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Nay, Romney, nay--I will not hear you say
   Those words again: "I love you, love you sweet!"
   You are profane--blasphemous. I repeat,
You are no actor for so grand a play.

You love with all your heart? Well, that may be;
   Some cups are fashioned shallow. Should I try
   To quench my thirst from one of those, when dry -
I who have had a full bowl proffered me -

A new bowl brimming with a draught divine,
   One single taste thrilled to the finger-tips?
   Think you I even care to bathe my lips
With this poor sweetened water you call wine?

And though I spilled the nectar ere 'twas quaffed,
   And broke the bowl in wanton folly, yet
   I would die of my thirst ere I would wet
My burning lips with any meaner draught.

So leave me, Romney. One who has seen a play
   Enacted by a star cannot endure
   To see it rendered by an amateur.
You know not what Love is--now go away!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.