Annie Shore, ’twas, sang last night
Down in South End saloon;
A tawdry creature in the light,
Painted cheeks, eyes over bright,
Singing a dance-hall tune.
I’d be forgetting Annie’s singing—
I’d not have thought again—
But for the thing that cried and fluttered
Through all the shrill refrain:
Youth crying above foul words, cheap music,
And innocence in pain.
They sentenced Johnnie Doon today
For murder, stark and grim;
Death’s none too dear a price, they say,
For such-like men as him to pay;
No need to pity him!
And Johnnie Doon I’d not be pitying—
I could forget him now—
But for the childish look of trouble
That fell across his brow,
For the twisting hands he looked at dumbly
As if they’d sinned, he knew not how.