Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume II/To Poverty

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For other versions of this work, see To Poverty.


PALE priestess of a fane discredited,
Whose votaries to-day are few or none;
Goddess austere, whose touch the vulgar shun,
As they would shrink from a Procrustes bed,
Hieing to temples where the feast is spread,
And life laughs loudly, and the smooth wines run;
Wise mother!—least desired 'neath the sun,
At thy chill breasts the noblest have been fed.

Great are thy counsels for the brave and strong;
Yet do we fear thy brooding mystery,
The griefs, the hardships, which about thee throng,
The scanty garners where thy harvests be;
But seeing what unto the rich belong,
We know our debt, O Poverty, to thee!