Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

Deserted Nests

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I'd rather see an empty bough,--
A dreary, weary bough that hung
As boughs will hang within whose arms
No mated birds had ever sung;


Far rather than to see or touch
The sadness of an empty nest
Where joy has been but is not now,
Where love has been but is not blest.


There is no sadness in the world,
No other like it here or there,--
The sadness of deserted homes
In nests, or hearts, or anywhere.

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Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward