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.
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng
Of human beings who passed her by
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.
Glad in the freedom of “school let out,”
Came the boys like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow piled white and deep.
Hastened the children on their way.
Nor offered a helping hand to her —
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir
Lest the carriage wheels or the horse’s feet
Should crowd her down in the slippery street.
The gayest laddie of all the group;
He paused beside her and whispered low,
“I’ll help you cross, if you wish to go.”
She placed, and so, without hurt or harm,
He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong.
His young heart happy and well content.
For all she’s aged and poor and slow,
And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
To help my mother, you understand,
If ever she’s poor and old and gray,
When her own dear boy is far away.”
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!”
Mary Dow Brine
From The Best Loved Poems of the American people