Freedom and Love by Thomas Campbell

How delicious is the winning
   Of a kiss at love’s beginning,
When two mutual hearts are sighing
   For the knot there’s no untying!

Ye remember, ‘midst your wooing,
   Love has bliss, but Love has ruing;
Other smiles may make you fickle,
   Tears for other charms may trickle.

Love he comes, and Love he tarries,
   Just as fate or fancy carries;
   Longest stays, when sorest chidden;
Laughs and flies, when press’d and bidden.

Bind the sea to slumber stilly,
   Bind its odour to the lily,
Bind the aspen ne’er to quiver,
   Then bind Love to last for ever.

Love’s a fire that needs renewal
   Of fresh beauty for its fuel:
Love’s wing moults when caged and captured,
   Only free, he soars enraptured.

Can you keep the bee from ranging
   Or the ringdove’s neck from changing?
No! nor fetter’d Love from dying
   In the knot there’s no untying.


Date: ?1802

By: Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)

Alternative Title: Song [How Delicious is the Winning]


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