Now sadness presses in, and now it rushes on
Now sadness runs the waves of night,
Crashing through the brilliant light;
Now sadness on and on.

And in the salty mist where sunshine lifts the day
And oft in hovels kneeling there
In surreptitious ways:

Now sadness on and on

And in the clack of timing seconds, minutes, hours
And by the stove in pots aboil
And over curt, abandoned palisades
And in the songs while sung we toil

And in the toll that bells have tolled
And all about the green
And through the wire that shuts us in
And on the breasts of maids serene

And all about our churches crumbling:
Now sadness on and on.

By witches, warlocks, magic, myth
And through the taint of time
There comes the whistle down the wind
Of sadness so sublime.

That not a stir beneath of faith
And not confession pressed on sin,
Not sacrifice of maidens fair
Or God and good within

Might stop the sadness, sadness stalking
Through the breadth of life,
Not choke the voice of calculating
And suffering through strife.

Oh, I’ll have an end to sadness!
Though on and on it wades and walks.
Not by hands of mine I’ll stop it
But by this simple thought:

You sadness—on and on you go!
Because you first were given birth
And we at first and last have known you
Because of first and lasting mirth.