To Phoebe

"GENTLE, modest little flower,
Sweet epitome of May,
Love me but for half an hour,
Love me, love me, little fay."
Sentences so fiercely flaming
In your tiny shell-like ear,
I should always be exclaiming
If I loved you, PHOEBE dear.

"Smiles that thrill from any distance
Shed upon me while I sing!
Please ecstaticize existence,
Love me, oh, thou fairy thing!"
Words like these, outpouring sadly
You'd perpetually hear,
If I loved you fondly, madly; -
But I do not, PHOEBE dear.

by William Schwenck Gilbert

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