Thibaut de Champagne (1201 - 1253 / France)
Lady, The Fates Command
Lady, the fates command, and I must go,---
Leaving the pleasant land so dear to me:
Here my heart suffered many a heavy woe:
But what is left to love, thus leaving thee?
Alas! that cruel land beyond the see!
Why thus dividing many a faithful heart,
Never again from pain and sorrow free,
Never again to meet, when thus they part?
I see not, when thy presence bright I leave,
How wealth, or joy, or peace can be my lot:
Ne'er yet my spirit found such cause to grieve
As now in leaving thee; and if thy thought
Of me in absence should be sorrow-fraught,
Oft will my heart repentant turn to thee,
Dwelling, in fruitless wishes, on this spot,
And all the gracious words here said to me.
O gracious God! to thee I bend my knee,
For thy sake yielding all I love and prize;
And O, how mighty must that influence be,
That steals me thus from all my cherished joys!
Here, ready, then, myself surrendering,
Prepared to serve thee, I submit; and ne'er
To one so faithful could I service bring,
So kind a master, so beloved and dear.
And strong my ties---my grief unspeakable!
Grief, all my choicest treasures to resign;
Yet stronger still the affections that impel
My heart toward Him, the God whose love is mine.
That holy love, how beautiful! how strong!
Even wisdom's favorite sons take refuge there;
'T is the redeeming gem that shines among
Men's darkest thoughts,---for ever bright and fair.
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