by Achsa White Sprague
The sunlight falls across the room,
This bright and glorious day,
And snowy fields like crystal shine
Beneath its dazzling ray.
The hanging ice from every tree
Reflects the rainbow's hue,
The arching vault of heaven has caught
A deeper, darker blue.
I hear the merry sleigh-bells chime;
The laugh of passers-by
Falls coldly on my weary ear,
And dims my aching eye.
I cannot bear the sounds of mirth,
'Tis mockery in my ears;
And joyous smiles wake bitterness
That I must quench in tears.
For there's no pulse within my heart
At joyous tones to thrill,
But throbs of agony instead,
I vainly try to still.
A crushing weight of misery
Is on my spirit laid,
And 'neath its shade of bitterness
Hope's light must darkly fade.
O God! has not my lot from youth
Been hard enough to bear,
That this last stroke -- the worst of all --
Is added to my share?
Had I not known enough of grief,
E'en in my happiest hour,
Enough of all the storms that fate
Upon my head might shower?
From childhood's hour have I not felt
That life is cold and drear,
With nought to me save bitterness,
And trouble, doubt, and fear?
Had I not drank of poverty
Full many a bitter cup,
And often as I drank the dregs
Again it was filled up?
And now a deeper, darker shade
Is o'er my spirit cast
By wan disease; that bows my form.
Oh, is not this the last?
Oh, for a place where I may lay
My weary, aching head,
Oh, for one hour of peaceful rest,
E'en though 'twere with the dead!
An early poem, composed during sickness.
Source:The Poet And Other Poems.
Boston: William White And Co.,
158 Washington Street.