From the Boston Traveller.
Give me three grains of Corn, Mother.
BY MRS. A. M. EDMOND
[The above words were the last request of an Irish lad to his mother, as he
was dying from starvation. She found three grains in a corner of his ragged
jacket and gave them to him. It was all she had; the whole family were perishing
Give me three grains of corn, mother,
Only three grains of corn,
It will keep the little life I have
Till the coming of the morn,
I am dying of hunger and cold, mother,
Dying of hunger and cold,
And half the agony of such a death,
My lips have never told
It has gnawed life a wolf at my heart, mother,
A wolf that is fierce for blood,
All the livelong day, and the night beside,
Gnawing for lack of food.
I dreamed of bread in my sleep, mother,
And the sight was heaven to see;
I woke with eager famishing lip,
But you had no bread for me.
How could I look to you, mother,
How could I look to you,
For bread to give your starving boy,
When you were starving, too?
For I read the famine in your cheek
And in your eye so wild,
And I felt it in your bony hand
As you laid it on your child.
The Queen had lands and gold, mother,
The Queen has lands and gold:
While you are forced to your empty breast
A skeleton babe to hold-
A babe that is dying of want, mother,
As I am dying now,
With a ghastly look in its sunken eye,
And famine upon its brow.
What has poor Ireland done, mother,
What has poor Ireland done.
That the world looks on and sees us starve,
Perishing one by one.
Do the men and the high,
For the starving sons of Erin's Isle,
Whether they live or die?
There is many a brave heart here, mother,
Dying of want and cold,
While only across the channel, mother,
Are many that roll in gold.
There are rich and proud men there, mother,
Wit wondrous wealth to view,
And the bread they fling to their dogs to-night
Would give me life and you!
Come nearer to my side mother,
Come nearer to my side,
And hold me fondly as you held
My father, when he died,
Quick, for I cannot see you, mother,
My breath is almost gone,
Mother! dear mother, ere I die,
Give me three grains of corn?