Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
III. Love Self-Sacrificed
By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)
(Entitled by the Author, “Incompatibility”)

FORGIVE me that I love you as I do,
Friend patient long; too patient to reprove
The inconvenience of superfluous love.
You feel that it molests you, and ’t is true.
In a light bark you sit, with a full crew;—        5
Your life, full-orbed, compelled strange love to meet,
Becomes, by such addition, incomplete.
Because I love, I leave you. O, adieu!
Perhaps when I am gone the thought of me
May sometimes be your àcceptable guest.        10
Indeed you love me: but my company
Old time makes tedious; and to part is best.
Not without Nature’s will are natures wed:—
O gentle Death, how dear thou mak’st the dead!

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