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Story of the Little Brothers

From The Birmingham Age Herald, January 24, 1915. By E. B. Barry.

We are the little brothers, homeless in cold and heat,
Four footed little beggars, roaming the city street,
Snatching a bone from the gutter, creeping thro’ alleys drear,
Stoned and sworn at and beaten, our hearts consumed with fear.
You pride yourselves on the beauty of your city, fair and free,
Yet we are dying by thousands in coverts you never see;
You boast of your mental progress, of your libraries, schools and halls,
But we who are dumb denounce you, as we crouch beneath their walls.
You sit in your tinseled playhouse and weep o’er a mimic wrong;
Our woes are the woes of the voiceless, our griefs are unheeded in song.
You say that the same God made us; when before his throne you come,
Shall you clear yourselves in his presence on the plea that he made us dumb?
Are your hearts too hard to listen to a starving kitten’s cries?
Or too gay for the patient pleading in a dog’s beseeching eyes?
Behold us, your little brothers, starving, beaten, oppressed—
Stretch out a hand to help us that we may have food and rest.
Too long have we roamed neglected, too long have we sickened with fear,
The mercy you hope and pray for you can grant us now and here.

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