What whispered Love the day he fled?
Ah! this was what Love whispered;
"You sought to hold me with a chain;
I fly to prove such holding vain.
"You bound me burdens, and I bore
The burdens hard, the burdens sore;
I bore them all unmurmuring,
For Love can bear a harder thing.
"You taxed me often, teased me, wept;
I only smiled, and still I kept
Through storm and sun and night and day,
My joyous, viewless, faithful way.
"But, dear, once dearest, you and I
This day have parted company.
Love must be free to give, defer,
Himself alone his almoner.
"As free I freely poured my all,
Enslaved I spurn, renounce my thrall,
Its wages and its bitter bread."
Thus whispered Love the day he fled!