Over the archway, a legend,
'Enter the portals of Truth'
Looked down on the serious concourse
That passed by the kneeling girl, Ruth;
Looked down on Ruth, scrubbing the marble
Marked by the hurrying feet,
Her arms, young and brown, moving gladly
To a song that was earthy and sweet.
They were earnest, important, self-searching,
The young students passing her by,
But I thought of a girl in a cornfield
Who belonged to the earth and the sky.
They chattered in cultural jargon,
Studied in gesture and word;
But the song of the brown-eyed girl singing
Was the song, clear and true, of a bird.
The sun smiled, as once on a cornfield,
Lighting the dark hair of Ruth;
As they passed in, intent and unknowing
That scrubbing the pavement was Truth.
Gwen Belson-Taylor (published 1976)