Those lips that love’s own hand did make
Breathed forth the sound that said “I hate”
To me that languished for her sake;
But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue that, ever sweet,
Was used in giving gentle doom,
And taught it thus anew to greet:
“I hate” she altered with an end
That followed it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who like a fiend
From heav'n to hell is flown away.
“I hate” from hate away she threw,
And saved my life, saying “not you.”
Those lips that look like they were made by the goddess of love herself breathed forth the words, “I hate”—and she was talking to me, the man who’s pining with love for her. But when she saw how unhappy she’d made me, mercy came into her heart and she chided her sweet tongue, which is usually so gentle and merciful, and taught it to speak something else to me. She changed “I hate” by adding a few words the way day follows night, that fiend flying from heaven to hell: She took hatred away from “I hate,” saving my life with “not you.”
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