There is no deed I would not dare,
Unloving, but to gain your smile,
No shame or sorrow I would not share
(Though withering in a wintry while)
If I could win your friendship’s grace
While Time’s slow pace is lagging still
Though my lost heart should leave no trace
Of Love on Heaven’s immortal will.
There is no death I would not crave
If thus I’d save your heart from tears;
To snatch your glory from the grave
I’d brave all fates and feel no fears
Although my heart be calm and cold
And feel no flame nor mirth of Love,
Nor buoyed with hope be overbold
To seize and hold the shining Dove.
But I do love you and I know
Nor any deed nor difficult quest
To try to compass, that would show
The fire that bums within my breast;
I cannot draw the dazzling blade
My body sheathes. Love’s splendid sword,
Lest you be blinded—and dismayed
To silence fall my wounded word.
If I would do each desperate thing
Only to bring you ease or mirth
What pinnacle for Love’s strong wing
Towers above the heights of Earth?
I cannot give your soul belief
In the great visions of my heart,
I cannot, and it is my grief
Do aught to please you—but depart.