Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618). Poems. 1892.XIV.
The Silent Lover
The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb;
So, when affections yield discourse, it seems
The bottom is but shallow whence they come.
They that are rich in words, in words discover
That they are poor in that which makes a lover.
The merit of true passion,
With thinking that he feels no smart,
That sues for no compassion;
The conquest of thy beauty,
It comes not from defect of love,
But from excess of duty.
A saint of such perfection,
As all desire, but none deserve,
A place in her affection,
Than venture the revealing;
Where glory recommends the grief,
Despair distrusts the healing.
For any mortal lover,
When reason cannot make them die,
Discretion doth them cover.
The plaints that they should utter,
Then thy discretion may perceive
That silence is a suitor.
Than words, though ne’er so witty:
A beggar that is dumb, you know,
May challenge double pity.
My true, though secret, passion:
He smarteth most that hides his smart,
And sues for no compassion.