THE ABSENT ONE
From our evening fireside now
Merry laugh and cheerful tone,
Smiling eye and cloudless brow,
Mirth and music all are flown.
Yet the grass before the door
Grows as green in April rain,
And as blithely as of yore
Larks have poured their daylong strain.
Is it fear or is it sorrow
Checks the frequent stream of joy?
Do we tremble that to-morrow
May our present peace destroy?
For past misery are we weeping?
What is past can hurt no more;
And the gracious heavens are keeping
Aid for that which lies before.
One is absent, and for one,
Cheerless, chill is our hearthstone.
One is absent, and for him
Cheeks are pale and eyes are dim.