The Late-Hours Shop Girl by Henry Halloran

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(On reading "Tam the Chapman," of Burns.)

As Nellie, faint and sick of heart,
Passed homeward from the glaring mart,
Where she from nine until eleven
Had toiled to keep her poor life even --
The clock, with clang morose and slow,
Had toll'd the hour some time ago  --
She slipped upon the drizzled way
And fell, and there half dead she lay;
She saw, at least she thought she saw,
With feelings both of love and awe,
A ghost, or angel, pale as she,
Which stood, as if for company,
And said to Nellie, "Will you come?
I'll find for you a better home.
No tyrant there my power may brave
The white slave there is not a slave,   
For my great Master finds for her
A home, beyond the sepulchre,
And gives her of those glorious things
Which shine not in the halls of kings.

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 28 November 1885

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 28, 2011 6:53 AM.

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