I know how well Love shoots, how swift his flight,
How now by force and now by stealth he steals,
How he will threaten now, anon will smite,
And how unstable are his chariot wheels.
How doubtful are his hopes, how sure his pain,
And how his faithful promise he repeals.
How in one's marrow, in one's vital vein,
His smouldering fire quickens a hidden wound,
Where death is manifest, destruction plain.
In sum, how erring, fickle and unsound,
How timid and how bold are lovers' days,
Where with scant sweetness bitter draughts abound.
I know their songs, their sighs, their usual ways,
Their broken speech, their sudden silences.
Their passing laughter and their grief that stays,
I know how mixed with gall their honey is.