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The Little Cripples Complaint

 I'm a helpless cripple child, 
Gentle Christians, pity me; 
Once, in rosy health I smiled, 
Blithe and gay as you can be, 
And upon the village green
First in every sport was seen.
Now, alas! I'm weak and low, Cannot either work or play; Tottering on my crutches, slow, Thus I drag my weary way: Now no longer dance and sing, Gaily, in the merry ring.
Many sleepless nights I live, Turning on my weary bed; Softest pillows cannot give Slumber to my aching head; Constant anguish makes it fly From my heavy, wakeful eye.
And, when morning beams return, Still no comfort beams for me: Still my limbs with fever burn, Painful still my crippled knee.
And another tedious day Passes slow and sad away.
From my chamber-window high, Lifted to my easy-chair, I the village-green can spy, Once I used to frolic there, March, or beat my new-bought drum; Happy times! no more to come.
There I see my fellows gay, Sporting on the daisied turf, And, amidst their cheerful play, Stopp'd by many a merry laugh; But the sight I scarce can bear, Leaning in my easy-chair.
Let not then the scoffing eye Laugh, my twisted leg to see: Gentle Christians, passing by, Stop awhile, and pity me, And for you I'll breathe a prayer, Leaning in my easy-chair.

by Ann Taylor
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