Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Adoption


Because I was a woman lone
And had of friends so few,
I made two little ones my own,
Whose parents no one knew;
Unwanted foundlings of the night,
Left at the convent door,
Whose tiny hands in piteous plight
Seemed to implore.

By Deed to them I gave my name,
And never will they know
That from the evil slums they came,
Two waifs of want and woe;
I fostered them with love and care
As if they were my own:
Now John, my son, is tall and fair,
And dark is Joan.

My boy's a member of the Bar,
My girl a nurse serene;
Yet when I think of what they are
And what they might have been,
With shuddering I glimpse a hell
Of black and bitter fruit . . .
Where John might be a criminal,
And Joan--a prostitute.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Comments about this poem (Adoption by Robert William Service )

  • Rookie Siona Doyle-McLaughlin (6/14/2006 1:59:00 AM)

    Heartwrenching and sorrowful.....a powerful feeling of the heart of the nun. And yet, there is a light at the end of the children's childhood. I felt the oppression one might feel while reading a Dicken's novel. (Report) Reply

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