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A PAGAN RHYME.

The big men of the city
    They walk her streets with ease,
And rule her men like gentlemen
    Careless whether they please—
And if they sin ’tis licensed sin
    By their own law allowed—
Give me to be an outsider
    One of the crowd.

The ladies of the city
    They drive adown her ways—
(Armed scornful ’gainst all glances
    And heedless of men’s praise—
Snow white for show to the city)—
    Cry not their loves aloud—
Give me to love an outsider
    One of the crowd.

These princes of society.
    The narrow ring inside—
Without there beats the fighting world
    A cramped but happy tide—
Bound all their little laws to keep,
    Of high position proud—
Give me for friend an outsider
    One of the crowd.

Give me to live beyond the pale
    Not covetous of wealth—
Give me to keep the laws of life
    And a strong law for myself—
Give me to love the hearts of men
    And scorn the outward dress—
Give me to be an outsider
    Nothing less.

                                                                        Herbert Shaw.

MLA citation:

Shaw, Herbert. “A Pagan Rhyme,” The Green Sheaf vol. 3, 1903, p. 12. Green Sheaf Digital Edition, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2021. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2021. https://1890s.ca/GSV3-shaw-pagan-rhyme/