FEAR to love you, Sweet, because

Love 's the ambassador of loss ;

White flake of childhood, clinging so

To my soiled raiment, your 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 if thou stood

Full-panoplied in womanhood.