The Coquette, And After (Triolets)

I

For long the cruel wish I knew
That your free heart should ache for me
While mine should bear no ache for you;
For, long--the cruel wish!--I knew
How men can feel, and craved to view
My triumph--fated not to be
For long! . . . The cruel wish I knew
That your free heart should ache for me!

II

At last one pays the penalty -
The woman--women always do.
My farce, I found, was tragedy
At last!--One pays the penalty
With interest when one, fancy-free,
Learns love, learns shame . . . Of sinners two
At last ONE pays the penalty -
The woman--women always do!

by Thomas Hardy

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