There is a weight that bows and breaks my back,
A mass too bulky for these arms to raise,
And there atop my weary frame it stays,
A dreadful bulk of binding brown and black.
Oh, would to God that one might grant me slack
From my poor plight and come in pow’r to raze
My load and trade it with a joy that weighs
A trifle yet fulfills my deepest lack.
Yet herein lie the subtleties of pain—
That that which burdens so and works my harm
Is also that which I would soon retain—
As if to cast off bondage were insane!
I hesitate beneath my captive’s charm
And count the cost of fleeing his domain.
© 2012 Eric Evans