Looking by chance in at the open window
I saw my own self seated in his chair
With gaze abstracted, furrowed forehead
I thought that I had suddenly come to die,
That to a cold corpse this was my farewell,
Until the pen moved slowly upon paper
And tears fell.
He had written a name, yours, in printed letters:
One word on which bemusedly to pore
No protest, no desire, your naked name,
Would it be tomorrow, would it be next year?
But the vision was not false, this much I knew;
And I turned angrily from the open window
Aghast at you.
Why never a warning, either by speech or look,
That the love you cruelly gave me could not last?
Already it was too late: the bait swallowed,
The hook fast.
By Robert Graves