"If the past were offered me again,
And choice of good and ill before me set
Would I accept the pleasure with the pain
Or dare to wish that we had never met?
Ah! could I bear those happy hours to miss
When love began, unthought of and unspoke
That summer day when by a sudden kiss
We knew each other's secret and awoke?
Ah no! not even to escape the pain,
Debate and anguish that I underwent
Flying from thee and my own self in vain
With trouble wasted, till my strength all spent
I knew at last that thou or love or fate
Had conquered and repentance was too late."
A series of self portraits by Muse Mercier