Menella Bute Smedley

The Snow-Dog

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She has not a morsel to eat!
Just fancy a child in that state,
Creeping along all alone in the street,
A sweet little creature of eight.
The mansion is splendidly lit,
The supper is shining through flowers,
But the poor little child has not tasted a bit
For twenty-four terrible hours.

She lays herself down at the door,
She curls herself up in a heap,
She thinks that this world is too hard for the poor,
And hopes she may die in her sleep!
So soft, uncomplaining, and small,
So delicate, slender, and mild,
She lies at the door of the beautiful hall
A poor, little, desolate child!
Who opens the door bright and gay?
Who shouts like a hero at least?
Why, who could it be but the lord of the day—
The birthday-boy, king of the feast!
Rich velvet envelopes his form;
His face is a smiling full-moon;

His golden curls flicker about in the storm;
His laughter rings out like a tune!
A snow-covered heap in the street.
He sees it, nor quite understands;
He pushes it on with his wee, dainty feet,
And clasps his dear, mischievous hands.
He cries, “Oh, what happiness! Oh,
This birthday-gift's nicest by far.
Hurrah! here's a beautiful dog in the snow—
A beautiful snow-dog, hurrah!”
He drags her along in his glee,
Through chambers of splendour and light,

Still crying, “My snow-dog—and are you for me,
With your girl's face so pretty and white?”
Ah, child! prize this birthday-gift, 'tis
More precious than gold can procure.
The good God himself, dear, has given you this,—
The good God that takes care of the poor.
How pleasantly warm is the fire!
How soft is the rug where she lies!
Oh, what is there left for her heart to desire,
As she opens her tremulous eyes?

They feed her with delicate things,
She laughs that her troubles are past;
She thinks they are angels, she looks for their wings,
And hopes it is heaven at last!

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Menella Bute Smedley