I gladly would sing in a joyous strain,
But my heart of its joy is bereft;
For my young life there is nought but grief and pain,
And a haunting memory left.
Look at the stars how they gleam from the skies
On me with a frosty stare;
Can it be that this world hath no pitying eyes
For the houseless child of care?
Ye that look on me have homes tonight,
And loving ones wait you there;
And the cheerful fire is burning bright,
And young faces are beaming fair.
Though a thousand homes are around I know
'Mong them all there is no home for me:
For I must sleep in the cold white snow,
And the skies must my shelter be.
My life is still in its summer years,
But its flowers can bloom no more;
I weep - and mine are the bitter tears
That are wept for the joys of yore.
Then I cannot be glad, for my heart will cling
To the grief that is all its own:
So wonder not that I only sing
A song with a mournful tone.