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Henry Clay Work

(1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut)

Don't Be Cruel to the Motherless Darlings


The sun that sank just now beyond those calm waters
Shines not for me;
The sun that will to-morrow gild yonder mountain
I shall not see.
Faint forms draw near, and seem to beckon, beckon;
"Come now!" sweet voices seem to say;
And, but for thought of these my poor little darlings,
Glad I obey!

I must let go each little hand;
I must leave all behind.
Oh! don't be cruel to the motherless darlings;
Don't be unkind!

Since first I looked upon my Delbert and Daisy
Five years and three --
'Twas love and gentleness, 'twas ruling by kindness,
Won them to me.
Harsh words will draw them nearer never, never!
But love their hidden hearts will find.
Oh! don't be cruel to the motherless darlings;
Don't be unkind!

'Twould break their little hearts if, while in your keeping,
Love were withdrawn --
If, through your cold neglect, they lose all their sunshine
When I am gone.
To this, my dying message, listen, listen!
Keep this, my last request, in mind:
Oh! don't be cruel to the motherless darlings;
Don' be unkind!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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