Chain of Crystal and Gold

My husband put this necklace into my hand,

And said it came from a far-off land,

This chain of crystal and gold.

I gaze on it, seeing a slender golden chain,

Strung with crystals as brilliant as pain,

This chain of crystal and gold.

He said to me that it was a lovers' charm,

Made to hold hearts together without harm,

This chain of crystal and gold.

But how could I smile without any pain,

As I smiled into his eyes over this chain,

This chain of crystal and gold?

For long ago I had the pain to discover

That I was only his wife, not his lover.

This chain of crystal and gold

Is only a gift that he brings me to ease

The guilt of his sailing on other seas,

This chain of crystal and gold.

I know that his mistress has a finer one,

One aglow with diamonds like the sun.

This chain of crystal and gold

Is a poor thing next to that bright toy,

Though my husband thinks to bring me joy,

This chain of crystal and gold.

But I hang the chain around my throat,

And pray that it will ease pain's note,

This chain of crystal and gold.

Though it cannot bind him to me,

May it ease his sailing on that sea,

This chain of crystal and gold.

I love him and will ever love him,

Though others think me above him.

This chain of crystal and gold

I will take from him, and treasure

As I might his love in another measure,

This chain of crystal and gold.

******

I have noticed that an old friend

Has come more often round the bend

Since I hung this chain at my throat.

He has bright eyes, a brilliant mind,

And in his words some pleasure I find,

Since I hung this chain at my throat.

But I fear that I may be falling in love,

And I pray daily to the gods above,

Since I hung this chain at my throat.

My husband is not home to see

This slow strange courtship of him and me,

Since I hung this chain at my throat.

He spends his time with his true wife,

And looks more joyful and full of life,

Since I hung this chain at my throat.

I will never, of course, forsake or betray

The man who makes me weep and pray,

Since I hung this chain at my throat.

I value him still, and love him as wife.

I will not forsake my love, my life,

Since I hung this chain at my throat.

But my friend's flirting is rich and strange.

Surely I deserve some joy for a change?

Since I hung this chain at my throat

I have known a strange, painful catch

In my breath when he lifts the latch,

Since I hung this chain at my throat.

*****

Today I spoke to he who gave the chain

To me, and saw his eyes shine with pain.

This chain of crystal and gold

Hung wild and brilliant at my throat,

The only jarring, clashing note,

This chain of crystal and gold.

I wore the clothes I wove with my hands,

And only one gift from other lands:

This chain of crystal and gold.

I told him that I was leaving him behind,

That this charm let me my true mate find,

This chain of crystal and gold.

I hoped that he would be happy with his love,

And I-my joy would sing like gods above.

This chain of crystal and gold

Had indeed worked as a lovers' charm might,

And steered me straight as an arrow in flight,

This chain of crystal and gold.

He tried, strangely, to persuade me to stay.

He said he loved me, and not to go away.

This chain of crystal and gold

Throbbed against me with an angry fire.

But I did not need it to know my desire,

This chain of crystal and gold.

I told him that he could not have both,

The willing love, the wife who was loath.

This chain of crystal and gold

Might have guided my heart with its magic,

But he had wrought the part that was tragic.

This chain of crystal and gold

Was only a sign of what I knew had to be.

He should go to his love, away from me.

This chain of crystal and gold

Sings to me, and I feel more than bold

Thanks to it I have found him I shall hold,

This chain of crystal and gold.