But the Greatest of These

Her home, but not (she knows) her house.

            It is his house, his wall, his garden.

            She takes it hard, and means to harden

So far as courtesy allows.

Am I alone in feeling he

            Could ease things with a breezy word

            Or passing smile when they conferred

About the rent? Damn charity,

That blessing no one wants to name.

            His rigid tendering of grace

            Strikes her as some perverse device

To make him master of her shame.

What’s hardest: she will not confess

            His heart is not her own to read.

            If so, things might have disagreed

As ever, but a little less.