The Drunkard's Child

Original Text: 
Mrs. Pamelia C. Yule (Pamelia S. Vining), Poems of the Heart and Home (Toronto: Bengough, Moore, 1881): 208-09. Internet Archive
1A little child stood moaning
2    At the hour of midnight lone,
3And no human ear was list'ning
4    To the feebly wailing tone;
5The cold, keen blast of winter
6    With funeral wail swept by,
7And the blinding snow fell darkly
8    Through the murky, wintry sky.
9Ah! desolate and wretched
10    Was the drunkard's outcast child,
11Driven forth amidst the horrors
12    Of that night of tempests wild.
13The babe so fondly cherished
14    Once 'neath a parent's eye,
15Now laid her down in anguish
16    Midst the drifting snows to die!
17"Papa!--papa!"--she murmured,
18    "The night is cold and drear,
19And I'm freezing!--Oh, I'm freezing!
20    In the storm and darkness here;--
21My naked feet are stiff'ning,
22    And my little hands are numb,--
23Papa, can I not come to thee,
24    And warm myself at home?
25Mamma! mamma!"--more wildly,
26    The little suff'rer cried--
27Forgetting, in her anguish,
28    How her stricken mother died--
29"Oh, take me to your bosom,
30    And warm me on your breast,
31Then lay me down and kiss me,
32    In my little bed to rest!"
33Poor child!--the sleep that gathers
34    Thy stiffened eyelids o'er,
35Will know no weary waking
36    To a life of anguish more.
37Sleep on!--the snows may gather
38    O'er thy cold and pulseless form,--
39Thou art resting, calmly resting,
40    In the wild, dark, midnight storm!
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
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