Broverbs of Pain
How red the wind-tossed roses blow,
How sharp, their curving thorns!
And just as red, the blood will flow
From thumbs of eager hands.
How beautiful she does appear
To those who yearn for her!
What misery, they do not know,
That yearning might confer!
How beautiful, that song of love
That’s sung in soundless tones.
How silently that river flows
That runs so swift and deep.
How tender is the heart of love,
How hard, the one of hate.
And in-between is callousness—
That leaves us to our fate.
Who murders, knows what he has done
And all his life repents,
Unless he’s blinded by that fog
That makes of Earth a hell.
Though pleasures might be shallow, short,
While pain is deep and long,
There’s joy that’s true that melds with woe
And so gives rise to song.
As sculptures, paintings get their depth
From shadows more than light,
So also we are deepened more
By pain than by delight.
Look not to me for happiness,
But only more of grief.
Of all the happiness you’ve earned,
I might be called the thief.
I met a man in a hopeless state—
Or so it seemed to be.
Yet when I greeted him, he smiled
And kindly looked on me.
There’s comfort in a misery
To which we are accustomed,
But newer woes can startle us
And shatter our repose.
We yearn for things we cannot get,
Neglecting what we had.
And some of us, on knowing this,
Might even feel regret.
When it’s cold and gray and raining,
In the dreary winter climes,
We remember then the sunshine
And the warmth of bygone times.
When the sun is high and blazing,
In the heated tropic zone,
We have dreams of clouds and rain then—
And of winters we have known.
2016 January 8th, Fri., 8:30-9:30 pm
David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street
New York, New York
(added later in Brooklyn: 4th quatrain
and 3rd, 4th & 5th quatrains from end)