Home  »  A Collection of Verse by California Poets  »  Sisters of the Little Sorrows

Augustin S. Macdonald, comp. A Collection of Verse by California Poets. 1914.

By Juliet Wilbor Tompkins

Sisters of the Little Sorrows

FROM visions of gray to-morrows,

All patient and sore dismayed,

Come ye of the Little Sorrows,

To whom no tears are paid:

The hurt, who may not stagger,

Who dare not nurse their stings—

For wounds are of sword and dagger,

And thorns are little things!

’Tis only your beauty failing,

The youth of your heart grown numb?

Ah, sisters, we sit bewailing

Your daily martyrdom:

And she who treads the city

With feet that mourn the wild,

She shares our aching pity;

And she who bears no child;

And she of the crumbling altars;

And she who must earn her bread

By paths where the spirit falters;

And she whose friend is dead;

And she who’d fain recover

The spendthrift days that were;

And the heart that found no lover—

Kind Lord, they laugh at her!

The wounds that are not of sabres

Shall never be understood,

But pity may ease your labors,

O patient Sisterhood!

For there be hearts no sadder,

Nor truer right to mourn,

Though the wasp is not the adder,

One dies not of the thorn.