Black Country Muse



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Posts: 1409

From disasters to everyday life, the old Poets of the Black Country could be relied upon, to come up with a few tear-jerkers, and make a few odd shillings in the process. Many a parlour wall, was decorated with a picture and verse, and although they would never gain any prizes for elequence, they could bring a tear to the eye of the hardest men in our region. This one harks back to the hardship of Collier families lives, and the terrible conditions of the time.

Little Jim.

The Cottage was a thatched one, the outside old and mean,

Yet everything within that cot, was wondrous neat and clean.

The night was dark and stormy, the wind was howling wild,

a patient mother watched beside, the death bed of her child.

A little worn-out creature, his once-bright eyes grown dim,

he was a collier's only son, and they called him ' Little Jim ',

And, oh, to see the briny tears, fast hurrying down her cheek

as she offered up a prayer, in thought, she was afraid to speak.

Least she might awaken one she loved, far better than her life,

for there was all a mother's love in that poor collier's wife.

With hands uplifted, see, she kneels, beside the suffers bed,

And prays that HE will spare her boy, and take herself, instead.

She gets her answer from the child, soft fall these words from him,

" Mother " , the angels do so smile, and beckon Little Jim.

I have no pain, dear mother, now, but oh, I am so dry,

Just moisten poor Jim's lips again, and mother, don't you cry."

With  gentle, trembling hands she held, a tea cup to his lips,

he smiled to thank her as he took, three tiny little sips.

"Tell Father when he comes from work, I said goodnight to him,

and Mother, now i'll go to sleep ". Alas! Poor little Jim.

She saw that he was dying, the child she loved so dear,

had uttered the last words, that she might ever hope to hear.

The Cottage door is opened, the collier's step is heard,

the Father and the Mother meet, yet neither speak a word.

He felt that all was over, he knew his child was dead.

he took the candle in his hand, and walked towards the bed,

His quivering lips gave token, of the grief he'd fain conceal,

and see, his wife has joined him, the striken couple kneel.

With hearts bowed down with sadness, they humbly ask of HIM,

In Heaven, once more to meet again, their own poor Little Jim.

Edward Farmer.


A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

May 31, 2014 at 2:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 1409

Member Gill Cash sent this one in, as she recently came across it. I think it sums up the subject of our Ancesters nicely. Thank you Gill.


A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

July 16, 2014 at 10:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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