Though bootless be the theme;
I loved, and was beloved again,
Yet all was but a dream:
For, a her love was quickly got,
So it was quickly gone;
No more I'll bask in flame so hot,
But coldly dwell alone.
Not maid more bright than maid was e'er
My fancy shall beguile,
By flattering word, or feigned tear,
By gesture, look, or smile:
No more I'll call the shaft fair shot,
Till it has fairly flown,
Nor scorch me at a flame so hot;-
I'll rather freeze alone.
Each ambush'd Cupid I'll defy,
In cheek, or chin, or brow,
And deem the glance of woman's eye
As weak as woman's vow:
I'll lightly hold the lady's heart,
That is but lightly won;
I'll steel my breast to beauty's art,
And learn to live alone.
The flaunting torch soon blazes out,
The diamond's ray abides;
The flame its glory hurls about,
The gem its lustre hides;
Such gem I fondly deem'd was mine,
And glow'd a diamond stone,
But, since each eye may see it shine,
I'll darkling dwell alone.
No waking dream shall tinge my thought
With dyes so bright and vain.
No silken net, so slightly wrought,
Shall tangle me again:
No more I'll pay so dear for wit,
I'll live upon mine own,
Nor shall wild passion trouble it,-
I'll rather dwell alone.
And thus I'll hush my heart to rest,-
'Thy loving labour's lost;
Thou shalt no more be wildly blest,
To be so strangely crost;
The widow'd turtles mateless die,
The phoenix is but one;
They seek no loves -no more will I-
I'll rather dwell alone.'
Sir Walter Scott