Shall I, Like an Hermit, Dwell

Shall I (like a hermit) dwell
On a rock or in a cell;
Calling home the smallest part
That is missing of my heart,
To bestow it where I may
Meet a rival every day?
—If she undervalue me,
—What care I how fair she be!

Were her tresses angel-gold;
If a stranger may be bold,
Unrebuked, and unafraid,
To convert them to a braid;
And, with little more ado,
Work them into bracelets, too!
—If the mine be grown so free,
—What care I how rich it be!

Were her hands as rich a prize
As her hair or precious eyes;
If she lay them out to take
Kisses for good manners' sake!
And let every lover slip
From her hand unto her lip!
—If she seem not chaste to me,
—What care I how chaste she be!

No! She must be perfect snow
In effect as well as show!
Warming but as snowballs do;
Not like fire by burning, too!
But when she by change hath got
To her heart a second lot;
—Then if others share with me,
—Farewell her! whate'er she be!
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