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Adoption

 Because I was a woman lone
 And had of friends so few,
I made two little ones my own,
 Whose parents no one knew;
Unwanted foundlings of the night,
 Left at the convent door,
Whose tiny hands in piteous plight
 Seemed to implore.
By Deed to them I gave my name, And never will they know That from the evil slums they came, Two waifs of want and woe; I fostered them with love and care As if they were my own: Now John, my son, is tall and fair, And dark is Joan.
My boy's a member of the Bar, My girl a nurse serene; Yet when I think of what they are And what they might have been, With shuddering I glimpse a hell Of black and bitter fruit .
.
.
Where John might be a criminal, And Joan--a prostitute.

by Robert William Service
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