When the twilight shadows deepen and the far-off lands are dim,
And the vesper dirge is stealing like the chant of cherubim,
There's a prayer within my bosom that's responsive to the sound,
There's a thought that springs within me--but 'tis sad and silence-bound.
There's a sorrow in those shadows as they lengthen on the lawn,
For the joy of life has vanished and its sweetness--all is gone,
And the purple mists of even as they hover o'er the glade
Seem to hush in voiceless gloom the deep recesses of the shade.
Oh thou beyond those heathery hills, beyond those woodlands blue,
Which, as they meet the eastern sky, receive its azure hue,
Ah, must I lonely linger here, where nought but griefs await,
Where life is but one long, long sigh, and all disconsolate?
I'm weeping, yes I'm weeping, with the sun of youth gone down,
With the blossoms of the summer-time all withering and brown,
Thou can'st not know that rending pain, those sobs thou can'st not hear,
Thou can'st not feel those burning throbs whence wells the sparkling tear.
Oh say thou wilt not turn away, oh say we must not part,
Thou would'st not spurn this aching breast, nor crush this breaking heart,
Without thee, what is Life?--a name--in which no life can be,
Oh give me back thy smile, thy tear--'tis all the world to me.