The Little Mendicant [poem, 9 July 1809]

[Editor: A poem published in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 9 July 1809.]


(Received from an unknown Hand.)

The Little Mendicant. — Original.

I’m a poor Orphan Boy, two years short of thirteen,
And am friendless beside, more’s the pity:—
Tho’ tender my years such fell hardships I’ve seen,
As would fill up a tragical ditty.

My dad in the wars at St. Lucia was slain,
And so from my mammy was parted;
But she did not live very long to complain,
For she left me — and died broken-hearted.

At two years of age, by this doleful mischance,
I was thus to misfortune devoted;
My wants were unheeded, unless by some chance
My infant distresses were noted.

The smallest of mites did I gladly receive.
For it’s plain that my lot was distressing;
And the bounty extended my wants to relieve
I repaid with my innocent blessing.

When thought in my bosom her seat first assumed,
A stranger I seem’d in creation,
Whom fortune severe had unhappily doom’d
To survive either friend or relation.

I wandered, I pondered, I sauntered and sigh’d,
Still expos’d to each hardship of season,
Till sense gave me patience — a virtue ally’d
To the nobler dictates of REASON.

By Reason instructed GOD’S will to obey,
And accept what he gives with submission,
To whatever he sends ’tis a sin to say nay,
Be content, then, my only ambition.

Ah! turn not aside from Humility’s prayer,
There’s kindness in commiseration;
And if you incline a small pittance to spare,
Why, God will approve the Donation!

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), 9 July 1809, p. 2

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