Cinderella

A poem by Henry Lawson

A lonely child, with toil o’ertaxed,
Sits Cinderella by the fire;
Her limbs in weariness relaxed,
And in her eyes a sad desire.
But soon a wreath is on her brow;
A bonny prince has claimed her hand;
And she’s as proud and happy now
As any lady in the land.

Ah, then to see a fairy bright,
And to have granted what you would,
You only needed to do right,
You only needed to be good.
But this was in the days of old,
When man to wiser folk would bow;
And though you were as good as gold
You’d never see a fairy now.

And yet they must have managed well
If only half the tales are true,
The wondrous tales the writers tell
Of what the fairies used to do.
But now the world has grown so wise
It does without the fairies’ aid;
And who can find a prince that tries
The shoe upon a beggar maid?

It must have been a better time
When virtue always met its due,
And “wicked men who dealt in crime”
Were punished by the fairies, too.
But never more they’ll come again
To give the good what they desire;
And Cinderellas wait in vain,
And weep beside the kitchen fire.

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