A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Cry of the Damned." by Norah M. Holland (1876-1925)
From: Spun-Yarn And Spindrift. by Norah M. Holland. London & Toronto: J. M. Dent & Sons; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1918, p. 57.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 57] 


HAVE you no pity for us ?–You, who stand
  Within that Heaven that we may never win,
Who know the golden streets of that fair land
  Our weary feet are fain to be within.
Have you no ruth for us, who must abide
In the great horror of the night outside ?

We, too, once knew of laughter and delight,
  Who now must walk these weary roads of pain;
Our hearts were pure as yours, our faces bright,
  In that glad life we may not know again;
We might have gained your Heaven too–even we
Who dwell with madness and with memory.

Within the pleasant pastures where your feet
  Stray, comes there never thought of our distress ?
Do our wails never mar your music sweet ?
  Our parched throats change your draught to bitterness ?
Your chance was ours–we lost it; yes, we know
Ours was the fault–but, is it easier so ?

Yet was it ours ?–The dazzled eyes and blind,
  The wills that knew, but could not hold the good,
The groping feet, that failed the path to find,
  The wild desires that filled the tainted blood ?
Have you no ruth, who those bright barriers crossed,
For us, who saw them open–and are lost ?

[Page 58]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom