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Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618). Poems. 1892.


Fain would I, but I dare not

FAIN would I, but I dare not; I dare, and yet I may not;

I may, although I care not, for pleasure when I play not.

You laugh because you like not; I jest whenas I joy not;

You pierce, although you strike not; I strike and yet annoy not.

I spy, whenas I speak not; for oft I speak and speed not;

But of my wounds you reck not, because you see they bleed not:

Yet bleed they where you see not, but you the pain endure not:

Of noble mind they be not that ever kill and cure not.

I see, whenas I view not; I wish, although I crave not;

I serve, and yet I sue not; I hope for that I have not;

I catch, although I hold not; I burn, although I flame not;

I seem, whenas I would not; and when I seem, I am not.

Yours am I, though I seem not, and will be, though I show not;

Mine outward deeds then deem not, when mine intent you know not;

But if my serving prove not most sure, although I sue not,

Withdraw your mind and love not, nor of my ruin rue not.