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Blessed Damozels

From the Evening Star, May 14, 1913.
By Walt Mason.

Full soon the sweet girl graduates in white attire will rise, and tell, in forty-seven states, where Italy now lies. The beauteous maidens of the land, the bold, aspiring youths, on platforms flower-bedecked will stand and hand us vital truths. Life seems to them an easy thing; a banner’s all they need; a motto in the air to fling, so he who runs may read. A watchword couched in ancient Greek will smooth the road to fame; ah, me, when roses tint the cheek, life seems an easy game! But mark these women old and worn, who, at commencement time, gaze on the festival and mourn—their presence seems a crime! They found this life a harder road than e’er they dreamed it was, with more of whip and spur and goad than of the world’s applause. There is a shadow on each brow, stilled is their buoyant song; their eyes are weak and faded now, for they have wept so long. They’re bent from bearing heavy weights, from toiling day and night; they once were sweet girl graduates, serene in snowy white. “Beyond the Alps,” we heard them say, high purpose in their eyes, upon a bygone happy day, “the land Italian lies!” Life leads through tangled wilderness, and not through bosky dells, but who’d discourage or distress the Blessed Damozels?

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