Katharine Lee Bates

Aug. 12, 1859 - Mar. 28, 1929


The Broken-Hearted

by Katharine Lee Bates

O strange, hushed fellowship of those
Who tread a darkened star,
Who breathe the fragrance of the rose
And thrill with pain instead
Of that old joy, long dead!

Amid earth's hurrying throngs they move
Like spirits from afar,
Exiled from their one land of love,
Lost as a flood-whelmed leaf,
Initiates of grief.

They give the mystic countersign
In glancing looks that are
Illuminate with lore divine,
Each anguish whispering each
Closer than household speech.

Each casts his hard-earned alms into
The other's craving jar,
A grain of wisdom garnered through
Wild, weeping storms, pale peace
That blooms where longings cease.

No badge they wear to worldly view
-- These of the hidden scar --
But on their foreheads is the dew
Anointed eyes may see
Of dark Gethsemane.


Yellow Clover: A Book Of Remembrance
Copyright 1922
E. P. Dutton & Company, New York