The self-imposing martyr's mark of service

for those who face themselves, as they deserve;

but those who struggle on, the guilty nervous,

will forge a golden heart, an iron nerve.

Hateful shades haunt longest under dread nights,

baleful, wailful, keen to see me sway.

Well, let those devils find me in her headlights

and, doe-eyed, dazzled, chase themselves away.

To think I very nearly took their offer:

to choose my comfort over all her charms,

to lose that chance, to own the emptiest coffer—

to think! How truth can reach these trembling arms

so far while holding her so near;

how quiet courage kills the loudest fear.