Should ever the day come when this drear world
Shall read the secret which so close I hold,
Should taunts and jeers at my bowed head be hurled,
And all my love and all my shame be told,
I could not, as some doughtier women do,
Fling jests and gold and live the scandal down,
Nor, knowing all fame's bruitings to be true,
Keep a proud face and brave the talk of town.
I have no courage for such tricks and ways,
No wish to flaunt a once well--honoured name.
I have too dear a thought of earlier days,
Too deep a dread of my deserved shame.
So, when it comes, with one last suppliant cry
For pardon from my wronged ones, I must die.