The Market Virgin (a musing in adolescence)

Toiling through, one day, the bleak market I saw,

Of years tender, pure maiden, braving a tempest to awe.

Of haughty chin, and innocence, and sweet defiant scowl,

With resolute frame, and blazing pierce,

She sought to deter wicked in prowl.

Yet pursue they did, unceasing, in cruel-willed mirth and glee,

With that stooped back, poor child, she sought her harsh winter to flee;

Of anguish unknown and misery,

despair and ill-concealed woe,

Plop plop, and sigh, I saw, her tears heavy did so flow.

As hard as rock, my wise friend said, to tread life’s bitter abode,

A heart must be, dreary friend, for cheery men who ever strode.

In earnest I counsel thee, forsake plight, fool, and make merry,

For such maidens, when come, slay thus forlorn men,

gloat, and then tarry.

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