The Passionate Pilgrim

January 10, 2010

Fall 2009 316

XVII.

On a day, alack the day!
Love, whose month was ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair,
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind
All unseen, gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish’d himself the heaven’s breath,
‘Air,’ quoth he, ‘thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alas! my hand hath sworn
Ne’er to pluck thee from thy thorn:
Vow, alack! for youth unmeet:
Youth, so apt to pluck a sweet.
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiope were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.’

William Shakespeare

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