Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
IV. Wooing and Winning
“Love me little, love me long”
Anonymous
 
Originally Printed in 1569

LOVE me little, love me long!
Is the burden of my song:
Love that is too hot and strong
        Burneth soon to waste.
Still I would not have thee cold,—        5
Not too backward, nor too bold;
Love that lasteth till ’t is old
        Fadeth not in haste.
Love me little, love me long!
Is the burden of my song.        10
 
If thou lovest me too much,
’T will not prove as true a touch;
Love me little more than such,—
        For I fear the end.
I ’m with little well content,        15
And a little from thee sent
Is enough, with true intent
        To be steadfast, friend.
 
Say thou lovest me, while thou live
I to thee my love will give,        20
Never dreaming to deceive
        While that life endures;
Nay, and after death, in sooth,
I to thee will keep my truth,
As now when in my May of youth:        25
        This my love assures.
 
Constant love is moderate ever,
And it will through life persever;
Give me that with true endeavor,—
        I will it restore.        30
A suit of durance let it be,
For all weathers,—that for me,—
For the land or for the sea:
        Lasting evermore.
 
Winter’s cold or summer’s heat,        35
Autumn’s tempests on it beat;
It can never know defeat,
        Never can rebel.
Such the love that I would gain,
Such the love, I tell thee plain,        40
Thou must give, or woo in vain:
        So to thee—farewell!
 
 
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