Julia A Moore

Willie's and Nellie's Wish

Julia Ann Moore was an American poetaster. Like Scotland's William McGonagall, she is famed chiefly for writing notoriously bad poetry.

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."

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