Hope was but a timid friend;
She sat without the grated den,
Watching how my fate would tend,
Even as selfish—hearted men.
 
She was cruel in her fear;
Through the bars, one dreary day,
I looked out to see her there,
And she turned her face away!
 
Like a false guard, false watch keeping,
Still, in strife, she whispered peace;
She would sing while I was weeping;
If I listened, she would cease.
 
False she was, and unrelenting;
When my last joys strewed the ground,
Even Sorrow saw, repenting,
Those sad relics scattered round;
 
Hope, whose whisper would have given
Balm to all my frenzied pain,
Stretched her wings, and soared to heaven,
Went, and ne’er returned again!

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