my lovely dear :
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love,
Do all within this circle move.

A narrow compass and yet there
Dwelt all that's good and all that's fair:
Give me but what this riband bound,
Take all the rest the sun goes round.



Go, lovely Rose!

Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows

When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,

And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung

In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired:

Bid her come forth,

Suffer herself to be desired,

And not blush so to be admired.

Then die! that she

The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee,

How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair.

[The following verse was added by Kirke White in a copy of

Waller's Poems:

Yet though thou fade

From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise;

And teach the maid

That goodness time's rude hand defies

That virtue lives when beanty dies.]



Chloris! farewell; I now must go;
For if with thee I longer stay,
Thy eyes prevail upon me so,

I shall prove blind and lose my way.

Fame of thy beauty and thy youth, Among the rest, me hither brought : Finding this fame fall short of truth, Made me stay longer than I thought.

For I'm engaged by word and oath
A servant to another's will;
Yet for thy love I'd forfeit both,
Could I be sure to keep it still.

But what assurance can I take,
When thou, foreknowing this abuse,

For some more worthy lover's sake
May'st leave me with so just excuse?

For thou may'st say, 'twas not thy fault That thou didst thus inconstant prove, Being by my example taught

To break thy oath to mend thy love.

No, Chloris! no: I will return,
And raise thy story to that height,
That strangers shall at distance burn,
And she distrust me reprobate.

Then shall my love this doubt displace,
And gain such trust, that I may come
And banquet sometimes on thy face,
But make my constant meals at home.



While I listen to thy voice,
Chloris, I feel my life decay :

That powerful noise

Calls my flitting soul away.

Oh! suppress that magic sound,
Which destroys without a wound.

Peace, Chloris, peace! or singing die,
That together you and I

To heaven may go;
For all we know

Of what the blessed do above,

Is that they sing and that they love.

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