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John Keats

Three Sonnets on Woman: First Sonnet

Woman! when I behold thee flippant, vain,

Inconstant, childish, proud, and full of fancies;

Without that modest softening that enhances

The downcast eye, repentant of the pain

That its mild light creates to heal again:

E'en then, elate, my spirit leaps, and prances,

E'en then my soul with exultation dances

For that to love, so long, I've dormant lain:

But when I see thee meek, and kind, and tender,

Heavens! how desperately do I adore

Thy winning graces;—to be thy defender

I hotly burn—to be a Calidore—

A very Red Cross Knight—a stout Leander—

Might I be loved by thee like these of yore.