But is this love, that in my hollow breast

But is this love, that in my hollow breast
Gnaws like a silent poison, till I faint?
Is this the vision that the haggard saint
Fed with his vigils, till he found his rest?
Is this the hope that piloted thy quest,
Knight of the Grail, and kept thy heart from taint?
Is this the heaven, poets, that ye paint?
Oh, then, how like damnation to be blest!
This is not love: it is that worser thing —
Hunger for love, while love is yet to learn.
Thy peace is gone, my soul; thou long must yearn.
Long is thy winter's pilgrimage, till spring
And late home-coming; long ere thou return
To where the seraphs covet not, and burn.
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