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.