The Spirit of the Nation/The Coquette

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For works with similar titles, see The Coquette.


TO ———

"The love we have lost is never renewed. On that dread vacuum of the breast, the temple and the garden rise no more—that feeling, be it hatred, be it scorn, be it indifference, which replaces love, endures to the last."—Bulwer.


I lov'd thee—yes, I lov'd thee—oh! how deeply and how well,
The heart that loves alone can feel—what words can ever tell,
Too long I dream'd—I vainly dream'd—affection could reside,
Within that breast of ice and steel—of cold and cutting pride.


But now my bosom thrills no more, as once for thee it thrill'd—
I see the dark and chilly cloud my fancy strove to gild—
The tints that Passion round thee threw—the rays of Love depart—
I know thee, as thou falsely wert—and as thou truly art.


Yes, where the sons of Folly bow, at Fashion's empty shrine,
Go, bring thy flimsy heart to sale—it ne'er was formed for mine—
I loathe the idol of the past—I spurn it with disgust—
'Tis shivered into fragments—and trampled into dust!


Yet no.—I cannot hate thee, tho' thy love no more I prize—
We hate not, as we love not, where we only can despise—
Then crawl in safety, for to me the thought of thee is such,
As of a reptile we would kill, could we but bear to touch!