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The Self Banished

November 19, 2011
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Edmund Waller (1606-1687)

              It is not that I love you less
              Than when before your feet I lay,
              But to prevent the sad increase
              Of hopeless love, I keep away.
              In vain (alas!) for everything
              Which I have known belong to you,
              Your form does to my fancy bring,
              And makes my old wounds bleed anew.
             Who in the spring from the new sun
             Already has a fever got,
             Too late begins those shafts to shun,
             Which Phœbus through his veins has shot.
             Too late he would the pain assuage,
             And to thick shadows does retire;
             About with him he bears the rage,
             And in his tainted blood the fire.
             But vow’d I have, and never must
             Your banish’d servant trouble you;
             For if I break, you may distrust
             The vow I made to love you, too.
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