The Chain Broken.

I woo thee not—I dare not seek1
What once thou couldst deny;2
Yea, though the beauty on thy cheek3
Claim homage from mine eye,4
Still is my foree of purpose weak5
I worship—but I fly!6
What though thine image court me still,7
I warn it to depart;8
I chain my thoughts—I bind my will9
I trample on my heart.10
And thou hast taught me coldness—thou!—11
From whom my soul before12
Took light, to sanctify and show13
The haunts on Passion’s shore.14
The breath of change past o’er thy brow,15
I saw it bright no more;16
Then let me go—my startled pride17
Is risen from her rest;18
She stands to watch—she waits to guide19
Her mail is on my breast.20
I loved thee!—I ascribed to thee,21
The angel of my sphere,22
A soul of silent constancy;23
Love’s sigh—perhaps his tear;24
A heart, that ceasing to be free,25
Would call its bondage dear.26
I loved thee!—for thy sweetness still27
Spoke to me as I past:28
My spirit answer’d to the thrill,29
And gazed even to the last.30
Thou knew’st of this.—Alas! the hour31
When Beauty in her scorn32
Walks forth to triumph in her pow’r,33
And mock at hopes new born;34
The freshest garland on her bow’r35
Has poison in its thorn!—36
Around her fatal presence creeps37
Thoughts made of sighs destroy’d;38
Their murmur is of scared sleep39
Their empire is a void.40
Thy apathy—thy frozen grace41
I see—I feel them yet42
Their slightest shade—their feeblest trace43
None—none do I forget:44
Each stamps a torture on the place45
Where once in peace we met.46
And even now—now—when again47
The lure is round me thrown,48
The memory of that parted pain49
Still turns my heart to stone.50
Too late—too late!—If I could deem . . .51
But no—this could but prove52
That thou who jestedst at my dream,53
Hast learnt unwilling love:54
I see thee blinded by the beam,55
And powerless to move;56
A victim on the shrine where once57
The fire pour’d praise to thee:58
I tremble—falter—yet renounce59
All wish to set thee free!60