(She Crosses)

From where she stood the air she craved
    Smote with the smell of pine;
It was too much to bear; she braved
    Her gods and crossed the line.

And we were hurt to see her go,
    With her fair face and hair,
And veins too thin and blue to show
    What mingled blood flowed there.

We envied her a while, who still
    Pursued the hated track;
Then we forgot her name, until
    One day her shade came back.

Calm as a wave without a crest,
    Sorrow-proud and sorrow-wise,
With trouble sucking at her breast,
    With tear-disdainful eyes,

She slipped into her ancient place,
    And, no word asked, gave none;
Only the silence in her face
    Said seats were dear in the sun.

This poem is in the public domain.