Dora Sigerson Shorter

(1866-1918 / Ireland)

I Saw Children Playing - Poem by Dora Sigerson Shorter

I saw children playing, dancing in a ring,
Till a voice came calling, calling one away;
With sad backward glances she went loitering,
Hoping they would miss her and so cease to play.
Pettishly and pouting, ''Tis not time to sleep.'
Sobbing and protesting, slowly she did go;
But her merry comrades they all run and leap,
Feeling not her absence, heeding not her woe.
So as I went chatting through the city's hum,
With my old companions laughing on the way,
Came a voice low calling, calling me to come
To my lonely sleeping, leaving work and play.
With sad, mournful glances do I look to see
If a heart should loving pause and turn aside
From the happy circles and then come to me,
Sighing, 'Do not leave us—still with us abide.'

No! they still are playing, chatting in a ring,
Eager voices seeking other games to know.
Lone I go protesting—hear them laugh and sing,
Feeling not my absence, heeding not my woe.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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