The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

A Lay of Real Life

“Some are born with a wooden spoon in their mouths, and some with a golden ladle.” GOLDSMITH.

“Some are born with tin rings in their noses, and with silver ones.” SILVERSMITH.

Who ruined me ere I was born,

Sold every acre, grass or corn,

And left the next heir all forlorn?

My Grandfather.

Who said my mother was no nurse.

And physicked me and made me worse,

Till infancy became a curse?

My Grandmother.

Who left me in my seventh year,

A comfort to my mother dear,

And Mr. Pope, the overseer?

My Father.

Who let me starve, to buy her gin,

Till all my bones came through my skin,

Then called me “ugly little sin?”

My Mother.

Who said my mother was a Turk,

And took me home — and made me work,

But managed half my meals to shirk?

My Aunt.

Who “of all earthly things” would boast,

“He hated others’ brats the most,”

And therefore made me feel my post?

My Uncle.

Who got in scrapes, an endless score,

And always laid them at my door,

Till many a bitter bang I bore?

My Cousin.

Who took me home when mother died,

Again with father to reside,

Black shoes, clean knives, run far and wide?

My Stepmother.

Who marred my stealthy urchin joys

And when I played cried “What a noise?”—

Girls always hector over boys —

My Sister.

Who used to share in what was mine,

Or took it all, did he incline,

‘Cause I was eight, and he was nine?

My Brother.

Who stroked my head, and said “Good lad,”

And gave me sixpence, “all he had”;

But at the stall the coin was bad?

My Godfather.

Who, gratis, shared, my social glass,

But when misfortune came to pass,

Referr’d me to the pump? Alas!

My Friend.

Through all this weary world, in brief,

Who ever sympathized with grief,

Or shared my joy — my sole relief?

Myself.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hood/thomas/poetical-works/poem129.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:51