Delia, th' unkindest girl on earth

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Delia, th' unkindest girl on earth,
   When I besought the fair,
That favour of intrinsic worth,
   A ringlet of her hair, -

Refus'd that instant to comply
   With my absurd request,
For reasons she could specify,
   Some twenty score at least.

Trust me, my dear, however odd
   It may appear to say,
I sought it merely to defraud
   Thy spoiler of his prey.

Yet when its sister locks shall fade,
   As quickly fade they must,
When all their beauties are decay'd,
   Their gloss, their colour, lost,

Ah then! if haply to my share
   Some slender pittance fall,
If I but gain one single hair,
   Nor age usurp them all; -

When you behold it still as sleek,
   As lovely to the view,
As when it left thy snowy neck -
   That Eden where it grew -

Then shall my Delia's self declare,
   That I profess'd the truth,
And have preserv'd my little share
   In everlasting youth.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.