After The Ball Is Over
Charles K. Harris

A little maiden climbed an old man’s knees—
Begged for a story: "Do uncle, please!
Why are you single, why live alone?
Have you no babies, have you no home?"

"I had a sweetheart, years, years ago,
Where she is now, pet, you will soon know;
List to the story, I’ll tell it all:

I believed her faithless after the ball."
"Bright lights were flashing in the grand ballroom,
Softly the music playing sweet tunes.
There came my sweetheart, my love, my own,
‘I wish some water; leave me alone.’
When I returned, dear, there stood a man
Kissing my sweetheart as lovers can.
Down fell the glass, pet, broken, that’s all—
Just as my heart was after the ball."

"Long years have passed, child, I have never wed,
True to my lost love though she is dead.
She tried to tell me, tried to explain—
I would not listen, pleadings were vain.
One day a letter came from that man;
He was her brother, the letter ran.
That’s why I’m lonely, no home at all—
I broke her heart, pet, after the ball."

After the ball is over, after the break of morn,
After the dancers' leaving, after the stars are gone,
Many a heart is aching, if you could read them all—
Many the hopes that have vanished after the ball.


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