Tell me what 'tis to be alone?
It is when dearest friends are gone,
And the heart's bounding throb of joy
Is still, and nought our thoughts destroy;
When silence palls the heart like night,
The deeper for the late delight;
And even the very flow'rs seem
To miss, and mourn, the solar beam;
Hanging their heads, so late erect,
As if with melancholy decked;
Their eyes all wet, as though they guessed
The sorrow that the soul oppressed;
And with their tears, and trembling sighs,
Betrayed their sad, sweet sympathies.
Ask woman's heart of solitude;
Seek it, when silent feeling,
Racked by some deep disquietude,
Her life and peace are stealing.
Mark the blank look, and listless air--
Th' envenomed worm caroding there;
When the last hope her bosom cherished,
Her last, lone hope--for ever's perished!
When o'er the world despair's unfurled,
And a huge desert seems the world;
Bright as her splendid halls may be,
Dull, lifeless, is their pageantry;
Seeking, she turns to ev'ry smile,
A ray of sympathy to win,
And rouse, to share the mirth awhile,
The broken spirit cold within.
'Mid thousands gay, accounted one,
Still--still, she feels alone--alone!
The music of the festive hall--
The peerless beauties of the ball--
Their jewelled splendour--rank and grace--
Win not a smile from that sad face!
A joyless languor in her eye!
A breaking heart in ev'ry sigh!
Her only pleasure in such mood,
To woo the haunts of solitude,
And feed her cankered spirit on
The memories of joys long gone!
Solitude's most keenly felt
By the hearts which soonest melt.
Lively, social, gay, and warm,
Life unshared has scarce a charm,
The exile in his banishment,
Will know the feeling well;
For then, within the bosom pent,
His yearning wishes swell,
And gleam, and fade,
Like sun, and shade,
Over a desert fell.
His heart, uncheered by friendship's cordial balm,
To tempests loosed, or dead in listless calm!
There, in some blank and bleak recess,
Environed by the wilderness,
He dwells--isolate, chill'd--forlorn--
Mourning the day when he was born;
And sighing for the hour to come,
When he shall rest within the tomb!
Few hearts there are, whate'er their bliss,
But have felt, or may feel, like this!
Though swiftly pass the wingèd hours,
Like hummingbirds o'er Eden flowers,
Too soon a night of sorrow comes,
No more are seen their dazzling plumes--
For splendid scenes when lately viewed,
Deepen succeeding solitude;--
As, after gazing on the sun,
All things seem dark we look upon;
The gay, and beautiful, and bright,
Enveloped in apparent night!