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Poem by Sarah Orne Jewett

The Spendthrift Doll

As I was coming down the street,
    I saw the saddest sight;
Sitting before a candy-shop,
    A doll all dressed in white.
A Paris hat was on her head,
    Her eyes were china blue,
And, looking down below her gown,
    I saw her pink kid shoe.

Her veil thrown back showed me that her
    Expression was refined;
Her carriage-top was folded down,
    Her sash was tied behind.
Beside her sat a shaggy dog,
    And, as I came too near,
His growls, though not so very loud,
    Were terrible to hear.

And out two children came;
The last one several bundles bore,
    The first one just the same.
And some they put behind the doll,
    And some before her lay;
And taking now the horse's place
    They turned to go away.

We, who are good, can't understand
    Such very wicked ways;
There must have been at least a pound
    Of candy in the chaise!
The money she so idly spends
    She might so wisely useЧ
Buy some poor doll a Sunday hat,
    Or week-day pair of shoes;

To outgrown and old-fashioned dolls
    She might be such a friend;
To heathen dolls in savage lands
    Improving books might send.
'T is sad to think that one so small
   Can be so great in sin.
I fear my tears will form a lake
    And I shall fall therein!

Sarah Orne Jewett

Sarah Orne Jewett's other poems:
  1. Boat Song
  2. A Child's Grave
  3. In a Christmas Letter
  4. At Waking
  5. Together

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