I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.
And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not writ over the door;
So I turn’d to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.
And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
Fame, Wisdom, Love and Power were mine,
And Health and Youth possessed me;
My goblets blushed from every vine,
And lovely forms caressed me;
I sunned my heart in Beauty’s eyes,
And felled my soul grow tender;
All Earth can give, or mortal prize,
Was mine of regal splendour.
I strive to number o’er what days
Remembrance can discover,
Which all that Life or Earth displays
Would lure me to live over.
There rose no day there rolled no hour
Of pleasure unembittered;
And not a trapping decked my Power
That galled not while it glittered.
The serpent of the field, by art
And spells, is won from harming;
But that which coils around the heart,
Oh, who hath power of charming?
It will not list to Wisdom’s lore,
Nor Music’s voice can lure it;
But there it stings for evermore
The soul that must endure it.
Find what you love and let it kill you.