Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cruel to be Kind

This makes me laugh! Hat tip to Mary P., who hat tips Dr. Whalen. I dedicate the following poem to Bess, Ariel and Wendy and the many, many love poems submitted to us as The Tower Light Editors senior year.

"No, Thank You John" by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)

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 the task.

I have no heart?-Perhaps I have not;
But then you're mad to take offence
That don't give you what I have not got:
Use your 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

Did y'all know, by the way, that the phrase "cruel to be kind" comes from Shakespeare? Hamlet says it. 'Tis true!


  1. Yaya! Oh, Tower Light! How I miss you!!!

    I did know that -- and you want to know why? Because of "Ten Things I Hate About You." That movie is based on "The Taming of the Shrew" and has all these Shakespeare references, including a song, "You've Gotta Be Cruel to Be Kind." So good. Oh Heath Ledger . . . my first love . . .

    Just don't tell Dr. Whalen!

  2. I second Bess on this one ;) Thanks for the laugh, Julie!