The Disgrace Of Poverty By Edgar Albert Guest

The Disgrace Of Poverty

The lady what comes up to our house t’ wash
Is awfully poor, an’ she’s got
Three babies t’ care for, an’ that’s why she works,
An’ that’s why she worries a lot.
An’ Ma says her husband don’t help her at all,
An’ Pa says it’s plainly a case
Where we should be kind t’ the woman, becoz
Real poverty ain’t no disgrace.

An’ yesterday mornin’ I went down t’ her
An’ told her what my Pa had said,
An’ she started t’ cry, an’ she dried off her hands
An’ stooped down an’ patted my head.
Then I ast if her husband worked hard like my Pa,
Or couldn’t he get work t’ do,
Then she wiped off her tears an’ smiled as she said:
‘What a queer little fellow are you!’

Then she told me her husband was no good at all,
But jes’ loafs around all the day,
An’ that’s why she comes up t’ our house t’ wash,
So’s she can get money t’ pay
For stockin’s an’ things for her children t’ wear,
An’ buy ’em the food that they eat;
Coz if she didn’t do it the landlord would come
An’ turn ’em all into the street.

An’ her husband ain’t sick. He’s as strong as my Pa,
An’ I told her that I’d be ashamed
If I was so poor, not t’ get out an’ work,
Unless I was crippled an’ lamed.
Then she kissed me an’ told me t’ run out an’ play,
But I’m thinkin’ as hard as I can
That sometimes it happens that poverty is
An awful disgrace to a man.


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