The Forsaken to the Faithless

I DO not write to bid thee come unto me—
I will not pray thee spare my virgin fame:
Since I am won, 'tis useless now to woo me—
Undone I am, thou canst not more undo me.
Boast thy poor triumph o'er an empty name,
When she that shamed it sleeps in silent death;
For what is reputation but a bubble,
Blown up by Vanity's unthinking breath,—
A thing which few, with all their toil and trouble,
Can carry with them to their home, the grave.
Since men are fire, and we are as the stubble:
Men's faults are wink'd at—ours, alas! seen double,
No pardon of the partial world I crave,
That still is Folly's mouth-piece, Custom's slave.

Not for my name I mourn—but thou hast ta'en
A dearer jewel—even my precious soul.
Nor thou, nor all the world, can give again
What I have thrown away! Tho' Time may roll
His centuries on, when I shall be forgotten,
Thy falsehood mute, and cold thy fickle lust,—
When this polluted body shall be rotten,
And, undistinguished, sleep with virgin dust,—
Tho' all may cease, the stars give o'er to shine,
Nor more be witness to that sin of mine,—
Still should I feel my unredeemed loss,
And 'mongst the blessed be a thing unblest;
No power that is can make me what I was—
Oh, might I then not be! Oh, vain request!
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