Do Not Pity the Young

Do not pity the young
Who say the times are wrong,
But let them live alone
To starve or wait or die.
Let them crowd against the stone
As they have always done,
And no one hear their cry.
Or almost no one; almost die.
The wind not under the wall,
The cold not biting bone,
Is luck enough to befall
The neighbors’ son and my son.
More they could not need,
Being ours and Adam’s breed.
Do not pity the young.
Look, if the day allows,
At light upon their brows.
Salute them passing us by,
The quick, the strict, the strong,
Who will never wait, or die.
Sooner than we can say
The young will have their way,
And have us, too; and be told
That none who live to be old
Have time to pity the young.