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Prelude

by
 How could I love you more? 
I would give up 
Even that beauty I have loved too well 
That I might love you better.
Alas, how poor the gifts that lovers give I can but give you of my flesh and strength, I can but give you these few passing days And passionate words that, since our speech began, All lovers whisper in all ladies' ears.
I try to think of some one lovely gift No lover yet in all the world has found; I think: If the cold sombre gods Were hot with love as I am Could they not endow you with a star And fix bright youth for ever in your limbs? Could they not give you all things that I lack? You should have loved a god; I am but dust.
Yet no god loves as loves this poor frail dust.

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