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Sad Poems - Sadness

Song
     by Sara Teasdale

O woe is me, my heart is sad,
For I should never know
If Love came by like any lad,
Without his silver bow.

Or if he left his arrows sharp
And came a minstrel weary,
I'd never tell him by his harp
Nor know him for my dearie.

"O go your ways and have no fear,
For tho' Love passes by,
He'll come a hundred times, my dear,
Before your turn to die."

 

Tears
     by Walt Whitman

Tears! tears! tears!
In the night, in solitude, tears;
On the white shore dripping, dripping, sucked in by the sand;
Tears--not a star shining--all dark and desolate;
Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head:
-- O who is that ghost?--that form in the dark, with tears?
What shapeless lump is that, bent, crouched there on the sand?
Streaming tears--sobbing tears--throes, choked with wild cries;
O storm, embodied, rising, careering, with swift steps along the beach;
O wild and dismal night-storm, with wind! O belching and desperate!
O shade, so sedate and decorous by day, with calm countenance and regulated pace;
But away, at night, as you fly, none looking--O then the unloosened ocean
Of tears! tears! tears!

 

Buried Love
     by Sara Teasdale

I shall bury my weary Love
Beneath a tree,
In the forest tall and black
Where none can see.

I shall put no flowers at his head,
Nor stone at his feet,
For the mouth I loved so much
Was bittersweet.

I shall go no more to his grave,
For the woods are cold.
I shall gather as much of joy
As my hands can hold.

I shall stay all day in the sun
Where the wide winds blow,
But oh, I shall weep at night
When none will know.

 

Regret
    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There is a haunting phantom called Regret,
A shadowy creature robed somewhat like Woe,
But fairer in the face, whom all men know
By her sad mien and eyes forever wet.
No heart would seek her; but once having met,
All take her by the hand, and to and fro
They wander through those paths of long ago--
Those hallowed ways 'twere wiser to forget.

One day she led me to that lost land's gate
And bade me enter; but I answered "No!
I will pass on with my bold comrade, Fate;
I have no tears to waste on thee -- no time;
My strength I hoard for heights I hope to climb:
No friend art thou for souls that would be great."

 

If All the Skies
    by Henry van Dyke

If all the skies were sunshine,
Our faces would be fain
To feel once more upon them
The cooling splash of rain.

If all the world were music,
Our hearts would often long
For one sweet strain of silence,
To break the endless song.

If life were always merry,
Our souls would seek relief,
And rest from weary laughter
In the quiet arms of grief.

 

Defeat
    by Khalil Gibran

Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;
You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,
And sweeter to my heart than all world-glory.

Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,
Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot
And not to be trapped by withering laurels.
And in you I have found aloneness
And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,
In your eyes I have read
That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,
And to be understood is to be leveled down,
And to be grasped is but to reach one's fullness
And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.

Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,
You shall hear my songs and my cries an my silences,
And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,
And urging of seas,
And of mountains that burn in the night,
And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,
And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
And we shall be dangerous.

 

Stanzas. Written in Dejection, near Naples
    by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I.

The sun is warm, the sky is clear,
The waves are dancing fast and bright,
Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
The purple noon's transparent might,
The breath of the moist earth is light,
Around its unexpanded buds;
Like many a voice of one delight,
The winds, the birds, the ocean floods,
The City's voice itself is soft like Solitude's.

II.

I see the Deep's untrampled floor
With green and purple seaweeds strown;
I see the waves upon the shore,
Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown:
I sit upon the sands alone,
The lightning of the noon-tide ocean
Is flashing round me, and a tone
Arises from its measured motion,
How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion.

III.

Alas! I have nor hope nor health,
Nor peace within nor calm around,
Nor that content surpassing wealth
The sage in meditation found,
And walked with inward glory crowned --
Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure.
Others I see whom these surround --
Smiling they live and call life pleasure; --
To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.

IV.

Yet now despair itself is mild,
Even as the winds and waters are;
I could lie down like a tired child,
And weep away the life of care
Which I have borne and yet must bear,
Till death like sleep might steal on me,
And I might feel in the warm air
My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea
Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.

V.

Some might lament that I were cold,
As I, when this sweet day is gone,
Which my lost heart, too soon grown old,
Insults with this untimely moan;
They might lament -- for I am one
Whom men love not, -- and yet regret,
Unlike this day, which, when the sun
Shall in its stainless glory set,
Will linger, though enjoyed, like joy in memory yet.

 

Song
    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I

Every day hath its night:
Every night its morn:
Through dark and bright
Winged hours are borne;
Ah! welaway!
Seasons flower and fade;
Golden calm and storm
Mingle day by day.
There is no bright form
Doth not cast a shade --
Ah! welaway!

II

When we laugh, and our mirth
Apes the happy vein,
We're so kin to earth
Pleasuance fathers pain --
Ah! welaway!
Madness laugheth loud:
Laughter bringeth tears:
Eyes are worn away
Till the end of fears
Cometh in the shroud,
Ah! welaway!

III

All is change, woe or weal;
Joy is sorrow's brother;
Grief and sadness steal
Symbols of each other;
Ah! welaway!
Larks in heaven's cope
Sing: the culvers mourn
All the livelong day.
Be not all forlorn;
Let us weep in hope --
Ah! welaway!

 

Solitude
    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer,
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shirk from voicing care.

Rejoice and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,
There are none to decline your nectar'd wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by;
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisle of pain.

 

Desolation
    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I think that the bitterest sorrow or pain
Of love unrequited, or cold death's woe,
Is sweet compared to that hour when we know
That some grand passion is on the wane;

When we see that the glory and glow and grace
Which lent a splendor to night and day
Are surely fading, and showing the gray
And dull groundwork of the commonplace;

When fond expressions on dull ears fall,
When the hands clasp calmly without one thrill,
When we cannot muster by force of will
The old emotions that came at call;

When the dream has vanished we fain would keep,
When the heart, like a watch, runs out of gear,
And all the savor goes out of the year,
Oh, then is the time -- if we can -- to weep!

But no tears soften this dull, pale woe;
We must sit and face it with dry, sad eyes.
If we seek to hold it, the swifter joy flies --
We can only be passive, and let it go.

 

Life
    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in,
A minute to smile and an hour to weep in,
A pint of joy to a peck of trouble,
And never a laugh but the moans come double;
And that is life!

A crust and a corner that love makes precious,
With a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us;
And joy seems sweeter when cares come after,
And a moan is the finest of foils for laughter;
And that is life!

 

The Saddest Hour
    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The saddest hour of anguish and of loss
Is not that season of supreme despair
When we can find no least light anywhere
To gild the dread, black shadow of the Cross;
Not in that luxury of sorrow when
We sup on salt of tears, and drink the gall
Of memories of days beyond recall --
Of lost delights that cannot come again.

But when, with eyes that are no longer wet,
We look out on the great, wide world of men,
And, smiling, lean toward a bright to-morrow,
Then backward shrink, with sudden keen regret,
To find that we are learning to forget:
Ah! then we face the saddest hour of sorrow.

 

I'm Sad
     by Stuart McConnell - with permission of the author

I cry when I watch a beautiful sunrise/sunset,
when I feel the wind on the mountain,
when I see the mist on the water,
when I hear beautiful music,
when I hear a child giggle,
when I see the rainbow, the butterfly, the flower.

Wait a minute!...I'm smiling as I speak!
I'm happy beyond belief!

I'm not sad at all.

 


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