I gave you, I gave you my smile my hours of love,
My days of sunshine, sweetheart April
I gave my warmth, my flower, I gave my pain
I gave my my truth, I gave what I was.
I offered the skin of my hands, my time better
My humble corner, my nights without you.
My life and freedom and a little love.
What little I went, my love, how little I was.
And you’re going, you’re happy, you’ll forget what I was,
And in my window I see the gray morning dress.
I gave you the light of my eyes, my hours of honey
My tears of gall, my breathing.
The light of my dawn, my wood and my home.
The song of my sparrow and some bread.
Securely sunning in a forest glade,
A mild, well-meaning snake
Approved the adaptations he had made
For safety’s sake.
He liked the skin he had—
Its mottled camouflage, its look of mail,
And was content that he had thought to add
A rattling tail.
The tail was not for drumming up a fight;
No, nothing of the sort.
And he would only use his poisoned bite
As last resort.
A peasant now drew near,
Collecting wood; the snake, observing this,
Expressed concern by uttering a clear
But civil hiss.
The simple churl, his nerves at once unstrung,
Mistook the other’s tone
And dashed his brains out with a deftly-flung
Security, alas, can give
A threatening impression;
Too much defense-initiative
Can prompt aggression.