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Loving is a Painful Thrill

Anacreon

Yes -- loving is a painful thrill,
And not to love more painful still
But oh, it is the worst of pain,
To love and not be loved again!

Affection now has fled from earth,
Nor fire of genius, noble birth,
Nor heavenly virtue, can beguile,
From beauty's cheek one favoring smile.

Gold is the woman's only theme,
Gold is the woman's only dream.
Oh! never be that wretch forgiven --
Forgive him not, indignant heaven!

Whose grovelling eyes could first adore,
Whose heart could pant for sordid ore.
Since that devoted thirst began,
Man has forgot to feel for man;

The pulse of social life is dead,
And all its fonder feelings fled!
War too has sullied Nature's charms,
For gold provokes the world to arms;

And oh! the worst of all its arts,
It renders asunder loving hearts.

Odes of Anacreon - Ode XXIX
Translated from the Greek by Thomas Moore.

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