RETURNED

Yes! here is the house -- and you have the key;
   We are home once more -- but wait, I say.
I am suddenly cold, and I cannot see --
   Let me sit, and so rally my strength, I pray.

You tho't I was stronger?  Well, so did I,
   strength seemed to come in the great sea's roar.
But I faint and tremble and almost die,
   When I think what is waiting inside that door.

I almost forgot as I walked by the sea,
   I seemed so small, and the sea so grand.
But the same old sorrow is waiting for me
   There on the threshold with out-stretched hand.

The same old sorrow I left behind,
   Sadder from being shut up so long,
Crueler, may be, and more unkind.
   How weak we are when we think we are strong!

How foolish one is to run away,
   To dream by flight he will cease to remember.
For the sorrow we leave behind in May
   Is always awaiting us in December.

It is better to walk with it day by day,
   To wander with it from room to room,
Until its terrors shall wear away,
   And we grow used to its face of gloom.

Well, turn the key -- I am ready now;
   I will not be cowed by the eyes of pain,
And strength will be given to me somehow
   To fight my battle all over again.

Peterson's Magazine (February 1881): 124

Courtesy of Linda Listmann


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