I don't know who wrote this poem, but it is very old. It was shared with me by my beloved Aunt Agnes MacDonald many years ago.
(Thursday--my friend Claire Alexander found the author of the poem: Mary Dow Brine. The anthology it comes in is the "Poetry for Children" edited by Amy Neally. Thank you Claire!)
It makes me cry whenever I read it. It is unashamedly sentimental and it touches me somewhere deep.
Because this weekend we honour our mothers I am sharing it with the readers of Whatever He Says.
The woman was old and ragged and gray,
And bent with the chill of the winter's day;
The street was wet with a recent snow,
And the woman's feet were aged and slow.
She stood at the crossing and waited long,
Alone, uncared for, among the throng
Of human beings who passed her by,
None heeded the glance of her anxious eye.
Down the street with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of "school let out,"
Came the boys like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow, piled white and deep.
Past the woman so old and gray,
Hastened the children on their way;
None offered a helping hand to her,
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir,
Lest the carraige wheels or the horses feet,
Should knock her down in the slippery street.
At last came one of the merry troop--
The gayest laddie of all the group;
He paused beside her and whispered low;
"I'll help you across if you wish to go."
Her aged hand on his strong young arm,
She placed and so without hurt or harm,
He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong.
Then back to his friends again he went.
His young heart happy and well content.
"She's somebody's mother, boys, you know,
For all she's aged and poor and slow;
And I hope some fellow will lend a hand,
To my mother, you understand,
If ever she's poor and old and gray,
When her own dear boy is far away."
And "somebody's mother" bowed low her head,
In her home that night--and the prayer she said,
Was, "God be kind to the noble boy,
Who is somebody's son and pride and joy."