'With Her Lips Only' by Robert Graves (1895-1985)WITH HER LIPS ONLY
This honest wife, challenged at dusk
At the garden gate, under a moon perhaps,
In scent of honeysuckle, dared to deny
Love to an urgent lover: with her lips only
Not with her heart. It was no assignation;
Taken aback, what could she say else?
For the children's sake, the lie was venial;
'For the children's sake,' she argued with her conscience.
Yet a mortal lie must follow before dawn:
Challenged as usual in her own bed,
She protests love to an urgent husband,
Not with her heart, but with her lips only;
'For the children's sake', she argues with her conscience,
'For the children' - turning suddenly cold toeards them.
Robert Graves (1895-1985)