Willie's And Nellie's Wish

Willie and Nellie, one evening sat
By their own little cottage door;
They saw a man go staggering by --
Says Willie, "that's Mr. Lanore;
He is just going home from town, where
He has been in a saloon.
When Maggie and I came from school,
Said Maggie, 'please papa, come home.'

"She asked him again, again, to come home.
At last he got angry, and said:
'Maggie, go home -- don't bother me so;
Go home now, and shut up your head.'
Poor girl, she came weeping all the way,
As though her poor heart would break.
She could not play, not a word would say;
With playmates no pleasure could take."

"'Tis the same child," Willie replied;
"I'm sorry for Maggie Lanore.
I wish her papa would sign the pledge,
And try to be a man once more.
He drinks up all the money he earns,
In whiskey, rum, gin and beer;
His home is a home of poverty,
Made so by his own career."

Says Nellie, "I wish Mr. Lanore
Would go to the meeting to-night,
And hear the temperance lecture;
Then perhaps he would try to do right.
One more little home of happiness,
Would be in our midst, I am sure;
Then Maggie Lanore could say with joy.
'My papa don't drink any more.'"

Said Nellie, "I told her never mind,
We would be her friends evermore;
I hoped her papa would sign the pledge,
Then he would not drink any more.
Then smiling through her tears, she said,
'The temperance pledge, you mean;
If papa would sign it, then mamma
And I will take comfort, I ween.'"

"I wonder," says Nellie, "can it be,
The same child I saw go to school?
She wore ragged clothes. I saw her toes
Were peeping out of her old shoes.
She has curly hair, and mild blue eyes;
Can this child be Maggie Lanore?
If it is her, I sincerely wish
Her papa won't drink any more."

by Julia Ann Moore

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