Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DAY LABORERS, by RICHARD EUGENE BURTON

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DAY LABORERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: They straggle down the street; the morning light
Last Line: And leaveth not the poor uncomforted.
Subject(s): Dreams; Hearts; Labor & Laborers; Tears; Nightmares; Work; Workers

THEY straggle down the street; the morning light
Is on their shiftless steps, their shoulders bent;
They work with sinews lame -- a grievous sight
Of waning strength, of hope and courage spent.

It seems sardonic thus to set them here,
Old men and weary, in the day's fresh hour.
What solace can be theirs, what sense of cheer,
What puissant thought, what dream of transient power?

Few sadder things on earth than toilsome age
Without its dignities, its silvered hairs;
A time of vacant mind and vassalage
Before the last grim change from mortal cares.

And yet one benison the pilgrims know:
For mother-church receives them, makes them glad
With pomps and promises, yea, sets aglow
These human hearts the sorry week-long sad.

And I can bless her reverend ways and wise
(Although in other symbols I am bred),
Since she doth wipe the tears from piteous eyes
And leaveth not the poor uncomforted.

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