Along the road I smelt the rose,
The wild-rose in its veil of rain;
And how it was, God only knows,
But with its scent I saw again
A girl's face at a window-pane,
Gazing through tears that fell like rain.
'Tis twelve years now, so I suppose.
Twelve years ago. 'Twas then I thought,
"Love is a burden bitter-sweet.
And he who runs must not be fraught:
Free must his heart be as his feet."
Again I heard myself repeat,
"Love is a burden bitter-sweet."
Yet all my aims had come to nought.
I smelt the rose; I felt the rain
Lonely I stood upon the road.
Of one thing only was I fain
To be delivered of my load.
A moment more and on I strode.
I cared not whither led the road
That led not back to her again.