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Poem by Ellis Parker Butler


The Cut Finger


THE GOSSOON [Weeping]

It’s bleedin’! It’s bleedin’!

THE OULD WOMAN [Soothingly]

          An’ shure, me lad, ‘t is bleedin’;
But come, me hearty laddy buck, be brave an’ do not cry;
A lad that’s learnin’ readin’ sh’u’d be far beyant the heedin’
Av a tiny bit o’ finger cut that hurrts a bit foreby.

  ‘Ere ye come till wan an’ twinty
  Ye’ll be havin’ hurrts in plinty
An’ ye’ll learn a bit o’ bleedin’ doesn’t mean ye’re goin’ t’ die.

THE GOSSOON [Crying]

It’s bleedin’! It’s bleedin’!

THE OULD WOMAN [Comfortingly]

          An’ shure, me lad, ‘t is bleedin’;
But he’s me slashin’ buckeen, an’ he will not weep at all;
A rag is all ‘t is needin’ fer t’ sthop the whole proceedin’,
An’, shure, a bit o’ rosy blood won’t make me gossoon bawl;
  Fer ‘t is but wan way av knowin’
  Ye have good red blood a-flowin’
An’ a-workin’ all inside av ye t’ make ye strong an’ tall.

THE GOSSOON [Sobbing]

It’s bleedin’! It’s bleedin’!

THE OULD WOMAN [Lovingly]

          Aye, aye, me lad, ‘t is bleedin’,
An’ some foine day yer hearrt will bleed as bleeds the hearrt av me.
The saints ye will be pleadin’, but ‘t is little they’ll be heedin’,
Fer the worrld is full av bleedin’ hearrts on either side the sea.
  An’ I’d die t’ aise the achin’
  Whin ye feel yer hearrt a-brealdn’,
But, ah! the poor ould woman won’t be there t’ comfort ye.



Ellis Parker Butler


Ellis Parker Butler's other poems:
  1. New England Magazine
  2. The Ballade of the Automobile
  3. The Rich Boy’s Christmas
  4. Why I Went to the Foot
  5. Cupid Caught Napping


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