I span and Eve span A thread to bind the heart of man; But the heart of man was a wandering thing That came and went with little to bring: Nothing he minded what we made, As here he loitered, and there he stayed. I span and Eve span A thread to bind the heart of man; But the more we span the more we found It wasn't his heart but ours we bound. For children gathered about our knees: The thread was a chain that stole our ease. And one of us learned in our children's eyes That more than man was love and prize. But deep in the heart of one of us lay A root of loss and hidden dismay.
He said he was strong. He had no strength But that which comes of breadth and length. He said he was fond. But his fondness proved The flame of an hour when he was moved. He said he was true. His truth was but A door that winds could open and shut.
And yet, and yet, as he came back, Wandering in from the outward track, We held our arms, and gave him our breast, As a pillowing place for his head to rest. I span and Eve span, A thread to bind the heart of man!