Grace Hazard Conkling

(7 February 1878 - 15 November 1958 / New York City, New York)

The Refugees - Poem by Grace Hazard Conkling

MOTHER, the poplars cross the moon;
The road runs on, so white and far,
We shall not reach the city soon:
Oh, tell me where we are!”

“Have patience, patience, little son,
And we shall find the way again:
(God show me the untraveled one!
God give me rest from men!)”

“Mother, you did not tell me why
You hurried so to come away.
I saw big soldiers riding by;
I should have liked to stay.”

“Hush, little man, and I will sing
Just like a soldier, if I can—
They have a song for everything.
Listen, my little man!

“This is the soldiers’ marching song:
We’ll play this is the village street—”
“Yes, but this road is very long,
And stones have hurt my feet.”

“Nay, little pilgrim, up with you!
And yonder field shall be the town.
I’ll show you how the soldiers do
Who travel up and down.

“They march and sing and march again,
Not minding all the stones and dust:
They go, (God grant me rest from men!)
Forward, because they must.”

Mother, I want to go to sleep.”
“No, darling! Here is bread to eat!
(O God, if thou couldst let me weep,
Or heal my broken feet!)”

Comments about The Refugees by Grace Hazard Conkling

  • (4/22/2010 2:20:00 AM)

    i’m quite moved by the conversation between
    the mother and the child.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]