I do not need thee; ‘tis a lie
to paint me weakened by thy charms.
Dost think thy sweeting feign would die
than leave the comfort of thine arms?
Forgive me if my brusque reply
some vision of thyself disarms.
I do not need thee; I am strong,
an oak with roots set firm and deep.
Have I not told thee right along
my counsel I would always keep?
Shouldst thou demur, thou dost me wrong;
but never mind, I shall not weep.
I shall not weep for thee, my dear;
I am not smitten by thy wit.
Though others eagerly give ear,
I find in me no benefit
from thy conceit; in fact, I fear
I harbor little taste for it.
But hold, perhaps I overstate;
I would not have thee think me cruel.
‘Tis not for me to castigate
nor offer thee for ridicule.
It is not mine to remonstrate
if thou shouldst choose to play the fool.
And so, a truce, my erstwhile friend;
in truth, I have no feud with thee.
There’s little in thee to offend;
I do not fear thy company.
I need thee not, but condescend,
in service to thy need of me.