Heard (Henderson), Josephine D.
WITH pinched cheeks hollow and wan,
With feet all travel sore,
A form so fragile, that one might span,
Her waist. There she peers in each door.
A dress, that is scarcely a dress at all--
No hat to protect her head;
The matted brown hair speaks woe and despair,
As daily she begs for bread.
No shoes to cover her feet,
No table with bounties spread,
No home but a stoop in a wretched street,
And naught but rags for a bed.
One glance at the hungry face,
One look at the shattered frame
Would prove that her life has been but a race
With poverty, hunger and shame.
The hurrying crowd swept by,
On business or pleasure intent--
No time to give heed to a cry of need,
No help to the beggar lent.
Oh ! Men with purse-string tight,
And women of comfort and ease,
Have you no pity this bitter night,
Her hunger and want to appease?
She knelt on the flagstones in prayer,
With uplifted heart unto heaven;
A pitying angel discovered her there,
And whispered so kindly: "Forgiven!"
The morning's sun looked on the face,
Of her who had known naught but pain,
So peaceful in death, not even a trace
Of hunger and suffering remain.