Vintage Love…….

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And when I’m call’d on, and in open day,

To swear that true is false, and yea is nay,

And know I’m in a lie, and yet go through it,

By all that’s blest I own I cannot do it.

Let me but feel me buckled for the right,

And come a world in arms, I’m still a knight:

But give my foe the truth, and me the fraud,

And the pale scholar of the priest is awed.”

   “Say not the word,” the hasty fair one cried:

“I see it all, and wish I might have died.

Go sir, oh go!! a soldier and afraid!

Was it for this you lov’d a trusting maid?

Your presence kills me, Sir, with shame and grief.”-

She said; and sunk in tears and handkerchief.

  “Ah, Mabel,” said the knight, as with a kiss

He bow’d on her dropp’d head, “you’ll mourn for this.”

He look’d upon her glossy locks, admire’d

Their gentleness for once, and with a sigh retir’d.

                                      —-from “The Gentle Armour.”

Poem by Leigh Hunt

Excerpt from Love Poems of Browning & Hunt, Published by The Dodge Publishing Company, 40 West Thirteenth Street, New York, New York. Copyright 1902

*photo courtesy of Google Chrome, Vintage Valentine Cards.