The woman was old and ragged and gray,
And bent with the chill of a winter’s day;
The streets were white with a recent snow,
And the woman’s feet with age were slow.
At the crowded crossing she waited long,
Jostled aside by the careless throng
Of human beings who passed her by.
Unheeding the glance of her anxious eye.
Down the street with laughter and shout.
Glad in the freedom of “school let out,”
Come happy boys, like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow piled white and deep;
Past the woman, so old and gray.
Hastened the children on their way.
None offered a helping hand to her,
So weak and timid, afraid to stir,
Lest the carriage wheels or the horses’ feet
Should trample her down in the slippery street.
At last came out of the merry troop
The gayest boy of all the group;
He paused beside her and whispered low,
“I’ll help you across, if you wish to go.”
Her aged hand on his strong young arm
She placed, and so without hurt or harm
He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were young and strong;
Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content
“She’s somebody’s mother, boys, you know,
For all she’s aged, and poor and slow;
And some one, some time, may lend a hand
To help my mother—you understand?—
If ever she’s old and poor and gray,
And her own dear boy so far away.”
“Somebody’s mother” bowed low her head
In her home that night, and the prayer she said
Was: “God be kind to that noble boy,
Who is somebody’s son and pride and joy.”