For moveless limbs no pity I crave,
That never were swift! Still all I prize,
Laughter and thought and friends, I have;
No fool to heave luxurious sighs
For the woods and hills that I never knew.
The more excellent way’s yet mine! And you
Flower-laden come to the clean white cell,
And we talk as ever — am I not the same?
With our hearts we love, immutable,
You without pity, I without shame.
We talk as of old; as of old you go
Out under the sky, and laughing, I know,
Flit through the streets, your heart all me;
Till you gain the world beyond the town.
Then — I fade from your heart, quietly;
And your fleet steps quicken. The strong down
Smiles you welcome there; the woods that love you
Close lovely and conquering arms above you.
O ever-moving, O lithe and free!
Fast in my linen prison I press
On impassable bars, or emptily
Laugh in my great loneliness.
And still in the white neat bed I strive
Most impotently against that gyve;
Being less now than a thought, even,
To you alone with your hills and heaven.