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A NYMPH’S PASSION

I love, and he loves me again,
Yet dare I not tell who;
For if the nymphs should know my swain,
I fear they’d love him too;
Yet if he be not known,
The pleasure is as good as none,
For that’s a narrow joy is but our own.

I’ll tell, that if they be not glad,
They may yet envy me;
But then if I grow jealous mad,
And of them pitied be,
It were a plague ‘bove scorn;
And yet it cannot be forborn,
Unless my heart would, as my thought, be torn.

He is, if they can find him, fair,
And fresh and fragrant too,
As summer’s sky, or purged air,
And looks as lilies do
That are this morning blown;
Yet, yet I doubt he is not known,
And fear much more, that more of him be shown.

But he hath eyes so round, and bright,
As make away my doubt,
Where Love may all his torches light
Though hate had put them out:
But then, t’ increase my fears,
What nymph soe’er his voice but hears,
Will be my rival, though she have but ears.

I’ll tell no more, and yet I love,
And he loves me; yet now
One unbecoming thought doth move
From either heart, I know;
But so exempt from blame,
As it would be to each a fame,
If love or fear would let me tell his name.


A NYMPH’S PASSION - BEN JONSON