I am all alone in the house to-night;
They would not have gone away
Had they known of the terrible, bloodless fight
I have held with my heart to-day.
With the old sweet love and the old fierce pain
I have battled hour by hour;
But the fates have willed that the strife is vain.
Alone in the hour my thoughts have reign,
And I yield myself to their power.
Yield myself to the old time charm
Of a dream of vanished bliss,
The thrill of a voice, and the fold of an arm,
And a red lip's lingering kiss.
It all comes back like a flowing tide;
That brief, but beautiful day.
Though it oft is checked by the dam of pride,
Till the waters flow back to the other side,
To-night it has broken away.
I gave you all that I had to give,
O love, the lavish whole.
And you threw it away, and now I live
A starved and beggared soul.
And I feed on crumbs that memory throws
From her table over-filled,
And I lay awake when others repose,
And slake my thirst when no one knows,
With the wine that she has spilled.
I go my way and I do my part
In the world's great scene of strife,
But I do it all with an empty heart,
Dead to the best of life.
And ofttimes weary and tempest tossed,
When I am not ruled by pride,
I wish ere the die was throne and lost,
Ere I played for love without counting the cost,
That I, like my heart, had died.
Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.
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