This loneliness encaged in me
That has no curious heart for life,
No ribald blood, no treacherous flesh
Nor golden wickedness of song,
This loneliness that prays in me,
Is it not somewhat like a nun?

See the clasped hands, the secret eyes,
The lips pressed close for fear of love!
What if I make her drunk one day
With wine or some unholy need
Then leave the cell door open wide––
Think you she might be tempted out?

From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.