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.
 
III. Love’s Beginnings
The First Kiss
Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)
 
HOW delicious is the winning
Of a kiss at love’s beginning,
When two mutual hearts are sighing
For the knot there ’s no untying!
 
Yet remember, midst your wooing,        5
Love has bliss, but love has ruing;
Other smiles may make you fickle,
Tears for other charms may trickle.
 
Love he comes, Love he tarries,
Just as fate or fancy carries,—        10
Longest stays when sorest chidden,
Laughs and flies when pressed and bidden.
 
Bind the sea to slumber stilly,
Bind its odor to the lily,
Bind the aspen ne’er to quiver,—        15
Then bind Love to last forever!
 
Love ’s a fire that needs renewal
Of fresh beauty for its fuel;
Love’s wing moults when caged and captured,—
Only free he soars enraptured.        20
 
Can you keep the bee from ranging,
Or the ring-dove’s neck from changing?
No! nor fettered Love from dying
In the knot there ’s no untying.
 
 
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