THOUGH I waste watches framing words to fetter
Some spirit to mine own in clasp and kiss,
Out of the night there looms a sense ’twere better
To fail obtaining whom one fails to miss.
For winning love we win the risk of losing,
And losing love is as one’s life were riven;
It cuts like contumely and keen ill-using
To cede what was superfluously given.
Let me then feel no more the fateful thrilling
That devastates the love-worn wooer’s frame,
The hot ado of fevered hopes, the chilling
That agonizes disappointed aim!
So may I live no junctive law fulfilling,
And my heart’s table bear no woman’s name.