When of old and young the cheer
Ushers in the new-born year;
When the summer flowers decorate its prime,
When the old years sadly go
In their winding-sheets of snow,
To their sepulchres within the halls of Time;
In the daylight, in the dark,
From the rising of the lark,
Till the stars begin to drop into light;
When the sun is on the wall,
When the heavy raindrops fall,
In the weary, weary watches of the night;
Come the vain regrets and tears
For my pride-encanker’d years,
The bitter fruit my bitter fate has borne;
Come the thoughts destroying rest,
Peace and prayer within my breast,
Making life-long occupation thus to mourn.
O, love! thou gift divine,
Once so nobly, humbly mine:
Once so swift my coldest bidding to obey;
O, base, ignoble pride,
That cast the gift aside,
Like a flower idly pluck’d and thrown away.
He loved her not at first,
In security accurst
I thought my power never could depart.
But, O, with patient care
She has won my jewel rare,
And now I’m lost for ever to his heart.
I could tear her limb from limb,
If I thought his love a whim,
If I hoped to win a thought of his again.
But, no! the time has past,
He has look’d and loved his last,
And I’d die to saveh sh eart a moment’s pain.
And his child,—her little child!—
With those eyes so brave and mild,
O, would that there were poison in his kiss!
O, strange entangled fate,
How I love her, how I hate:
How I curse her, how I bless her for his bliss!
There are voices in the roar
Of the breakers on the shore,—
There are whispers in the wash of the sea.
There are echoes in the breeze,
As it murmurs ’neath the trees,
There are faces in the stars for me.
Those solemn voices roll
Through the desert of my soul,—
They chill my bleeding heart to its core.
When I pray that peace and rest
Once more may fill my breast,
Comes the never-failing echo—Never more!