Thou shalt be happy !” So I told my heart1
One summer morning many a year ago :2
Thou shalt be happy ; thou shalt have thy part3
Of mirth and feasting in the great world’s show.4
Thou shalt have health and wealth, high fame and
Thy place shall be with those who sit above ;6
Thou shalt have sunshine on the dullest days,7
And, best of all, my heart, thou shalt have love.”8
Thus, in the morning of my days, I spake9
Unto my heart, and gladly it replied :10
The world is all before us, we can make11
Joy for ourselves, a never-ebbing tide.”12
So we set out, my heart and I, in mirth,13
To seek for happiness—upon the earth.14
God gave us health and wealth, and we were glad15
Thus, for a season, waiting joys to come ;16
God gave us fame and praise, a little sad17
We were, my heart and I, amid the hum18
Of voices lauding us, till one, more dear19
Than all the rest, spake gentle words and sweet.20
Then we grew jubilant with right good cheer,21
And happiness came on with flying feet,22
Drew near—but passed. Alas ! my heart and I,23
We could not hold the radiant wanderer fast.24
One rose-touch of her lips in fleeting by25
Was ours ; one precious look—the first, the last.26
She will return, we said, with love’s new birth,27
There must be happiness for us on earth.28
We lost fair health, my heart and I, and fell29
Sore sick ; were sorrowful, found dreary ways.30
We lost our wealth, and none drew near to tell31
Of comfort waiting us in better days.32
But where is happiness ?  Alack ! we find33
She is not ours to beckon as we list ;34
We have no magic spell wherewith to bind35
This rare, bright visitant to earth. We missed36
The royal road to happiness ; but lo !37
Something is saved us from the wreck of all :38
We have content, though doubtful blessings go,39
And peace entwines our crosses great and small.40
We learn, my heart and I, the world’s true worth,41
And seek for happiness—but not on earth.42