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Poem by Caroline Norton


First Love


YES, I know that you once were my lover,
But that sort of thing has an end,
And though love and its transports are over,
You know you can still be--my friend:
I was young, too, and foolish, remember;
(Did you ever hear John Hardy sing?)
It was then, the fifteenth of November,
And this is the end of the spring!

You complain that you are not well-treated
By my suddenly altering so;
Can I help it?--you're very conceited,
If you think yourself equal to Joe.
Don't kneel at my feet, I implore you;
Don't write on the drawings you bring;
Don't ask me to say, 'I adore you,'
For, indeed, it is now no such thing.

I confess, when at Bognor we parted,
I swore that I worshipped you then--
That I was a maid broken-hearted,
And you the most charming of men.
I confess, when I read your first letter,
I blotted your name with a tear--
But, oh! I was young--knew no better,
Could I tell that I'd meet Hardy here?

How dull you are grown! how you worry,
Repeating my vows to be true--
If I said so, I told you a story,
For I love Hardy better than you!
Yes! my fond heart has fixed on another,
(I sigh so whenever he's gone,)
I shall always love you--as a brother,
But my heart is John Hardy's alone. 



Caroline Norton


Caroline Norton's other poems:
  1. As When from Dreams Awaking
  2. The Ringlet
  3. Old Friends
  4. Ifs
  5. The Cold Change


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Clare First Love ("I ne'er was struck before that hour")
  • Frederick Faber First Love ("I have been long without a home")
  • Washington Allston First Love ("Ah me! how hard the task to bear")
  • Louise Moulton First Love ("Time was you heard the music of a sigh")

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