Thursday, May 4, 2017

TO POVERTY, a poem

PALE  priestess of a fane discredited,
     Whose votaries to-day are few or none;
     Goddess austere, whose touch the vulgar shun,
As they would shrink from a Procrustes bed,
Hieing to temples where the feast is spread,
     And life laughs loudly, and the smooth wines run;
     Wise mother!—least desired 'neath the sun,
At thy chill breasts the noblest have been fed.

Great are thy counsels for the brave and strong;
     Yet do we fear thy brooding mystery,
The griefs, the hardships, which about thee throng,
     The scanty garners where thy harvests be;
But seeing what unto the rich belong,
     We know our debt, O Poverty, to thee!
"To Poverty" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Atlantic Monthly (May 1902), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

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