I heard a strain of music in the street--
A wandering waif of sound. And then straightway
A nameless desolation filled the day.
The great green earth that had been fair and sweet,
Seemed but a tomb; the life I thought replete
With joy, grew lonely for a vanished May.
Forgotten sorrows resurrected lay
Like bleaching skeletons about my feet.
Above me stretched the silent, suffering sky,
Dumb with vast anguish for departed suns
That brutal Time to nothingness has hurled.
The daylight was as sad as smiles that lie
Upon the wistful, unkissed mouths of nuns,
And I stood prisoned in an awful world.
Poems of Problems. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
London : Gay and Hancock, 1914.
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