Stars grant me not unruffled joy

Stars grant me not unruffled joy ,
Though sweet that joy and deep ,
Lest rapture too secure should cloy
Or lull my soul to sleep .

We prize the late and perfect rose ,
Menaced by eager rain .
The pearl in its perfection grows
Round one intrusive grain .

Let love flower sweet and insecure ,
The sweeter for the dread .
These pearls I string you shall endure
When love and I are dead .

Received 29 September 1951