The Use of Tears

How little of ourselves we know,
Before a grief the heart has felt!
The lessons that we learn of woe
Make strong the soul, as well as melt.

The energies too stern for mirth,
The reach of thought, the strength of will,
‘Mid cloud and tempest have their birth,
Though blight and blast their course fulfil.

And yet ’tis when it mourns and fears,
The laden spirit feels forgiven;
And through the mist of falling tears
We catch the clearest glimpse of heaven.