An’ if they know mi mammy sleeps,
Soa cold, an’ white, an’ still,
Aw’m feeard they’ll come an’ fotch her, sir;
O, sir, aw’m feard they will!
Aw happen could get on misen,
For aw con work a bit,
But little sissy, sir, yo see,
Shoo’s’ varra young as yet.
Oh! dunnot let fowk tak mi mam!
Help me to rouse her up!
An’ if shoo wants her physic,
See,—it’s in this little cup.
Aw know her heead war bad last neet,
When putting us to bed;
Shoo said, ‘God bless yo, little things!’
An’ that wor all shoo said.
Aw saw a tear wor in her e’e—
In fact, it’s seldom dry:
Sin daddy went shoo allus cries,
But niver tells us why.
Aw think it’s coss he isn’t here,
’At maks her e’en soa dim;
Shoo says, he’ll niver come to us,
But we may goa to him.
But if shoo’s gooan an’ left us here,
What mun we do or say?—
We cannot follow her unless,
Somebody ‘ll show us th’ way.”
My heart was full to bursting,
When I heard the woeful tale;
I gazed a moment on the face
Which death had left so pale;
Then clasping to my heaving breast
The little orphan pair,
I sank upon my bended knees,
And offered up a prayer,
That God would give me power to aid
Those children in distress,
That I might as a father be
Unto the fatherless.
Then coaxingly I led them forth;
And as the road was long,
I bore them in my arms by turns—
Their tears had made me strong.
I took them to my humble home,
Where now they may be seen,
The lad,—a noble-minded youth,—
His “sissy,”—beauty’s queen.
And now if you should chance to see,
Far from the bustling throng,
An old man, whom a youth and maid
Lead tenderly along;—
And if you, wondering, long to know
The history of the three,—
They are the little orphan pair—
The poor old man is me:
And on the little grassy mound
’Neath which their parents sleep,
They bend the knee, and pray for me;
I pray for them and weep.
Aw’ve been laikin for ommost eight wick,
An’ aw can’t get a day’s wark to do!
Aw’ve trailed abaght th’ streets wol awm sick
An’ aw’ve worn mi clog-soils ommost through.
Aw’ve a wife an’ three childer at hooam,
An’ aw know they’re all lukkin at th’ clock,
For they think it’s high time aw should come,
An’ bring ’em a morsel ’o jock.
A’a dear! it’s a pitiful case
When th’ cubbord is empty an’ bare;
When want’s stamped o’ ivery face,
An’ yo hav’nt a meal yo can share.
Today as aw walked into th’ street,
Th’ squire’s carriage went rattlin past;
An’ aw thout ’at it hardly luk’d reet,
For aw had’nt brokken mi fast.