Hmmm. There MAY be a way, but it certainly won't be cross-browser compatible. On your pseudo class, :hover, try the content: "test"; css property. Your best bet for this working is FF 3.0+. Typically, you use this in this way:
Something like this would put a hyphen before all p tags with a class of mainP. Not sure if it works on a tags, or on any other pseudo class other than before or after.
IE does NOT interperet before or after pseudo elements.
Alternatively, you can make the text an image (not a best practice for SEO
) like this:
...in the css somewhere...
...your html code...
<a href="myUrl.html"> </a>
<a href="myUrl.html" onmouseover="this.innerText='Click Me';" onmouseout="this.innerText='My Link';">My Link</a>
Hope this helps.