Ask—Ask Not How My Cheek is Pale by Mary Langdon Bryan

Ask—ask not how my cheek is pale,
Await its paler, colder tale:
Urge not my tongue reluctant now,
Soon will its silence tell thee—how.
And when no voice will meet thy ear,
Nor e’er till then thy heart may hear.
Impatient then thou wilt not turn …
When I—nor sigh—nor look—nor mourn:
How quiet will this bosom lie;
Nor one pulse throb, though thou art nigh.
‘Tis then—’tis there—a cheek so pale,
Unscorn’d may tell so frail a tale.
And then, perhaps, e’en thou mayest prove,
To love a heart thou canst not move

From: Smollett, Tobias George, The Critical Review: Or, Annals of Literature, Volume 2, 1815, R. Baldwin: London, p. 521.

Date: 1815

By: Mary Langdon Bryan (1780-after 1823)


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