Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
Song: ‘I feed a flame within, which so torments me’
By John Dryden (1631–1700)
I FEED 1 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 than once remove it.
Yet he, for whom I grieve, shall never know it;        5
My tongue does not betray, nor my eyes show it.
Not a sigh, nor 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 this to give him quiet,
My faith rewards my love, though he deny it.
On his eyes will I gaze, and there delight me;
While 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.
Note 1. From Secret Love, 1668. [back]

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