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To Olivia

 I fear to love thee, Sweet, because 
Love's the ambassador of loss; 
White flake of childhood, clinging so 
To my soiled raiment, thy shy snow 
At tenderest touch will shrink and go.
Love me not, delightful child.
My heart, by many snares beguiled, Has grown timorous and wild.
It would fear thee not at all, Wert thou not so harmless-small.
Because thy arrows, not yet dire, Are still unbarbed with destined fire, I fear thee more than hadst thou stood Full-panoplied in womanhood.

by Francis Thompson
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