This day to common love is dear,
And many a tale will soothe thine ear
Fond hope or frolic with to prove:
The theme of minstrelsy I change —
I bring a tribute new and strange;
A tale of hatred, not of love!
I love thee not! — did ever zeal
A rarer miracle reveal
Thy pity or thy mirth to move?
’Tis true — for all thy faults I guess,
And strive to make thy beauties less —
What more is hate if this be love?
Thy wit is false, for when my cheek
Fades with the fear which cannot speak,
My pangs thy careless jest improve:
And while I tremble, how much guile
Lurks in thy lip and points thy smile, —
The smile which stings yet wakens Love!
Thine eye — a scorching fire is there,
For tho’ I chide, I never dare
The keenness of its flash to prove;
Thy voice has won the elf-harp’s sound,
I hear it, and my tongue is bound
Or wanders into words of love.
Behold thy faults! — but keep them all
That I my senses may recall
When spell-bound in thy sphere they rove: —
My malice as thy pride is great,
There is no language fits my hate
Unless it tells thee that — I love!
Feb. 14th 1815