Once, and once only, have I given
My heart and faith—'tis past recall;
With conscience none have ever striven,
And none may strive, without a fall.
Not the less solemn was my vow
Because unheard, and oh! the sin
Will not be less, if I should now
Deny the feeling felt within.
Unwedded to my dying day
I must, my father dear, remain;
'Tis well, if so thou will'st, but say
Can man balk Fate, or break its chain?
If Fate so rules, that I should feel
The miseries of a widow's life,
Can man's device the doom repeal?
Unequal seems to be a strife,
Between Humanity and Fate;
None have on earth what they desire;
Death comes to all or soon or late;
And peace is but a wandering fire;
Expediency leads wild astray;
The Right must be our guiding star;
Duty our watchword, come what may;
Judge for me, friends,—as wiser far."