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.
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!