YOU wished for a love-letter, Doctor--but
I know you to be most conceited of men;
You'll think I'm in earnest, I vow now I ain't,
For I would not deign to love even a saint.
You must never believe what the fair ladies say:
Take their nay for a yes, and their yes for a nay.
Like doctors, the darlings are very deceiving,
And most that they say is not half worth believing.
But now for my letter. How shall I begin?
If I say, my dear Doctor, that will be a sin!
And a love-letter without dear, darling, or dove,
Would be as insipid as one without love.
Love, glorious love, with its grand mystic art,
Sways each mortal mind, and scathes each human
Without care or regret it inflicts pain or joy,
Tossing high the frail heart that becomes its day's
It drinks up the life-sap, becomes life itself,
Regardless of true love, of beauty of pelf--
An object most "homely" in love's eye I ween--
Will seem like an angel, as bright as a queen.
It glosses its object, like man's serpent tongue--
Makes even the aged appear as if young;
Waving locks to love's eye, e'en if sprinkled with
Does not lessen, but strengthens its powerful sway.
Love, bright, joyous love, heals each sad, breaking
But breaks it again when it strives to depart:
210For the void, when once pulled by love, never again
A vision can fill it, save only great pain.
The blessing of blessings, the greatest of woes,
Will leave its bright signet wherever it goes:
Then seek love and find it, whenever you can--
My counsel is needless, for you are a--man.
Now, Doctor, I'm sure that this letter you'll find
Is suited exactly to your turn of mind;
I've sent what I promised--a true loving letter,--
And if it don't suit you, why, just write a better!