Sweet Briars of the Stairways by Vachel Lindsay
We are happy all the time
Even when we fight:
Sweet briars of the stairways,
Gay fairies of the grime;
We, who are playing to-night.
"Our feet are in the gutters,
Our eyes are sore with dust,
But still our eyes are bright.
The wide street roars and mutters â€”
We know it works because it must â€”
We, who are playing to-night!
"Dirt is everlasting. â€” We never, never fear it.
Toil is never ceasing. â€” We will play until we near it.
Tears are never ending. â€” When once real tears have come;
"When we see our people as they are â€”
Our fathers â€” broken, dumb â€”
Our mothers â€” broken, dumb â€”
The weariest of women and of men;
Ah â€” then our eyes will lose their light â€”
Then we will never play again â€”
We, who are playing to-night."