Verse > John Dryden > Poems
John Dryden (1631–1700).  The Poems of John Dryden.  1913.
Songs from the Plays
“I Feed a Flame within which so torments me,” from The Maiden Queen
I FEED a Flame within which so torments me
That it both pains my heart, and yet contents me:
’Tis such a pleasing smart and I so love it,
That I had rather die, then once remove it.
Yet he for whom I grieve shall never know it,        5
My tongue does not betray, nor my eyes shew it:
Not a sigh not a tear my pain discloses,
But they fall silently like dew on Roses.
Thus to prevent my love from being cruel,
My heart’s the sacrifice as ’tis the fuel:        10
And while I suffer thus to give him quiet,
My faith rewards my love, tho he deny it.
On his eyes will I gaze, and there delight me;
Where I conceal my love, no frown can fright me:
To be more happy I dare not aspire;        15
Nor can I fall more low, mounting no higher.

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