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Nay, pretty maiden, be not shy;
Perchance I've come a-wooing thee.
Yon tempting apple does not try
To turn its rosy cheek from me.


All nature has a-wooing gone
Since first the sunbeam kissed the dew,
Or glory blushed on that first dawn
When worlds were made and love was new.


Yon river like a maiden sleeps
Beneath her nightly veil of mist;
Up rosy morning softly creeps,
And lifts her veil and leaves her kissed.


The moon doth kiss the earth, and smile,
Caressing vale and mountain peak;
With much more ardor all the while
Old Sol is kissing t'other cheek.


About the mountain peaks alway
Fair maidens cling in vapor dressed,
And, kissing, blush but once a day--
When Sol goes wooing down the west.


Yon star that glistens like a tear
In lovelorn maiden's soft blue eye,
Enamored of some wayward sphere,
Ever pursues him with a sigh.


The birds up in the trees are cooing
In harmony, no one can doubt it,
And seem to have no trouble wooing:
They kiss, and make no fuss about it.


The ardent breezes kiss your cheek,
And, loverlike, with ardor sigh;
To them you no resentment speak:
While zephyrs kiss you, may not I?


Pray why were lips so tempting made
If not to win devotion rare?
Must not some penalty be paid
For being wrought so wondrous fair?


And can you blame me that I steal?
What though your cheek incensive burn!
I, too, would some slight sorrow feel,
And quick the stolen kiss return.


Those lustrous eyes but tell me this,
What modest lips would ne'er impart:
He does not steal who takes a kiss,
But makes a curtsy to the heart.


Since nature plainly holds it just,
Let nature in you whisper yea!
For are we not all made of dust?
And you, you are such charming clay.


The telltale eye is drooping now,
Till I must bend to gaze therein;
Or gaze on lips that do, somehow,
The sooner tempt me to begin.


If you should grant me only one,
I'd hardly know just where to take it
On face so fair; and, when begun,
How long a bliss I ought to make it.