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A WRETCHED thing it were to have our heart
A WRETCHED thing it were to have our heart
Like a broad highway or a populous street,
Where every idle thought has leave to meet,
Pause or pass on as in an open mart ;
Or like some road-side pool, which no nice art
Has guarded that the cattle may not beat
And foul it with a multitude of feet,
Till of the heavens it can give back no part.
But keep thou thine a holy solitude,
For He who would walk there would walk alone ;
He who would drink there must be first endued
With single right to call that stream his own ;
Keep thou thine heart close fastened, unrevealed,
A fenced garden and a fountain sealed.

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