Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/103

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93
THE READING-CLUB.

Fur Millerkins down the av'nue;
Yer kin bet that young un's smart,—
Worked right in like a vet'run
Since th' old un' gin 'im a start.

Folks say he's a picter o' father,
Once mate o' the 'Lucy Lee'—
Lost when Joe wor a baby,
Way off in some furrin sea.
Then mother kep' us together,
Though nobody thought she would,
An' worked an' slaved an' froze an' starved
Uz long uz ever she could.
An' since she died an' left us,
A couple o' year ago,
We've kep' right on in Cragg Alley,
A-housekeepin'—I an' Joe.
I'd just got my kit when she went, sor,
An' people helped us a bit,
So we managed to get on somehow;
Joe wus alius a brave little chit;
An' since he's got inter bisness,
Though we don't ape princes an' sich,
Tain't of 'n we git right hungry,
An' we feel pretty tol'able rich.

I used to wait at the corner,
Jest over th' other side;
But the notion o' bein' tended
Sort o' ruffled the youngster's pride,
So now I only watches
To see that he's safe across;
Sometimes it's a bit o' waitin',
But, bless yer, 'tain't no loss!
Look! there he is now, the rascal!
Dodgin' across the street
Ter s'prise me—an'—look! I'm goin’—
He's down by the horses' feet!"

Suddenly all had happened,—
The look, the cry, the spring,
The shielding Joe as a bird shields
Its young with sheltering wing;