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For other versions of this work, see Free Will.


DEAR are some hidden things
My soul has sealed in silence; past delights,
Hope unconfessed; desires with hampered wings,
Remembered in the nights.

But my best treasures are
Ignoble, undelightful, abject, cold;
Yet O! profounder hoards oracular
No reliquaries hold.

There lie my trespasses,
Abjured but not disowned. I'll not accuse
Determinism, nor, as the Master[1] says,
Charge even "the poor Deuce."

Under my hand they lie,
My very own, my proved iniquities;
And though the glory of my life go by
I hold and garner these.

How else, how otherwhere,
How otherwise, shall I discern and grope
For lowliness? How hate, how love, how dare,
How weep, how hope?

  1. George Meredith.