The other day while strolling out, to have a quiet walk,
And passing by a house I heard some very noisy talk;
Just then a door flew open and an old man tumbled out,
I stopped and asked the people what the trouble was about.
An angry lad then asked me what it had to do with me,
And told me to move on, or else he'd quickly let me see;
The old man then got up and shook at him his old gray head,
And leaning on my arm the while, these words are what he said:
You've made your poor old mother weep for you from night 'till morn,
You've made your poor old father wish that you were never born,
You'll wish you'd neveer served us so, when we're both dead, my lad,
When your own children treat you like you've treated poor old dad!
As the old man spoke those bitter words, his bent form shook with age,
And sev'ral times he curs'd the son who trembled near with rage,
Just then the poor old mother came with tott'ring footsteps slow,
Again the lad struck at his dad, she tried to stop the blow.
The teardrops streaming down her face, she fell close at his feet,
While the angry crowd began to shout and murmur in the street;
You've driv'n us out, the old man cried, to the poor-house we must go,
And when you're old and feeble, may your children treat you so.
A gent then raised the lady up, and said, now mother come
You shall not to the poor-house go, I'll find you both a home,
But what can mean those ice-cold hands for ne'er a word she said,
'Tis true, her heart is broken, yes, the poor old mother's dead.
Not very long the old man lived, but soon joined his old bride,
Now in the quiet churchyard they are sleeping side by side,
but one day o'er their grave we found their dead son 'neath the trees,
And mournfully I thought I heard those words float on the breeze.