Goblin Market, and other poems, by Christina Rossetti

‘No, Thank You, John’

I never said I loved you, John:

    Why will you tease me day by day,

And wax a weariness to think upon

    With always ‘do’ and ‘pray’?

You know I never loved you, John;

    No fault of mine made me your toast:

Why will you haunt me with a face as wan

    As shows an hour-old ghost?

I dare say Meg or Moll would take

    Pity upon you, if you’d ask:

And pray don’t remain single for my sake

    Who can’t perform that task.

I have no heart? — Perhaps I have not;

    But then you’re mad to take offence

That I don’t give you what I have not got:

    Use your own common sense.

Let bygones be bygones:

    Don’t call me false, who owed not to be true:

I’d rather answer ‘No’ to fifty Johns

    Than answer ‘Yes’ to you.

Let’s mar our pleasant days no more,

    Song-birds of passage, days of youth:

Catch at today, forget the days before:

    I’ll wink at your untruth.

Let us strike hands as hearty friends;

    No more, no less; and friendship’s good:

Only don’t keep in view ulterior ends,

    And points not understood

In open treaty. Rise above

    Quibbles and shuffling off and on:

Here’s friendship for you if you like; but love, —

    No, thank you, John.


Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 15:33