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Caroline Norton (Каролина Нортон)


Escape from the Snares of Love


YOUNG LOVE has chains of metal rare,
Heavy as gold—yet light as air:
It chanced he caught a heart one day
Which struggled hard, as loth to stay.

Prudence, poor thing, was lingering near—
She whispered in the captive's ear,
"Cease, little flutterer; bear thy chain,
And soon thou shalt be free again!"

No; I assert my right to fly—
The chain shall break, and Love shall die
What! I remain a willing slave?
No—freedom, freedom, or the grave!

Meanwhile Love slumbered by his prize
His languid limbs and closing eyes
Prudence beheld—she spoke again,
"Oh! yet a moment bear thy chain!"

Unheeded prayer! the struggling heart
Strove still the slender links to part,
While timid Prudence gazed and sighed,
Weary of strife, and loth to chide.

One moment more the links had broke,
But slumbering Love, alarmed, awoke;
With iron rivets bound the chain,
And turned secure to sleep again.

Let hearts which now in bondage weep,
Repose, till wearied Love shall sleep:
Oh! struggle not, lest he should wake ;—
Slip off the chain—it will not break.



Caroline Norton's other poems:
  1. May-Day, 1837
  2. I Cannot Love Thee!
  3. Edward
  4. My Heart Is Like a Withered Nut!
  5. I Was Not False to Thee


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