Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HUNCHBACK, by PHOEBE CARY

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THE HUNCHBACK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: If he walked he could not keep beside
Last Line: Was ready for the call.
Subject(s): Hunchbacks

IF he walked he could not keep beside
The lads that were straight and well;
And yet, poor boy, how hard he tried,
There's none of us can tell.
To get himself in trim for school
Was weary work, and slow;
And once his thoughtless brother said,
"You're never ready, Joe!"

He sat in the sun, against the wall,
When the rest were blithe and gay;
For he could not run and catch the ball
Nor join in the noisy play.
And first or last he would not share
In a quarrel or a fight;
But he was prompt enough to say,
"No, boys, it is n't right!"

And when a lad o'er a puzzling "sum"
Perplexed his head in doubt,
Poor little, patient, hunchbacked Joe,
Could always help him out.
And surely as the time came round
To read, define, and spell,
Poor little Joe was ready first,
And knew his lessons well.

And not a child in Sunday-school
Was half so quick as he,
To tell who blessed the children once
And took them on his knee.
And if you could but draw him out,
'T was good to hear him talk
Of Him who made the blind to see
And caused the lame to walk.

When sick upon his bed he lay,
He uttered no complaint;
For scarce in patient gentleness
Was he behind a saint.
And when the summons came, that soon
Or late must come to all,
Poor little, happy, hunchbacked Joe,
Was ready for the call.

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