You bid me hold my peace
  And dry my fruitless tears,
Forgetting that I bear
  A pain beyond my years.

You say that I should smile
  And drive the gloom away;
I would, but sun and smiles
  Have left my life's dark day.

All time seems cold and void,
  And naught but tears remain;
Life's music beats for me
  A melancholy strain.

I used at first to hope,
  But hope is past and, gone;
And now without a ray
  My cheerless life drags on.

Like to an ash-stained hearth
  When all its fires are spent;
Like to an autumn wood
  By storm winds rudely shent,—

So sadly goes my heart,
  Unclothed of hope and peace;
It asks not joy again,
  But only seeks release.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.