Kids Poems » Mary Dow

"Come in, little stranger," I said,
As she tapped at my half-open door,
While the blanket pinned over her head
Just reached to the basket she bore.

A look full of innocence fell
From her modest and pretty blue eye,
As she said, "I have matches to sell,
And hope you are willing to buy.

" A penny a bunch, is the price ;
I think you'll not find it too much ;
They're tied up so even and nice,
And ready to light with a touch."

I asked, " What's your name, little girl ?"
"Tis Mary," said she ; "Mary Dow."
And carelessly tossed off a curl
That played o'er her delicate brow.

"My father was lost in the deep ;
The ship never got to the shore ;
And mother is sad, and will weep
When she hears the wind blow and sea roar.

" She sits there, at home, without food.
Beside our poor sick Willie's bed ;
She paid all her money for wood,
And so I sell matches for bread,

" For every time that she tries
Some things she'd be paid for to make.
And lays down the baby, it cries,
And that makes my sick brother wake.

"I'd go to the yard and get chips :
But then it would make me so sad.
To see men there, building the ships,
And think they had made one so bad.

"I've one other gown, and, with care,
We think it may decently pass,
With my bonnet, that's put by, to wear
To meeting and Sunday school class.

"I love to go there, where I'm taught
Of one who's so wise and so good,
He knows every action and thought,
And gives e'en the raven its food.

" For He, I am sure, who can take
Such fatherly care of a bird,
Will never forget or forsake
The children who trust to his word.

" And now, if I only can sell
The matches I brought out to-day,
I think I shall do very well ;
And mother '11 rejoice at the pay."

"Fly home, little bird," then I thought ;
"Fly home full of joy to your nest !"
For I took all the matches she brought,
And Mary may tell you the rest.

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