The poem was composed by 1 Mar. 1904, and it was probably begun a little earlier than this. In New York City at the Academy of Music theatre on 28 Feb. 1904, WBY gave a well-attended lecture on Robert Emmett; the fair copy of the poem which is its earliest surviving MS is dated for the following day, and is on headed paper from a hotel which was much closer to this venue than JQ's address. In modern criticism, the poem has been seen less as a lyric in the genre of love poetry than as a piece of more or less confessional writing. The word that might be expected to attach to the male lover here belongs in fact to the women who do not make his mistake: ‘passionate’. The idea of a poet writing a love-poem is familiar enough; but it is hard to imagine a playwright writing a love-play, and for good reason.