Richard Brinsley Sheridan

O Stay, My Love

O STAY, my love! my William, dear!
⁠     Ah! whither art thou flying?
Nor think'st, thou of my parents here,
     ⁠Nor heed'st thy Susan's sighing?
Thy country's cause and honour's call,
⁠     Are words that but deceive thee:
Thou seest my tears, how fast they fall—
     ⁠Thou must not, William! leave me.

Who'll o'er them watch, if thus we part,
⁠     In sickness or in sorrow?
In some cold shed, with breaking heart,
⁠     Where will they comfort borrow;
Neglected left, no William nigh,
⁠     To cheer, protect, relieve them;
I helpless thrown aside to die:
⁠     Thou must not, William! leave them.

Ah! me—and think a summer flown,
     ⁠Perhaps we part for ever;
The fondest hearts that e'er were known,
⁠     Unpitying death will sever.
Then why e'er waste or throw away?
     ⁠'Twill pass too soon, believe me,
Our day of love, our little day—
⁠     Thou must not, William! leave me. 

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