The Temptation

By Edith Nesbit

YOU bring your love too late, dear, I have no love to buy it,
I spent my love on worthless toys, at fairs you do not know;
I am a bankrupt trader–dear eyes, do not deny it,
I could have bought your love, dear, but that was long ago.

My soul has left me widowed, my heart has made me orphan,
Leave me–all good things, dear, have left me–leave me too!
For here is ice no tears of yours, no smiles of yours can soften: Leave me, leave me, leave me, I have no love for you! I have no flowers to give you, they grow not in my garden;
I have no songs to sing you, my songs have all been sung;
I have no hope of heaven, no faith in any pardon,
I might have loved you once, dear, when I was good and young.

I will not steal, nor cheat you; take back the heart you lent me. O God, whom I have outraged, now teach me how to pray,
That love come never again so near me to torment me,
Lest I be found less faithful than, by Thy grace, to-day.

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