I saw a young heart in the grasp of pain;
With bruiséd breast, and broken, bleeding wing
Shipwrecked on hopeless love's tempestuous main,
Lay the poor tortured thing.
It pulsed with all the anguish of despair;
It ached with all a fond heart's awful power;
Yet I, who stood unhurt above it there,
Envied its lot that hour.
I, who have wasted all the sacred, deep
Emotions of my soul in spendthrift fashion,
Until no sorrow now can make me weep--
No joy stir me with passion.
I, who have scattered here and there the gold
Of my heart's store, until I spent the whole;
Yet unto each so little gave to hold,
That I enriched no soul.
I, who have sold the birthright of sweet tears,
And no more feel a thrill in pulse or brain,
Would gladly have exchanged my tasteless years
For one salt hour of pain.
Weep on, ye mourners. Glory in the cross
Of some great grief. Thank God you do not know
The greater grief that comes but with the loss
Of power to suffer woe.
Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.
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