The Declaration


You say you love me — may be so,
But yet before we farther go,
’Twere best from me myself to know,
+++++And therefore I’ll be free.
That tender female that would bind,
With lasting tie, my tender mind,
To all my foibles must be blind,
+++++Or mistress none for me.

The cans’t thou leave the pomp of courts,
The town, where mimick fortune sports;
And all that’s vile, and base resorts,
+++++To taste serener glee?
Say canst thou to the Hamlet fly,
Where nothing baneful hurts the eye,
And all the gay beau-monde deny —
+++++If not, — you’re not for me.

If you Maria can away,
With Kids and Lambs and Shepherds play,
And Larks and Linnets all the day,
+++++Contented, pleased and free:
If you can deign those charms to hide,
For me, from all mankind beside,
To live your slave shall be my pride;
+++++If not, — you’re not for me.