I NEVER knew him, for he never grew
Up as so many strong little ones do;
Just a year on the earth with his mother, and then
God came and took Jimmy to heaven again.
And ‘t was years after that when I moved on the street
And met Jimmy’s mother, so patient and sweet,
And through her I got to know Jimmy so well,
For morning and evening she ‘d stop me to tell
His toys were all kept in his little play room,
His dolls and his Teddy bear stayed in the gloom;
And when Jimmy was two, or would have been, rather,
Some soldiers of tin were brought home by his father,
And the mother arranged them in battle line, too,
A fact that but few of her friends ever knew.
In her mind’s eye she pictured him sunny and gay,
And often ceased work to romp with him and play,
Play with Jimmy.
In this way I got to know Jimmy myself,
Long after his toys had been put on the shelf;
He ‘d been to school and to college, it seems,
And now was the man of his dear mother’s dreams.
She ‘d nursed him through measles and fevers and all
The ailments that everyone has when he’s small,
She’d lived with him, just as though he had been spared,
Played with him, prayed with him, worried and cared
For her Jimmy.
Wonderful, too, were the deeds he had done;
Never had mother before such a son.
Brave? Never youth was so fearless as he;
I ‘m telling you now what she oft said to me.
And clever and witty and patient and kind,
With never a fault, but then mothers are blind,
And this mother really was telling the truth,
For she had watched every step of his youth,
The last words she spoke to me now I recall,
The doctor had whispered: ‘There’s no chance at all.’
And she knew it, too, but she smiled up at me,
‘I ‘m going,’ she muttered, ‘my Jimmy to see,
I know how he looks, and I know what he’ll say,
For hasn’t he lived with me here every day?
Help father to bravely bear up under this,
For he will be lonesome, I know how he’ll miss
Me and Jimmy.