Nay, Romney, nay---I will not hear you say
    Those words again: "I love you, love you sweet!"
    You are profane---blasphemous. I repeat,
You are no actor for so grand a play.

You love with all your heart? Well, that may be;
    Some cups are fashioned shallow. Should I try
    To quench my thirst from one of those, when dry---
I who have had a full bowl proffered me---

A new bowl brimming with a draught divine,
    One single taste thrilled to the finger-tips?
    Think you I even care to bathe my lips
With this poor sweetened water you call wine?

And though I spilled the nectar ere 'twas quaffed,
    And broke the bowl in wanton folly, yet
    I would die of my thirst ere I would wet
My burning lips with any meaner draught.

So leave me, Romney. One who has seen a play
    Enacted by a star cannot endure
    To see it rendered by an amateur.
You know not what Love is---now go away!

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.

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