English poetry

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THE CRUEL MAID

AND, cruel maid, because I see
You scornful of my love, and me,
I’ll trouble you no more, but go
My way, where you shall never know
What is become of me; there I
Will find me out a path to die,
Or learn some way how to forget
You and your name for ever; yet
Ere I go hence, know this from me,
What will in time your fortune be;
This to your coyness I will tell;
And having spoke it once, Farewell.
The lily will not long endure,
Nor the snow continue pure;
The rose, the violet, one day
See both these lady-flowers decay;
And you must fade as well as they.
And it may chance that love may turn,
And, like to mine, make your heart burn
And weep to see’t; yet this thing do,
That my last vow commends to you;
When you shall see that I am dead,
For pity let a tear be shed;
And, with your mantle o’er me cast,
Give my cold lips a kiss at last;
If twice you kiss, you need not fear
That I shall stir or live more here.
Next hollow out a tomb to cover
Me, me, the most despised lover;
And write thereon, THIS, READER, KNOW;
LOVE KILL’D THIS MAN. No more, but so.

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Poem THE CRUEL MAID - Robert Herrick