The Widower’s Friend

The Widower’s Friend

You mourn her now ? My fate is no less hard :
I learned to love in silence . I stood by
For you — and from her love , as may I die ,
By loyalty to you alone was barred .
The Queen of Hearts next to a common card
By chance might in a game of patience lie —
What , do I startle you ? I loved her , I ,
With all the longing of my heart ill-starred .

I strained my wit and strength that she should care
For you , for you : to seventy times seven
Forgave your selfish passion ; but her rare
Half-pitying friendliness was all my heaven —
And hell , too , for my loyalty confessed
I played the traitor when I loved her best .