Margaret Widdemer

Margaret Widdemer
The Beggars
The little pitiful, worn, laughing faces,
Begging of Life for Joy!

I saw the little daughters of the poor,
Tense from the long day's working, strident, gay,
Hurrying to the picture-place. There curled
A hideous flushed beggar at the door,
Trading upon his horror, eyeless, maimed,
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The Jester
I have known great gold Sorrows:
Majestic Griefs shall serve me watchfully
Through the slow-pacing morrows:
I have knelt hopeless where sea-echoing
Dim endless voices cried of suffering
Vibrant and far in broken litany:
Where white magnolia and tuberose hauntingly
Pulsed their regretful sweets along the air-—
All things most tragical, most fair,
Have still encompassed me . . .

I dance where in the screaming market-place
The dusty world that watches buys and sells,
With painted merriment upon my face,
Whirling my bells,
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