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To Caroline

by Lord Byron


You say you love, and yet your eye
No symptom of love conveys
You say you love, yet know not why
Your cheek no sign of love betrays.

Ah! did that breast with ardour glow,
With me alone it joy could know,
Or feel with me the listless woe,
Which racks my heart when far from you.

Whene'er we meet, my blushes rise,
And mantle through my purpled cheek,
But yet no blush to mine replies,
Nor do those eyes your love bespeak.

Your voice alone declares your flame,
And though so sweet it breathes my name,
Our passions still are not the same,
Though Love and Rapture still are new.

For e'en your lip seems steep'd in snow,
And, though so oft it meets my kiss,
It burns with no responsive glow,
Nor melts, like mine, in dewy bliss.

Ah! what are words to love like mine,
Though uttered by a voice divine,
I still in murmurs must repine,
And think that love can ne'er be true,

Which meets me with no joyous sign;
Without a sigh which bids adieu:
How different is that love from mine,
Which feels such grief when leaving you.

Your image fills my anxious breast,
Till day decline adown the West,
And when, at night, I sink to rest,
In dreams your fancied form I view.

'Tis then, your breast, no longer cold,
With equal ardour seems to burn,
While close your arms around me fold,
Your lips my kiss with warmth return.

Ah! would these joyous moments last!
Vain HOPE! the gay delusion's past;
That voice!--ah! no, 'tis but the blast,
Which echoes through the neighboring grove!

But, when awake, your lips I seek,
And clasp, enraptur's, all your charms,
So chills the pressure of your cheek,
I fold a statue in my arms.

If thus, when to my heart embrac'd,
No pleasure in your eyes is trac'd,
You may be prudent, fair, and chaste,
But ah! my girl, you do not love.

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