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Orphan School

Written by: Robert William Service | Biography
 | Quotes (2) |
 Full fifty merry maids I heard
 One summer morn a-singing;
And each was like a joyous bird
 With spring-clear not a-ringing.
It was an old-time soldier song
 That held their happy voices:
Oh how it's good to swing along
 When youth rejoices!

Then lo! I dreamed long years had gone,
 They passed again ungladly.
Their backs were bent, their cheeks were wan,
 Their eyes were staring sadly.
Their ranks were thinned by full a score
 From death's remorseless reaping
Their steps were slow, they sang no more,--
 Nay, some were weeping.

Dark dream! I saw my maids today
 Singing so innocently;
Their eyes with happiness were gay,
 They looked at me so gently.
Thought I: Be merry in your youth
 With hearts unrueing:
Thank God you do not know the truth
 Of Life's Undoing!