Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Give Her A Torch - by Mary Carolyn Davies - 1919


By Mary Carolyn Davies

Decoration by W.T. Benda

A GIRL sits dreaming at her desk in school.
Her eyes upon her book, and wondering
At all it tells and does not tell.
What rule is there for beauty, or delight, or spring?
She gravely acquiesces and rebels,
And seizes every fact her thick book tells.

She will set out soon, far from desk and book,
With heart impatient and with eager look,
Down that old road that we have trod, a stranger
To all it holds of weariness and danger,
With only what these books have told.
No wisdom of the old
Will help her. We are dumb.
Selfish, we watch her come.

With only chance to guide,
And helpless to decide,
She yet must take, out of life's gifts that wait,
With groping hands, her fate.

Oh, mother, whisper to her; father, speak!
Teacher, can you not yield
Out of your strength a shield
To go before her?
She is young. and weak
And books tell little, and her blood runs free.

Then give her knowledge for a torch when she
Goes forth alone into the mystery,
The darkness that is life, that so she may,
Holding that torch, unerring find her way.