I must not say that thou wast true,
Yet let me say that thou wast fair;
And they, that lovely face who view,
Why should they ask if truth be there?
Truth–what is truth? Two bleeding hearts,
Wounded by men, by fortune tried,
Outwearied with their lonely parts,
Vow to beat henceforth side by side.
The world to them was stern and drear
Their lot was but to weep and moan.
Ah, let them keep their faith sincere,
For neither could subsist alone!
But souls whom some benignant breath
Hath charm’d at birth from gloom and care,
These ask no love, these plight no faith,
For they are happy as they are.
The world to them may homage make,
And garlands for their forehead weave;
And what the world can give, they take–
But they bring more than they receive.
They shine upon the world! Their ears
To one demand alone are coy;
They will not give us love and tears,
They bring us light and warmth and joy.
It was not love which heaved thy breast,
Fair child!–it was the bliss within.
Adieu! and say that one, at least,
Was just to what he did not win.