The gift he once ventured
in weak generosity
was offered too soon
yet too late to be withdrawn.

The woman, serene
in her unhindered progress,
had been blessed long before
though not by this man.

Prime and unsharable
that earliest gift,
that lasting exemption
from day-to-day anguish—

as though she were an Eve
to whom the Lord had spoken:
“Go free—I love thy waywardness.
The pain shall be his.”

Frederick Morgan

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 12 Number 1, on page 57
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