The fruit be bitter that you hold in hand;
I know, for it was mine an hour before.
And will you taste it, sweet? Is your demand
More potent to obtain than were a score
Of pleadings on my part? I know the taste
Of what you've caught you can not long enjoy;
Your hoarding it's a wasted labor; Haste
Himself puts speed to clip your wings. Employ
What means you will, your treasure's doomed to rust,
To rot, to die. Exhume the shell and fill
It with your whispers; hold t'your ear and trust
Though 'ts lost, its ghost can speed a heartbeat still.
Nor pale to see a happy she nearby:
All good things end; her object too may die.
You made me glad. And was that nothing? Then
To you be nothings, like the ones you gave,
In saeculorum saecula, Amen!
My wishes yet are nothing like your brave
And kindly words, unless they have the power
Of comforting as yours can comfort me.
For skill for smiling when the scene is sour,
For drawing off the bitter, you could be
A leech athirst for doing others good!
See? I must jest with you, if praise is banned.
Yet I will praise you, doctor, since you would
Be praising me, and gentle took the hand
That trembled in the hour when I was lost.
As you were, let me be, not counting cost.