From the New York Tribune, May 4, 1915.
Oh, do you remember the day of our fate,
In that mystical age of a dim, long ago—
When you were a princess and I was a slave,
You throned in a palace, I chained in a cave,
In that land where the rivers of paradise flow?
By chance you passed near me, I dared raise my eyes,
And love shot an arrow that through my heart drave;
My soul broke its fetters and flew to your side;
It called, and you listened and to it replied—
Though you were a princess and I was a slave!
We loved—and they slew us! They called on the gods,
And the gods made them answer, and cruelly smote:
“Ye gain not Nirvana!”—and we died as they spoke,
But our death was not death—we but slept, we awoke—
And you were a cat, love, and I was a goat!
And we fled from each other, we fled to find death;
For death we went crying, but nought could avail.
Accursed we wandered, shunning cities and men,
And when I next saw you and knew you again—
Then you were a bear, love, and I was a whale!
The centuries dripped through the year-glass of time;
We were birds, we were fish, we were snakes, we were apes.
One penance completed, the next would begin;
We had loved, and the gods said our loving was sin,
And we roamed through the earth in a thousand brute shapes.
But love, it was worth all the sorrow and shame,
All the pain that we bore, all the tears that we gave;
For now it is ended—there is nothing we owe;
Our debts to the gods have been cancelled, and lo!—
Again you’re my princess, again I’m your slave!