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For works with similar titles, see Optimism.

Published in Mandragora (1917)


YOU who boast you're an optimist.
    May the leprosy of the Jews
Wither your flesh for the truth you've missed
    And the cozening lies you use!

One little child, tender and weak,
    Hurt by life's devil's-wheel
Should make you blush thro' your bowels sleek.
    But you are not worthy to feel.

As long as the smallest one
    Of earth's children by pain is riven.
As long as one cry goes up under the sun,
    God must not be forgiven!

He does not forgive Himself,
    The rain in the night is his prayer.
From the cross, from the cross, he forgives such pelf
As you — who hung him there!

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.

The author died in 1963, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.