THE LADY OF TEARS

Through valley and hamlet and city,
    Wherever humanity dwells,
With a heart full of infinite pity,
    A breast that with sympathy swells,
She walks in her beauty immortal.
    Each household grows sad as she nears,
But she crosses at length every portal,
    The mystical Lady of Tears.

If never this vision of sorrow
    Has shadowed your life in the past,
You will meet her, I know, some to-morrow---
    She visits all hearthstones at last.
To hovel, and cottage, and palace,
    To servant and king she appears,
And offers the gall of her chalice---
    The unwelcome Lady of Tears.

To the eyes that have smiled but in gladness,
    To the souls that have basked in the sun,
She seems, in her garments of sadness,
    A creature to dread and to shun.
And lips that have drunk but of pleasure
    Grow pallid and tremble with fears,
As she portions the gall from her measure,
    The merciless Lady of Tears.

But in midnight, lone hearts that are quaking,
    With the agonised numbness of grief,
Are saved from the torture of breaking,
    By her bitter-sweet draught of relief.
Oh, then do all graces enfold her;
    Like the goddess she looks and appears,
And the eyes overflow that behold her---
    The beautiful Lady of Tears.

Though she turns to lamenting all laughter,
    Though she gives us despair for delight,
Life holds a new meaning thereafter
    For those who will greet her aright.
They stretch out their hands to each other,
    For Sorrow unites and endears,
The children of one tender mother---
    The sweet, blessed Lady of Tears.

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


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