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Modern Love XXVIII: I Must Be Flattered

 I must be flattered.
The imperious Desire speaks out.
Lady, I am content To play with you the game of Sentiment, And with you enter on paths perilous; But if across your beauty I throw light, To make it threefold, it must be all mine.
First secret; then avowed.
For I must shine Envied,--I, lessened in my proper sight! Be watchful of your beauty, Lady dear! How much hangs on that lamp you cannot tell.
Most earnestly I pray you, tend it well: And men shall see me as a burning sphere; And men shall mark you eyeing me, and groan To be the God of such a grand sunflower! I feel the promptings of Satanic power, While you do homage unto me alone.

by George Meredith
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