And the children brought forth in the city of sin—
Is it tempest that kills them? or canker within?
And what is their birthright, these waifs of an hour?
The weakness that falls ‘neath temptation’s fierce power;
The wild winds of passion, the gutter’s foul stain—
Poor little slum-children—just roses in rain.
And you? Are you more blest, you babes of to-day,
Whose fathers, forsaking the honoured old way,
No longer are priests in the temple of home,
But leave you unwarned and unguided to roam
Into places unholy, and temples profane?—
Poor little child-martyrs—just roses in rain.
Their fathers have failed them, their mothers forgotten
That unto eternity they were begotten—