When tears wash tears and soul upon soul leaps,
    When clasped in arms of anguish and of pain,
When love beneath the feet of passion creeps,
    Ah me, what do we gain?

When we our rosy bower to demons lease,
    When Life’s most tender strains by shrieks are slain,
When strife invades our quietude and peace,
    Ah me, what do we gain?

When we allow the herbs of hate to sprout,
    When weeds of jealousy the lily stain,
When pearls of faith are crushed by stones of doubt,
    Ah me, what do we gain?

When night creeps on us in the light of day,
    When we nepenthes of good cheer disdain,
When on the throne of courage sits dismay,
    Ah me, what do we gain?

When sweetness, goodness, kindness all have died,
    When naught but broken, bleeding hearts remain,
When rough- shod o’er our better self we ride,
    Ah me, what do we gain?

From Myrtle and Myrrh (The Gorham Press, 1905) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.

I've been list'nin' to them lawyers
    In the court house up the street,
An' I've come to the conclusion
    That I'm most completely beat.
Fust one feller riz to argy,
    An' he boldly waded in
As he dressed the tremblin' pris'ner
    In a coat o' deep-dyed sin.

Why, he painted him all over
    In a hue o' blackest crime,
An' he smeared his reputation
    With the thickest kind o' grime,
Tell I found myself a-wond'rin',
    In a misty way and dim,
How the Lord had come to fashion
    Sich an awful man as him.

Then the other lawyer started,
    An' with brimmin', tearful eyes,
Said his client was a martyr
    That was brought to sacrifice.
An' he give to that same pris'ner
    Every blessed human grace,
Tell I saw the light o' virtue
    Fairly shinin' from his face.

Then I own 'at I was puzzled
    How sich things could rightly be;
An' this aggervatin' question
    Seems to keep a-puzzlin' me.
So, will some one please inform me,
    An' this mystery unroll–
How an angel an' a devil
    Can persess the self-same soul?

This poem is in the public domain. 

SAY my love is easy had,
      Say I’m bitten raw with pride,
Say I am too often sad,––
   Still behold me at your side.

Say I’m neither brave nor young,
   Say I woo and coddle care,
Say the devil touched my tongue,––
   Still you have my heart to wear.

But say my verses do not scan,
   And I get me another man!

From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.

We have tomorrow
Bright before us 
Like a flame 

a night-gone thing,
A sun-down name.

And dawn to-day
Broad arch above the road we came.

We march!

This poem is in the public domain.