'I AM Joy,' she said; but her voice was low,
Too low for laughter;
'I am Love '; but her eyes lacked Love's quick glow,
And the tear that springs after;
'I am Life'; but she seemed too calm, too still,
Like one who waits, but forgets to-morrow;
Then she took my hand, and I did her will,
And knew she was Sorrow.
And she led me on through the world we see,
Where smiles are many;
Through the fever and stir of life's hot glee
That waits never for any;
Through the silence of rest when dreams are o'er
And stillness is sweeter than hope's best pleasure;
Through the peace when nought is to garner more
Of Love's plenished treasure.
So at length we twain were the truest pair,
More kind than lovers.
Then she said 'After blight the boughs are bare,
Yet the strong tree recovers;
And anew hast thou Life, Love, Joy, at call:
Unclasp my hand.' And I clasped, denying;
'Thou art best, more strong, more true than all;
And after thee dying.'