There is a spell thou dost not see,
That bids a genuine love despair.
And yet that spell invites each youth,
For thee to sigh, or seem to sigh;
Makes falsehood wear the garb of truth,
And Truth itself appear a lie.
If ever Doubt a place possest
In woman's heart, 'twere wise in thine:
Admit not Love into thy breast,
Doubt others' love, nor trust in mine.
Perchance 'tis feigned, perchance sincere,
But false or true thou canst not tell;
So much hast thou from all to fear,
In that unconquerable spell.
Of all the herd that throng around,
Thy simpering or thy sighing train,
Come tell me who to thee is bound
By Love's or Plutus' heavier chain.
In some 'tis Nature, some 'tis Art
That bids them worship at thy shrine;
in which there is more than one allusion to her would-be suitors, "your thousand and one pretendants," etc., suggest the idea that the lines were addressed to his future wife, when he first made her acquaintance in 1812 or 1813.]