Love Me Little, Love Me Long

By Anonymous Anonymous
Love me little, love me long,
Is the burden of my song.
Love that is too hot and strong
    Burneth soon to waste:
Still, I would not have thee cold,
Not too backward, nor too bold;
Love that lasteth till ’tis old
    Fadeth not in haste.
         Love me little, love me long,
         Is the burden of my song.

If thou lovest me too much
It will not prove as true as touch;
Love me little, more than such,
    For I fear the end:
I am with little well content,
And a little from thee sent
Is enough, with true intent
    To be steadfast friend.
       Love me little, love me long,
       Is the burden of my song.

Say thou lov’st me while thou live;
I to thee my love will give,
never dreaming to deceive
    Whiles that life endures:
Nay, and after death, in sooth,
I too thee will keep my truth,
As now, when in my May of youth:
    This my love assures.
       Love me little, love me long,
       Is the burden on my song.

Constant love is moderate ever,
And it will through life persèver:
Give me that, with true endeavour
    I will it restore.
A suit of durance let it be
For all weathers that for me,
For the land or for the sea,
    Lasting evermore.
       Love me little, love me long,
       Is the burden of my song.

Winter’s cold, or summer’s heat,
Autumn’s tempests, on it beat,
It can never know defeat,
    Never can rebel:
Such the love that I would gain,
Such the love, I tell thee plain,
Thou must give, or woo in vain:
    So to thee, farewell
       Love me little, love me long,
       Is the burden of my song.


Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Anonymous

Subjects Love, Realistic & Complicated, Desire, Break-ups & Vexed Love

Poetic Terms Ballad

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Realistic & Complicated, Desire, Break-ups & Vexed Love

Poetic Terms Ballad

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.