A Fixed Idea

A poem

New York Public Library

What torture lurks within a single thought
When grown too conscious; and however kind,
However welcome still, the weary mind
Arches with its presence. Dull remembrance taught
Remembers on unceasingly, unsought
The old delight is with us but to find
That all recurring joy is pain refined,
Become a habit, and we struggle, caught.
You lie upon my heart as on a nest,
Folded in peace, for you can never know
How crushed I am with having you at rest
Heavy upon my life. I love you so
You bind my freedom from its rightful quest.
In mercy lift your drooping wings and go.