Walking At Eve

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

Walking at eve I met a little child
Running beside a tragic-featured dame,
Who checked his blitheness with a quick "For shame!"
And seemed by sharp caprice froward and mild.
Scarce heeding her the sweet one ran, beguiled
By the lit street, and his eyes too aflame;
Only, at whiles, into his eyes there came
Bewilderment and grief with terror wild.

So, Beauty, dost thou run with tragic life;
So, with the curious world's caress enchanted,
Even of ill things thine ecstasy dost make;
Yet at the touch of fear and vital strife
The splendours thy young innocency forsake,
And with thy foster-mother's woe thou art haunted.

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