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Mother's Last Words by Mary Sewell

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Mother's Last Words by Mary Sewell page 11


“But John, I think if you and I
Were rich, as these great people are,
We’d just look out for orphan boys,
And give them nice warm clothes to wear.”

“Just so,” said John, “and we would give
Poor little sweepers in the street
A famous lot of halfpennies,
To buy them something good to eat.”

“They’d never miss the little things,
That would make kings of me and you;
I wish that we were rich men, Chris,
We’d shew ‘em what rich men should do.”

One night between the dark and light,
As they were going down a lane,
And Christopher with bleeding feet,
Was slowly hobbling on with pain;

John saw some shoes, outside a door, -
“They’ll just keep my poor Christy warm!”
And quick as thought, he snatched them up,
And tucked them underneath his arm.

Then pale as ashes grew his face,
And sudden feats rushed on his mind,
He hurried on with quicker pace,
Lest some one should be close behind.

“Do stop a bit,” his brother cried,
“Don’t be in such a hurry, John,”
John darted round a frightened look,
And from a walk began to run.

He thought he heard they cry of “Thief,”
And swifter down the street he fled;
And black as night, a wicked Sprite,
With rapid feet, behind him sped.

The cry of “Thief” was in his ears,
Through all the bustle and the din;
And when he reached the lodging house,
The wicked spirit followed in.

He sat down pale, and out of breath,
And locked the door into the street,
And trembled when he only heard
The sound of little Christy’s feet.

“There, Christy, boy – there’s shoes for you,
And now you’ll cut away like fun;
Come, let us see, how well they fit –
Just give a tug and they’ll be on.”

Then Christopher did laugh outright,
“Hurra! Hurra! – now I am shod;
But John, where did you get the shoes?”
John put him off, and gave a not.

The little boy was tired out,
And quickly to his bed he crept,
And knew not that a wicked Sprite
Scowled on his brother as he slept.

John could not rest; the faintest noise
Made all the flesh upon him creep;
He turned, and turned, and turned again,
But could not get a wink of sleep.

He strained his ears to catch the sound
Of footsteps in the silent night,
And when they came close by the door,
His hair almost rose up with fright.

At last his fear became so great,
That in a cold damp sweat he lay,
And then the thought came in his mind,
That he had better try and pray.