For some forty years, and over,
Poets had with me their way;
And they made me think that Sorrow
Owned the Night and owned the Day;
And the corpse beneath the clover
Had a hopeful word to say.

And they made me think that Sorrow
Was the Shadow in the Sun;
And they made me think To-morrow
Was a gift to everyone:
And the days I used to borrow,
Till my credit now is done.

And they told me softly, sweetly,
That, when Life had lost its glee,
I could be consoled completely

By the Forest or the Sea;
And they wrote their rhymes so neatly
That they quite deluded me.

But when Sorrow is at sorest,
And the heart weeps silently,
Is there healing in the Forest?
Is there solace in the Sea?
And the God whom thou adorest
Has He any help for thee?

Does it soothe the spent man dying
That the stars are shining bright
O'er the field where he is lying?
And the moon, with all her light,
Does she help his bare soul flying
Through the vast and lonely Night?

Give to me the grasp of true man,
Though his state be high or low,
Give to me the kiss of woman,
Let your Seas and Forests go:
There is nothing but the human
Touch can heal the human woe.