The strangers’ children laugh along the street:
They know not, or forget the sweeping of the Net
Swift to ensnare such little careless feet.

And we—we smile and watch them pass along,
And those who walk beside, soft-smiling, cruel-eyed—
We guard our own—not ours to right the wrong!

We do not care—we shall not heed or mark,
Till we shall hear one day, too late to strive or pray,
Our daughters’ voices crying from the dark!

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.