1801.6 - "The Beggar Girl"

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

Previous Poem    -    Next Poem

1801.6
The Beggar Girl
Anon
The Scots Magazine, LXIII (August 1801), p. 562

A poor helpless wand'rer, the wide world
                    before me,
    When the harsh din of War forc'd a Parent
                    to roam,
With no Friend save kind Heav'n to protect
                    and watch o'er me,
    I, a Child of Affliction, was robb'd of
                    a home!

And thus, with a sigh, I accosted each stranger—
    "O look with compassion on poor orphan
                    BESS!
"Your mite may relieve her from each threat'ning
                    danger—
"And the soft tear of pity can soothe her distress."

To the Rich, by whom Virtue's too often
                    neglected,
    I tell my sad store—and crave for relief:
But Wealth seldom feels for a wretch unprotected—
    'Tis Poverty only partakes of her grief!

Ah, little they think that the thousands they
                    squander
    On the play-things of Folly and fripp'ries
                    of Dress,
Would relieve the keen wants of the wretched
                    who wander,
    While the soft tear of pity would soothe
                    their distress!

Thus bereft of each comfort, poor BESS will
                    not languish:
    Since short is life's journey, 'tis vain
                    to lament;
And HE who still marks the deep sigh of
                    keen anguish,
    Has plac'd in her bosom the jewel Content.

Then, ye wealthy to-day, think—ah, think,
                    ere to morrow,
    The frowns of misfortune upon you may
                    press;
Then, turn not away from a poor Orphan's
                    sorrow,
    When the soft tear of pity can soothe
                    her distress!


Previous Poem    -    Next Poem

Published @ RC

September 2004