Who has not wanted does not guess
What plenty is.--Who has not groped
In depths of doubt and hopelessness
Has never truly hoped.--
Unless, sometimes, a shadow fails
Upon his mirth, and veils his sight,
And from the darkness drifts the light
Of love at intervals.
And that most dear of everything,
I hold, is love; and who can sit
With lightest heart, and laugh and sing,
Knows not the worth of it.--
Unless, in some strange throng, perchance,
He feels how thrilling sweet it is,
One yearning look that answers his--
The troth of glance and glance.
Who knows not pain, knows not, alas!
What pleasure is--Who knows not of
The bitter cup that will not pass,
Knows not the taste of love.
O souls that thirst, and hearts that fast,
And natures faint with famishing,
God lift and lead and safely bring
You to your own at last!
--James Whitcomb Riley