A waif on this earth,
Sick, ugly and small,
Contemned from my birth
And rejected by all,
From my lips broke a cry,
Such as anguish may wring,
Sing, — said God in reply,
Chant poor little thing.


By Wealth's coach besmeared
With dirt in a shower,
Insulted and jeered
By the minions of power,
Where — oh where shall I fly?
Who comfort will bring?
Sing, — said God in reply,
Chant poor little thing.


Life struck me with fright —
Full of chances and pain,
So I hugged with delight
The drudge's hard chain;
One must eat, — yet I die,
Like a bird with clipped wing,
Sing — said God in reply,
Chant poor little thing.


Love cheered for a while
My morn with his ray,
But like a ripple or smile
My youth passed away.
Now near Beauty I sigh,
But fled is the spring!
Sing — said God in reply,
Chant poor little thing.


All men have a task,
And to sing is my lot —
No meed from men I ask
But one kindly thought.
My vocation is high —
'Mid the glasses that ring,
Still — still comes that reply,
Chant poor little thing.

 
To comment on this poem, please log in or create a free account
Log in or register to comment