Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
Apology for Having Loved before
By Edmund Waller (1606–1687)
THEY that never had the use
Of the grape’s surprising juice,
To the first delicious cup
All their reason render up:
Neither do, nor care to, know,        5
Whether it be best or no.
So they that are to love inclined,
  Sway’d by chance, nor choice or art,
To the first that’s fair or kind,
  Make a present of their heart:        10
’Tis not she that first we love,
But whom dying we approve.
To man, that was in th’ evening made,
  Stars gave the first delight;
Admiring in the gloomy shade        15
  Those little drops of light.
Then, at Aurora, whose fair hand
  Removed them from the skies,
He gazing toward the east did stand,
  She entertained his eyes.        20
But when the bright sun did appear,
  All those he ’gan despise;
His wonder was determin’d there,
  And could no higher rise.
He neither might nor wished to know        25
  A more refulgent light;
For that (as mine your beauties now),
  Employed his utmost sight.

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