AT first Lee wrote to him every day
Tactful letters, that let him see
She knew very well he would rather be
With her - but it wasn't the thing to say.

Tactful letters at first, and then
Letters less tactful and more sincere,
Ending: "Why don't you write to me, dear?"
Write to me . . . over and over again.

But he could not answer her piteous call;
Not exactly that he forgot
Their love, but only that she had not
Any reality for him at all.

She seemed like a pleasant book he had read -
Read and enjoyed; but the printed page
Cannot compete with the heritage
Of Nature. . . the living, and Oh, the dead!

At last he sent her a brief reply:
"I cannot write - or eat or sleep
Just now. I am going through the deep
Waters. Forgive me, dear Lee. Good-bye."