There are no chains to bind me to your side,
No links of love, no fetters of desire,
No firm-wrought bonds of iron friendship tried,
Nor sympathy that's forged in sorrow's fire.
I am a captive in a cobweb's mesh;
Frail is its tracery, yet I cannot stir;
Fast as I tear the strands, they grow afresh
And hold me here with you, a prisoner:
Habit, long musty, set in instinct's place,
Pale duty, and a maze of trivial ties,
And craven kindness–since I am loathe to face
Your wounded and uncomprehending eyes.
Steel chains might yet be snapped, and I be free:
But O! these clinging cobwebs strangle me.
Jan Struther, "Cobwebs".