Black brows jutting, eyes keen and dark;
"A man," say they, "who will make his mark."
The years go on. But a single aim
Does life hold for him: he toils for fame.
With strain of nerve and With struggle sore,__
Debt over head, and the wolf at the door.
For fame (the laggard, how slow it comes!)
Willing to burrow in squalid slums__
To shiver in attics, if, by and by,
He may fill a place in the public eye.
Little children creep to his knees,
To be spurned away. Not such as these,
With their pleading faces and voices sweet,
Must bar his pathway or clog his feet.
And he wife? The soft, sweet eyes grow dim,
While he toils for fame, and she__for him.
For him, and for his: small, winsome things
With soft white fingers and silken strings,
Pull her, and rule her, and hold her in thrall__
A willing slave at their beck and call.
She loves her children, she worships,John;
For these gives all. Is it wisely done?