The most romantic love poems


I Said to Love

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I said to Love,
"It is not now as in old days
When men adored thee and thy ways
   All else above;
Named thee the Boy, the Bright, the One
Who spread a heaven beneath the sun,"
   I said to Love.

   I said to him,
"We now know more of thee than then;
We were but weak in judgment when,
   With hearts abrim,
We clamoured thee that thou would'st please
Inflict on us thine agonies,"
   I said to him.

   I said to Love,
"Thou art not young, thou art not fair,
No faery darts, no cherub air,
   Nor swan, nor dove
Are thine; but features pitiless,
And iron daggers of distress,"
   I said to Love.

   "Depart then, Love! . . .
- Man's race shall end, dost threaten thou?
The age to come the man of now
   Know nothing of? -
We fear not such a threat from thee;
We are too old in apathy!
Mankind shall cease.--So let it be,"
   I said to Love.

Thomas Hardy (1840 – 1928)


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