Bound and free
Come to me, Love! Come on the wings of the wind!
Fly as the ring-dove would fly to his mate!
Leave all your cares and your sorrows behind!
Leave all the fears of your future to Fate!
Come! and our skies shall be glad with the gold
That paled into gray when you parted from me.
Come! but remember that, just as of old,
You must be bound, Love, and I must be free.
Life has lost savour since you and I parted;
I have been lonely, and you have been sad.
Youth is too brief to be sorrowful-hearted -
Come! and again let us laugh and be glad.
Lips should not sigh that are fashioned to kiss -
Breasts should not ache that joy's secrets have found.
Come! but remember, in spite of all this,
I must be free, Love, while you must be bound.
You must be bound to be true while you live,
And I keep my freedom for ever, as now.
You must ask only for that which I give -
Kisses and love-words, but never a vow.
Come! I am lonely, and long for your smile,
Bring back the lost lovely Summer to me!
Come! but remember, remember the while,
That you must be bound, Love, and I must be free.
- by Ella Wheeler Wilcox