A house stands on a busy street,
Its doors are opened wide,
To all who come it bids good cheer,
To some it says, Abide.
Gathered within its friendly walls
A club of women find
The joys of glad companionship,
Contentment for the mind.
For they have learned what all must learn,
That in life's hardest storm,
The shelter we together build
Is all that keeps us warm;
That fellowship is heaven-sent,
That it alone can free
The human heart from bitterness,
And give it liberty.
Some hours they spend in quiet mood,
On poet's wings upborne,
They lose themselves in other's joys
Or weep with those who mourn.
Some hours by traveled mem'ry led
To foreign lands they roam;
Some hours they bide beside the hearth
And talk of things of home.
Some hours they sit 'neath music's spell,
And when the air is rife
With all the magic of sweet sound,
It heals the pang of life,
Some hours they dream with civic pride
Of cities that shall be,
Within whose streets each citizen
Shall live life worthily.
Some hours they sew with tender thought,
To keep one mem'ry green;
They talk of those whose lives are hard,
Who suffer wrongs unseen.
They ever open wide their hearts
To all who are oppressed,
And in life's strange perplexities
They strive for what is best.
-- Written by Miss Jane Addams for the dedication of the Hull House Woman's Club Building.