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

  • My Little Boy

    From the Harrisburgh Telegraph, February 27, 1914. Translated by H. W. Ettelson, from the Yiddish of Morris Rosenfeld.

    I have a boy, a little boy,
        He is a youngster fine!
    Whenever I catch sight of him,
        I think the world is mine!

    But of him, precious one, awake,
        I’ve seldom, seldom sight.
    Most times I find him fast asleep,
        Just see him in the night.

    The workshop calls me early out,
        And late I leave the place;
    Ah, strange to me my flesh and blood,
        Ah, strange my own child’s face.

    I come through pall of darkness home,
        Fagged out and in a daze.
    And my pale wife to cheer me, tells
        Of baby’s cunning ways.

    How sweet he talks, how cute he begs;
        “Please mamma, tell me, do,
    When is dear daddy going to come
        And bring me a penny, too.”

    And hearing this, I dart away,
        For so it needs must be.
    The father-love flames passionate;
        “My child must, shall see me.”

    I stand beside his tiny crib,
        I see and ah, I hear,
    The little lips ask in a dream:
        “Where is my daddy dear?”

    I kiss his eyelids tenderly
        They open wide—sweet sight!
    They see me now, they see me now,
        But soon again shut tight!

    “Here’s father now, my one, my own.
        A penny for you, there!”
    The little lips ask in a dream:
        “O where is Papa, where?”

    I stand there stricken, deep-distressed,
        And speak in accents sore;
    “Sometime you’ll wake my child, alas,
        And find me here no more!”