What my heart longs for, my conscience would forbid—
Here’s two thousand years of history, neatly said.
In our late abandonment, we lie along the road—
Too long and hard!—and wonder why we bothered.
Scratching at free love, we found its claw to differ
When it shoved into our throats the gloved hand of power.
So nothing was what it seemed, we said then—
It was a way of getting round this bitter, bitter bend.
Love will have a conscience, else all will be dead—
The flower springing from the past opens at the head,
Or else it springs, and withers prematurely.
And we are there by now—even past it, surely.