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The subalterns

Language: English

"Poor wanderer," said the leaden sky,
     "I fain would lighten thee,
But there are laws in force on high
     Which say it must not be."

-- "I would not freeze thee, shorn one," cried
     The North, "knew I but how
To warm my breath, to slack my stride;
     But I am ruled as thou."

-- "To-morrow I attack thee, wight,"
     Said Sickness. "Yet I swear
I bear thy little ark no spite,
     But am bid enter there."

-- "Come hither, Son," I heard Death say;
     "I did not will a grave
Should end thy pilgrimage to-day,
     But I, too, am a slave!"

We smiled upon each other then,
     And life to me had less
Of that fell look it wore ere when
     They owned their passiveness.


First published in Current Literature, 1902

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Authorship


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Text added to the website: 2008-01-19.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:34
Line count: 20
Word count: 123

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