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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Elizabeth (Bessie) Chandler Parker (b. 1856)

How to Love

LOVE me, but let me never know

That I the limit of your love may touch;

Always beyond my reach, below, above,

I want to feel that I may find your love.

Love me, but—not too much.

Paint it in quiet, tender tints:

The fragrant flowers of spring wear such,

And summer lies beyond them. In a blaze

Of brilliant hues the fall flowers end their days.

Love me, but—not too much.

Let it be like the soft blue sky,

That folds the earth around with gentle touch:

Not like the crimson clouds at set of sun,

For darkness follows them, and day is done.

Love me, but—not too much.

Like the new moon I want your love:

My life will brighten ’neath its pure white touch.

The full moon gives great floods of silver light,

And then—it fades from out the starry night.

Love me, but—not too much.

But like the ivy, let love grow

Steadily, slowly, reaching wide and high,

Till it embraces all in its strong grasp,

And holds with true, unfading, living clasp.

So love me till I die!