Romney

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Nay, Romney, nay--I will not hear you say
   Those words again: "I love you, love you sweet!"
   You are profane--blasphemous. I repeat,
You are no actor for so grand a play.

You love with all your heart? Well, that may be;
   Some cups are fashioned shallow. Should I try
   To quench my thirst from one of those, when dry -
I who have had a full bowl proffered me -

A new bowl brimming with a draught divine,
   One single taste thrilled to the finger-tips?
   Think you I even care to bathe my lips
With this poor sweetened water you call wine?

And though I spilled the nectar ere 'twas quaffed,
   And broke the bowl in wanton folly, yet
   I would die of my thirst ere I would wet
My burning lips with any meaner draught.

So leave me, Romney. One who has seen a play
   Enacted by a star cannot endure
   To see it rendered by an amateur.
You know not what Love is--now go away!

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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