A Mother to the War-Makers

This is my son that you have taken,
Guard lest your gold-vault walls be shaken,
Never again to speak or waken.

This, that I gave my life to make,
This you have bidden the vultures break—
Dead for your selfish quarrel’s sake!

This that I built all of my years,
Made with my strength and love and tears,
Dead for pride of your shining spears!

Just for your playthings bought and sold
You have crushed to a heap of mold
Youth and life worth a whole world’s gold—

This was my son, that you have taken,
Guard lest your gold-vault walls be shaken—
This—that shall never speak or waken!

More by Margaret Widdemer

To a Young Girl at a Window

The Poor Old Soul plods down the street,
        Contented, and forgetting
How Youth was wild, and Spring was wild
        And how her life is setting;

And you lean out to watch her there,
        And pity, nor remember,
That Youth is hard, and Life is hard,
        And quiet is December. 

If You Should Tire of Loving Me

If you should tire of loving me
Some one of our far days,
Oh, never start to hide your heart
Or cover thought with praise.

For every word you would not say
Be sure my heart has heard,
So go from me all silently
Without a kiss or word;

For God must give you happiness…
And oh, it may befall
In listening long to Heaven-song
I may not care at all!

Old Wine

If I could lift
    My heart but high enough
    My heart could fill with love:

But ah, my heart
    Too still and heavy stays
    Too brimming with old days.