After Housman

Why think you that love is clear
and gentle as a mountain spring?
All the things you gave me, dear,
were no more than a thief could bring

And there’s no thief can hope to hold
all they by deceit have gained;
But tried you me to bribe with gold
on which another’s mark remained

Yet knew I not a thief with gall
enough to break a valued thing;
Who sooner would abandon all
and steal the waters from the spring

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