A Ballad from April

I AM dazed and bewildered with living
A life but an intricate skein
Of hopes and despairs and thanksgiving
Wound up and unraveled again—
Till it seems, whether waking or sleeping,
I am wondering ever the while
At a something that smiles when I'm weeping,
And a something that weeps when I smile.

And I walk through the world as one dreaming
Who knows not the night from the day,
For I look on the stars that are gleaming,
And lo, they have vanished away:
And I look on the sweet-summer day-light,
And e'en as I gaze it is fled,
And, veiled in a cold, misty, gray light,
The winter is there in its stead.

I feel in my palms the warm fingers
Of numberless friends—and I look,
And lo, not a one of them lingers
To give back the pleasure he took;
And I lift my sad eyes to the faces
All tenderly fixed on my own,
But they wither away in grimaces
That scorn me, and leave me alone.

And I turn to the woman that told me
Her love would live on until death—
But her arms they no longer enfold me,
Though barely the dew of her breath
Is dry on the forehead so pallid
That droops like the weariest thing
O'er this most inharmonious ballad
That ever a sorrow may sing.

So I'm dazed and bewildered with living
A life but an intricate skein
Of hopes and despairs and thanksgiving
Wound up and unraveled again—
Till it seems, whether waking or sleeping,
I am wondering ever the while
At a something that smiles when I'm weeping
And a something that weeps when I smile.
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