The Cry of the Young Women

GIVE US a little joy, O World,
We are so young and strong,
So fit for love’s sweet usages,
For laughter and for song ;
O World, our joy is in thy hand,
Withholden long and long.
Or if youth’s rapture be not thine to give,
A little rest,— or leave to cease to live!
Life called us, not desire for life,
And we obedient came;
Were blindfold set, nor knowing why,
To play Fate’s losing game
For foolish stakes, a crust of bread,
Or still retreating fame.
Daily we play, from dawn to set of sun,
Nightly we cry, Oh that the play were done!
Each holds a dream within her heart
Of future or of past,
A dream of mother, lover, child,
Too poignant-sweet to last,
A mirage dim in dimming eyes,
We know,—but hold it fast.
Let outlawed Esau take his mess and roam ;
Give us our birthright, World, — love, peace, and home!
Helen M. Bullis.