Left there, nobody's daughter,
Child of disgrace and shame, —
Nobody ever taught her
A mother's sweet, saving name:
Nobody ever caring
Whether she stood or fell,
And men (are they men?) ensnaring
With the arts and the gold of hell!
Stitching with ceaseless labor,
To earn her pitiful bread;
Begging a crust of a neighbor,
And getting a curse instead!
All through the long, hot summer,
All through the cold, dark time,
With fingers that numb and number
Grow white as the frost's white rime.
Nobody ever conceiving
The throb of that warm, young life,
Nobody ever believing
The strain of that terrible strife!
Nobody kind words pouring
In that orphan-heart's sad ear;
But all of us all ignoring
What lies at our doors, so near!
O sister! down in the alley,
Pale, with the downcast eye,
Dark and drear is the valley,
But the stars shine forth on high.
Nobody here may love thee,
Or care if thou stand or fall;
But the great, good God above thee,
He watches and cares for all.