There are tears that fall in grief and sadness;
Slow and mournfully the cheek they stain,
Every drop a sob, a lamentation,
In its dew a throb of bitter pain.
There are other tears, bright, clear, untroubled,
Shining as the sun, untouched of care,
Like the violet rain, calm, cool, refreshing,
When the scent of earth is on the air.
There are tears all silent and mysterious,
From the soul’s love-yearning depths that steal;
They relate to us long tales of sorrow,
Buried loves which mourning veils conceal.
There are tears that seem to me like laughter –
Like clouds tempest-tossed, that roam for aye,
Flinging lightnings to the winds of ocean,
Drifting, mistlike, out and far away.
There’s a dry tear, burning, never falling –
Liquid flame, intense, consuming, dread –
Not to pass until the eyes are ashes,
And the mind is ruined too and dead.
Tears, I know you all, though ye be only
Memories of a past that sorrows fill.
Strong emotions, be ye blest forever!
‘Tis through you my heart is living still.