The Mask

What have I dared to claim
That you should thus deny?
If I have used your name
My songs to beautify
Mine is the greater fame.

And I have ever sought
But to proclaim your praise,
I have regarded naught
When wandering by your ways
But truth, my only thought.

What favour did I ask
That might constrain your heart
Or heavier make your task?
But now that you depart
Wearing a dreadful mask.

And those accusing eyes
As still as death and cold
Making my soul surmise
My song grown overbold
And all my words unwise —

Now is my claim from thence
That you should hear your heart’s
Pleading in my defence
Before your praise departs
And all your grace goes hence.