My Loves by John Stuart Blackie

Air — ‘Shall I wasting in despair?’

(Suggested by Anæcreon’s ‘εί φύλλα, κ.τ.λ.’)

Name the leaves on all the trees,
Name the waves on all the seas,
Name the notes of all the groves,
Thus thou namest all my loves.

I do love the dark, the fair,
Golden ringlets, raven hair.
Eye that swims in sunny light.
Glance that shoots like lightning bright.

I do love the stately dame
And the sportive girl the same;
Every changeful phase between
Blooming cheek and brow serene.

I do love the young, the old,
Maiden modest, virgin bold.
Tiny beauties, and the tall;
Earth has room enough for all.

Which is better, who can say,
Lucy grave or Mary gay?
She who half her charms conceals,
She who flashes while she feels?

Why should I my love confine?
Why should fair be mine or thine?
If I praise a tulip, why
Should I pass a primrose by?

Paris was a pedant fool
Meting beauty by a rule,
Pallas? Juno? Venus? — he
Should have chosen all the three.

I am wise life’s every bliss
Thankful tasting; and a kiss
Is a sweet thing, I declare,
From a dark maid or a fair!

From: Blackie, John Stuart and Walker, Archibald Stodart (ed.), The Selected Poems of John Stuart Blackie, Edited with an Appreciation by Archibald Stodart Walker, 1896, John MacQueen: London, pp. 145-146.

Date: 1857

By: John Stuart Blackie (1809-1895)


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