His tale he told with a solemn face And a tender, melancholy grace. Improbable 'twas, no doubt, When you came to think it out, But the fascinated crowd Their deep surprise avowed And all with a single voice averred
'Twas the most amazing thing they'd heard -- All save one who spake never a word, But sat as mum As if deaf and dumb, Serene, indifferent and unstirred. Then all the others turned to him And scrutinized him limb from limb -- Scanned him alive; But he seemed to thrive And tranquiler grow each minute, As if there were nothing in it.
"What! what!" cried one, "are you not amazed At what our friend has told?" He raised Soberly then his eyes and gazed In a natural way And proceeded to say, As he crossed his feet on the mantel-shelf:
"O no --not at all; I'm a liar myself."”
“Melancholy is at the bottom of everything, just as at the end of all rivers is the sea. Can it be otherwise in a world where nothing lasts, where all that we have loved or shall love must die? Is death, then, the secret of life? The gloom of an eternal mourning enwraps, more or less closely, every serious and thoughtful soul, as night enwraps the universe.”