Littell's Living Age/Volume 1/Issue 1/Oh, ask me not how long

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TO M———


OH, ask me not how long thy gentle love
              Hath dwelt on me;
I only know ’t is long enough to prove
              Thy constancy.

I cannot pause to number months, or days,
              I know alone,
If to be faithful be Love’s highest praise,
              Thou wear’st the crown.

Oh, thou hast loved me long enough to show
              Thou canst not range;
And long enough to bid experience know
              How others change.

Oh, long enough for the upbraiding thought,
              That ne’er till now
I prized thy love’s rich treasure, as I ought,
              My all below.

Yes, I have seen full many a dream depart
              With faithless speed;
And some, who should have gently used my heart,
              Have made it bleed.

And I have rued Affection’s broken vow,
              And felt the chill
Of Friendship’s alterd eye—but, dearest, thou
              Art faithful still.