by Hannah Flagg Gould
I knew a little heedless boy,
A child that seldom cared,
If he could get his cake and toys
How other matters fared.
He always bore upon his foot
A signal of the thing,
For which, on him his playmates put
The name of Jemmy String.
No malice in his heart was there;
He had no fault beside,
So great as that of wanting care
To keep his shoe-strings tied.
You'd often see him on the run,
To chase the geese about;
While both his shoe-ties were undone,
With one end slipping out.
He'd tread on one, then down he'd go,
And all around would ring
With bitter cries, and sounds of woe,
That came from Jemmy String.
And oft, by such a sad mishap,
Would Jemmy catch a hurt;
The muddy pool would catch his cap,
His clothes would catch the dirt!
Then home he'd hasten through the street,
To tell about his fall:
While on his little sloven feet,
The cause was plain to all.
For while he shook his aching hand,
Complaining of the bruise,
The strings were trailing through the sand
From both his loosened shoes.
One day, his father thought a ride
Would do his children good;
But Jemmy's shoe-strings were untied,
And on the stairs he stood.
In hastening down to take his place,
Upon the carriage seat,
Poor Jemmy lost his joyous face;
Nor could he keep his feet.
The dragging string had made him trip,
And, bump! bump! went his head,
The teeth had struck and cut his lip;
And tears and blood were shed.
His aching wounds he meekly bore;
But with a swelling heart,
He heard the carriage from the door,
With all but him, depart.
This grievous lesson taught him care,
And gave his mind a spring;
For he resolved no more to bear
The name of Jemmy String!
Source:Poems By Miss H. F. Gould. Volume 2.
Hilliard, Gray, & Co., Boston