He wore a pair of tattered pants,
A ragged roundabout,
And through the torn crown of his hat
A lock of hair stuck out;
He had no shoes upon his feet;
No shirt upon his back;
His home was on the friendless street,
His name was ‘Little Jack.”
One day a toddling little boy
With head of curly hair
Escaped his loving mother’s eyes,
Who, busy with care,
Forgot the little one, who crept
Upon the railroad near
To play with the bright pebbles there,
Without a thought of fear.
But see! around a curve there comes
A swiftly flying train-
It rattles, roars! the whistle shrieks
With all its might and main;
The mother sees her child, but stands
Transfixed with sudden fright!
The baby clasps his little hands
And laughs with low delight
Look! Look! a tattered figure flies
Adown the railroad track!
His hat is gone! his feet are bare!
‘Tis ragged “Little Jack!”
He grasps the child and from the track
The babe is safely tossed_
A slip! a cry! the train rolls by-
Brave “Little Jack” is lost.
They found his mangled body there
Just where he slipped and fell-
And strong men wept who never cared
For him when he was well.
If there be starry crowns in heaven
For little ones to wear,
The star in “Little Jack’s” shall shine
As bright as any there!