What have I gained? A little charity?
I never more may dare to fling a stone
At any weakness, nor make boast that I
A better fence or fortitude had shown;
Some learning? I in love's lore have grown wise,
Plucked apples of the evil and the good,
Made one short trespass into Paradise
And known the full taste of forbidden food.
But love, if it be gold, has much alloy,
And I would gladly buy back ignorance,
But for the thought which still is my heart's joy
That once your life grew happier in my hands,
That in your darkest and most troubled hour
I had, like Jesse's son, a soothing power.