I hear the loud world's laughter with her noise,
Behold, and see her moving multitudes,
With all her blazonry of pompous joys,
And sorrow 'plaining in low interludes.
Across the vast gray desert of this life
Whose trackless waste, on either hand, afar
Doth stretch its weariness; in eager strife
They jostle on, whatever may debar.
In blinding dust, themselves raise as they go,
The caravan moves on, a monster train
With sinuous, weary windings trailing slow,
While lips are parched, and fever burns the brain.
And some in masses herd for company,
To stay with common cheer their common heart;
While some--aye, God He knoweth some there be,
Rare, solitary souls, who walk apart,
And look like gods upon their lonely way.
These speak no word, nor make they any sign,
But travel, travel, travel as they may
Toward the end, with the vast, winding line.
And some fall down, nor ever rise again,
Nor ever move--nor utter any sound:
Still stays not this remorseless, tireless train,
But onward, onward, on--no rest is found.
No rest, no rest; no lingering, no returning,
No footprint ever points to backward way;
No wild regret, nor lip with quenchless burning
Finds again the spring of yesterday.