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Should Not Be Overlooked

From the Evening Star, November 26, 1914. By Philander Johnson.

A man and his wife in a little back room,
Who hadn’t an oil stove to lighten the gloom,
Whose children were learning to ask with a sob
The reason why father was out of a job,
Beheld from the window a well-laden dray
With gifts for the sufferers far, far away.
“I am tempted,” the woman explained, with a moan,
“To wish ourselves there, where the want is well known.”

A generous thrill sets the heart all aglow
For the sorrows of people we never may know.
Like astronomers searching the stars far away,
Regardless of earth and our own little day,
The distant and strange we would fain understand,
Regardless of problems that lie close at hand—
For instance, those folks in the little back room,
Who shiver and hunger up there in the gloom.

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