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Poems of Passion/The Saddest Hour

The saddest hour of anguish and of loss
     Is not that season of supreme despair
     When we can find no least light anywhere
To gild the dread, black shadow of the Cross;
Not in that luxury of sorrow when
     We sup on salt of tears, and drink the gall
     Of memories of days beyond recall—
Of lost delights that cannot come again.

     But when, with eyes that are no longer wet,
We look out on the great, wide world of men,
And, smiling, lean toward a bright to-morrow,
     Then backward shrink, with sudden keen regret,
     To find that we are learning to forget:
Ah! then we face the saddest hour of sorrow.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.

The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.