Abelard to Heloise, 19

Write me no more. Bestow yourself on God.
Your letters stir me with a deep unrest,
Old half-healed wounds reopen in my breast,
And blood-drops stain the young unsullied sod
Where walked the feet of Faith, repentance-shod.
My prayerful tho'ts swerve in their upward quest,
And carnal love is once again their guest—
Again, in dreams, is pleasure's pathway trod.
Write me no more; you draw me back to earth.
Moved by your words, I lose the better way,
My purpose falters, and my courage faints.
Oh, crush each lawless impulse at its birth,
Learn the large meaning of the word “obey,”
And drain the bitter chalice of the saints.
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