Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • In Spite of Fate

    From the Omaha Daily Bee, June 28, 1913.
     By S. E. Kiser.
     A little boy sat on an old rail fence
         And gazed at a drooping limb;
     And a sinful yearning that was intense
         Kept steadily urging him.
     His little red features were covered with dirt
         And his little brown legs were scratched;
     There were numerous rents in his little checked shirt,
         And his little blue pants were patched.
     From one little toe the nail had been torn
         And one little heel was sore;
     A child apparently more forlorn
         I had never beheld before.
     At last he stood on the topmost rail
         And reached for that drooping limb;
     I almost uttered a hopeless wail—
         I felt so sorry for him.
     Hand over hand he pulled it down—
         The limb with the droop, I mean;
     His face was red and his legs were brown
         And the apples were small and green.
     He sat on the rail and he ate and ate;
         I counted them—there were four;
     Then, foolishly, recklessly challenging fate,
         He reached for a couple more.
     Sadly I turned to pursue my way
         And sadly I said, “Good-by.”
     Alas for what I have seen this day,
         ’Tis sad that the young must die.
     “You have had your way and you’ve had your will;
         Your bed will be dark and deep;
     A week from now upon yonder hill
         You will lie in a dreamless sleep.”
     A week had passed and again I chanced
         To pause ‘neath that fateful tree;
     With sad remembrance I turned and glanced—
         A thrill was in store for me.
     For there on the old rail fence he sat,
         Eating with calm delight,
     And, having finished he filled his hat
         And then sauntered out of sight.