Love is merely a Madness, and I tell you deserves
As well a dark house, and a whip, as madmen do
As You Like It — Act 3d. Scene 8th.
What mean these moments of delight
When thou alone arrests my sight?
Oh! what may this delirium be
That bids me only think of thee?
What tho’ in splendid crowds we meet
When dancers’ many twinkling feet,
And music’s all enlivening theme
Combine to rouse me from my dream —
Yet neither crowds nor dancing’s maze
Tho’ forc’d athwart my vapid gaze,
Nor music’s soft seducing measure,
That erst entranc’d my soul with pleasure
Are heard — or notic’d — or impart
One throb to my bewilder’d heart.
No; this delicious dream denies
The use of tongue, of ears, and eyes
Save for thy service — I obey
Joy thy devoted thrall to stay,
Joy in my dream, if dream it be
Yet marvel at the mystery.
Extatic thought! with thee alone
I linger here: the crowd is flown
From my mind’s eye — and dance there’s noen,
No more the viol strikes my ear
Thy accents only can I hear
I gaze, I wonder, and I sigh,
With thee to live, with thee to die.
Then say what my these moments prove,
Think’st thou they can be — may be — Love?
A thrilling sense thy words impart
As soft they sink into my heart,
For every thought that sways they mind,
In me its counterpart shall find,
Concording sentiments I see
As kindling into ecstasy!
They mount and how sublime they fly,
And in collision seem to die,
Yet how they mount and fly again
Above the reach of vulgar ken
Commingling in ideal bliss —
Ye gods! What mummery is this?
What mean these whimpering, whining sighs?
These brain-silk oaths, these timid lies?
Ah! Where had common sense been gadding?
Sure my poor brains are gone a-Madding!
Ah, reason art thou vanish’d quite?
In pity to a happless wight,
Shine out and dispossess my brain,
And give me common sense again,
Oh! come, this mystery reveal
Give me again to see and feel,
To hear and argue, and advise,
With hands and ears, & mind and eyes.
Ah! now again gay crowds arise,
Once more the dancers meet my eyes,
The music’s sound salutes my ear,
And other people I can hear,
And other people I can see,
And since I’m not alone with thee,
I’ll answer when they speak to me.
For this, oh Reason to thy praise,
Ten thousand billet-doux shall blaze,
Oh take thy station in my brain
Lest common sense be lost again.
And as for love, that moonstruck madness
That pining, moping, puling sadness,
Away! with love’s deluding fits,
Since lovers needs must lose their wits.