The world is old and the world is cold, 

And never a day is fair, I said. 

Out of the heavens the sunlight rolled,

The green leaves rustled above my head, 

And the sea was a sea of gold.

The world is cruel, I said again;

Her voice is harsh to my shrinking ear, 

And the nights are dreary and full of pain.

Out of the darkness, sweet and clear, 

There rippled a tender strain, 

Rippled the song of a bird asleep,

That sang in a dream of the budding wood;

Of shining fields where the reapers reap, 

Of a wee brown mate and a nestling brood,

And the grass where the berries peep.

The world is false, though the world be fair, 

And never a heart is pure, I said.

But lo! The clinging of white arms bare, 

The innocent gold of a baby's head,

And the lisp of a childish prayer.

Overland Monthly