Christina Rossetti: Poems

'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: 10

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. 20

Let's mar our pleasant days no more,

Song-birds of passage, days of youth:

Catch at to-day, 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: 30

Here's friendship for you if you like; but love,--

No, thank you, John.