Agro-Dolce

One kiss from all others prevents me,
And sets all my pulses astir,
And burns on my lips and torments me:
'Tis the kiss that I fain would give her.

One kiss for all others requites me,
Although it is never to be,
And sweetens my dreams and invites me:
'Tis the kiss that she dare not give me.

Ah, could it he mine, it were sweeter
Than honey bees garner in dream,
Though its bliss on my lips were fleeter
Than a swallow's dip to the stream.

And yet, thus denied, it can never
In the prose of life vanish away;
O'er my lips it must hover forever,
The sunshine and shade of my day.

by James Russell Lowell

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