Dear, it is hard to stand1
So near thy life, yet so apart ;2
So near—I think so near—thine heart ;3
So near that I could touch thine hand,4
And yet so far I dare not take5
That hand in mine for love’s dear sake !6
So near that I can look my fill7
At stated times upon thy face ;8
So far that I must yield a place9
To others, sore against my will !10
So near that I can see thee smile,11
So far, my poor heart aches the while!12
Dear, it is hard to know13
Whate’er the stress, the storm, the strife,14
The fret, the sadness of thy life,15
I have no power, no right to show16
Love in my heart, love on my lips,17
To comfort thee in life’s eclipse ;18
No right to claim before the rest,19
The privilege to weep with thee ;20
No right, across life’s stormy sea,21
To bid thee welcome to my breast ;22
No right to share thy hopes, thy fears,23
Through all the weary, weary years.24
Dear, it is hard to feel25
That bliss may meet thee, full and fair,26
Wherein poor I can have no share ;27
That thy wide future may reveal28
The joys of harvest manifold,29
While I stand lonely in the cold.30
Dear, it is hard. But God doth know31
How leal the heart that beats for thee ;32
It is enough, enough for me33
To love thee. Let the future show34
Love can live on for its own sake,35
Though eyes may weep, though heart may
ache !