Wishes by Adelaide Anne Procter

All the fluttering wishesCaged within thy heartBeat their wings against it,Longing to depart,Till they shake their prisonWith their wounded cry;Open wide thy heart to-day …

All the fluttering wishes
Caged within thy heart
Beat their wings against it,
Longing to depart,
Till they shake their prison
With their wounded cry;
Open wide thy heart to-day,
And let the captives fly.

Let them first fly upward
Through the starry air,
Till you almost lose them,
For their home is there;
Then, with outspread pinions,
Circling round and round,
Wing their way, wherever
Want and woe are found.

Where the weary stitcher
Toils for daily bread;
Where the lonely watcher
Watches by her dead;
Where with thin weak fingers,
Toiling at the loom,
Stand the little children,
Blighted ere they bloom.

Where, by darkness blinded,
Groping for the light,
With distorted conscience
Men do wrong for right;
Where, in the cold shadow,
By smooth pleasure thrown,
Human hearts by hundreds
Harden into stone.

Where on dusty highways,
With faint heart and slow,
Cursing the glad sunlight,
Hungry outcasts go:
Where all mirth is silenced,
And the hearth is chill,
For one place is empty,
And one voice is still.

Some hearts will be lighter
While your captives roam
For their tender singing,
Then recal them home;
When the sunny hours
Into night depart,
Softly they will nestle
In a quiet heart.

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