I HAVE held my life too high,
Spring and harvest, love and laughter, smile and sigh.
I should have held it lightly, like a young leaf rent in haste
From the willow in the waste.
A moment in my fingers; then it fluttered, then it fled,
A little flame of red,
To the God-beholding desert where the soundless years go by,–
I have held my life too high.
I have held my death too dear,
Shame or honour, peace or peril, pride or fear.
I should have held it softly, as the little cloud that flies
When the heron takes the skies.
I should have held it kindly as a passing whisper,–'Friend,
Here's the end,
Here the silver cord is loosened and the bowl is broken here,'–
But I held my death too dear.