Whene’er I view those lips of thine,
  Their hue invites my fervent kiss;
Yet, I forego that bliss divine,
  Alas! it were—unhallow’d bliss.

Whene’er I dream of that pure breast,
  How could I dwell upon its snows!
Yet, is the daring wish represt,
  For that,—would banish its repose.

A glance from thy soul-searching eye
  Can raise with hope, depress with fear;
Yet, I conceal my love,—and why?
  I would not force a painful tear.

I ne’er have told my love, yet thou
  Hast seen my ardent flame too well;
And shall I plead my passion now,
  To make thy bosom’s heaven a hell?

No! for thou never canst be mine,
  United by the priest’s decree:
By any ties but those divine,
  Mine, my belov’d, thou ne’er shalt be.

Then let the secret fire consume,
  Let it consume, thou shalt not know:
With joy I court a certain doom,
  Rather than spread its guilty glow.

I will not ease my tortur’d heart,
  By driving dove-ey’d peace from thine;
Rather than such a sting impart,
  Each thought presumptuous I resign.

Yes! yield those lips, for which I’d brave
  More than I here shall dare to tell;
Thy innocence and mine to save,—
  I bid thee now a last farewell.

Yes! yield that breast, to seek despair
  And hope no more thy soft embrace;
Which to obtain, my soul would dare,
  All, all reproach, but thy disgrace.

At least from guilt shall thou be free,
  No matron shall thy shame reprove;
Though cureless pangs may prey on me,
  No martyr shall thou be to love.

   Hannah Breedlove
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