Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862)/"No, Thank You, John"

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I never said I loved you, John:
   Why will you tease me day by day,
And wax a weariness to think upon
      With always "do" and "pray"?

You know I never loved you, John;
   No fault of mine made me your toast:
Why will you haunt me with a face as wan
      As shows an hour-old ghost?

I dare say Meg or Moll would take
   Pity upon you, if you'd ask:
And pray don't remain single for my sake
      Who can't perform that task.

I have no heart?—Perhaps I have not;
   But then you're mad to take offence
That I don't give you what I have not got:
      Use your own common sense.

Let bygones be bygones:
   Don't call me false, who owed not to be true:
I'd rather answer "No" to fifty Johns
      Than answer "Yes" to you.

Let's mar our pleasant days no more,
   Song-birds of passage, days of youth:
Catch at today, forget the days before:
      I'll wink at your untruth.

Let us strike hands as hearty friends;
   No more, no less; and friendship's good:
Only don't keep in view ulterior ends,
      And points not understood

In open treaty. Rise above
   Quibbles and shuffling off and on:
Here's friendship for you if you like; but love,—
      No, thank you, John.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.