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The Wanderer

Is it a tribute or betrayal when,

Turning from all the sweet, accustomed ways,

I leave your lips and eyes to seek you in

Some other face?

Why am I searching after what I have?

And going far to find the near at hand?

I do not know. I only know I crave

To find you at the end.

I only know that love has many a hearth,

That hunger has an endless path to roam,

That beauty is the ghost that haunts the earth

And leads me home.


YOU have not conquered me; it is the surge

Of love itself that beats against my will;

It is the sting of conflict, the old urge

That calls me still.

It is not you I love, it is the form

And shadow of all lovers who have died

That gives you all the freshness of a warm

And unfamiliar bride.

It is your name I breathe, your hands I seek;

It will be you when you are gone.

And yet the dream, the name I cannot speak

Is that that lures me on.

It is the golden summons, the bright wave

Of banners calling me anew;

It is all passion, perilous and grave—

It is not you.