If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
"I love her for her smile--her look--her way
Of speaking gently,--for a trick of thought
The first time that the sun rose on thine oath
To love me, I looked forward to the moon
Said a people to a poet---' Go out from among us straightway!
While we are thinking earthly things, thou singest of divine.
There's a little fair brown nightingale, who, sitting in the gateways
Makes fitter music to our ears than any song of thine!'
Is it indeed so? If I lay here dead,
Wouldst thou miss any life in losing mine?
With the same heart, I said, I'll answer thee
As those, when thou shalt call me by my name—
Thou hast thy calling to some palace-floor,
Most gracious singer of high poems! where
Because thou hast the power and own'st the grace
To look through and behind this mask of me
GO from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life I shall command
A heavy heart, Beloved, have I borne
From year to year until I saw thy face,
I think that look of Christ might seem to say--
'Thou Peter ! art thou then a common stone
Which I at last must break my heart upon
For all God's charge to his high angels may