I was reading a poet Sara Teasdale's poems and quotes and came across this one. I can't figure out what this line really means.
Literary analysis is off-topic, but this is fairly straightforward:
- ache: heartache, longing
- empty arms: having no-one to hold close
- an old tale: something you have heard or experienced before, perhaps many times.
The heartache of not having anyone to hold close is something you have experienced from of old.