CONTRASTS

A great gold sun in the skies above us;
A great green world about;
Fair winds out,
And a blue sea flowing;
And boats with white sails coming and going.
For the friends we love and the friends who love us,
Sing ho--sing--
Life is a goodly thing.

(The prison stands against the sky
A monument of gloom;
The dead are there who did not die
Yet dwell within a tomb,
If summers come or winters go
They do not seem to care, or know;
They do not sing, they do not sing.)

Birds in the orchard and bees in the clover
Rainbows abloom in the sod;
Lovers abroad;
And somebody singing
An old sweet air on taut strings ringing,
And off in the woodlands the cry of a lover.
Sing ho, I say--
Life is a holiday.

(The Factory offends the air--
With shrill imperious calls;
And little children hurrying there
Are lost within its walls;
It does not matter much someway
If bright or dark the outer day.
They do not sing, they do not sing.)

World Voices by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
New York : Hearst's International Library Company 1916.


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