Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TURNED OUT FOR RENT, by M. L. S. BURKE

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TURNED OUT FOR RENT, by                    
First Line: Out, out in the night, in the chill wintry air
Last Line: -- gaunt poverty fills all her measure of blame.
Subject(s): Homeless; Money; Poverty

OUT, out in the night, in the chill wintry air,
Turned out on the pave with its stones cold and bare;
Shut out from her home with its sad dearth of bread,
Alone with her God and the stars overhead!
Cast out with her babe still asleep on her breast,
Asleep to the sorrow that mars not his rest;
Asleep to the new pearls bedecking his hair,
Bright gems from the sea of his mother's despair.
Out, out like her Lord, "with no place for her head,"
All friendless, and houseless, and starving for bread;
Thus brought face to face with her life's direst woe,
And yet 't is unfelt 'neath a bitterer blow;
For this is the wail, voiceless, deep in her heart,
"Cast out like a thief, put to shame, set apart!"
But what hath she done, with her wild startled eyes,
And what with her tremulous, short, gasping sighs?
Ah, what, with her weary and faltering feet,
Now dragging like lead through the fast darkening street?
What! Is one so weak found a dangerous thing,
Concealing 'mid softness a treacherous sting,
That ye to expel her have borrowed a need
Of two brawny knights of the star and the reed;
This, this is her crime -- O ye winds, whisper low!
Nor give to the echoes her sad tale of woe,
Lest they tell the hills, and the beasts cry, "For shame!"
-- Gaunt poverty fills all her measure of blame.

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