And they are dumb

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And they are dumb  (1910) 
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
From Poems of Cheer (1910)

I have been across the bridges of the years.
      Wet with tears
Were the ties on which I trod, going back
      Down the track
To the valley where I left, 'neath skies of Truth,
      My lost youth.

As I went, I dropped my burdens, one and all -
      Let them fall;
All my sorrows, all my wrinkles, all my care,
      My white hair,
I laid down, like some lone pilgrim's heavy pack,
      By the track.

As I neared the happy valley with light feet,
      My heart beat
To the rhythm of a song I used to know
      Long ago,
And my spirits gushed and bubbled like a fountain
      Down a mountain.

On the border of that valley I found you,
      Tried and true;
And we wandered through the golden Summer-Land
      Hand in hand.
And my pulses beat with rapture in the blisses
      Of your kisses.

And we met there, in those green and verdant places,
      Smiling faces,
And sweet laughter echoed upward from the dells
      Like gold bells.
And the world was spilling over with the glory
      Of Youth's story.

It was but a dreamer's journey of the brain;
      And again
I have left the happy valley far behind;
      And I find
Time stands waiting with his burdens in a pack
      For my back.

As he speeds me, like a rough, well-meaning friend,
      To the end,
Will I find again the lost ones loved so well?
      Who can tell!
But the dead know what the life will be to come -
      And they are dumb!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.