The bandit prowled about with shadowed eyes,
To think with roguish hands beneath his snout,
While bait lay clear within a hollowed snare,
Its mouth set wide, but just enough to fit
One reaching hand or clasp one grasping fist.
Awaiting some celestial change of heart,
He pondered how to best the trapper's test,
To smash and break would bring it out in pieces,
Too dear--he loved--to let it come to that,
Better still to hold and die himself,
Or so he thought and reached into its cage.
And stopped. Fingers inches from a touch,
To realize having isn't love, but lust,
That taking would be nothing more than theft,
That waiting bears a deeper longing's will,
That things far greater lay beyond the reach
of feeble, deadly, grasping hopes to hold.
So there he sat, in need, in want, of love,
To watch and wash his hands as if to eat,
Sitting by the stream so lost in thought,
He never heard the hunter's swift approach
Or saw his watching, mercy heart grow warm,
That loosed the fruit from under guard and smiled.