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The Little Worn Shoes

From the Omaha Daily Bee, April 29, 1915. By David.

Poor, tired little shoes! Uncomplaining
    They give their life to fulfill
The orders and calls and commandments
    Of feet that never are still.

They tramp o’er the hills and the meadows,
    And mud is their chief delight;
They were trim and shining this morning,
    Now they are a woeful sight.

They are scuffed and muddy and dingy,
    Their tongues hang panting for breath;
For the little feet that wear them
    Have run them almost to death.

And while they are busy destroying,
    I’m busy finding a way
To buy new shoes on the morrow,
    To replace the ones of today.

For new shoes, prized as a treasure
    Today, tomorrow are old.
But at sight of innocent faces,
    I have not the heart to scold.

Though each year they’re a bit larger,
    A cost just a trifle more;
And each year they wear a bit faster
    Than they did the year before;

For the little feet in the future
    Will lose their desire for play,
And soberly walk in the highways
    With no longing or wish to stray.

So I turn to my work with new purpose,
    And new courage for the fight;
And through blinding tears, as I view them,
    Those shoes are a beautiful sight.

Then I gather them up with rapture,
    And thank the Lord with a will,
For the rough little shoes, worn and shabby,
    And the feet that never are still.

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