O mad with mirth are the birds to-day
    That over my head are winging.
There is nothing but glee in the roundelay
    That I hear them singing, singing.
On wings of light, up, out of sight--
    I watch them airily flying.
What do they know of the world below,
    And the hopes that are dying, dying?

The roses turn to the sun's warm sky,
    Their sweet lips red and tender;
Oh! life to them is a dream of bliss,
    Of love, and passion, and splendour.
What know they of the world to-day,
    Of hearts that are silently breaking;
Of the human breast, and its great unrest,
    And its pitiless aching, aching?

They send me out into Nature's heart
    For help to bear my sorrow,
Nothing of strength can she impart,
    No peace from her can I borrow.
Her rose-red June and her billing tune,
    Her birds and blossoms only,
Mocked at the grief that seeks relief,
    And leave me lonely--lonely.
If I might stand on the treacherous sand,
    And know I was sinking, sinking,
While the moaning sea sang a dirge for me,--
    Why, that were comfort, I'm thinking.

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

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