Thomas was called away on a business trip. Upon his return he was met at the door not by his beautiful bride, but by the family doctor.
"Your wife is upstairs," said that doctor. "But she has asked that you do not come up."
And then Moor learned the terrible truth: his wife had contracted smallpox. The disease had left her once flawless, lovely skin, pocked and terribly scarred. She had taken one look at her disfigured reflection in the mirror and commanded that the shutters be drawn and that her husband never see her again. Moore would not listen. He ran upstairs and threw open the door of his wife's room. It was black as night inside. Not a sound came from the darkness. Groping along the wall, Moore felt for the gas jet to turn on the lamps.
A startled cry came from a black corner of the room. "No! don't light the lamps!"
Moore hesitated, swayed by the pleading voice of his wife. "Go!" she begged. "Please go! This is the greatest gift I can give you now."
Moore did not go. He went down to his study, where he sat up most of the night, prayerfully writing. Not a poem this time, but a song. He had never written a song before, but now he found it more natural to his mood than poetry. He not only wrote the words, he wrote the music too. And the next morning, as soon as the sun was up, he returned to his grieving wife's room.
The room had the shutters drawn and it was dark as night. He felt his way to a chair and sat down.
"Are you awake?" he asked.
"I am," came a voice from the far side of the room. "But you must not ask to see me. You must not press me , Thomas."
"Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Learning to love ourselves, even with our all of our faults and flaws, is essential to our own happiness. We tend to express our displeasure about ourselves on others, like Thomas Moore's wife, believing that her husband could only love the lovely bride she once was, and could never love the pock marked and scarred woman she had become. True love looks past that.