The wintry night was dark and wild,
When through the city streets a child,
Of beauty rare and clad in rags,
Went wandering o'er its stony flags.
Around her all was happiness ;
The lights burnt bright in her distress;
Glad voices of the young and fair
Were wafted through the midnight air.
From out her blue and eager eyes
The hunger gleamed without disguise ;
Her limbs were cold, her naked feet
Were wounded by the cruel street.
A little match-girl was the maid ;
Her matches sold the money paid
For last night's bed of rags and straws,
Her little shawl she closer draws.
For love she sigh'd, for love she cried,
But there was none to be her guide.
Alone in sorrow grim and vast,
Of all her race she was the last.
On, on she went with naked feet,
And heard the sound of her heart's beat.
Scarce knew she where she went, or why :
The only hope she had - to die.
At break of day, upon the ground,
A little human waif was found ;
With folded hands upon her breast,
She sought, and found, in death - her rest.
The little tired soul was safe
Where Love enfold each orphan waif ;
High heaven unlocked the golden door,
And God will bless her evermore.
Annie Colenso Symons
More of Annie Colenso Symons' work can be found in a volume of poems entitled A Lay of Japan which was published in 1909.
A. T. Page Aaminah Adam Sedgwick Barnard Al Daffern Alfred A. Cole Alfred Moss Alicia Stawicki Alison R Reed Andrew Clayton Andrew Simon Angela Garratt Annie Colenso Symons Anonymous Anzel Mahmood Arthur Brockhurst Arthur Cyril Harrison Bryan Griffin Carolyn Bayliss Catherine Gorvin Catherine Wilson Christine Beebee Clifton L Pinnock Daisy Daniel J Robertson David Calcutt Dee Howell Dennis Wright Dolores Grant Dom Donna Hill Dorothy Pattison Edward F. Joyce Elaine Taylor Elijah Stanley Elisha Slater Emily Lea Ermine Campbell Francesca Jackson Francis Paul Palmer Frank George Layton Frederic W. Willmore George Cotterell George Evans Gloria Reid Harold M. Barrows Harold Parry Herbert Bennett Hubert Deacon Harrison Ian Henery James A. Aldis Jennifer Beth Blake Jessie Lee Shannon Joan Warner Joanne Kendrick Joanne Shaw John Kilbourn John MacMillan Joseph Dixon Josey Durrant Josiah Turner Karoline Bobrowski Katie Hughes Leandra Gebrakedan M P Houslin Madeline Hindsley Manolita Margaret Lampitt Mark Bassett Martin Hughes Mary Darwall Matilda Cotterell Matthew Wells Maurice Birch Mercedes Michael Cronogue Mr Aitch Natalie Ivanova Neth Brown Oscar Roszczenko Otis Francis Paul Christopher Walton Paulina Kisiecka Peace the Poet Peter Wilkes R. M. Lockley Richard Archer Richard Leigh Richard Worrall Rio Lecointe Rob Edwards. Robert Curtis Robert Wlodarz Sharon Harlow Sir Henry John Newbolt Skiz1 Stuart Williams Supa MC Terence John Mills The Rev. A. Hampden Lee The Rev. Alexander Gordon The Rev. John H. Robison W. H. Robinson Yasmin Fatima Zebideejones