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Short poem

Edmund Waller (1606-1687)

The Self Banished

              1It is not that I love you less
              2Than when before your feet I lay,
              3But to prevent the sad increase
              4Of hopeless love, I keep away.

              5In vain (alas!) for everything
              6Which I have known belong to you,
              7Your form does to my fancy bring,
              8And makes my old wounds bleed anew.

              9Who in the spring from the new sun
            10Already has a fever got,
            11Too late begins those shafts to shun,
            12Which Phœbus through his veins has shot.

            13Too late he would the pain assuage,
            14And to thick shadows does retire;
            15About with him he bears the rage,
            16And in his tainted blood the fire.

            17But vow'd I have, and never must
            18Your banish'd servant trouble you;
            19For if I break, you may distrust
            20The vow I made to love you, too.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Edmund Waller, Poems (1645); facs.edn., Poems, 1645, together with poems from Bodleian MS Dond. 55 (Menston: Scolar Press, 1971). PR 3750 A1 1645 AB Robarts Library
First publication date: 1645
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP.1.444; RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/14

Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Edmund Waller