When winds of March by the springtime bidden
    Over the great earth race and shout,
Forth from my breast where it long hath hidden
    My same old sorrow comes creeping out.

I think each winter--its life is ended,
    For it makes no stir while the snows lie deep.
I say to myself, 'Its soul has blended
    Into the past where it lay asleep.'

But as soon as the sun, like some fond lover,
    Smiles and kisses the earth's round cheeks,
This sad, sad sorrow throws off its cover,
    And out of the depths of its anguish, speaks.

In every bud by the wayside springing
    It finds a sword for its half-healed wounds;
In every note that the thrush is singing
    It hears the saddest of minor sounds.

In the cup of gold that the sun is spilling
    It finds, unsweetened, a drop of gall;
It sees through the warp that the Spring is filling,
    The black threads twining in under it all.

Go back, O spring! till pain, forsaking
    These haunts of sorrow, shall sink to rest.
Go back! go back! for my heart is breaking,
    And the same old anguish hurts my breast.

Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.

Back to Poem Index