Was the parting very bitter?
Was the hand clasped very tight?
Is a storm of tear-drops falling
From a face all sad and white?
Think not of it, in the future,
Calmer, fairer days are nigh--
Gaze not backward, but look onward
For a sunny 'by and by.'

Was the priceless love you lavished,
Sought for, played with, and then slain?
Were its crushed and quivering remnants
Calmly thrown you back again?
Calmly, too, those remnants gather,
Bring them home without a sigh;
Sweet returns they yet shall bring you
In the coming 'by and by.'

Are the eyelids very heavy?
Does the tired head long for rest?
Are the temples hot and throbbing,
And the hands together pressed?
Hope shall lay you on her bosom,
Cool the poor lips parched and dry,
And shall whisper, 'Rest is coming--
Rest forever, 'by and by.'

And when calmed and cheered and freshened
By her soul-inspiring voice,
Then look up, the heavens are brightening--
Cease your wailing and rejoice.
Cry not for the days departed,
None wil hear you, none reply;
But look up where light is breaking
O'er a brighter 'by and by.'