It was biting cold, and the falling snow,
Which filled a poor little match girl’s heart with woe,
Who was bareheaded and barefooted, as she went along the street,
Crying, “Who’ll buy my matches? for I want pennies to buy some meat!”
When she left home she had slippers on;
But, alas! poor child, now they were gone.
For she lost both of them while hurrying across the street,
Out of the way of two carriages which were near by her feet.
So the little girl went on, while the snow fell thick and fast;
And the child’s heart felt cold and downcast,
For nobody had bought any matchea that day,
Which filled her little mind with grief and dismay.
Alas! she was hungry and shivering with cold;
So in a corner between two houses she made bold
To take shelter from the violent storm.
Poor little waif! wishing to herself she’d never been born.
And she grew colder and colder, and feared to go home
For fear of her father beating her; and she felt woe-begone
Because she could carry home no pennies to buy bread,
And to go home without pennies she was in dread.
The large flakes of snow covered her ringlets of fair hair;
While the passers-by for her had no care,
As they hurried along to their homes at a quick pace,
While the cold wind blew in the match girl’s face.
As night wore on her hands were numb with cold,
And no longer her strength could her uphold,
When an idea into her little head came:
She’d strike a match and warm her hands at the flame.
And she lighted the match, and it burned brightly,
And it helped to fill her heart with glee;
And she thought she was sitting at a stove very grand;
But, alas! she was found dead, with a match in her hand!
Her body was found half-covered with snow,
And as the people gazed thereon their hearts were full of woe;
And many present let fall a burning tear
Because she was found dead on the last night of the year,
In that mighty city of London, wherein is plenty of gold –
But, alas! their charity towards street waifs is rather cold.
But I hope the match girl’s in Heaven, beside her Saviour dear,
A bright reward for all the hardships she suffered here.
© William McGonagall 🔒
Some other random works of this poet:
- The Wreck Of The Whaler Oscar
- Lines In Reply To The Beautiful Poet Who Welcomed News Of Mcgonagall’s Departure From Dundee
- The Battle Of Alma
- The Battle Of Gujrat
- The Burns Statue
- The Demon Drink
- The Death Of The Rev. Dr. Wilson
- Lines In Praise Of Mr. J. Graham Henderson, Hawick
- Saving A Train
- Little Popeet – The Lost Child
- The Newport Railway
- An All-Night Sea Fight
- Balmoral Castle
- The Bonnie Lass O’ Dundee
- Attempted Assassination Of The Queen
- The Last Berkshire Eleven
- Greenland’s Icy Mountains
- The Village Of Tayport And Its Surroundings
- The Wreck Of The Thomas Dryden
- The Bonnie Sidlaw Hills
- An Excursion Steamer Sunk In The Tay
- The Black Watch Memorial
- The Battle Of The Nile
- The Tay Bridge Disaster
- Farewell Address At The Argyle Hall
- The Hero Of Rorke’s Drift
- The Battle Of Inkermann
- The Rattling Boy From Dublin
- The Sunderland Calamity
- An Address To The Rev. George Gilfillan
- The Beautiful Sun
- The Battle Of Culloden
- A Tribute To Mr Murphy And The Blue Ribbon Army
- Beautiful Edinburgh
- The Famous Tay Whale
- Jenny Carrister, The Heroine Of Lucknow-Mine
- The Battle Of Abu Klea
- The Execution Of James Graham, Marquis Of Montrose
- The Ancient Town Of Leith
- The Wreck Of The Barque Wm. Paterson Of Liverpool
- The Wreck Of The Barque Lynton
- The Pennsylvania Disaster
- The Storming Of The Dargai Heights
- The Inauguration Of The Hill O’ Balgay
- Beautiful Rothesay
- The Albion Battleship Calamity
- Lines In Praise Of Professor Blackie
- The Battle Of Bannockburn
- The Death Of The Queen