The Self-Banished

by Edmund Waller

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 Phoebus 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 mistrust
The vow I made—to love you too.

Monadnock Valley Press > Waller