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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton 1808–77

Love Not


LOVE not, love not! ye hapless sons of clay!

Hope’s gayest wreaths are made of earthly flowers—

Things that are made to fade and fall away

Ere they have blossom’d for a few short hours.

Love not!

Love not! the thing ye love may change:

The rosy lip may cease to smile on you,

The kindly-beaming eye grow cold and strange,

The heart still warmly beat, yet not be true.

Love not!

Love not! the thing you love may die,

May perish from the gay and gladsome earth;

The silent stars, the blue and smiling sky,

Beam o’er its grave, as once upon its birth.

Love not!

Love not! oh warning vainly said

In present hours as in the years gone by;

Love flings a halo round the dear ones’ head,

Faultless, immortal, till they change or die,

Love not!