Songs of Labor and Other Poems
She asks for no alms, the poor Jewess, but still,
Altho' she is wretched, forsaken and ill,
She cries Sabbath candles to those that come nigh,
And all that she pleads is, that people will buy.
To honor the sweet, holy Sabbath, each one
With joy in his heart to the market has gone.
To shops and to pushcarts they hurriedly fare;
But who for the poor, wretched woman will care?
A few of her candles you think they will take?--
They seek the meat patties, the fish and the cake.
She holds forth a hand with the pitiful cry:
"Two cents, my good women, three candles will buy!"
But no one has listened, and no one has heard:
Her voice is so weak, that it fails at each word.
Perchance the poor mite in her lap understood,
She hears mother's crying--but where is the good
I pray you, how long will she sit there and cry
Her candles so feebly to all that pass by?
How long will it be, do you think, ere her breath