Verse > Sir Walter Raleigh > Poems
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Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618).  Poems.  1892.
 
XI.
Fain would I, but I dare not
 
FAIN would I, but I dare not; I dare, and yet I may not;
I may, although I care not, for pleasure when I play not.
You laugh because you like not; I jest whenas I joy not;
You pierce, although you strike not; I strike and yet annoy not.
 
I spy, whenas I speak not; for oft I speak and speed not;        5
But of my wounds you reck not, because you see they bleed not:
Yet bleed they where you see not, but you the pain endure not:
Of noble mind they be not that ever kill and cure not.
 
I see, whenas I view not; I wish, although I crave not;
I serve, and yet I sue not; I hope for that I have not;        10
I catch, although I hold not; I burn, although I flame not;
I seem, whenas I would not; and when I seem, I am not.
 
Yours am I, though I seem not, and will be, though I show not;
Mine outward deeds then deem not, when mine intent you know not;
But if my serving prove not most sure, although I sue not,        15
Withdraw your mind and love not, nor of my ruin rue not.
 
 
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