A song for the willow, the wild weeping
That murmurs a dirge to the rapturous days,
And moans when the kiss of the breeze laden billow
Entangles and dangles among the sad sprays!
A musical ditty to scatter the sadness,
A warble of wildness to banish its tears,
Till tremulous measures of bountiful gladness
Be sounding and bounding through all of the years.
The beautiful brooks, as they waken from
Pause under the shadows that fall from the boughs,
And weave their caresses in passionate numbers,
While soothing and smoothing the frowns from its brows;
But chained in the desolate sorrows of weeping
Its heart never warms to the raptures of mirth,
And over its bosom no pleasures are creeping
While wending and blending their joys with the earth.
Then sing for the willow, the wild weeping
That droops in the smiles of the summer-born times,
And mourns in the kiss of the sweet-scented billow,
When beaming and gleaming are dripping with chimes!
While melodies move where their happiness lingers,
They surely will gladden the tear-laden sprays,
And music that flutters from fairy-like fingers
Will lighten and brighten the burdensome days.
The water-wheel goes ’round and
With heavy sighs of mournful sound,
While dismal cries and weary moans
Unite with sad and tearful groans,
And weeping waves of water throw
Afar the echoes of their sadness,
And cadences of plaintive woe
Dispel each little note of gladness.
My daily life goes ’round and ’round,
And rest for me is never found;
The sobbing dirges of distress
Are more than songs of happiness;
The shadows of despairing doom
Condemn to-day and curse to-morrow,
And muffled terrors fill the gloom
Which offers anguish to my sorrow.
But hope, O, heart, for future weal!
The waters rest beyond the wheel;
So life may sing when toil is done
And all its battles lost or won.
There lives a sweeter music there,
Of gentle and melodious measure,
Where weeping never comes and where
The ages perish into pleasure.
SHADOW AND SHINE.
They will find in this life who are grieved
with its gladness
No songs for the heart and no hopes for the soul,
But will faint in the glooms where the dirges of sadness
In tremulous murmurs of wretchedness roll;
For the sweets of this earth never lavish their kisses
Where lives in the valleys of rapture repine;
In the tortures they mourn who denounce all the blisses,—
They weep in the shadow that rail at the shine.