A poem by Alfred Castner King

Ill fares the heart, when hope has fled;
When vanishes each prospect fair,
When the last flickering ray has sped,
And naught remains but mute despair;
When inky blackness doth enshroud
The hopes the heart once held in store,
As some tall pine, by great winds bowed,
Doth snap, and when the tempest's o'er,
Its noble form, magnificent and proud,
Doth prostrate lie, nor ever riseth more;
Thus breaks the heart, which sees no hope before.

Ill fares the heart, when hope has fled;
That heart is as some ruin old,
With ancient arch and wall, o'erspread
With moss, and desolating mold;
Whose banquet halls, where once the sound
Of revelry rang unconfined,
Now, with the hoot of owls resound,
Or echo back the mournful wind;
In whose foul nooks the gruesome bat is found.
The heart a ruin is, when unresigned;
No hope before, and but regret behind.

Ill fares the heart, when hope has fled;
That heart, to fate unreconciled,
Though throbbing, is as truly dead
As though by foul decay defiled;
That heart is as a grinning skull,
With smiling mockery, and stare
Of eyeless sockets, or the hull
Of shipwrecked vessel, bleached and bare,
Derelict, morbid, apathetic, dull,
As drowning men, who clutch the empty air,
The heart goes down, which feels but blind despair.

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