My dear and I, we disagreed
When we had been much time together.
For when will lovers learn to sail
From sailing always in good weather?

She said a hateful little word
Between the pages of the book.
I bubbled with a noble rage,
I bruised her with a dreadful look,

And thanked her kindly for the word
Of such a little silly thing;
Indeed I loved my poet then
Beyond my dear, or anything.

And she, the proud girl, swept away,
How swift and scornfully she went!
And I the frightened lover stayed,
And have not had one hour’s content

Until to-day; until I knew
That I was loved again, again;
Then hazard how this thing befel,
Brother of women and of men?

“Perhaps a gallant gentleman
Accomplished it, who saw you bleed;
Perhaps she wrote upon the book
A riddling thing that you could read;

“Perhaps she crept to you, and cried,
And took upon her all the blame.”

O no, do proud girls creep and cry?
“Perhaps she whispered you your name.”

O no, she walked alone, and I
Was walking in the rainy wood,
And saw her drooping by the tree,
And saw my work of widowhood.

This poem is in the public domain. It originally appeared in Poems about God (Henry Holt and Co, 1919).