I went out to the farthest meadow,
I lay down in the deepest shadow;
And I said unto the earth, "Hold me,"
And unto the night, "O enfold me,"
And unto the wind petulantly
I cried, "You know not for you are free!"
And I begged the little leaves to lean
Low and together for a safe screen;
Then to the stars I told my tale:
"That is my home-light, there in the vale,
"And O, I know that I shall return,
But let me lie first mid the unfeeling fern.
"For there is a flame that has blown too near,
And there is a name that has grown too dear,
And there is a fear …"
And to the still hills and cool earth and far sky I made moan,
"The heart in my bosom is not my own!
"O would I were free as the wind on wing;
Love is a terrible thing!"