I have been across the bridges of the years.
    Wet with tears
Were the ties on which I trod, going back
    Down the track
To the valley where I left, 'neath skies of Truth,
    My lost youth.

As I went, I dropped my burdens, one and all---
    Let them fall;
All my sorrows, all my wrinkles, all my care,
    My white hair,
I laid down, like some lone pilgrim's heavy pack,
    By the track.

As I neared the happy valley with light feet,
    My heart beat
To the rhythm of a song I used to know
    Long ago,
And my spirits gushed and bubbled like a fountain
    Down a mountain.

On the border of that valley I found you,
    Tried and true;
And we wandered through the golden Summer-Land
    Hand in hand.
And my pulses beat with rapture in the blisses
    Of your kisses.

And we met there, in those green and verdant places,
    Smiling faces,
And sweet laughter echoed upward from the dells
    Like gold bells.
And the world was spilling over with the glory
    Of Youth's story

It was but a dreamer's journey of the brain;
    And again
I have left the happy valley far behind,
    And I find
Time stands waiting with his burdens in a pack
    For my back.

As he speeds me, like a rough, well-meaning friend.
    To the end,
Will I find again the lost ones loved so well?
    Who can tell!
But the dead know what the life will be to come---
    And they are dumb!

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.

Back to Poem Index