Husbands Overseas

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Each  morning they sit down to their little bites of bread,
 To six warm bowls of porridge and a broken mug or two.
And each simple soul is happy and each hungry mouth is fed–
 Then why should she be smiling as the weary-hearted do?

All day the house has echoed to their tiny, treble laughter
 (Six little rose-faced cherubs who trip shouting through the day),
Till the candle lights the cradle and runs dark along the rafter–
 Then why should she be watching while the long night wastes away?

She tells them how their daddy has sailed out across the seas,
 And they'd be going after when the May begins to bloom.
Oh, they clap their hands together as they cluster round her knees–
 Then why should she be weeping as they tumble from the room?

The May has bloomed and withered and the haws are clinging red,

 The winter winds are talking in the dead ranks of the trees;
And still she tells of daddy as she tucks each tot in bed–
 God pity all dear women who have husbands over seas!

© Lloyd Roberts