by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
There was a man, it was said one time,
Who went astray in his youthful prime.
Can the brain keep cool and the heart keep quiet
When the blood is a river that's running riot?
And boys will be boys the old folks say,
And a man is the better who's had his day.
The sinner reformed; and the preacher told
Of the prodigal son who came back to the fold.
And Christian people threw open the door,
With a warmer welcome than ever before.
Wealth and honour were his to command,
And a spotless woman gave him her hand.
And the world strewed their pathway with blossoms abloom,
God bless ladye, and God bless groom!
There was a maiden who went astray
In the golden dawn of her life's young day.
She had more passion and heart than head,
And she followed blindly where fond Love led.
And Love unchecked is a dangerous guide
To wander at will by a fair girl's side.
The woman repented and turned from sin,
But no door opened to let her in.
The preacher prayed that she might be forgiven,
But told her to look for mercy - in Heaven.
For this is the law of the earth, we know:
That the woman is stoned, while the man may go.
A brave man wedded her after all,
But the world said, frowning,
We shall not call.
Source:Poems of Ella Wheeler Wilcox
W.P. Nimmo, Hay, and Mitchell, Edinburgh