The tender heart can send its gift
With tenderness,
Send gentle messages of soft intent,
Or touch its glad recipient
With light-hearted beat.
The tender heart is sweet.

But if mine, as it has come to be
Must send its gift to you
With piercing honesty,
With message harsh,
Cruel with possession,
Afraid and with discordant beat;

Know it to be tender if it could.
Know it to be gentle if it would,
But judge it separate, apart,
Than you once judged

The tender heart.