I might at last the barren victory gain,
After long struggle and laborious pain,
And many a secret tear,
To think, since think I must of thee,
Not otherwise than thou of me.
Haply I might
Thy chilling coldness, thy disdain, thy pride,
Which draw me, half reluctant, to thy side,
With a like meed requite,
And I my too fond self despise,
Seeing with disenchanted eyes.
But now, alas !
So fast a prisoner am I to my love,
No power there is that can my chains remove,
So sweet the caged hours pass,
That, if it parted me from thee,
I would not willingly grow free.
Nor would I dare
To ask for recompense of love again,
Who love thee for the height of thy disdain.
Thou wouldst not show so fair
If we should own an equal flame,
Unequal souls, in love the same.
Full well I know
That what I worship is not wholly thee,
But a fair dream, a pious fantasy.
Such as at times doth grow
On yearnings of the cloistered mind,
Or the rapt vision of the blind.
Scorn me then, sweet,
I would not thou shouldst leave thy lofty place,
Thy lover should not see thee face to face,
But prostrate at thy feet.
No recompense, no equal part I seek,
Only that thou be strong and I be weak.