When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.
The Old Poet
by Amy Levy
I will be glad because it is the Spring;
I will forget the winter in my heart--
Dead hopes and withered promise; and will wring
A little joy from life ere life depart.
For spendthrift youth with passion-blinded eyes,
Stays not to see how woods and fields are bright;
He hears the phantom voices call, he flies
Upon the track of some unknown delight.
To him the tender glory of the May,
White wonder of the blossom, and the clear,
Soft green leaves that opened yesterday,
This only say: Forward, my friend, not here!
They breathe no other messages than this,
They have no other meaning for his heart;
Unto his troubled sense they tell of bliss,
Which make, themselves, of bliss the better part.
Yea, joy is near him, tho' he does not know;
Her unregarded shape is at his side,
Her unheard voice is whispering clear and low,
Whom, resting never, seeks he far and wide.
So once it was with us, my heart ! To-day
We will be glad because the leaves are green,
Because the fields are fair and soft with May,
Nor think on squandered springtimes that have been.