The years were long and hope hath died;
The door at last is barred and fast—
Why comes this knocking now?
Yet woe the waiting heart, she said,
And the heart it waiteth for!
And woe the truth and wasted youth
That nothing shall restore!
The faith that's fled, the hope that's dead,
The dreams that come no more.
Who knocks at the gate—so late, so late?
Thou foolish heart, be still!
What is 't to thee if love or hate
Knocks in the midnight chill?
Art thou, poor heart, compassionate?
Is love so hard to kill?
Ah me! the night is cold, she said;
Would I might all forget;
But memory lives when hope is dead,
And pity heals regret;
As light still lingers overhead
When sun and moon are set.