Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LOVE, NOT DUTY, by ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH



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LOVE, NOT DUTY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thought may well be ever ranging
Last Line: Above all things -- mind it, mind it!
Subject(s): Duty


THOUGHT may well be ever ranging,
And opinion ever changing,
Task-work be, though ill begun,
Dealt with by experience better;
By the law and by the letter
Duty done is duty done:
Do it, Time is on the wing!

Hearts, 'tis quite another thing,
Must or once for all be given,
Or must not at all be given;
Hearts, 'tis quite another thing!

To bestow the soul away
Is an idle duty-play! --
Why, to trust a life-long bliss
To caprices of a day,
Scarce were more depraved than this!

Men and maidens, see you mind it;
Show of love, where'er you find it,
Look if duty lurk behind it!
Duty-fancies, urging on
Whither love had never gone!

Loving -- if the answering breast
Seem not to be thus possessed,
Still in hoping have a care;
If it do, beware, beware!
But if in yourself you find it,
Above all things -- mind it, mind it!





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