Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834 / Devon / England)

To Sara


One kiss, dear maid! I said and sighed,
Your scorn the little boon denied.
Ah why refuse the blameless bliss?
Can danger lurk within a kiss?

Yon viewless wand'rer of the vale,
The spirit of the western gale,
At morning's break, at evening's close
Inhales the sweetness of the rose
And hovers o'er th' uninjured bloom
Sighing back the soft perfume.
Vigor to the zephyr's wing
Her nectar-breathing kisses fling;
And he the glitter of the dew
Scatters on the rose's hue.
Bashful, lo! she bends her head,
And darts a blush of deeper red!

Too well those lovely lips disclose
The triumphs of the op'ning rose:
O fair! O graceful! bid them prove
As passive to the breath of love.
In tender accents, faint and low,
Well-pleased I hear the whispered 'No!'
The whispered 'No' ---- how little meant!
Sweet falsehood, that endears consent!
For on those lovely lips the while
Dawns the soft relenting smile,
And tempts with feigned dissuasion coy
The gentle violence of joy.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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