Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, COMPLAINT, by PHOEBE CARY

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COMPLAINT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Though we were parted, or though he had died
Last Line: "nor die of his cruelty."
Subject(s): Love - Unrequited

"THOUGH we were parted, or though he had died,"
She said, "I could bear the worst,
If he only had loved me at the last,
As he loved me at the first.

"But woe is me!" said the hapless maid,
"That ever a lover came;
Since he who lit in my heart the fire,
Has failed to tend the flame.

"Ah! why did he pour in my life's poor cup
A nectar so divine,
If he had no power to fill it up
With a draught as pure and fine?

"Why did he give me one holiday,
Then send me back to toil?
Why did he set a lamp in my house,
And leave it lacking oil?

"Why did he plant the rose in my cheeks
When he knew it could not thrive --
That the dew of kisses, only, keeps
The true blush-rose alive?

"If he tired so soon of the song I sung
In our love's delicious June,
Why did he set the thoughts of my heart
All to one blessed tune?

"Oh, if he were either true or false,
My torment might have end:
He hath been, for a lover, too unkind;
Too loving for a friend!

"And there is not a soul in all the world
So wretched as mine must be,
For I cannot live on his love," she said,
"Nor die of his cruelty."

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