Menella Bute Smedley

A Child's Thought

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Little beggar children, with your little ragged dresses,
Does love atone for joys unknown by beautiful caresses?
Or, do you live in happy homes as dear, perhaps, as this is,
And do you know that, come or go, you'll meet with eager kisses?

I often see you wandering, and wonder just as often,
If love makes bright your homes at night, your misery to soften;
And do you ever, ever play, you helpless little creatures?
And can you spell and read as well?
And have you any teachers?
If I was kept so dirty, I should think that nothing matters;
I never could feel very good in rags and tears and tatters.
And if I'd not one bit of food, and saw a lovely dinner,
I almost feel that I could steal, and be a wicked sinner!

Little beggar children, my life is very pleasant,
The past is dear, the future clear, and, best of all, the present;
I am a happy little child, with love and joy about me,
And many a one would lose the sun, rather than live without me.
I think my feelings towards you should be so soft and tender,
And even I might plan, and try some tiny aid to render;
I'll often give you all I can out of my little treasure,
And I will pray—yes, every day—that you may have some pleasure!

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