My soul is fain to drink of joy;
Thy cup is full of tears.
Ah, take it from me, nor destroy
The dream of future years!
Thy face is fair, but grief is there—
And grief but wastes and sears.
We two have been companioned long;
Now straightway let us part!
Another and a dearer song,
By some mysterious art,
Draws young, sweet breath while thy lips of death
Yet whisper to my heart.
Ah, joy it is a timid thing,
And easily 't is slain;
A tender firstling of the spring,
It shrinks at touch of pain;
Then haste away, dread Yesterday!
Nor hither come again!
So quickly? But who goes with thee,
Are hope, alas! and memory
Thus joined forevermore?
Then must thou stay, O Yesterday!
Lest joy, too, quit my door.