A Noble Boy - Somebody's Mother

”A Noble Boy - Somebody's Mother" by Mary Dow Brine 1878


The woman was old and feeble and grey,
And bent with the chill of the winter's day,
The street was wet with the recent snow,
And the woman's feet were weary and slow,
She stood at the crossing and waited long,
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng,
Down the street with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of 'school let out'
Came the boys, like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow, piled white and deep.
Past the woman, so old and grey,
Hastened the children on their way,
Nor offered a helping hand to her,
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir.

At last came one 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'
He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong,
Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content,
'She is somebody's mother boys you know,
Although she is old and poor and slow,
And I hope some fellow will lend a hand,
To help my mother - you understand
If e'er she be poor and old and grey,
When her own dear boy is far away.

And 'somebody's mother' bowed low her head,
In her home that night and the prayer she said,
Was 'God be kind to the noble boy,
Who is somebody's son and pride and joy'.

Delia Henry, Charlestown wrote to 'Ireland's Own' a few months ago for the words of this poem and received over one hundred replies from all around the world. She loved this poem as a child.

© Cathal Henry. 2004