The Poetry Corner

Worn Out

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

You bid me hold my peace And dry my fruitless tears, Forgetting that I bear A pain beyond my years. You say that I should smile And drive the gloom away; I would, but sun and smiles Have left my life's dark day. All time seems cold and void, And naught but tears remain; Life's music beats for me A melancholy strain. I used at first to hope, But hope is past and, gone; And now without a ray My cheerless life drags on. Like to an ash-stained hearth When all its fires are spent; Like to an autumn wood By storm winds rudely shent,-- So sadly goes my heart, Unclothed of hope and peace; It asks not joy again, But only seeks release.